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Wealth & Finance International | February 2017

Allied Wallet

Dr. Andy Khawaja, the man who built a $20 billion business from a simple idea, talks about his next generation gateway...

Also In This Issue... Vivier and Company / MENA Capital / Lilian H Weinreich Architects / Cambium / Thum Insurance Agency / Bhatia Accounting / Tryperion Partners / Ironbeam / M&A Property Investors / GF Parish Group / cdc deposits / Hancock Horizon Investments / Capital Equity Group / Simone Development ProTrak Int. / Gallery Capital D Hospitality / Engel & Völkers / ALTO Real Estate Funds / Magna Group / CarpeDiem Capital Richard Tyler / S.h.a.p.e.s Brow Bar / Brown Harris Stevens / Connection Capital / Arjan Capital / Holland Innovation Team / CleanTech Capital GMBH / BULLDOG Gin Company / Clean Energy Enterprises / Zebra Technologies / Peloton Street

Pictured Below, L to R: Larry Mueller, Founder & CEO - Cuvée / Andrew McCullagh - Hayfin Capital Management / Karen Azlen, Founder & CEO - Introduction Capital / Gary Stone - Share Wealth Systems / Charles Lorenceau, Director of ACE & Company London / Sharon Bonney - COABE / Alexis Pratsides - MintTwist


Editor’s Comment

Wealth & Finance International

Welcome to the February 2017 edition of Wealth & Finance International magazine, which boasts a remarkable array of features on e-commerce, banking, real estate and private investment to name a few. The start of the New Year has already brought with it some important developments for Britain’s SMEs explains Luke Davis, Co-founder of Crowdfinders and CEO of IW Capital in a special guest article. In another comment piece, Diana Chambers, family wealth mentor and philanthropic advisor, outlines why wealth management is as much about feelings as figures. In an inspirational interview, Allied Wallet’s tech billionaire Dr. Andy Khawaja shares his thoughts on the future of the e-commerce industry and the important role that Allied Wallet will play in shaping the future of how the world transacts. I hope you enjoy reading this edition. Jonathan Miles, Editor

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February 2017 Wealth & Finance International


Working with Space and Light: Secondary Homes become a Wealth Management Strategy in NYC

Contents 59. 60. 62. 64. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71.

4. News 8. Givers of Hope and Opportunity 10. Strong Ties Between Germany and Uruguay Reinforced 12. If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It 14. Boutique Banking at its Best 16. America’s Place in the World 18. Working with Space and Light 20. Right on the Money 22. A Dynamic and Ever Growing Market 24. Lending a Helping Hand 26. Whisky Connoisseurs Throughout the World 28. Fundamental for Success 29. Mitigating Circumstances 30. Paradise in a Portfolio 32. A Very Unique Avant-Garde Business 34. A Long-Term Investor 36. Insuring a Great North American Road Trip 37. Challenges to the Financial Services Industry 38. Value Investors Find Success in ‘Sub-Institutional’ Real Estate 39. The Future of Futures Brokering 40. Empowering Everyday Investors 43. London Calling 44. Cultivating Access to Unique World Class Relationships 46. The Secrets of Successful Recruiting 48. The Real Estate Market 50. Health Is Wealth 51. Quality, Value and Integrity 52. A Bright Future on the Horizon 53. Champion for Public Health 54. Earning Their Stripes 56. Interaction in Investing 58. Superior Risk-Adjusted Returns

An Asset to the Industry Shaping the Face of The Beauty Industry Rolling with the Times Driving Force The Real Deal in Real Estate The Winds of Change Fundamentally Speaking Empowering Everyday Investors Pushing the Boat Out Carpediem Capital is Investing in India’s Emerging Consumer Companies 74. From the Highline to the Lowline, Manhattan Reinvents Itself 76. Asset Allocation 77. A Fundamental Approach 78. Magna Launches Private Capital & Consolidates Investment Offering 80. Connecting Clients to their Capital 81. In a Class of Its Own 82. Moving into Iran 84. Innovating A Better World 85. A Hospitable Approach 86. Enabling Growth and Removing Barriers in Investment Management 88. A Digital Twist to Marketing Solutions 90. The Bulldog Spirit 91. Empowering Remittance 94. What Does 2017 Have in Store for SME Investment? 96. Why Wealth Management Is as Much About Feelings as Figures 98. The Right Partner for Your Business 100. Banking For All 101. Strategies for Life 102. Shining Bright


Wealth Wealth & Finance & Finance International International | News

Reasons for GBP Weakness Are Still in Place - Comment from SEB Richard Falkenhäll, Senior FX Strategist at SEB, the leading Nordic corporate bank, shares his negative stance on the UK economy and believes the recent GBP recovery is unlikely to last.

“We are negative on the UK economy going forward although it did well in H2 last year. In particular household and capital spending seem vulnerable from the impact of growing political uncertainty created by the upcoming divorce from the EU. Retail sales have already showed signs of slowing and will likely continue to do so. However, these reasons for GBP weakness are currently overshadowed by political risks elsewhere, which have caused a small recovery of the GBP. We argue this recovery is just temporary and is unlikely to last.

gesting by around 20%. In other words, most of sterling’s depreciation should disappear in the very long term. While we see good reasons to maintain a negative view on sterling over the medium term, the political uncertainty created by upcoming elections in several euro zone countries this year (and in particular the French election) and the political situation in the US currently seem to overshadow the troubles we believe will be facing the UK economy going forward. “In recent months, speculative accounts have reduced their net short GBP exposure, nevertheless, the net short exposure to GBP is still much larger than it has been historically. Consequently, sterling may well continue to recover in coming weeks as long as market players focus elsewhere. Not so much because things have improved in any particular way in the UK, but more because political uncertainty and risks have increased elsewhere. This might well continue until the second round of the French presidential elections in May. However, EUR/GBP around 0.83 would represent a compelling buy with a target closer to 0.90. Alternatively, we suggest selling GBP/SEK around 11.50-11.70 for the currency pair to reach levels below 10.50 in the second half of this year.”

“So far the country’s economy has remained resilient having avoided reacting negatively to upcoming potentially adverse Brexit talks. To date, forecasts that it would fall into recession following last year’s vote to leave the EU have proved incorrect. Indeed, UK economic activity has been unchanged with GDP growing by 0.7% q/q in 04 2016 despite the outcome of the referendum. However, Britain’s decision to leave the EU is still likely to slow growth albeit subject to a time lag. “From a long-term perspective, the GBP is substantially undervalued against most other currencies. Our own long-term fair value estimate sug-


February 2017

LXI REIT Plc: Successful Fundraising of £138.15 Million LXI REIT plc is pleased to announce that it has successfully raised gross proceeds of £138.15 million pursuant to the first placing, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer (the “Issue”) of ordinary shares of £0.01 each (the “Ordinary Shares”) as described in the prospectus published by the Company on 6 February 2017 (the “Prospectus”). The net proceeds of the Issue are expected to be approximately £135.4 million.

Applications have been received under the Issue for 138,150,000 Ordinary Shares which will be issued at a price of 100 pence per Ordinary Share. Of these, 87,355,712 Ordinary Shares were issued under the placing, 25,995,538 Ordinary Shares were issued under the offer for subscription and 24,798,750 Ordinary Shares were issued under the intermediaries offer. All applications were met in full.

main market for listed securities. Admission is expected to occur at 8.00 a.m. on 27 February 2017. Commenting on the announcement, Stephen Hubbard, Chairman of LXI REIT plc, said: “We are pleased with the strong response from a broad range of investors to our initial public offering. The proceeds of the Issue will enable the Company to complete on its substantial investment pipeline of diversified UK property assets that benefit from very long-term (typically, 20 to 30 years) index-linked leases let or pre-let to institutional grade tenants. We expect to be fully deployed within six months providing our new shareholders with the potential of a highly attractive inflation-protected dividend as well as capital growth.”

The Company intends to become a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) and invest in UK commercial property assets let, or pre-let, on very long (typically 20 to 30 years to expiry or first break), inflation-linked leases to a wide range of strong tenant covenants and will look to invest across a diverse range of target sectors. LXI REIT may invest in fixed-price forward funded developments, provided they are pre-let to an acceptable tenant and full planning permission is in place. LXI REIT will not undertake any direct development activity nor assume direct development risk.

Simon Lee, of LXI REIT Advisors Limited, commented: “The success of the Issue is a strong endorsement of our team’s track record and experience, placing us in an ideal position to deliver on our attractive investment pipeline. We welcome our new shareholders and look forward to working with them and seeking to deliver on our investment strategy.”

LXI REIT is targeting a minimum annual dividend of 5 pence per ordinary share, starting from the financial period commencing 1 April 2018, with the potential to grow the dividend in absolute terms through upward-only inflation-protected long-term lease agreements, and is targeting a net total shareholder return of 8% plus per annum over the medium term.1

Peel Hunt LLP is acting as sole sponsor, broker, placing agent and intermediaries offer adviser to the Company.

LXI REIT is managed by LJ Capital Limited and advised by LXI REIT Advisors (the “Investment Advisor”), whose principals have built a successful track record in this sector as part of Osprey Equity Partners Limited (“Osprey” or “Osprey Equity Partners”) and LJ Partnership. The Investment Advisor, on behalf of LXI REIT, has already identified a substantial pipeline which should allow initial capital to be substantially invested or committed within six months following admission. Applications have been made for admission of the Ordinary Shares to the premium segment of the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and to trading on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange plc’s


Wealth Wealth & Finance & Finance International International | News

Workshop to Highlight Ways of Releasing Funds for Affordable Housing Finance and legal teams working in the housing sector wanting to learn more about addressing lenders’ concerns regarding security risk on housing association properties can attend a workshop taking place at the Housing Finance Conference.

The workshop is a collaboration between Nick Worman of Bruton Knowles, The Housing Finance Corporation, legal experts from Maclays Marray and Spens LLP and a legal expert who works for one of the UKs largest housing associations and is taking place at 1.00pm on 22 March at the ACC Exhibition centre in Liverpool.

“It will demonstrate how lender, borrower and their professional teams can work collaboratively and come up with creative solutions to security risk should for example it becomes difficult to obtain the required legal evidence. “There’s an old saying which says give a man a fish and he eats one meal, teach him to fish and he never goes hungry. So, by giving borrowers a solution, they might hold us to that one answer but teach them to think outside the box and they will come up with lots of solutions themselves!”

Each of the panellists will show how they form an essential part of the due diligence process taking on both legal and non-legal perspectives so that issues can be resolved in a timely and cost effective way. Nick Worman of Bruton Knowles said: “We’ve run this workshop a number of times in other parts of the country. It’s always been well attended and proved to be a popular event with those that have come along so we’re pleased to bring it to the NHF’s pre-eminent housing finance event.

The charging workshop is to take place at 1pm on Wednesday 22 March at the Housing Finance Conference. For further information please visit


February 2017

Abundance Offers a 2% Return on ISA Cash Balances Until 31 May With ISA season all but upon us, and with the new ‘Innovative Finance ISA’ (IFISA) now available, P2P investment platform Abundance ( is this week launching an offer of a 2% return on any money invested before the tax year end to encourage people to take up this year’s ISA allowance before they lose it – permanently – on April 6th.

The 2% return will be paid up to 31 May this year, by which time Abundance will have launched a number of new renewable energy projects for customers to choose between and move their money into if they want. If they decide they don’t want to invest in Abundance debentures after all, they could simply transfer their holdings to another ISA with another provider before or when the 2% offer finishes at the end of May, preserving their 2016-17 ISA entitlement.

• Thrive Renewables Bond: £4.4m invested in total, paying 5% interest p.a. over 7 years Bruce Davis, cofounder and joint MD of Abundance said, “We want to turn investing in ISAs from something gathering dust in the forgotten corner of a bank or riding the roller coaster of global stock markets into something that makes a difference in the real world. Investors’ money will be working harder than it would in the bank, boosting the UK’s green economy and sustainable infrastructure, and returns will be tax-free.”

Below is the email Abundance has sent to its customers this week, which provides more information on the 2% offer.

With the underlying investments offered by Abundance being in heavily vetted, UK based, renewable energy PLCs, using fully regulated and tradable Debentures (much lower risk than Mini Bonds etc), the Abundance IFISA offers ISA investors a useful new ‘middle ground’ between Cash ISAs paying sub-inflation interest, and highly volatile Stocks and Shares ISAs riding the wild seas of current global markets.

As you may know, Abundance was one of the very first IFISA providers to be signed off to sell the new product by the FCA last year, and went live on April 6th 2016, although it wasn’t until 1st November last year that Abundance’s debentures were eligible for inclusion in the IFISA, when “debt securities” were added by HMT and HMRC to the assets that could be held.

The Abundance ISA is already proving very popular as a place to transfer existing Stocks and Shares ISA holdings from previous years, to take advantage of the diversification available (uncorrelated assets) and the steadier, lower risk returns.

