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Big growth at BJM’s stay local, go global equity portfolios

01 November 2010 Barnard Jacobs Mellet Private Client Services (Pty) Ltd

Going direct to global share markets from a local base is proving a winning proposition for financial service innovators at BJM Private Clients.

The firm, a leading wealth manager, adviser and provider of segregated portfolio services, launched the concept six months ago. Client adviser, Jurievan der Merwe says South Africans have been quick to spot the advantages of the new service.

Service take-up has been phenomenal and assets under management have grown month on month by “more than 30% and accelerating”, says Van der Merwe.

He adds: “Clients can benefit from our superior stock-picking capability to build a portfolio of quality shares.”

His view is that investors have a far greater “connectedness” with their investment portfolio if they invest directly in shares. For example, investors can identify with a Sasol share. They can go to the company’s website, they can read about the company in the newspaper, they can use their product and they know who runs the company. An investor can hardly say the same about a unit trust fund.

Van der Merwe notes: “I also find our clients are a lot more interested in their investments if they are invested in direct equities. I always encourage investors to take interest in their investments. After all, it is their money. I believe this interest will enhance how it gets managed and then the overall performance.”

Traditionally, South Africans had to rely on portfolio managers in foreign locations e.g. Zurich, New York or London. Now investors have local professionals managing these assets.

Van der Merwe points out: “South Africans are as competent as any foreigner to make the right investment choices. In fact, maybe more so as our managers can more closely relate to the South African psyche.

“There are major benefits for our clients in this new proposition. Investors find this approach interesting and rewarding. Inflows into the BJM Direct Equity Portfolio are proof of this.”

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