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FINANCE: GCI Wealth Tour Gets Under Way: Unlock Offshore Complexities


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The theme of this year’s GCI annual Wealth Tour is ‘Understanding the global investment market’ and will offer the opportunity to hear from two experts in this area. Doug Abbott, from London-based Schroder’s Asset Management, will share the stage with Professor Matthew Lester from the Rhodes Business School, to give investors and financial advisors some key pointers on how to navigate complex international markets.

“Many investors and their advisors are nervous about the investment climate in South Africa, and are looking offshore for long-term stability and to create wealth legacies—but they are finding that international global markets are dauntingly complex,” says Alex Cook, CEO of GCI Wealth. “This year’s GCI Wealth Tour aims to give both investors and independent financial advisors a way to assess the many investment vehicles available to them, and some tips on selecting the best global investment managers.”

Cook points out that there are more than 200 000 mutual funds globally, compared with around 1 000 collective investment schemes in South Africa. Furthermore there are a vast range of investment structures and products which have to be considered in terms of taxation and estate planning. Investors also have to factor in currency fluctuations, language barriers and geopolitical risk.

Schroder Asset Management has over �271 billion (R5.2 trillion) under management. More importantly, GCI’s rigorous analysis process identified Schroder’s as one of the top global asset management companies, making it one of GCI Wealth’s preferred offshore asset managers. Abbott will provide Schroder’s perspective on global markets.

Professor Lester is a well-known commentator on tax and other issues in the South African financial services world, and a popular columnist. He will provide expert local opinion on offshore investing, and cover some of the tax and estate duty implications to be borne in mind. Cook and his colleague, Alex Funk, head of Asset Consulting at GCI Asset Management, will also present.

“When it comes to ensuring a safe and secure retirement—GCI’s main priority for its clients—there’s no doubt that offshore assets are vital. The Wealth Tour is designed to give as many investors and independent financial advisors as possible the inside track on getting it right,” concludes Cook. “Our aim is to simplify the process and also to provide insight into how to structure the portfolio holistically for tax efficiency and to preserve wealth across the generations.”

The GCI Wealth Tour will be visiting several venues across the country:

· 21st July, Tuesday – Bon Hotel Riviera on Vaal, Vereeniging at 15:00

· 23rd July, Thursday – The Fairway Hotel, Randburg, Johannesburg at 15:00

· 27th July, Monday – Protea Hotel, Umhlanga Ridge at 15:00

· 29th July, Wednesday – Kelvin Grove – Newlands Cape Town at 15:00

· 30th July, Thursday – Knysna Yacht Club – Knysna at 15:00

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