Abundance launched 5 years ago, as a fully regulated investment platform from outset – long before the new regulations for P2P lending were introduced - and has to date seen just under £40 million invested across its SIPP, ISA and ‘unwrapped’ Debenture offerings. The business has also paid out more than £6.4 million in half yearly payments of capital and return from the Debentures their customers have invested in. Abundance’s ISA has already proven very popular, with more than 1,400 investors taking out the new product and investing just under £8 million to date. The projects that these people invested their ISA money in included: • Upper Pitforthie Windgen: £2.3m invested in total, paying 7.3% to 8.5% IRR over 17 years • Monnow Valley Biomass: £3.9m invested in total, paying 12% interest over 12 months • Swindon Chapel Farm Solar: £2.5m invested in total, paying 6% IRR over 20-year term



Wealth & Finance International

Givers of Hope and Opportunity Allied Wallet, winner of the Private Equity Fund Manager of the Year Awards, provides payment processing services in 164 currencies, 196 countries, and almost every payment method taken globally. In an inspirational interview, the firm’s tech billionaire Dr. Andy Khawaja shares his thoughts on the future of the e-commerce industry and the important role that Allied Wallet will play in shaping the future of how the world transacts.


ow was 2016 for Allied Wallet? 2016 has been a great year for Allied Wallet, we have seen a massive increase in online shopping, and it was also a year in which we have increased by 200%.

sion a 500-600% in e-commerce transaction volumes. We want to take advantage of that and grow with it too. What role will Allied Wallet play in the future of this industry? Having launched the Next Gen Payment Gateway, and so far its success has been phenomenal. It supports the infrastructure of the next generation, it is unique and nobody can use an artificial intelligence gateway. Allied Wallet have this product in place, and it does everything from a fraud perspective such as detecting issues from certain regions so it can direct it to the local domestic jurisdiction.

How does it feel to have won the Private Equity Fund Manager of the Year Awards? Allied Wallet is doing the right thing and going in the right direction. We are trying our best to serve consumers and merchants in every aspect, and also to accommodate them in many countries. The award is based on us developing a better relationship with our merchants and increasing their portfolio.

What does your role as a leader involve? What opportunities and challenges does it present? Any leader has to be a good communicator and understand what is going on, and they need to be involved and hands on. You need to understand your staff, what they are working on and what they are trying to do. As a leader myself, I like to be friendly, I like to understand and I like to be a good communicator. Respecting the team that works for you if the most important things for me in my position as a leader.

Where do you see Allied Wallet heading in 2017 and beyond? The firm is looking to IPO by the second or third quarter of 2017, and we are looking to increase our efforts to market the company to Africa and in the Middle East. What role does innovation and creativity play in the work of your firm? 75% because pretty much what Allied Wallet does is innovating on a daily basis and building things around our merchants, to help them to be more successful. While serving customers in 196 countries, Allied Wallet can do that very well by having offices in multiple jurisdictions. In addition, the firm has people working on the ground, communicating with developers and the Allied Wallet’s software can accommodate local payment methods.

If you were to hold a meeting and give a 5-minute speech to all of your employees, what main points would you want to convey to them? The most important thing I would say is that my team should be communicating with each other. I would also say that everybody needs to think outside the box and come up with ideas and share them with each other.

Imagine you meet a budding entrepreneur. They had never heard of Allied Wallet. How would you convey the hope you could give them? I would tell them to give us a chance to help them build their career, and to bring you up to a level where you are comfortably processing and executing transactions without worrying about anything and understanding your business. I am an entrepreneur myself, indeed I built an empire from nothing and I know what it takes to do it and we will guide you step by step and educate you on risk and compliance of the e-commerce business and what needs to be in place in terms of rules and regulations. We can give them hope and the opportunity.

What feedback do you typically receive from your customers? The customer service and support that we provide is very important, because we are always there when we are needed. I would say that people are thrilled with the services we provide, and it certainly puts a smile on my face when I receive emails saying “thank you for being there for us” or “thank you for helping us build an empire”. I receive many such messages from our many consumers and merchants and this makes me very happy indeed. Finally, I would say that the sky is the limit. You need to keep climbing because you will never get to the top. The higher you go, the higher the ladder goes. Keep climbing and don’t stop building.

Where do you see the broader e-commerce industry heading in 2017? Ecommerce is growing at the speed of light, which is great news because more people are getting used to it and comfortable executing a transaction. Thanks to us, these are increasingly secure, indeed we guarantee no fraud. I do see massive growth in 2017-2018 and I envi-

Company: Allied Wallet Web:


February 2017

“I would say that the sky is the limit. You need to keepclimbingbecauseyou will never get to the top. The higher you go, the higher the ladder goes. Keepclimbinganddon’t stop building.”



Wealth & Finance International

Strong Ties Between Germany and Uruguay Reinforced In Berlin and Hamburg from 8th to 10th February 2017, President Dr. Tabaré Vazquez lead a powerful political delegation of six ministers including finance and economy minister Cr. Danilo Astori and a business delegation of more than 60 top entrepreneurs from Uruguay led by the president of the German Uruguayan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Montevideo, Cr. Gustavo Weigel.


he aim of the delegation was to assess joint business opportunities with German companies and to market business and investment opportunities for foreign investors (FDIs) in Uruguay. German companies are interested to participate in a large infrastructure investment program in Uruguay open to international investors. Uruguay´s total investment plan over the five-year period 2015-2019 exceeds €12 billion with more than one third reserved for the energy sector, in particular for energy transmission, renewable energy and regasification projects. Uruguay already is a global leader in renewable energy penetration: 95% of its electricity demand 2016 was generated from renewable sources, including wind, hydro and bio energy. Modern storage solutions will make it independent from fossil fuels for electricity generation.

The Uruguay delegation continued its trip to Europe for a state visit in Finland, a country which is among the largest foreign investors in Uruguay. The Finish pulp and paper group UPM plans a €4 billion pulp mill investment in Uruguay. Investments like this require additional investments into transport logistics such as railways, ports and highways. Uruguay considers public private partnerships (PPPs) with foreign investors to help build this additional infrastructure. Besides energy investments and investments into the public transport systems, building infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals and social housing projects form the third biggest block of the investment plan. Other infrastructure investments include the continued improvement of the telecommunications network, water supply and sewage water treatment systems. President Vazquez and Ing. Tabaré Aguerre, Uruguay´s minister for agriculture opened the Uruguayan pavilion at the Fruit Logistica in Berlin while Prof. Cr. Astori, minister for finance and the economy, held meetings with large German banks and other finance institutions to gain financial support for FDIs and PPPs. Build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) structures could form the basis for such FDIs and internationally experienced firms like Weigel Corporate Finance with its local hub Weigel Haller Corporate Finance in Uruguay´s capital Montevideo have the expertise and global reach to implement such structures and to systematically market such investment opportunities to international investors.

Since last year, Uruguay is also the country with the highest penetration of wind energy in its total energy mix, ahead of the former leaders Germany and China. More than one third of the electricity is already produced from wind turbines. Together with its large resources for hydro power and its perfect conditions for solar photovoltaic systems it will extend electricity exports to its two far larger neighbour countries Brazil and Argentina. Uruguay covers an area half the size of Germany. Despite is size and its small population of only 3.3 million people (but more cows - 4 times - and chickens) it is in many aspects a leader in South America, not only in soccer. It is a leader in infrastructure with the most-dense road and highway system, the most modern airport and two of the leading deep sea ports in South America. It currently invests more than €2.3 billion in the maintenance and completion of its national road system and is looking for international investments in this area as well.

The local team of Weigel Haller Corporate Finance in Uruguay comprises of ten CPAs with vast experience in international financing. Its European hub led by Dr. Winfried Weigel contributes hands-on privatization experience in the utilities, telecommunications and infrastructure sector. The former investment banker raised multi-billion dollars for local governments and helped to finance airports, aircrafts, toll roads and toll bridges as well as telecommunications and electricity transmission systems.

But it is also a leader in IT with the highest internet penetration (higher than in Germany) and the largest bandwidth for its users. Uruguay already equips all of its primary scholars with a personal notebook and it provides tablet computers to its elderly people. Software is already one of the strongest export products besides agriculture products, such as meat, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, soya beans and rice, and business process outsourcing services. Also, its education and health systems are leading in the world. As a result, more than 2/3 of the young people speak or understand English and more than 1/3 also speak or understand Portuguese besides their native Spanish.

In many respects, Uruguay is one of the most advanced and sustainable economies in the world. It is the only country in the world that already provides full electronic tracking of the entire production chain in the food industry. That applies not only to the tracking of meat from the live cattle to the final product in the supermarket or the restaurant, but also applies to vegetables, fruit and even wine. It is also a frontrunner in bio-agriculture with high regulatory standards in health and environment protection. Applying this system know how and its leading software 10

February 2017

expertise Uruguay could also be at the forefront for data management tools in other industries, foremost in the health industry but also in the role-out of internet 4.0.

Last week the three partners participating in the official program in Germany contributed and participated in various conferences on investments in Latin America or held investors meetings with European and South American companies that are interested in FDIs and PPPs. Due to the financial crisis that hit many South American markets the development of cross-border mergers & acquisitions were subdued over the last two years but most international experts expect a return to sustainable growth rates, currency stability and a reduction of inflation and unemployment in 2017.

Cr. Gustavo Weigel not only leads the German foreign trade chamber as its president, but also the South American operations of Weigel Corporate Finance. Together with Esc. Carlos Haller, he founded Weigel Haller Corporate Finance in 2000. Weigel Corporate Finance is an international corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions advisor with local operations in Europe where it was formed in the year 2000.

President Vazquez and his team reflected very positively on the strong interest they have received during the state visits and the discussions with leaders of the industry including SAP, Siemens and UPM and large financial intermediaries like Commerzbank, KfW and DEG that help foster convergence towards a single market and liberalization of international trade and free capital and personal movement.

Together with his German Swiss partner Dr. Winfried Weigel, a former managing director of UBS in Zurich, Frankfurt and London and a former Vice President of J.P. Morgan in London and New York Weigel Haller advise international corporates on foreign direct investments in South America. The markets covered by Weigel Haller Corporate Finance in South America are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. In Europe, Weigel Corporate Finance operates in all major markets, but in particular in its various home markets Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Finland. Wherever it operates, Weigel Corporate Finance has a strong local footprint, despite its international ambitions.

Eventually a free trade agreement between Mercosur and the EU could be on the horizon? But independently from that, South America and Uruguay in particular is a very attractive investment market that gives access to more than 450 million consumers. Uruguay is now an opportunity for European investors.

Based on its track record, Weigel Haller Corporate Finance contributes strong industry expertise and network in many different industries from agriculture, farming, real estate, logistics, services, to energy, IT and telecommunications, often combined with financial controlling and project finance experience.

Company: Weigel Corporate Finance Name: Dr. Winfried Weigel, LL.M., MBA Email: Web Address: Address: Industriestrasse 3, CH-6345 Neuheim, Germany Telephone: +41 41 760 8730

Weigel Haller Corporate Finance not only initiates new investment ideas and structures the financing of new investments but it also helps its clients to develop business plans, conduct feasibility studies, applies for public grants and finds strategic partners to realize large investment projects. Last year it advised an Argentinian investor to develop and build a new $ 100 million diary production in Uruguay that mainly produces for export markets. It also helped recently to establish a dry-eggplant, a ferry transport, a major soybean plantation and assisted European renewable energy investors such as e.g. Siemens or Gestamp or Juwi to intensify that business in South America.



Wealth & Finance International

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It Qtrade Financial Group was recently awarded Most Innovative Finance Team - Canada & Online Brokerage Firm of the Year. We take a more in-depth look at the firm and its offering.


Asset Management Qtrade’s investment management organisation, OceanRock Investments Inc., offers a comprehensive suite of managed portfolios and individual funds sub-advised by leading investment managers from around the world. OceanRock’s family of Meritas® SRI Funds gives responsible investors a way to Do well, doing good™—enjoy competitive returns and make a positive impact on companies, communities and the environment—while working with one of Canada’s fastest-growing investment management organisations.

Qtrade Financial Group is an award-winning, integrated Canadian financial services company offering comprehensive and competitive solutions to financial institutions as well as direct to individual investors. With industry-leading solutions and technology spanning self-directed online brokerage, wealth and investment management, insurance, and custodial and introducing brokerage services, Qtrade meets the diverse needs of its partners, their members and clients across the country. As a trusted partner to more than 150 credit unions, banks, trust companies, insurance companies, investment dealers, portfolio managers and financial planning firms, Qtrade helps them expand their offering and open new revenue opportunities with innovative and scalable solutions. By partnering with Qtrade, firms can grow their customer base and deepen existing relationships.

Institutional Services Qtrade Institutional Services provides firms with access to the trade execution and custodial services they need to attract and empower clients seeking to grow their business. This offering includes secure web-enabled services that integrate into established enterprise infrastructure, access to investment vehicles and trade execution in all major asset classes, flexible fee schedules and detailed reporting packages. All services can be tailored to clients’ existing processes and are backed by the close support of our dedicated institutional specialists.

Qtrades services are backed by experienced leadership and customer-focused staff who offer expertise in compliance and risk management, advisor education and training, technology, product knowledge and sales processes. That experience and expertise allow partners to confidently navigate the complex and fast-changing financial, technological and regulatory landscapes—so they can continue to meet the needs of their members and clients, and achieve strong, sustainable growth.

Correspondent Services Qtrade Correspondent Services offers carrying broker services to introducing brokers with award-winning solutions customised and white-labelled for their firm’s brand. With Qtrade, clients enjoy the flexibility to manage their business independently while providing products and services to deepen their relationships, all with the dedicated guidance and back-office support of our team of specialists.

