A sign of the times!!
We are committed to our responsibilities to safely meet with our clients at Jurgens Group offices. Adhering to all Health & Safety COVID-19 regulations and social distancing, it has become a rather different way of meeting and greeting.
Group offices. Adhering to all Health & Safety COVID-19 regulations and social distancing, it has become a rather different way of meeting and greeting.
Message from Mark Jurgens
First and foremost, I would like to wish you and your loved ones ongoing good health and patience in dealing with our “new normal” lives.
These unsettling COVID-19 times are clearly impacting on our lives, the people we love, our colleagues and our communities. Without question, we are experiencing a health and economic crisis which we have not witnessed in our lifetime.
How different each of our days have become; working remotely, social distancing, wearing of masks, hand sanitising, juggling work and parenting commitments; as well as maintaining the ever-important connections with family and friends – albeit virtual.
A friend’s young child asked him “Dad, what happens when this is all over?” He needed to pause and reflect upon the magnitude of such a simple question.
One may feel that we are navigating without a map but we will tread cautiously, find our footing, and together with that, our new directions. This process will require vision, innovation, leadership and a strong sense of realism. Leadership within times of disruption and distress will test many an organisation
and the actions taken today will be judged for many years to come. This will require difficult trade-offs and tremendous patience.
Before COVID-19, we were already in a constant cycle of retraction followed by the emergence of recovery, only for this global event to undo our gains. This distressing factor is that some companies will not emerge from this crisis, and the implications of this upon lives and communities will be severe.
This crisis has prompted the loosening of financial prudence at the state level and led to the introduction of historic stimulus packages. The benefits to the real economy are yet to be realised.
I am positive that from the many lessons learned during this year, we will recover. A better tomorrow shall be one where humanity and community are central and where the best of agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, science, data and technology is leveraged. It will take a different way of thinking and increased levels of agility and collaboration.
With regard to investments, it is natural for one to feel the “need to make a change”. This provides a feeling of being in control. However, unnecessary change and knee jerk reactions are very rarely financially rewarding.
Please do not allow your guard to drop due to the lifting of “Lockdown levels”. COVID-19 has no regard to levels. Maintain the three golden rules – safe social distancing, masks in public and regular washing / sanitising of hands. Lighten your mood with a variety of face masks, spoil yourselves with a moisturising and fragrant hand cream and when you stand a few feet away from a friend or loved one, show them a smile in your eyes and remain present in that moment (not on your phone!)
Above all, let us worry about your investments and you take care of you and yours. A positive and optimistic demeanour will go a far way in maintaining your health and strength.
Championing Changes from Alan Botha
The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on most industries and the financial services sector is not immune to some of the disruption that has ensued. In fact, we have now seen an acceleration of some of the impending changes led by technology and increasing regulation. Jurgens Finance have been at the forefront of championing some of these changes, to ensure an industry which is representative of superior quality advice, full transparency of fees and that ultimately, better client outcomes are garnered through this process.
One of the changes we have adopted in our enhanced business model, was to bring on board an independent global research capability, to assist us with selection of underlying investment managers in the portfolios we manage for our clients. We sent out a communication in February that we have now appointed Morningstar as a discretionary fund manager (DFM) to assist us in this role.
In the past Jurgens Finance managed all portfolios in-house and although we have achieved much success and delivered credible performance outcomes for our clients, we felt it an appropriate time to add even more robustness and expertise, to our investment process and committee. We believe that the true value of what we do, lies in the holistic advice that we disseminate, getting to know our clients intimately, to provide credible, individualized solutions. Although we still maintain full responsibility for the portfolios we manage, Morningstar will now assist in taking much of the Due Diligence function off our shoulders, which enables us to focus on the financial advice that really matters.
What is a discretionary fund manager (DFM)?
Discretionary fund managers (DFM) are investment specialists who assist us in constructing and optimising our investment offering to our clients. They research and select different fund managers and combine them optimally to target the returns required depending on your tolerance for risk, and whether you are growing your assets or drawing an income.
When identifying investment managers, we will look to blend managers who have different investment styles and objectives to avoid duplicating risks and ensuring enhanced diversification. This will ensure that through all market conditions, the portfolio will not all do well, or lose money at the same time. This also allows us to switch all underlying investors at the same time, if for example, an underlying manager falls out of favour or changing market conditions dictate that we make a tactical change to our portfolios.
We investigated many DFM’s, and in our research we came across over 40 businesses offering these types of services in South Africa. Many DFM’s are owned by larger financial services groups and use or provide services to other parts of the group. Morningstar was appointed on the back of being truly independent (ownership structure), with outstanding experience and qualifications of the research team, a compelling investment performance track record (consistent and above-average returns), and importantly represented a good cultural fit, with extensive global capabilities (assistance with both local and global portfolios).
We also utilised Morningstar to negotiate lower institutional fees from the various investment managers, which translate into all our portfolios having lower costs, even after paying a fee to Morningstar for their services.
We are excited about this latest development and are confident that this will deliver exceptional investment value over time to our clients. We will continue to work on our business model to ensure we keep adapting to this changing environment, with the continued delivery of stellar service, well researched advice, and investment outcomes that allow clients to achieve their financial planning objectives.
Short Term News Update from Greg Brits
The impact COVID-19 has had on business and life in general, is devastating. New ideas need to be developed and invented to continue doing business and operating in such extraordinary times – all for the sake of stopping the spread of a deadly virus. Our hearts go out to those businesses who are unable to trade and operate at present.
Please remember that we still have The Talking Point initiative in place for those who wish to chat to someone confidentially. Our current situation has added a huge burden on our economy and stress on individuals, families and communities. Should you be feeling trapped, isolated and financially overwhelmed due to lack of income, please call 0861 887 887 for help to cope.
As Directors and Managers of businesses trying to adapt to the “new” normal, you may encounter exposure to possible lawsuits by companies or customers for example. Cases which may have been unheard of before Covid-19. Fortunately, there is a reasonable cost-effective product called “Directors and Officers cover” to assist with this type of abnormal experience. Please chat to us about adding this to your existing policy or as an independent quote.
During times where staff need to work remotely, this can lead to exposing one’s business to Cyber liability. The result could be costly company losses and brand damage while trying to solve this issue. We have webinars that we can share with you should you want to know more.
Please bear in mind that keeping large volumes of hand sanitisers in stock on premises carries due risks because of its known low flash point. Please ensure that the relevant storage by-laws are adhered to.
We have been in contact with many of you during this time of lockdown and as always, we are available to assist you during these trying times.
Miguel Araujo receiving his 5 Year Service Award from Mark Jurgens.
The Jurgens Group has become more than just colleagues of mine, we are like a family who strive for nothing but the best. Under the guidance and mentorship from Mark over the past 5 years, I have grown tremendously as a person as well as a wealth manager. I look forward to what the future holds within the business and I intend on being here every step of the way. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all my clients over the past 5 years for entrusting me in managing their portfolios. Here’s too many more!