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Southern Charter appoints new CIO

06 October 2009 Southern Charter

Financial services group, Southern Charter, has appointed top investment professional, Ursula Maritz, as Chief Investment Officer of its private wealth division. She assumes responsibility for managing the overall investment process of Southern Charter Private Wealth, including management of its fund of funds.

With over twenty years in the asset management industry both locally and globally, Maritz brings with her a wealth of experience and an excellent track record over a sustained time period. Prior to joining Southern Charter, she was a senior portfolio manager and co-head of asset allocation at Sanlam Multi-Managers. She also had tenures at Foord Asset Managers and New Zealand’s Mercer Investment Consulting.

Maritz started her asset management career at Old Mutual, spending 15 years at Old Mutual Asset Managers (now OMIGSA), including 8 years as a senior portfolio manager. During this time, she was credited with taking the Old Mutual Balanced fund unit trust to number one in the rankings.

In 2008, she won the first Summit TV Portfolio Challenge competition.

“We are delighted Ursula has decided to join Southern Charter. Her strong knowledge of both the local and offshore markets makes her the perfect choice to lead the private wealth management division on to its next phase of growth,” says ­­­­­­­­­­­­Mark Thompson, Managing Director at Southern Charter.

“I’m looking forward to working with an asset management company that affords its investment professionals the opportunity to work without the constraints of committee decision making and the influences of a larger investment business,” says Maritz.

This approach, along with its focus on tactical asset allocation and sector rotation, has enabled the group to generate exceptionally strong investment performance for its clients. The Southern Charter Growth Fund of Funds is ranked the top performing fund in the Asset Allocation Prudential High Equity Funds category over a one year period to 30 September 2009, while the Southern Charter Defensive Fund of Funds was also the top performing fund in the Asset Allocation Prudential Low Equity Category over the same period. The Southern Charter Balanced Fund of Fund placed 3rd in the Asset Allocation Medium Equity Category.

“It was also a great opportunity for me to buy into a small private wealth business with a stable client base that has been in existence since 1990,” says Maritz.

Maritz, who gained a BA Economic Hons and B.Comm Hons from the University of Cape Town, says she plans to use her unique insight into asset managers and their investment styles to further enhance the existing manager research process at Southern Charter.

She adds that while the turmoil in global financial markets over the past year has led to a number of challenges for investment professionals, a renewed focus on emerging markets may provide some great opportunities for local managers to offer African or pan-African funds to overseas investors and she plans to position Southern Charter to benefit from this development.

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