Qtrade’s services include: Online Brokerage Consistently ranked as one of Canada’s top online brokerages, Qtrade Investor empowers self-managed investors with everything they need to succeed. Qtrade Investor offers a full range of account types and comprehensive investment choices, with competitive commissions and outstanding service. Clients get sophisticated research tools and resources to help them discover and evaluate investment options, all within a reliable, user-friendly, mobile-ready online experience. For financial institutions seeking to expand their value proposition, attract new clients, consolidate assets and build relationships with the growing segment of self-managed investors, Qtrade offers a robust, reliable solution from a trusted and top-ranked partner.

Insurance Qtrade Insurance Solutions offers access to competitive products from leading insurance providers, allowing clients to grow their business by offering life insurance, living benefits, segregated funds, annuity products, group benefits, and group retirement services. It also provides advisor training and technology including online contracting, advanced case management, marketing material, centralised commissions and reporting, and outstanding client support. Qtrade Financial Group is backed by Desjardins Group, Canada’s largest and the world’s sixth largest cooperative financial group.

Wealth Management Qtrade Asset Management (MFDA) and Qtrade Advisor (IIROC) combine industry-leading products, platforms and tools with expertise in compliance and risk management, education and training, technology, sales and support. Qtrade provides competitive solutions tailored to the unique requirements of our partners and backed by world-class programs and support. The firm’s partnership model is designed to deepen relationships and annuitize revenue—all with a clear focus on ensuring an outstanding client and advisor experience.

Company: Qtrade Financial Group Email: Web Address: Address: Qtrade Financial Group Suite 1920, One Bentall Centre 505 Burrard Street, Box 85 Vancouver, BC V7X 1M6 Telephone: +1 877 787 2330




Wealth & Finance International

Boutique Banking at its Best Oscar Mendoza, President of Vivier & Co, talks to us about the firm and its unique services, following being awarded the title of Boutique Bank of the Year.


ivier & Co was incorporated in 2001 and is a boutique financial services firm, registered in New Zealand, with a range of offshore banking products.

a complete financial service package for our clients whether they be individuals or corporate entities.” The firm offers the following services: Savings Accounts - accounts with rolling notice periods: rates are fixed for the period, interest is paid tax free every quarter and no fees or charges apply. We even reimburse the sending bank’s fees.

Oscar Mendoza is President of the firm. He tells us in more depth about the company and the services it offers to clients. “Our core focus is to offer rolling notice accounts featuring above average returns and without market risk volatility,” he begins. “We achieve this by making highly selective loans, secured directly or indirectly against real estate. We also offer accounts to those who require an international presence. An overseas current or savings account provides flexibility, discretion and in many cases enhanced security and confidentiality.

Current Accounts - to individuals and businesses who require an international presence. Owning a current account in another country provides flexibility, discretion and in many cases enhanced security. With a nominal minimum balance and no minimum income or wealth requirement, clients are free to choose where to hold their funds.

“The security of customers’ deposits is our number one priority. As a sub-custodian of funds, our group uses the services of some of the world’s largest banks with a Standard & Poor’s top credit rating.”

Combined with a MasterCard debit card and Vivier’s secure 24/7 internet platform, this is a popular account to supplement the high-yield savings account.

Some years ago, the New Zealand Government withdrew their deposit guarantee scheme for all banks and financial institutions. Other government schemes typically offer low levels of cover. Nevertheless, Vivier & Co has worked hard to find alternative ways of protecting client funds.

Forex Trading - an international presence implies needing cash in various currencies. The firm offers advantageous rates, no in-house fees and full control of currency exchange transactions through its secure 24/7 internet platform.

“We maintain an insurance policy issued by insurers with a Standard and Poor’s A+ credit rating, providing a far higher limit of indemnity.”

Online Platform - recently enhanced and reintroduced as of January 2017. Vivier provides a fully secured online platform, capable of giving full access to manage accounts and investments. Through this platform it is possible to instruct cash transfers, currency exchange or capital allocation to investment accounts.

At Vivier & Co its clients’ investments are its number one priority. Speaking of the services and products the company offers, Oscar embellishes: “We maintain a high degree of management attention to ensure those investments are secure, at the same time offering some of the best performing savings accounts across the globe. In addition, we offer current accounts, card services, a proprietary online banking platform, international money transfers and a variety of other services to deliver

The Online Platform allows access to current and savings accounts 24/7 from anywhere in the world. The firm aims for strong business ethics and strong personal relationships with its clients. Oscar embellishes on the company’s core values and vision. “It is based on long-term partnership, founded on confidence and discretion, with the aim of being a client’s trusted advisor on financial matters. “A profitable and long-lasting relationship requires – with their consent – getting to know and remaining in close contact with our clients. This focus allows us to offer each client a tailored solution to meet their financial goals. “Our profits are used to safeguard our financial independence. To guarantee clients’ satisfaction, we work not only to protect their capital but also to provide them with long-term, positive performance. We do so while maintaining the highest ethical standards and an absolute respect of confidentiality.”


February 2017

In his role as President, Oscar reports to the Board. Prior to his appointment to this position, he worked as the Chief Financial Officer, with the Accounting and Finance department reporting directly to him. “My responsibilities have now expanded significantly,” he states. “The management team that reports into me include Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Legal Officer, Interim CFO, and the Regional Directors. We are expanding across the globe and have recently appointed Regional Directors, Regional Managers and Country GMs.”

“The new services include a Bond Issuance which is planned for the second half of 2017 and Vivier’s first commercial banking licence, which is hoped for in the first half of 2017. We have also seen a steady geographic growth and presence into new continents with the appointment of an enlarged management team covering Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.” No-one can foretell what the future holds, however Oscar envisions great new opportunities for Vivier in 2017 and beyond.

What important role does your management team play, and the staff underneath them, in the success of your firm?

“We’re facing stringent financial regulations as we develop into mature, offshore banking markets and first world jurisdictions. This presents us with an opportunity to secure our first commercial banking license, to bring us on track to expand our portfolio of services and to compete on a wider global scale.

Oscar is quick to sing the praises of the management team who he states play a critical role in the company and comprise a strong customer service-focused level of Regional Directors. They cover Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, China & ASEAN, Far East Asia, South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

“Our biggest advantage is our low overhead which translates to low operating expenses. This in turn leads to our bank being able to offer some of the highest savings account interest rates across the globe.

“All of these regions are independent jurisdictions supported by Regional Directors with specific country General Managers as direct reports. We hold weekly conference calls in which we monitor our KPIs. The team is highly motivated with an incredible background in international banking & finance. Every organization is only as good as its people and we have that talent within Vivier, coupled with the strong business processes required in the financial services industry.

“The main opportunities that we see are the digital banking revolution and people’s need to be connected to their bank accounts wherever they are, 24-7 via mobile. To this end, we will be developing a mobile app to complement the online banking platform. The migration to secure our first commercial banking license will provide an area of growth for our business and enable us to develop new financial products and services to provide better rates of returns for our depositor base.”

“We are constantly receiving feedback from clients that helps us improve our services. The main feedback revolves around our higher than average rates of interest, which are linked to our lending to the property sector, with higher than average returns. This, combined with our low cost operational base, ensures a better return for our depositor / investor base. We have listened to our customers and team to improve our online banking platform and our Debit Card programme. We strive constantly to improve.”

Company: Vivier & Co Name: Oscar Mendoza Email: Web Address: Address: Level 33, 23 Albert Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand Telephone: +64 9 889 3989 or +64 9 985 5759

Vivier & Co has been able to grow significantly during the last three years in its core business of offshore savings accounts, paying higher than average interest rates, and is now in a transformational stage of its journey. In 2017, it will be branching out from the core business into new financial services and products to offer customers. Oscar tells us more about these offerings and the firm’s journey since inception.



Wealth & Finance International

America’s Place in the World Lugen Family Office is a values based multifamily office that empowers UHNW families and established businesses build a positive and sustainable dynasty. “It is an honour to win the Family Office of the Year 2016 award granted by such a prestigious magazine.”


an you go into more detail about the work your firm does? By using our proprietary seven generation legacy process, Lugen Family Office helps families and businesses optimise their true wealth through collateralized wealth and legacy

Concentrated wealth in the hands of the few will lead to the collapse of globalisation and the American Dream. The wealthy have a responsibility to make sure that their rising tide of prosperity also raises the ships of the middle class while minimising the effects of poverty.

planning. Therefore, why will the Family Office be more important than ever as it considers the best way to protect their client’s assets? Family offices are completely aligned with the best interests of the family and business. A family office is a formalised structure for the dreams, desires, and hopes of the family and business. Therefore, family offices will become the gatekeepers between external resources required by the family and the project overseer of the family and business needs.

Can you give any examples of any successes your firm has had lately? Enzo Calamo is the founder and visionary of collateralized legacy planning. Enzo is also the Best Selling Author of How To Create Infinite Returns In Real Estate Using The Secret Asset: How To Recover All Business and Personal Expenses Using The Secret Asset, https://www.

Concerning the important elements of a successful family office, the purpose of a family office is to meet the personal aspirations of the family members.

Our Family Office is a gold award curator for 10 Newswires, including the most up to date information on Family Offices, family-office-by-enzo-calamo, wealth management, http://www.scoop. it/t/wealth-management-by-enzo-calamo, philanthropy, http://www., family business, http://www., healthy living, http://www., finance and markets, http://, luxury homes and commercial real estate,

What are your thoughts on the important elements of a successful family office, such as investment planning, estate and succession planning and administrative services? The purpose of a family office is to meet the various needs of the family. Therefore, the sole purpose of a family office is to focus on daily tasks and projects which close the gap between the current situation faced by the family and the desired goal to be achieved. A family office needs to be result driven so that every day a step is taken to achieve the desired success and significance for the family and business.

Our core focus is working with UHNW clients on private projects for collateralized wealth management and legacy planning which will leave a significant and positive impact on the world.

What role do staff play in the success of your firm? Staff need to be flexible for each project. The appropriate internal and external team members must be brought together to best accomplish the desired goal. However, project teams need be kept small and easily manageable to ensure privacy and the best possible outcome.

Can you tell me your thoughts on the most talked about election in modern history, as the US and the world prepare themselves for the implications of this highly controversial election? We live in a democracy and the US citizens have chosen their next leader. It is the responsibility of the President to help determine the new direction of the US for the next few years. It is our role to support the President and to let our voices be heard if we disagree with any of his new policies.

What feedback do you receive from your customers? We talk with our clients on a regular basis to keep them informed on their projects. It is more important for a family office to be open and honest with the client rather than sugar coat the feedback received from others about a project. Sometimes a change in direction is required to achieve the best results.

To what extent do you think that immigration, taxes, wealth disparity, data privacy and the approach to big business and Wall Street will all determine America’s place in the world? The disparity of wealth is causing the global rise of populism. Every society needs a strong and prosperous middle class for an economy to function efficiently.

What opportunities and challenges does your firm face in 2017 and beyond? Our family office is becoming more and more protective of our clients and our strategic partners. Therefore, our private eco-system is becoming exclusive to our own client’s projects. 16

February 2017

Looking at the wider picture, what opportunities and challenges lie ahead for the industry you work in? The family office is the best model for UHNW families and successful businesses because of the alignment of interests on projects. One challenge facing the industry is that too many investment and insurance advisors are reclassifying themselves as family offices in the hope of selling more of their products. Clients need to be more aware if their family office is aligned with their interests or the interests of a financial institution.

Company: Lugen Family Office Name: Enzo Calamo, CEO Email: Web Address: Telephone: +1-866-605-8885 ext 1



Wealth & Finance International

Working with Space and Light: Secondary Homes become a Wealth Management Strategy in NYC

Lilian H Weinreich Architects (LHWA) is a boutique architectural and interior design firm based in New York City with roots in Australia. Led by renowned Architect Lilian H. Weinreich, AIA, RAIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB, the practice aims to transform ordinary spaces into spectacular and unique environments in the most straightforward, practical, precise, and functional way.


HWA has captured a niche market in New York City, meeting the demand for elegant, functional, non-primary housing. Many of LHWA’s clients have multiple homes in the US, including residences in the Hamptons, Colorado, Florida, and Buffalo. Others have homes in Australia, the Bahamas, India, Singapore, and St. Thomas. Growth in the second home market has paralleled the emergence of an elite, mobile consumer class. Both local and international second homebuyers continue to exert influence on the luxury residential real estate market in Manhattan below 96th Street, and LHWA’s clean aesthetic appeals to those seeking a contemporary pied-à-terre or a floor-through or duplex apartment.

Clients often use these properties as “non-primary units,” rather than primary residences or productive rental assets—apartments that are not used as the owners’ principal homes. Most do not buy these apartments for potentially high financial returns. In this sense, non-primary homes are consumption goods that, in addition to providing some potential financial upside, carry symbolic value for the expanding US and global elite. These non-primary homes are not outright investments but as part of a comprehensive wealth management strategy. LHWA’s pure sensibility evolves not from a predetermined architectural style, but rather from the intent to design clean, intelligent, and functional spaces that operate as a background to what is contained within them. Working with space and light as sculptural materials, the firm constructs architecture dramatic in its purity of means. Formal simplicity requires intellectual rigor and aesthetic restraint, which is immediately apparent in each of the firm’s projects. Each project is opulent in the clarity of its spatial and functional resolution. When beginning a new project, LHWA’s approach to design is defined by a specific set of criteria: the unique needs of the individual clients and their space; the development of an unequivocal, clean, simple, seamless, and sophisticated background for the programmatic requirements; and the creation of an aesthetically unencumbered environment. The work combines a clean modern aesthetic with an understanding of how people will actually live and use the spaces on a daily basis. In the future, the firm will begin exploring new markets, including the design of private jet interiors and commercial projects, where Weinreich’s considered design aesthetic and innovative use of sustainable materials can be applied in new and challenging ways.

