Article Written by Ian Kilbride.
The next few months will be a fascinating time within our organisation. We will be developing and growing into not two, but in fact three separate operations, all with very different business models and objectives, and all with their own identity and exciting future.
The coming year will therefore offer new and exciting challenges and many opportunities for all those who take them. 2018 has obviously been fairly adventurous, Cadiz was acquired and it has continued to develop into a dynamic and well positioned asset manager, the investment performance now being achieved speaks for itself. It is my belief, however, that 2019 may surpass 2018 in terms of our development as a group.
In the late 1980’s, assisted by several other colleagues, I laid the foundations for what is today known as ‘The Spirit Group’ (Spirit). Since those early days the group has grown steadily over the decades into a substantial private organisation, operating in several jurisdictions.
Spirit has not to date, however, operated as a business itself within South Africa, other than via its three charitable foundations (please visit thespiritfoundation.info) That position has now changed and ‘Spirit Invest’ has been established in South Africa.
Spirit Invest is now the holding company of three great South African companies, organisations that offer very different financial services and products, yet are totally complementary of each other.
So who are these three companies and what do they offer?
1. WARWICK – WEALTH MANAGEMENT
Now entering its seventeenth year, with a national footprint and thousands of clients, Warwick is now an established brand in SA. As the CEO of Spirit Invest, I will be overseeing the management of Warwick, assisted at all times by a great team. The company now has six offices, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Knysna and East London. Each region is run by a Regional Manager (RM) and they have each been granted far greater autonomy so that they may, working with their own staff and teams, deliver on agreed targets, budgets and business commitments.
I will also be assisted by Marc Wiese, who has been made the MD of Warwick Corporate Services with effect from 1st November 2018. There are two current large projects that Marc has been tasked with finalising before the end of March 2019. In addition we will both be working with the Warwick RM’s to develop our international business offering and thus create opportunities, as well as new ideas on developing the Professional Network, ideas that will benefit all of the Warwick regions and teams.
2. CADIZ – ASSET MANAGEMENT
Cadiz is now over 25 years old and since its acquisition, by ‘The Spirit Group’ and placed under Spirit Invest, it has been repositioned, given added independence and consequently empowered to deliver on its core professional skills and strengths. In addition the Warwick Asset Management (WAM) team has been absorbed into Cadiz and the new unified team are now responsible for managing all of the Cadiz and Warwick funds, as well as all client PSP’s, segregated mandates and pooled products. The company now intends to grow its retail and institutional distribution capacity and client base in a far more organised and active manner.
Effective from 1st November, Adrian Meager has been made the MD of Cadiz and takes responsibility for both the distribution of Cadiz funds and the asset management services offered by the team.
The Warwick team now also benefit from this enhanced skill set and consequently Warwick clients not only hold Warwick and Cadiz funds in their investment plans and PSP’s, but they also benefit from the processes, procedures and disciplines established by and executed within the Cadiz Asset Management team (CAM).
3. APPLETON – FIDUCIARY SERVICES
Appleton is a brand that Spirit formed over 25 years ago in 1992. It was built up successfully over a number of years and then sold in 2000 to its management team. Since that sale its development and performance faulted and as a result Spirit bought back the brand several years ago. Spirit have now decided to relaunch the brand and the new Appleton business plan sees the company focus exclusively on Fiduciary Services.
The Will writing and executorship business within Warwick is being transferred and rebranded as Appleton and, as a result from 1st November 2018, the entire team, under the professional guidance of its GM Lauren Hean, are now the core element of Appleton.
All of the existing and new Warwick Wills and executorships will continue to be branded Warwick, under a white labelling agreement and the Appleton staff will liaise and operate as Warwick on all of Warwick’s clients. What was previously known as Warwick Trust and Estates is now Appleton Fiduciary Services.
The name change and branding allows this successful and fast growing business to now market its services to other organisations, such as lawyers, accountants and financial advisors, many of whom may have been reluctant to allow Warwick full access to their client information. Appleton will exclusively focus on Will drafting and executorships and act, as always, in a professional and independent manner, so that they do not compete with any of their own key business introducers.
As from the 1st November 2018, Tim Hughes has accepted and thus been appointed as the MD of Appleton, with Lauren Hean as the operational GM of the company, they are both fully committed and determined to make Appleton a national success.
Spirit is fully committed to build all three brands in South Africa, under Spirit Invest, as well as in other jurisdictions. The Spirit Invest ‘Executive Team‘ (EXEC) is now made up of Tiaan Meyer, Marc Wiese, Adrian Meager, Tim Hughes and myself, as your Chairman and CEO.
Tiaan Meyer is the Spirit Invest Financial Director and works alongside myself as CEO. We are joined within Spirit Invest itself by Rudi Kotze as the Spirit Invest Company Secretary and Head of Compliance.
Warwick Operations, under Ryan Magee, remains within Warwick and although New Business Administration and Client Administration are obviously exclusively Warwick, HR, BI and Services will continue to be subcontracted by Warwick to its sister companies, Cadiz and Appleton.
Over the coming weeks I will be in all of the Warwick, Cadiz and Appleton offices and will make myself available to answer any questions you may have on the new structure and our group plans, as we move towards and then into 2019.
If 2018 was a year of restructuring and acquisition then 2019 will be marked as a year of intelligent and planned growth, across all of the Spirit Invest companies. I wish to thank each and every one of you, in all of the companies, for your dedication, hard work and commitment and I commit to give you the same level of commitment and hard work in return.
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