Name: Lilian H. Weinreich, AIA RAIA LEED-AP(BD+C), NCARB Firm: Lilian H. Weinreich Architects Email: Web Address: Address: 150 Central Park South #502 New York, New York 10019-1566 United States of America Telephone: 1(917)770-1000 Central Park South, New York © Francis Dzikowski/Otto


February 2017

Andy Marcus / Fred Marcus Photography Hair and Makeup by Yana Gorcheva On location: Noho Duplex, New York



Wealth & Finance International

Right on the Money Wes Wilkes, CEO of Multicorp Rose, tells us more about the firm following being awarded Financial Advisor of the Year – UK.


ulticorp Rose Ltd is an IFA firm that harnesses the latest in technology and communication to service a nationwide offering, specialising in helping clients with their Pensions and Investments.

“As outstanding client service is our business, our staff are the beating heart of what we do, they are our success. “We are proactive and reactive with client feedback. We harness and use the great feedback we get to support our principles and vision. We are not perfect and we take on board any feedback that isn’t where we would like it to be in order to improve, grow and get better.”

Chief Executive Officer, Wes Wilkes, is responsible for the commercial management, strategic planning and delivery of the firm and its vision. He tells us more about what Multicorp Rose specialises in.

With regards to the future, Wes foresees both opportunities and challenges ahead for Multicorp Rose, however he plans to tackle them head on for continued success.

“Financial wellbeing is the heart of what we do. We harness the latest technology to help create transparency and choice for our clients, moving them away from jargon-filled paperwork and heavily bundled costs. We provide 24/7 access to their finances whether we look after them or not and they can contact an adviser via secure messaging 24/7.

“The area of Financial Services in which we work is gathering more and more regulation which we welcome, however this does come with additional cost and time demands. Clearly through 2017 there are additional challenges with the advent of Brexit affecting our regulation and market movements with this and the US situation.

“Acting exclusively over the phone, with all calls being recorded, we have in-house pension specialists and investment management executives, using the best and latest in technology to help clients get back in control of their future retirement pot or change their lives now with our retirement advice.

“Within the wider industry, all I see is opportunity, some may see challenges but we are in an age where technology has created more transparency than ever before, and more ways for all of us to communicate and collaborate. Embracing and leading this change can put Financial Services right at the front of global development and sustainability, it not our opportunity, it’s our obligation.”

The firm has grown exponentially without the expensive resource and inflexibility of most financial services firms, Wes tells us. It delivered advice to more than 200 new clients in 2016, doubled its workforce and doubled its turnover, without passing on any additional costs to clients. Wes embellishes on the firm’s approach to providing outstanding customer service. “It’s not just our approach, but our business - outstanding client service is what we do. The fact that we look after their finances, investment management and advice is almost secondary. Our service proposition is what we base all of our first and following contact on. We use all communication mediums such as email, text, post, phone and secure messaging to get in touch, stay in touch and keep our clients informed.”

Company: Multicorp Rose Ltd Name: Wes Wilkes Email: Web Address: Address: Copthall House, King Street, Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 1UE Telephone: +1 (0)7881 557 755



Strategic Management Partners Success Breeds Success when Values Sustain Value

Affordable support for high growth enterprises Strategic Management Partners is an independent consultancy. Many of our clients benefit from reduced-cost consultancy through our access to various funds. We provide strategic planning advice, training, coaching and support to large and small organisations across a wide range of sectors to provide proven process improvements. Based in South East we are a resource to help organisations and individuals become more successful by providing sound strategic advice and proven process improvements. We use established processes to highlight key issues under the below headings regarding your organisation’s effectiveness.


Wealth & Finance International

A Dynamic and Ever Growing Market MENA Capital is a London-based investment management and advisory company. We invited Founder Khaled Abdel Majeed to talk us through the firm and the services it offers within this dynamic and ever growing market.


ounded in 2004 by Khaled Abdel Majeed, MENA Capital’s main focus is the stock markets of the Middle East and North Africa ‘MENA’ region. Khaled, whose focus on the region started in 1994, discusses the firm and the range of services it offers.

Subsequently we got through the Arab Spring and the collapse in oil prices relatively unscathed. This outperformance is due to a conservative approach to a volatile region.” Ultimately, Khaled believes that the ongoing success of the firm will revolve around its client focused approach.

“Here at MENA Capital, we offer investment management services that are focused on the stock markets of the Middle East and North Africa. This includes the GCC, Iraq, the Levant and North Africa. We are investors and not traders so do not knock on our door if you have an investment time horizon of less than three years, or need to invest hundreds of millions.

“Overall, we treat our clients the way we want to be treated; fairly and with respect. During the financial crisis, we did not gate any of our investors, and any investor that asked us to waive our one-month notice period for withdrawing their money, we granted the request with no questions asked. Also because we do not have (nor want) hundreds of clients, we are able to service them properly.

“Overall, we believe that the whole point of investing in underdeveloped markets is to take advantage of market inefficiencies. We have limited our capacity to $300m so as not to be stuck in the big liquid markets of the Gulf and we also want to be able to invest in medium and smaller listed companies. This is where you will find more inefficiencies and in our part of the world, it becomes difficult to do that if you manage more than $300m.”

“Finally, we are transparent in our communications with them. We tell them about our concerns, our mistakes, and not just our successes. Managing a hedge fund makes that easier. If we managed just long only funds, we would be under pressure to always view the region with rose-tinted glasses so as to attract investors. In our case, we can and do say the markets are overvalued, and not in effect advise the client to withdraw their money. Shorting enables us to be objective, and as such moving forward this will remain our ongoing approach as we aim to build upon our current success.”

“Overall,wetreatourclients thewaywewanttobetreated; fairly and with respect.”

Company: MENA Capital Name: Khaled Abdel Majeed Address: MENA Capital, 25 Ives Street, London SW3 2ND. UK Phone: +44 20 7594 0162 Fax: +44 20 7594 0169 Email: Website:

The firm’s core product, the MENA Admiral Fund, was launched in March 2006 and was the first hedge fund to focus on the MENA region. Khaled outlines the fund’s strategy and how it works to provide the strongest possible returns. “Since the inception of the Fund in Mar 2006, we have returned 182% on a gross basis. The regional index (Dow Jones MENA total return index) has delivered -27%. In 2016 we returned 26% vs. 8.5% the index. All this was achieved with lower volatility than the index. As is clear from the index performance, we have faced many headwinds. When we started in 2006, the index fell 31%. We were up 12.5%. In 2008 when the financial crisis hit, the index was down 51%. We lost just 2%.



Wealth & Finance International

Lending a Helping Hand Andrew McCullagh talks about Hayfin Capital Management, its clients and how it stays one step ahead of the competition.


ayfin Capital Management is a leading European credit platform that provides lending solutions to middle-market companies and asset management services to institutional clients. The firm has extended more than €9bn in loans to over 200, predominantly middle-market European companies since being founded in 2009, and it manages more than €8bn in assets for its investors.

of European-focused direct lending funds increasing in kind. McCullagh explains further: “The steady inflow of capital into the space that we’ve seen in recent years isn’t surprising – direct lending provides a low-volatility, attractive risk-adjusted return amidst a low-yielding global macroeconomic climate. Similarly, given the attractive market dynamics in European leveraged finance since Hayfin was established in 2009, it’s understandable that a succession of newer direct lending funds have sought to emulate the strategy. But while it represents a major vote of confidence in the industry, the increased competition and rising stockpiles of dry powder are inevitably placing more and more scrutiny on lenders’ ability to originate high-quality investment opportunities.”

Andrew McCullagh, Head of Origination at Hayfin, tells us more about the type of companies that Hayfin lends to and the advantages that this brings. “Within the broad framework of lending to European middle-market companies, Hayfin looks at as many businesses seeking funding as possible, from across all sectors, in order to cherry-pick the highest-quality lending opportunities from a risk/return perspective. We have our local European offices for precisely this reason, allowing our team to build close lending relationships with local companies and to identify the very best credits across the continent.

Hayfin strives to differentiate itself from competitors in such a crowded market by seeking to invest in a broad array of market niches that make up the European credit landscape. Andrew gives us an example of how it does this. “Through our sector-specialist teams, such as shipping and healthcare, we’ve developed the capability to access areas of the market in which demand for capital is strong but where the more generalist alternative lenders lack the technical expertise to invest. And with our offices in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Madrid and Paris, alongside our London headquarters, we do a majority of our deals outside of the highly competitive London market. By contrast, the dozens of Europe-focused funds we see today – up from two or three at the time of Hayfin’s inception – are overwhelmingly concentrated in London, typically with limited scale geographically and focused on a narrow bracket of vanilla capital-raising transactions.”

“This also explains why we regularly lend to private companies who don’t have a conventional financial sponsor, such as those owned by their founders, a family office, or specialist investor. By contrast, the vast majority of loans extended by European direct lenders go to companies backed by traditional private equity firms, whose owners typically have a more aggressive attitude to sourcing financing from the most competitive parts of the market.” The ready availability of debt financing – at the very least for companies run by private equity firms – represents a marked departure from the situation in Europe in Hayfin’s early days, as McCullagh explains.

With regards to the future, there are both opportunities and challenges for Hayfin and within the wider industry. “The key challenge for any direct lender today is how to maintain risk levels in an increasingly competitive market,” states McCullagh. “This is particularly acute for newer funds trying to ramp their strategy and significantly increase their funds under management. Hayfin benefits from being an established player with an existing footprint across Europe. While we’re in no way complacent about the challenges, we feel we are well set to manage them effectively.

“Back in 2009, when Hayfin was founded, banks were being very cautious about any new lending and seeking to reduce their overall loan exposures, making it very difficult for many companies to access credit. It was incumbent upon a small number of alternative credit managers with capital to invest, one of which was Hayfin, to keep these mid-market European companies supplied with capital. “Since then, the lending appetite from banks has recovered and banks still account for the bulk of corporate lending in Europe, having a significantly higher share of the market than in the US. Nevertheless, in a regulatory environment where banks continue to be disciplined about how and how much they lend, direct lenders continue to provide a critical alternative and flexible source of capital.”

“Moreover, as the market has become more competitive, the key focus for the industry has been on origination, finding opportunities to put money to work, and, as we’ve said, some are better set up to originate a broad opportunity set than others. However, at this point in the credit cycle, some forget the other key focus for any fund: how to go and get the money back when things go wrong and defaults start to increase. While we can debate the specific impact of Brexit, overall it is inevitable that Europe will go through a renewed earnings cycle at some stage.

Private debt has since become a very fashionable asset class, with more and more investors allocating capital to this strategy and the number


February 2017

“The labour intensity of managing an illiquid mid-market portfolio through a default cycle is significant and those who do so successfully will again achieve out-performance. This will be a real challenge for the industry in general and for the smaller players in particular. “Of course, these challenges will become opportunities in the future, as the credit cycle turns and performance diverges between different direct lending managers, with the better performers able to take advantage of the market opportunity at that time.”

Company: Hayfin Capital Management LLP Name: Andrew McCullagh Email: Web Address: Address: Hayfin Capital Management LLP, One Eagle Place, London, SW1Y 6AF, United Kingdom Telephone: :+44 207 074 2900



Wealth & Finance International

Whisky Connoisseurs Throughout the World Moji Shand, CEO of Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky, talks openly about the firm, the industry and the challenges it faces in the future.


uncan Taylor Scotch Whisky is an award-winning, independently owned scotch whisky merchant based in the north-east of Scotland. They own one of the world’s largest privately-held collections of rare and vintage scotch whisky casks. The Company’s focus is on cask maturation, independent bottling and also blending of one of the world’s best blended Scotch whisky, Black BullTM.

and U.S., as well as our PR & marketing company and external sales team. We are always looking at our products, what sells well, where we are stocked and assessing what we can do to highlight our products to the wider market. I continually look at routes to market. As a trained lawyer, I also deal with all the legal aspects for the company.” The staff at Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky play a huge part in the firm’s overall success, as Moji tells us: “We prefer to refer to our members of staff as team members and every team member in our company has a different yet important role to play in the success of the firm. From the Master Blender, Bottling Hall Manager, production, packaging, labelling, sales and marketing, they all play an important part. The success of the firm is all down to the team we have. We have a dedicated, loyal, and passionate team who go above and beyond their call of duty to ensure Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky is one of the most leading and innovative companies in our industry. We don’t have a high turnover of staff and I think that is proof that our staff enjoy working at Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky.

Duncan Taylor’s branded products are available to whisky connoisseurs throughout the world. Duncan Taylor has won several global awards in the last year. Most notably, at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition and China Wine & Spirits Awards. In December, their OctaveTM collection won 7 awards at the Independent Bottlers’ Challenge run by world-renowned Whisky Magazine. Moji Shand is the CEO of Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky. She tells us more about the firm and her role.

“We get a lot of very positive feedback from customers. Since opening our US. based office in 2012 we have grown our profile in the U.S. significantly, multiplying sales in that region, resulting in one of the best ever years in 2016 for sales which was extremely encouraging. We do sponsor and attend quite a lot of high-profile events. With Black BullTM, we sponsor a British GT Motor Racing team. We also were sponsors of the prestigious Hollywood world-famous Critics’ Choice Awards Ceremony, which gives us the chance to showcase our whiskies to a new market. We have a high percentage of returning custom which cements to us we are producing whiskies that people enjoy and want to buy again.”

“Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky has been in existence since 1938 and has since grown into a global brand, selling in 50 plus markets worldwide. We have several brands under the umbrella of Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky. Our portfolio includes The Dimensions, The OctaveTM, The Single, The Tantalus and The RarestTM. In addition to the Single Malt and Single Grain range, we also produce several blended products including The Smokin and The Big Smoke. The main range in our blend portfolio is Black BullTM which has won a plethora of awards and has 6 whiskies to appeal to all palates - Black BullTM Kyloe, 8, 12, 21, 30 up to a limited-edition 40-year-old blend.

With regards to the wide picture, Moji elaborates on what challenges and opportunities lie ahead for the company in the not-too-distant future.

“Our stunning Tantalus collection brings together some of the most sought after vintages from some of Scotland’s rarest distilleries, including some closed distilleries. Each whisky is packaged in hand-blown decanters and housed in a handmade oak ‘Tantalus’, produced from the very casks that matured it to perfection. And finally, The RarestTM Collection contains just as it sounds, some of the world’s rarest Scotch Whiskies that exists today, including Macallan, Bowmore, and Kinclaith, all from the vintage 1960’s era.

“Obviously, the main thing to touch on here would be Brexit,” she states. “We think it will produce opportunities and challenges going forward and we watch it closely to see what impact it will have on the whisky industry. “Personally, for Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky, we are looking to build a Cask Warehouse and potentially a distillery at some point in the future, along with some other exciting projects. We expect there will be many challenges along the way but it will produce many opportunities for us in the future.”

“Our HQ is based in Scotland and we also have offices in the US. No two days are the same. I start the day by trying to prioritise what is important for the business and working my way through that. I work very closely with the team at Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky in both Scotland


February 2017

Company: Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Name: MOJI SHAND Email: Web Address: Address: King Street Huntly, Scotland AB54 8HP Telephone: +44 (0) 1466 794055



Wealth & Finance International

Fundamental for Success Richard Cardiff talks to us about CCAM, its successful track record and what he foresees with regards to the future


oupland Cardiff (CCAM) is a specialist Asian and Japanese fund management group, focused on managing capacity constrained, performance focussed funds within a risk controlled framework.

take around 2000 company visits a year. We believe that the combination of scrutinising data as well as analysing companies at a face-toface level allows us to truly understand a stock, interpret markets with greater clarity and deliver superior performance.”

Richard Cardiff is CEO of the firm and he tells us more about its ongoing strategy. “We follow a bottom-up, fundamentally driven research process, focusing our time on detailed company visits and proprietary analysis. We believe that over time this will achieve superior results.

Indeed, the feedback received from CCAM’s clients is very encouraging. “The key feedback we get is that they very much like the concentrated portfolios and our commitment to capacity constrained products. Also that we specialise in investing in Asia and Japan instead of trying to be a ‘jack of all trades.’ The fact we are single area specialists and are prepared to be frank about the prospects of regions, whether good or bad, sets us apart from more generalist investors and is of great appeal to our clients.”

“In order to further enhance returns for our investors, we believe that all funds should be capacity constrained, concentrated and freed from any benchmark constraints. This allows us to express our best ideas. “The stability of the firm over the last 12 years and the quality of portfolio managers and analysts we have in place enables us to continue to deliver exceptional returns for investors over the coming years in the fastest growing markets in the world. These are markets that have not only grown rapidly over this time but also have excellent prospects for the longer term. We’re confident that we will continue to deliver superior returns and service our clients around the world to the highest quality.”

With regards to the future, Richard sees both opportunities and challenges ahead, for 2017 and beyond. Not least the fact that more investors are moving away from the crowded and unproductive centre-ground offered by more generalist funds into both the EFT and the highly active fund specialist market. “As a specialist, we are perfectly placed to benefit from this trend,” he comments. “The challenges we’ll face are similar to many other asset management firms and will be based around regulatory changes and any potential challenges that might materialise as we move closer toward Brexit. It’s also important for us to continue to ensure we have the highest quality of staff to service our clients around the world.”

In December 2015 CCAM launched the CC Japan Income & Growth Trust plc, the first Japanese Investment Trust for 20 years. It was also the first income orientated Japanese investment trust to be launched. Managed by Richard Aston, who also runs a similar open-ended strategy and despite difficult market conditions, it now has nearly £100m in net assets. In addition, last year the trust met its stated dividend of 3p per ordinary share. The share price has also increased by 22.4%.

“Speaking of the wider industry, again, it’s the continuing deluge of new regulation coupled with how we will have to operate as a business in the new post-Brexit world - when we discover what Brexit means for the industry. No-one knows what that will look like yet so our strategy in Europe will undoubtedly adapt to any potential new model.”

As CEO, Richard is tasked with overseeing the management of the firm, sales and marketing activities, as well as overseeing the management of all operational aspects involved in delivering excellence to clients, however he is quick to praise his dedicated team.

Company: Coupland Cardiff Asset Management Name: Richard Cardiff Email: Web Address: Address: 31-32 St. James’s Street, London, SW1A 1HD Telephone: +44 207 321 3470

“Being a boutique asset manager, our staff are everything to CCAM and the quality of our staff is, we believe, second to none. All play a significant role in the success of the firm from front to back office. CCAM is wholly owned by members of the team and as such is not distracted by external factors or required to make compromises to our main objectives, which are to achieve excellence in three key areas: investment performance, operations and client service. Testament to this is the fact that staff turnover has been very low. “Our fund management team have spent their careers investing across Asia and Japan and have strong track records. All 7 portfolio managers are specialists in their investment field and between them they under-



February 2017

Mitigating Circumstances Hugh Craigie Halkett speaks openly about the financial risk mitigation industry and what lies ahead for the future.


s a part of a robust and comprehensive approach, the investigative background check services that Financial Risk Mitigation (“FRM”) performs for its clients, provides them with the confidence to transact or put into place additional controls to ensure business objectives are achieved. Thorough investigative due diligence, consisting of a background check on a company and its management, reveals the track record for success or the questionable business practices which scream “buyer beware.” FRM has been in business for over a decade and counts the largest financial institutions and investors among its client base.

large outfits with a truly global reach that can operate the scrupulous integrity that we apply in providing the investigative due diligence service we do for our clients,” Hugh states. “Increasingly, we are finding we are handling additional enquiries from a number of new areas including: “FCPA/ UK Bribery Act – we conduct integrity reviews of 3rd party suppliers on behalf of clients to help ensure they comply with the UK Bribery Act here in the UK and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the U.S.” “Citizenship – acting on behalf of government agencies we conduct investigative due diligence on High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) seeking citizenship of individual countries.

Hugh Craigie Halkett is a Consultant for FRM. He tells us more about the firm and the recent successes it has enjoyed. “A hedge fund investor that performs background checks as a routine practice engaged FRM,” he begins. “In the course of our investigation of the target hedge fund manager, we discovered a CFO who had been arrested only a few months prior on shop-lifting charges, in addition to having another misdemeanour conviction for the same offence years previously. The investor enquired whether the key management was aware of the convictions and they were aware of neither. It was determined that the hedge fund manager’s pre-employment checking firm limited criminal record searches to only the current county of residence and arbitrarily limited all searches to a seven (7) year window despite no law in the country where research was being performed required a limit as such for a highly compensated employee. The CFO was dismissed as a result of the report. The hedge fund manager retained FRM for performing background checks on its next CFO candidate and instituted a practice of periodic employment investigations on its staff.”

“HNWI – we conduct self-assessment background checks on HNWI who are looking to transact with individuals/ businesses or government agencies and want re-assurance that there is nothing in their past they may come back to haunt them. We also conduct conventional background checks on behalf of HNWI on 3rd parties.” “With the surprise election of President Trump in the US, Brexit and the possible break-up of the European Union, we live in a very uncertain world. It is critically important that both HNWI and Business know who they are transacting with. We provide that necessary reassurance.”

Company: Financial Risk Mitigation, Inc. Name: Hugh Craigie Halkett Email: Web Address: Address: Kiershill, Addiston Farm Road, Ratho, Edinburgh, UK, EH28 8NU. Telephone: +1 (504)620-0686 (Corporate Office General Switch)

Hugh’s role is principally one of account development and management. With offices here in the UK, Hugh manages clients from as far afield as Los Angeles to Singapore. Hugh commented on his daily activities. “From the client side I am responsible for scoping their background check requirements. Thereafter, I direct any questions or queries on the report from the client to the relevant member of our investigation team.” Hugh interacts with an investigative team of experts with backgrounds in financial analysis, law enforcement, regulatory work, litigation, database research, and direct courthouse research. With regards to the future, there are both opportunities and challenges which Hugh foresees in 2017 and beyond relating to the regulatory environment placing increased burdens on FRM’s clients. “It is only the



Wealth & Finance International

Paradise in a Portfolio Cuvée is a travel and lifestyle brand with an international portfolio of exclusively owned and managed ultra-luxury properties. We invited Founder and CEO Larry Mueller to tell us more about the firm and how it aims for excellence across its portfolio.


ounded in 2004, Cuvée was born organically from the needs of ultra-luxury travellers and high-end homeowners. Since inception, the firm has invested in a select portfolio of exceptional properties and partnered with other homeowners to bring first-rate experiences to guests. Cuvée guests can take comfort in knowing that their trip will exceed even the loftiest travel expectations, as the firm is centred around them, as Mueller explains.

“For over twenty years, I have designed, restored, built and managed ultra-luxury homes around the world. My experience in the real estate market inspired me to found Cuvée as a premium, high-touch property management and rental company with a private equity structure. “Prior to my work at Cuvée, I was the President and CEO of Ariba, a publicly-held software company in California. I led Ariba Technologies as it hit a market cap of over $40 billion within two years of its public offering. I also served as the CEO at Imageware Corporation (which was sold to Electronic Data Systems) and managed the IBM European software business in Paris during my 16 years with the company.

“Cuvée’s company model is built on the concept of ownership and exclusive management of every residence in our portfolio. This level of control ensures that we intimately understand each property and its surrounding location to the fullest, allowing us to guarantee that a stay at one of our properties is not just a vacation, but a unique experience that will completely alter the way guests view travel.

“On a day-to-day basis, you can find me researching new properties and destinations, working closely with my destination, sales and marketing teams to accomplish goals, and organizing phenomenal charitable events, including our Flight To Luxury annual gala which has raised over $5 million for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver.”

“Overall, our staff is essential to Cuvée’s success. Our on-site Destination Managers provide guests with personalized care of the highest order at every property we manage. We empower and trust in our sales and marketing teams to provide the very best customer experiences that exists within the ultra-luxury travel market.”

Moving forward, although growth remains the focus, the firm is also keen to maintain its superior standards and provide visitors with the very best experiences possible, as Mueller concludes.

“Wehavesetouttochange the way our clients travel, andinmanycasesweendup changingthewaytheylive.”

“As we look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead for Cuvée in 2017, our values remain centered on setting a new standard — on building, renovating, and maintaining homes that define luxury to the highest degree — and we plan to do so by closely managing every step of the process. We have set out to change the way our clients travel, and in many cases we end up changing the way they live.”

Company: Cuvée Name: Larry Mueller, Founder & CEO Email: Web Address: Address: 1424 Larimer Street Denver, CO 80202

As testimony to the level of excellence the firm provides a recent guest, staying at the firm’s Vue de Reves property in St. Barths, remarked: “I have travelled all over the world and have experienced the very best in luxury. The quality and attention to detail of every aspect of the home was exquisite, and I can only dream of the day when I can return to enjoy another perfect vacation experience with Cuvée.” This quality is built upon the expertise of its Founder, Mueller, who draws from a vast wealth of industry experience to provide top quality service across the business. He discusses his background and how he draws on his knowledge and experience across every aspect of his work at Cuvée.



February 2017



Wealth & Finance International

A Very Unique Avant-Garde Business Introduction Capital is a relationship-brokering business that specialises in the alternative investment industry. It has been built with mindfulness and precision since its inception in 2004. We interviewed the firm’s Founder & CEO Karen Azlen about this very unique avant-garde business.


ntroduction Capital provides qualified introductions of sophisticated capital to the firm’s selection of investment managers and private opportunities. Introduction Capital uses focused qualitative analysis to elevate individuals and management teams in order for them to achieve the optimal level of excellence required to attract capital.

Azlen goes on to say that as the CEO of the firm she tries to spend much of her time meeting with investors to find out what they are looking for. “We find out what investment strategies investors are seeking first – so that when we come across a match - we will then make that introduction for them. We are trying to streamline our attention to the investor and their needs, and build our database filled with this intelligence.”

First of all, the firm acts as a placement agent/local dealer for established global managers who are marketing their funds in Canada, which is indeed a growing business. Law firms and prime brokers around the word refer Introduction Capital to these large players, who come to Canada to talk to the top 20 or 30 institutional investors and families, but they may not want to register in Canada.

The third aspect of work includes the firm’s 7th and well-respected annual conference which attracts 180 delegates, including family offices and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. “Our thought-leadership event incorporates expert speakers who discuss various alternative investment strategies, and this year we will include artificial intelligence, medical technology as well as cannabis in relation to compliance and security,” Azlen reveals.

“Introduction Capital is the leader in offering local dealer services in Canada” Azlen underlines, adding that “we are very proud of this growing area of our business.”

In addition, the firm has a network that is second to none, indeed Introduction Capital is very well branded globally, and one of their biggest challenges is that “we get the first call from early stage managers seeking capital, and we then forward those leads to other groups who may be able to help them or invite them to our conference to meet investors and learn about the industry.”

She then goes on to say that the second element of the firm’s work is in introduction services (precision matchmaking) which is where they choose “six or seven uncorrelated investment opportunities that are put on the IC platform.” “We make select investor introductions for those opportunities, all of whom have a very unique investment strategy whether they are private or an alternative investment fund. Our goal with each mandate is to get the introduction right so that there is a high likelihood of raising our chosen clients the sophisticated capital they are seeking.”

“Although we are inundated with opportunities, we do try to ensure we only work with established and high-pedigree managers. The challenge is always to find a great match, and provide an investment opportunity that is worthy of a significant amount of capital.” “The other challenge is that we are coming across opportunities that are more illiquid in nature, without quick redemption options so an investor has to take a longer-term view which they will not always understand or be willing to take part in.”

“We do not call ourselves third party marketers, because we find that term does not apply to the distinct business that we run. We are an international firm headquartered in Toronto and we work with large family offices both domestically and globally. We are often sought out by investors outside of Canada who are looking for opportunities to invest here.”

“If institutional or family office investors are seeking unique access to interesting alternative investment opportunities, then I would encourage them to reach out to us. Do feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about complimentary attendance to our conference being held on April 6th in Toronto, Canada.”

The Introduction business is indeed exciting says Azlen, citing the example of the firm working with a best in class Canadian farmland fund, which is really a land appreciation and conversion investment opportunity with a ten-year time horizon. Going into 2017, Azlen says that Introduction Capital is very excited about working on the launch of a private venture fund and top tier and well branded owner/operator in the seniors’ living space.

Company: Introduction Capital Inc. Name: Karen Azlen, Founder & CEO Email: Web Address: Address: Suite 200 - 1920 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4S 3E2 Telephone: +1 416 550 8243

“Other plans include working with a long standing Canadian risk arbitrage manager who has some new capacity and also a manager that has expertise in identifying cutting edge Ontario-based medical technology businesses.” 32

February 2017



Wealth & Finance International

A Long-Term Investor Cambium USA, Inc. is a privately held merchant bank based in New York which has, for over 25 years, invested in businesses in the United States, Europe and Latin America in partnership with families, high net worth individuals and private equity groups. We got in touch with José Arozamena to find out more about the firm’s 25 years’ worth of experience in middle market investments, acquisitions, turnarounds, restructurings and strategic consulting.


lease give us a brief, overall description of your firm does? Cambium focuses on companies which are undergoing a strategic shift, a restructuring of their operations or a balance sheet reorganisation. Cambium also acts as the local partner for privately held southern European companies that want a financial and strategic partner with local knowledge and connections in the United States as well as U.S. companies that want a financial and strategic partner in southern Europe.

derstand the business and bring new insights on how to accelerate growth or open new horizons. • We spend time and resources working closely with management in defining a long-term strategic plan and developing the implementation plan to achieve the desired results within an agreed timeline. Our investment flexibility allows us to optimise our investment structure to each specific situation in order to have a meaningful impact on the success of a transaction. For many business owners, significant capital increases or selling equity in their business may be a once in a lifetime process. For Cambium, these financial transactions are core competencies.

With over 25 years of experience in middle market investments, acquisitions, turnarounds, restructurings and strategic consulting, Cambium is uniquely qualified in partnering with businesses to improve operational and financial efficiency and putting together the right investor with the appropriate company and management.

Cambium can serve as a trusted partner to ensure that financial processes, whether equity or debt, are carried out smoothly, with appropriate structures, and in the best interests of shareholders.

Cambium aims to become the partner of reference for closely held companies, especially family-owned enterprises, that are undergoing a strategic shift, a generational change, are in need of international expansion or additional financial resources from a hands-on equity partner.

What feedback do you receive from your customers? Our investors have been with us for many years and continue to make investments with us based on our success. Not being a fund gives our investors the liberty to decide on a case-by-case basis whether an investment fits their return goals and risk tolerance. This forces us to be extremely open and work each investment to its best outcome, not relying on one ‘home run’ to save a portfolio of bad investments.

Can you go into more detail about the work your firm does? Cambium is not a typical private equity fund, as we act as a ‘fundless sponsor’ putting together the best investor group for each individual investment taking into account each company’s needs. Cambium invests with a stable group of private investors, many of which have invested with us over many years.

Our partners and the companies we invest in only do so when they become convinced that we bring ‘a lot more than just money’ to the table. Our monetary investment is not what differentiates our outcomes, it is the work and experience put into each and every investment that produces outsized results.

Cambium is an active investor. Cambium gets actively involved in each investment, including assuming executive positions when necessary, to achieve the desired results in the shortest possible time. Cambium’s principals have a long and successful track record in turnarounds, restructurings and in setting and executing a new strategic direction for companies, opening new opportunities and markets.

What opportunities and challenges does your firm face in 2017 and beyond? We believe that our approach produces positive and steady results without relying on excessive leverage or hoping for a sale at a higher multiple. This philosophy is well tuned to produce positive results in the face of the challenges all economies will face in a world with more uncertainties, protectionism, inflation and higher interest rates.

Cambium is a long-term investor. Cambium and its investors have a long-term outlook on their investments which allows us to think and act strategically to create long-term value, not only IRR. While we do consider exit options in our investments, exits are not our primary driver. We will retain an investment as long as we believe that the company continues to benefit from our ownership and leadership.

Cambium is currently sponsoring the creation of Arglass (, the first new glass container manufacturing plant in the U.S. in over 40 years. With a total investment of $180 million, Arglass will be a state-of-theart glass container manufacturing plant built for flexibility and efficiency to tackle the part of the glass market currently served by imported glass.

We bring a broad operating and financial toolkit to bear on the companies in which we invest. We define the right strategy for sustainable development and match it with the optimal financial structure to ensure the success of our investments. • The first thing we seek to do is understand each potential investment’s goals and objectives, discuss how best to achieve them, and how Cambium can accelerate the achievement of these goals. • We spend time with the company’s management and key people, walk its plants, visit its customers and suppliers to thoroughly un-

Company: CAMBIUM USA, Inc. Name: José Arozamena Email: Web Address: Address: 10 E 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010 Telephone: + 1 212 935 5442



Lilian H. Weinreich Architects Visually powerful, intellectually elegant, and above all timeless Lilian H Weinreich Architects is a boutique multi-disciplinary architectural and interior design firm based in New York City, with roots in Australia 150 Central Park South #502 New York, New York 10019-1566 United States of America +1 (917) 770 1000


Wealth & Finance International

Insuring a Great North American Road Trip Thum Insurance Agency, LLC has been family owned and operated since January 1990, offering insurance products to cover recreational vehicles of all styles for personal use and commercial use. They take great pride in the uniquely personalized customer service that they can offer. As an independent agency they work with multiple insurance companies and are licensed in all 50 States. We spoke with Sue Blood, International Sales Manager, to discover more about the options offered by the agency.


ue heads a dedicated team at Thum Insurance Agency, meeting the insurance needs of all international customers. She has been the International Sales Manager since 2013. She began with the agency in 2002, though has been working in the insurance industry since her college graduation.

“We are also the first contact for any claims reporting and handling. Our goal is to make the process as smooth and easy as possible for our customers by keeping all the contacts in-house. In response to the way a claim was handled, a customer recently said, “I want to thank you and your company for the un-bureaucratic claim adjustment. I surely will recommend you!”

“Many years ago we developed a specialized insurance package for international clients who wish to tour the United States and Canada with their own recreational vehicles”, Sue Blood informed us. “We can provide insurance for international customers who will ship their own motor homes to the USA or customers who travel with a camper and tow vehicle. Thum Insurance Agency is a comprehensive insurance provider for recreational vehicle coverage throughout the USA (including Alaska), Canada and Mexico. Our policies provide excellent coverage for third party liability and physical damage to the vehicle as well as contents coverage while touring. Our 25 years of experience has set us apart in the marketplace demonstrating our commitment to this specialty product resulting in its stability and endurance.

“In the past communication has been the biggest deterrent for customers contemplating shipping their motor home to the USA for holiday. But, with all the recent technological advancements, that no longer plays as significant a role. Smart phones now connect the traveller with translation services, restaurant reviews, currency conversion as well as directions to campgrounds, highways and popular tourist sites. “Each year more and more customers ship their recreational vehicles from Europe to North America and take advantage of our extensive national park system, state park system and privately owned campgrounds. Our agency is very excited for 2017 and beyond as the next wave of customers lands on our shores. We would be honoured to provide you motor caravan insurance for your travels to the United States, Canada and Mexico.”

“The travel industry is booming in North America. Our customers see the value of an extended holiday in the comfort and familiarity of their own vehicle. Over the last 25 years we have insured over 2,000 customers who have shipped their vehicles from Europe to travel across North America. The North American landscape offers the traveller oceans and deserts, mountains and canyons, large, bustling metropolitan cities and slow, winding country roads. There is something for everyone! By offering a variety of policy term lengths we can accommodate a quick trip or something longer that may be renewed for multiple years. The holiday options are endless!

Company: Thum Insurance Agency, L.L.C. Name: Sue Blood Email: Web Address: Address: 3140 3 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525, U.S.A. Telephone: 001.616.957.2400

“The international section on our website is in multiple languages and explains in detail the types of vehicles we are able to insure as well as the benefits of the insurance packages we offer. Our international team works with our customers every step of the way. The quoting and underwriting is all done in-house, including the preparation and processing of all the paperwork and applications. Because most of our client communication is done via email, we can exchange information and documents quickly and with ease.



February 2017

Challenges to the Financial Services Industry Bhatia & Co, Certified Public Accountants, established in the US in 2000, is a diversified full service financial and business services firm that provides services to domestic and international organisations. We caught up with the firm’s Neeraj Bhatia to find out more about his own work in the company and the tremendous global impact the firm is having on businesses today.


an you go into detail about what the firm does? We are full service accounting firm with special focus on International transactions and tax planning. We are registered with PCAOB. Our clients include start-ups, small to medium organisations and we specialise in business and individual tax service and planning, audit and review, compliance, corporate services, accounting, outsourcing, business consulting, financial and retirement planning, immigration consulting and litigation support to a diverse range of clients. Some of our clients over the years in US and India include public sector banks, India Infotech Centre – an Indian government division, casino, technology companies, financial investment firms, auto dealership, a number of non profit and trade organisations, amongst others.

accountants, chartered accountants, MBAs and other such professionals. We have a team of 10 in our US offices and about 15 in our India entity. I believe that having a robust team is critical for the success of any company. Our staff ensure that we are able to provide the best quality of service to the clients, as well as ensuring that they meet all their compliance obligations in a timely manner.

Can you give any examples of any successes your firm has had lately? We have successfully handled a number of cases under overseas disclosure programs of IRS and have managed to get heavy penalties either waived or considerably reduced for a number of clients.

What opportunities and challenges does your firm face in 2017 and beyond? During recent years, securities and revenue authorities in the US and other countries have been increasing the regulatory requirements, especially for multinational organisations and listed companies, and that in turn also brings in more opportunities for us. Most of the financial institutions and governments around the world have been adopting reporting requirements under US FATCA and / or laying down their own similar ones.

What feedback do you receive from your customers? The best feedback or testimonial that one could receive from clients, comes in the form of referrals by them. An overwhelming majority of the new clients that we sign in, come from generous referrals and very positive comments from our existing clients.

We have helped a number of businesses from overseas establish their footing in the US by providing them in terms of incorporation, corporate, tax compliance as well as immigration for their key officials. We have played a key role in planning for a client to expand from US and India to Canada, Taiwan and UAE.

Recently, we have been signing in more and more clients who have cross border interests and investments, which requires more planning and compliance. For instance, if someone plans to sell a property in another country - this may have a tax impact in both the countries and this would mean taking into consideration potential taxation as well as tax saving strategies in both counties - and the impact of tax and the tax saving strategies of one country has in tax planning in the other country.

What is your own role in the firm? What do you do on a day-to-day basis? I am the owner and the founder of the company. As the manager/leader of the team my most important role is to give direction to the team and to guide them. I equip them with the necessary tools (in terms of training and knowledge share) so that they handle the day to day operations of the company quite independently. I have initial and critical meetings with most of the clients. I am involved in devising global planning and tax planning strategies for our clients.

Looking at the wider picture, what opportunities and challenges lie ahead for the industry you work in? The growing uncertainty in the world at large, especially on economic front, caused by factors such as change in the US administration and Brexit pose a big challenge to the financial services industry and also offer increased opportunity for accounting industry in the changing environment to assist their clients in planning for uncertainties and to adapt to these changes. Each country adopting a more protectionist outlook, presents uncertainty as to what lies ahead.

I am an accomplished accounting professional with 30+ years expertise in international and domestic tax planning and compliance for start-ups and multinational entities. I specialise in international tax, audit and review, accounting, compliance and reporting, immigration services, and corporate compliance. My current engagements in the US and in India include cross border tax planning and transactions, corporate structuring, and complex Tax audits and representation including recent oversees disclosure programs (OVDP/OVDI/ Streamlined disclosure programs).

Company: Bhatia & Co. Inc, CPAs Name: Neeraj Bhatia Email: Web Address: Address: 4655 Old Ironsides Dr, #250. Santa Clara-95054 Telephone: + 1 408 845 9411

What role do staff play in the success of your firm? We have a team of highly qualified and experienced professionals from both the accounting and the finance field including certified public



Wealth & Finance International

Value Investors Find Success in ‘Sub-Institutional’ Real Estate Tryperion Partners is a real estate private equity firm, based in Los Angeles, focusing on the US property markets. We spoke with co-founding partner, Jeffrey Karsh, about the ongoing successes of the business.


ormed in 2013 after the three founding partners spun off from Canyon Capital Realty Advisors, Tryperion Partners is a real estate private equity firm that invests in value-add deals through closed-end funds on behalf of mostly high net worth and foundation clients. Tryperion adheres to the value investing approach, focusing on pockets of inefficiencies in all major property types across the United States.

“Our team is relatively small, so it’s a true team effort. We’ve established a culture of openness and respect which encourages everybody, no matter how junior, to voice their opinions. It’s not enough to hire the best and the brightest – listening to and learning from what they have to say is equally important.” Looking to the future of the business, Jeffrey was optimistic despite a current drought in market opportunities. “We’ve been upfront to our investors the last year or so about the relative lack of intriguing opportunities in the marketplace. That’s been a challenge, but at the same time it’s not a reason to lose our patience. Our investors understand that we’ll never do deals just for the sake of deploying capital – that’s not who we are and it’s not who we want to become. We’re very much concerned about the quality of each deal in our portfolio.

“Since 2013, we’ve closed two “value-add” closed-end funds: Tryperion Real Estate Fund I (TREF I) - $50 million in 2013; Tryperion Real Estate Fund II (TREF II) - $51 million in 2015. We’ve fully deployed TREF I and are in the process of harvesting those assets. We’ve deployed 86% of TREF II and are going to be raising a third fund soon. “Our funds are advantaged in that they’re undersized, which allows us to invest in “sub-institutional” deals – deals that fall below the radar of the behemoth funds, but are too big for most high net worth investors to capitalise. Our typical equity investment is $3-10 million, with average deal sizes of $10-40 million.

“Our investors appreciate our “value” approach and the fact that we’re “under the radar”, where we’re able to benefit from a more fragmented deal set. They also appreciate our open lines of communication and robust reporting that we provide quarterly. Our transparency has contributed greatly to building trust on both sides.”

“Historically, we’ve invested mostly in secondary markets where we have been able to buy at high cap rates and utilise cheap debt to maximise our cash yield and minimise our dependence on residual value. Because we always look at our downside first, we’re big believers in cash flowing deals, or deals that are on a fast track to healthy interim cash flow. We believe the current low-interest rate environment has helped anybody seeking to capitalise on this strategy.

And of the real estate industry as a whole? “Real estate has seen a tremendous rebound the last 7 years. Generally speaking, it’s gone from markedly undervalued in the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession, to seemingly fairly-priced now. Some markets I’d even say are overheated based on current fundamentals, particularly some primary markets where properties tend to trade for very low cap rates.

“Although only a portion of our TREF I and TREF II portfolios have been fully realised, our returns since inception based on fair market values is 20.1% net to our investors (as of Sept 30, 2016). We’re very proud of the fact that, in addition to gaining many new investors in TREF II, all the investors in TREF I “re-upped” into TREF II. We anticipate similar retention and growth in our next fund, however, we intend to cap the fund at an amount similar to our first two funds because we enjoy investing in the more fragmented “sub-institutional” deal set.”

“The easy money has been made, but there are still opportunities for investors with strong relationships and good localised market knowledge to source deals that, for example, have languished due to mismanagement, or which might sell at a price below the intrinsic value due to an inefficient sale process.”

Company: Tryperion Partners Name: Jeffrey Karsh Email: Web Address: Address: 10990 Wilshire Blvd, #1060, Los Angeles, CA 90024 Telephone: + 1 (310) 421-1030

When we asked Jeffrey about his particular role within the business, we discovered a broad and varied position. “When I’m not on the fundraising trail or interfacing with our existing investors, I work with our acquisitions director on sourcing and executing new investments. And along with my partners, I lead the general strategy of the firm. So on any given day I could be underwriting a specific deal, trying to understand changing market dynamics in order to hone our investment strategy, or playing golf with an investor. No day is the same, which is one of the many reasons I love my job.



February 2017

The Future of Futures Brokering Ironbeam, Inc. is a registered futures commission broker (FCM), located in the Chicago Board of Trade building - a major trading hub. Their speciality is helping clients gain access to, analyse, & trade in the global futures/options markets. We spoke with Robert Terrell, CEO at Ironbeam, about their work and the services they provide.


he Chicago based Ironbeam provides a broad range of brokerage services to institutional and retail clients, alike. Whether institutional or retail traders, Ironbeam is committed to being fully responsive to all of their customer’s needs.

Their customer base is clearly appreciative of the attention and great service they receive. “Most of the feedback we receive is how responsive our customer service is. Clients are virtually never put on hold, and are connected with a real person within seconds of calling Ironbeam. This is not common with most trading firms. The second thing we hear a lot is how much clients like Firetip, our proprietary platform that the vast majority of our clients trade on. It’s generally complimented on its simplicity, ease of use, and execution speed.”

Ironbeam’s brokerage solutions include a vast array of technology, clearing and execution services that can be bundled together as an all-encompassing service plan or leveraged on an individual basis. They pride themselves on their team’s exceptional ability to seize trading opportunities by integrating technology, risk management and research.

Speaking on current trends that look set to continue through the new year, Robert commented on the growth area of newcomers to the trading markets. “We’ve seen a growing market for retail traders - at-home traders, many of them new to day trading - over the last few months, and expect it to continue to grow through the year. It seems many traders become bored trading your typical stocks, and have been gravitating towards more leveraged instruments like futures and options on futures contracts. We also see great opportunity in bringing in more Introducing Brokers, as some have been moving away from of our competitor FCMs, because they do not offer the same flexibility that Ironbeam does.“

“As the CEO I spend my days interacting with our brokers and customers when I am not putting together contracts or lending a helping hand to our employees”, Mr Terrell introduced his role. “Our staff is one of our most important assets. Their professionalism is beyond compare. We also have our own trade desk located on site and staffed 24/6. You can always reach us when you have a question or simply want to call in an order.” “Our main focuses are supporting our customers & brokers. We provide all-encompassing support to Institutional & Individual traders, US & Foreign Introducing Brokers, CTA/CPOs, and 3rd Party API Developers. We offer access to all of the major futures exchanges, 24-hour technology & trade support, 24-hour Risk Management along with support for many front-end trading platforms and impeccable client service. We also have a membership department which helps our clients navigate the intricate waters of buying or leasing seats on multiple exchanges.”

And when it comes to the opportunities the firm makes available to its clients, they are only looking to expand. “We have recently delved into the managed futures arena and are very excited about what we can bring to the table. Clients who want a more experienced person trading their account or people who don’t have the time can invest in this type of venture. There is a large niche that we can fill.”

Company: Ironbeam, Inc. Name: Robert M. Terrell Email: Web Address: Address: 141 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 2600, Chicago, IL 60604 Telephone: 312-765-7200

It is a focused strategy that has worked out very well for the firm, who have recently nearly doubled in size. “We’ve had many successes over the last year. We have grown by over 50%. We’ve brought in a number of great new Introducing Brokers. We’ve completely revamped our proprietary market research & newsletter. We’ve formed a new Private Client Group for traders that are looking for a helping hand, or extra leverage for day trading. We’ve added over 20 new trading platforms to our roster that are now available to clients.”



Wealth & Finance International

Empowering Everyday Investors The core purpose for Share Wealth Systems is to empower and skill everyday investors to achieve their financial freedom through stock market investing. We spoke to Gary Stone, CEO and Founder of Share Wealth Systems, to learn more.


or over 20 years Share Wealth Systems has pioneered a smarter approach to investing. They specialize in intelligent investment products for all investor types and levels, designed to simplify investing whilst providing better returns. Their innovative products have been created for new and experienced investors alike and are designed to educate, guide and support clients on the way to achieving portfolio growth.

“I recently published a book entitled ‘Blueprint to Wealth: Financial Freedom in 15 Minutes a Week’. The book educates everyday investors on how to achieve far better returns themselves for their retirement nest egg with not much effort than handing their money over to investment advisers, pension providers, 401(k) providers and the like, who invest mainly in actively managed balanced funds.” “Everyday investors are being fee-fleeced by the financial establishment and receiving extremely poorer returns over the long-term, due to an overdose on diversification, than they could otherwise achieve themselves.”

“We primarily provide to our customers a methodology for near-passive low-effort stock market investing and the associated portfolio management, analysis and mobile app tools to execute the processes of the methodology themselves,” Mr. Stone explained to us.

“The real money sample portfolio mentioned above is explained in my book.”

“The methodology focuses on index ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) and large-cap household-name stocks listed on the U.S. and Australian stock exchanges, all of which can be accessed from anywhere in the world with online execution platforms.”

“My team provides customer support on how best to use our products. We have a software development team that are continually improving the existing features of our software products and adding new features. We also conduct ongoing research on financial markets to improve our investing methodologies.”

“The different investing strategies included in the methodology can be used by everyday investors in their 20’s through to those well into their retirement years, and are ideal for greatly improving retirement nest eggs.”

Throughout 2017, Share Wealth Systems will continue to innovate their products, making them easier to learn and more efficient to execute, so that their customers can achieve the best returns from the financial markets possible and that are far better than alternative retirement investing avenues over the long term.

“The success of the methodology is demonstrated through extensive publicly available research and live execution in the stock market.” “A real money portfolio that strictly follows the processes of the methodology is publicly updated on a regular basis on the website provided below. Over calendar year 2016 this portfolio achieved a 20.7% return compared to the S&P500 Total Return index achieving 12.9%. This return required just 13 trades for the year and took no more than 15 minutes a week to manage, most of which is taken up by vigilance, not actual execution.”

“One of the main challenges is to continually transform the delivery of our products and services with new technologies as they become mainstream, provided they improve efficiency. Another is the ongoing research of whether the characteristics of the long-term movement of stock and index prices are actually evolving or continuing to operate as they have for decades.”

Gary expanded upon his role as CEO, both inside and outside of the company. “Besides managing the business, I get heavily involved in the ongoing systems research. I also execute our real money portfolios that can be scrutinised in the public domain.”

Company: Share Wealth Systems Name: Gary Stone Email: s Web Address: Telephone: U.S.: 1-800 392 1257

“I have appeared regularly on TV in Australia since 2008 providing financial market commentary and also conduct radio interviews in the U.S. to discuss ‘do-it-yourself’ long-term investing for everyday people.”

Listen to the following radio interview where Gary Stone was interviewed by ‘It’s Your Turn’ host, Dave Malarkey, on WISR Pittsburgh, PA:


February 2017


1701WF01 February 2017

London Calling R3Location has continued to grow in strength over the last 12 months. It has reaffirmed its position as a specialist provider to FTSE100 and Fortune 500 companies, and is seen increasingly, not just as a destination service company, but as a trusted adviser on all matters relating to relocation into London.


3Location is a multiple-award winning business, and is the only Central London based company in the relocation industry with offices in St James’s Park. In offering a range of bespoke services (ranging from pre-assignment and home finding support through to ongoing tenancy and departure support) it and leads the way in how it delivers services, shares knowledge and best practice, communicates with the rest of the industry and acts as a trusted advisor to the mobility function of several large organisations.

Company: R3Location Limited Name: Marco Previero Email: Web Address: Address: 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP Telephone: +44 (0)203 463 9774

Led by two industry veterans, Marco Previero and Anna Barker, with over 30 years’ experience between them, R3Location is proud to continue to push the boundaries and set the standard for local destination services.



Wealth & Finance International

Cultivating Access to Unique World Class Relationships ACE & Company is a global private equity firm specialised in direct investments for private investors. We caught up with one of the firm’s directors Charles Lorenceau, to find out more about the needs and challenges facing private investors today, and how the firm provides private investors with unparalleled access to quality opportunities across the direct investment ecosystem.


he firm’s flexible platform offers diversified portfolios across the stages of the investment spectrum from early, growth, to mature, and we collaborate with investors to create customised investment programs that meet specific criteria and objectives, adapting to the needs of the investor.

Lorenceau goes on to say that the team is split between investment and operational team members. The investment team are on the ones who are involved in sourcing and monitoring investment opportunities on a daily basis. The firm does receive many unsolicited investment requests, so “we need to have a very diligent team to process and keep track of these.”

ACE & Company’s work covers every period of life, from early inception all the way to companies at more matured stages. They manage over £500 million worth of assets and they have 13 unique investment strategies, of which 132 companies are a part of. There are 37 members of the team to assist with this, across five offices in four continents.

However, Lorenceau underlines that none of this important work could happen without the operational team, which represents half of the ACE & Company. Company workforce. “They oversee everything from structuring of investments, compliance with regulations and more areas so they play a critical role in our success.”

“Theyoverseeeverythingfrom structuring of investments, compliancewithregulations andmoreareassotheyplaya critical role in our success.”

Lorenceau adds that what the clients like about ACE & Company is they access they can have to unique investment opportunities through an emerging and young firm. In addition, the firm pushes a tweaked model compared to normal private equity investment funds, by showing “an unparalleled level of alignment, and cultivating access to unique world class relationships.” The last word goes to Lorenceau who says that ACE & Company face the same issues as any other firm, but what really matters is returns for investors. “We really need to push our efficiencies in all our processes, something we are relentless in. Another very important focus is managing our portfolio positions, which means providing support wherever we can to generate value for companies and as a consequence for our investors. As our investment strategies mature, we will continuously share our knowledge and try to become more of a thought leader across the industry.”

“We are a generalist at heart, and we love to partner for significant investment strategies. On the other side of the platform, there are private investors that we cater for, as well as family offices and small institutions. What they find appealing in working with us, is that we provide access to institutional investment opportunities which private investors do not normally have access to.” “In 2016, we invested more than $100 million but we also generated in excess of $50 million dollars of distribution to our investors and made some significant exits. So, we love to invest in companies, but what we love to do more is generate a record amount of distribution for our investors.

Company: ACE & Company Name: Charles Lorenceau, Director of ACE & Company London Email: Web Address: Address: 63 Brook Street, London, WIK 4HS UK Telephone: +44 (0)20 7078 1299

“I am one of the managing directors, which means I lead our London team of five full-time staff. On top of that, I have direct portfolio management responsibility over two of our investment vehicles, both of which are focussed on early stage venture investments. My area of expertise is therefore more on the venture side.”


February 2017



Wealth & Finance International

The Secrets of Successful Recruiting Gabrielle Parish goes into detail about GF Parish, its strategy and the reasons behind its success.


he GF Parish Group is a boutique executive recruiting firm working with traditional and alternative investment managers across all functions. The firm’s searches and placements span the breadth of investment and distribution roles as well as operations, technology, data security, strategy, finance, legal, compliance and more. Its clients range from the largest investment managers to small boutiques across the US.

debt securities, a successful history of managing a team, proven ability to grow assets under management through prospect and consultant interaction, and experience in managing both institutional separate accounts and retail mutual funds. The congenial culture of the firm demanded the same of the candidates, with big egos ruled out. Beyond that, the erudite CIO was known to have an interview style that put the candidates to the test. Looking across the globe, GF Parish Group was able to identify a slate of candidates, and via multiple interactions and reinforcements of our views on styles and abilities, help whittle down the few, and ultimately the one top candidate who took home the prize.

Gabrielle Parish goes into more detail about the firm and the work that it undertakes. “Successful recruiting requires that extensive attention be paid to cultural fit in addition to the identification and corroboration of necessary work skills, insights and experience. A culture can encompass anything from a common selection of work priorities to standards of internal communication to a shared focus on work/life balance or lack thereof. More than 95% of the time, we find that the ultimate selection of a candidate by a client comes down to this amorphous “fit”. Therefore, we dedicate time at the inception of a search to understanding the work norms and attitudes of the client by meeting onsite with a variety of individuals, whenever possible, to build our understanding of the firm. We then do deep in-person dives on the candidates that are potentially qualified following initial phone conversations to assess their qualifications and our sense of “fit”. When we find candidates who promise success, we present them via extensive written narratives that are designed to address all the pertinent topics for a search and to highlight aspects of fit. When a slate of candidates are presented in this consistent manner, the task of interviewing and selecting becomes much simpler for our clients.

“In another example, we were asked to find a Client Portfolio Manager for a boutique that offers large cap growth equities, small cap international equities and private equity strategies. The individual had to be able to represent the portfolios as though he/she were on the investment team, provide top-notch client service, pursue sales opportunities and participate in product development. This required finding an investment professional who was equally competent and happy in a non-investing client-facing role. The culture demanded the utmost in professionalism combined with an easy-going sense of camaraderie. By evaluating numerous individuals in similar roles and others who were willing to make the transition, and by setting up a series of interviews and helping to arrange mock presentations, we were able to find a perfect match for our client’s goals and desires.” The team at GF Parish Group play a huge part in the success of the firm overall, as Gabrielle embellishes: “We use a team effort for every search that we conduct, so the staff are critical to our success. Our research and consultant team identify, qualify and opine about all candidates in our shared proprietary investment management database and in shared office space. Before beginning any new assignment, the team discusses the details of the position, the client culture and the necessary long-list and short-list qualifications that will help us to arrive at a slate of outstanding candidates. The approach is modified and refined as the team begins calling, receiving questions, and articulating the opportunity for candidates. Our team approach shortens and improves the process for each client.”

“Our sole focus on the investment management industry and the backgrounds of our staff working within that industry prior to becoming recruiters provide us with expertise and insights into how the industry truly works. This allows us to conduct interviews in greater depth and with background understanding that is critical to the evaluation process. It also allows us to lift-out entire teams for our clients, as we have a thorough understanding of the components of success.” Gabrielle continues to give us a few examples of where the firm has experienced particular success of late.

With regards to the future, Gabrielle foresees both challenges and opportunities.

“Recently, we placed a head of emerging market fixed income for a medium sized private held boutique in the New York Metropolitan area. The job requirements were complex: the candidate had to have a superior track record in managing both sovereign and corporate

“In the face of changing regulations, but with little certainty about what the changes may be, there is a degree of “wait and see” that will likely affect the timing of some of the hiring decisions in the year ahead,”


February 2017

he states. “Change of any kind, however, typically leads to new hiring needs. The nature of the changes could increase or lessen the demand for certain types of investment professionals, redirect distribution channel efforts, increase or diminish the need for compliance personnel, etc. One growing source of hiring demand is in technology, with an ever-increasing emphasis on data security and data governance. We look forward to participating in the new avenues of growth.�

Company: GF Parish Group Name: Gabrielle Parish Email: Web Address: Address: 11566 Cedar Pass, Minnetonka, MM 55305 Telephone: + 1 (952) 541 0613



Wealth & Finance International

The Real Estate Market McKafka Development Group is a boutique fully-integrated real estate company which has been established since 2009 by two Harvard graduates, namely Stephan Gietl and Fernando Levy Hara.


tephan Gietl is the COO and CFO of the company and focuses on all legal, operational and number work for the firm. He tells us more about the firm and the rationale behind its inception.

Stephan tells us more about the dedicated staff members, who play a crucial role in the firm’s overall success. “We select our staff very carefully,” he says. “We try to match the growth of our firm with the growth potential of our employees. We are proud that that we have a very high retention rate of all our personnel and a very international team to boot.”

“Initially the company focused on acquiring distressed assets and, as markets started to recover in 2012, the company was an early mover with luxury waterfront high-rise developments in Edgewater, Miami, amongst others The Crimson, which name has been derived as reminiscent to the great time at the AMDP program at Harvard University. The Crimson is one the only luxury boutique waterfront condominium development in Edgewater featuring a unique lifestyle only a boutique development can deliver.”

Customers are often very impressed by the professional handling of each development step and appreciate the attention to detail that McKafka gives, as well as the quality of the final product. “We are never overpromising and deliver according to our specifications,” explains Stephan.

The company is currently in the middle of its 284-unit residential development 50 Paramount in Sarasota, Florida, which is slated for its grand opening in November 2017.

With regards to the future, Stephan foresees challenges ahead which the company will tackle head on, in order to retain its success rate. “As the real estate market has turned very hot in the recent 18 months it is currently most difficult to identify reasonably priced development opportunities.

“Thecompanyhasdeliveredto itsinvestorsexceptionalreturns up to 60% IRR due to its highlyprofessionalanddiligent approachinexecutingprojects.”

“Looking at the wider picture, changes in interest rates is the single most relevant driver for the next 12 to 24 months.”

Company: McKafka Development Group Name: Stephan Gietl Email: Web Address: Address: 20900 NE 30th Ave., AVENTURA, FL 33180 Telephone: +1 305 331 5936 (cell)

“The company has delivered to its investors exceptional returns up to 60% IRR due to its highly professional and diligent approach in executing projects,” explains Stephan. “The company’s credo spending significant time on every detail of a project, rather than relying on consultants has dramatically paid off to all stakeholders of the company. The company is highly committed to achieve outstanding results from a design & quality perspective. As such the company is delivering with its 50 Paramount project, rental units which have been designed by interior designers and caters features such as integrated shower niches, opposite faucet control, glass enclosed showers and amongst others island kitchen design which usually can only be found in high end hotels or condominiums. Besides the development activities the company offers a full integrated real estate service such as Brokerage and Property Management. In the last couple of years, the company has created assets exceeding $200 million.”


February 2017



Wealth & Finance International

Health Is Wealth Jay Stillman of Charity Deposits Corp (CDC) explains more about the expanded FDIC insurance industry and the challenges it faces with regards to the future.


DC was founded May 1, 2000 in Miami, Florida to create a system for investors to make large deposits within a network of participating FDIC-insured banks through a single transaction. We recognized having the ability to place up to $25 million in one insured account with only one statement is quite unique.

“We have employees in various parts of the country providing local non-profits support in conjunction with bank relationships. This requires quarterly meetings to make sure we are helping as much as possible. “The feedback we receive from each client has been wonderful. It is a win for everyone. The investors want their funds insured, given a competitive interest rate and sometimes provide social support. Banks are looking for local charitable relationships and deposits. The non-profits receive financial support from CDC, which helps bring them closer to their community banks.”

Jay Stillman goes a little more in-depth about the firm and the work that it does. “Over the years, we realised the unique opportunities community based banks have with their local non-profits. So, we decided to create a program for community banks to attract and maintain long term relationships. Our focus has been on developing and strengthening relationships with institutional clients by creating links to non-profit organisations in the communities that a bank serves.”

With regards to the future, Jay foresees both opportunities and challenges within the industry for CDC. He tells us little more about what we can expect to see in 2017 and beyond.

“Through our Internet-accessible transaction structure, CDC solves the logistical and administrative challenges associated with depositing large sums of money in multiple banks. This structure maintains full FDIC insurance on all deposits while offering a high degree of liquidity for investors. All of our programs are supported by a legal opinion directly from the FDIC representing that our structure provides the safety of FDIC insurance since there is “pass through” directly to all investors when they use Charity Deposit Corp. Network®. Today, CDC works with hundreds of banks and manages more than $1.7 billion in assets. We have achieved this success by structuring our programs to provide benefits to investors, banks, and non-profits.”

“We do have normal challenges with our investors and banks. Keeping our interest rates competitive for investors as well as providing great service entails working with the banks on a constant basis. In a rising rate environment it is essential that we stay ahead of market changes but also have the right investors. More and more of our clients are interested in socially responsible investments. We also look forward to building out support in the non-profit community. “The opportunities to help investors continues to grow as more banks are looking to add to their balance sheets and also better serve their communities. We continue to support more banks in our network and also look to identify additional services to make investors transactions seamless. Any challenges we face is typically around interest rates.

Jay tells us more about his role within the company and what it entails. “As the head of business development I handle the day-to-day aspects of marketing and sales. This includes working with our investors, banks and non-profits we support. Many of our efforts is to reach new investors. This involves attending trade shows or working with wealth advisors. We try to include social benefit opportunities, which requires meeting banks and non-profits to see how we can facilitate mission support through donations, fund raising, and collaboration with many local partners.”

“CDC is unique in offering a social investment opportunity in cash. The program has grown steadily over the last five years and we look forward to growing our investor base and providing social benefits all around the country.”

Company: Charity Deposits Corp. Name: Jay Stillman Email: Web Address: Address: 2103 Coral Way, Suite 202, Miami, FL 33145 Telephone: + 1 305 856 1148

Recently, CDC has given away well over a $1 million to local non-profits. “Our growth in deposits allows us to support hundreds of non-profits around the country and still give a very competitive interest rate,” explains Jay. “This unique combination of cash and social impact allowed CDC to almost triple its assets from 2010.” The Staff at CDC are instrumental in ensuring client satisfaction. “We have various moving parts that require staff to maintain and work with vendors to facilitate client’s transactions,” explains Jay. “Our unique model that brings together investors, banks, and non-profits needs everyone helping.



February 2017

Quality, Value and Integrity Chris Marlin tells us more about Lennar International and how it strives for success in the future.


ennar International is a division of one of America’s largest homebuilders, Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN). Lennar International raises and directs foreign investments in Lennar through home sales and the United States’ EB-5 immigrant investor program and matches foreign capital with opportunities throughout the Lennar platform. Lennar has established one of the largest geographically diverse real estate portfolios in the United States, including for sale homes, for rent homes and apartments, large master planned communities, commercial and other asset classes. Lennar is recognised as an intelligent underwriter of all manner of land positions and is a prolific purchaser, and seller, of land in the United States. The Lennar brand exemplifies our guiding principles - Quality. Value. Integrity.

Europe as well as the U.S. In order to effectively communicate and appropriately react to global events, we constantly monitor the world’s geopolitical, economic and environmental status as well as what is happening with social issues, entertainment and sports. We have also created a global network of real estate professionals around the world who help us tell the Lennar story and keep us engaged in their countries.” The firm’s success lies in the testimonies of its customers, who have nothing but praise for the company. “We make the home buying and investment process as simple as possible” explains Chris. “Our team offers expertise in financing, guidance through the different laws and regulations foreign buyers face as well as being able to communicate in the buyer’s native language. We operate with complete transparency and integrity and our buyers and investors appreciate this level of service and professionalism.”

Recently, Lennar International has become a beacon for foreign direct investment into the Lennar U.S. real estate eco-system, helping attract well over $4.5 billion across the platform over the last three years. Chris Marlin tells us more about his role within the organisation. “I manage a team of incredibly intelligent, talented and hard-working people that now call North America home, but are originally from around the globe: China, Canada, Latin America, the Middle East and

With regards to the future, Chris foretells both opportunities and challenges for the firm, and for the industry also. “There is a lot of uncertainty about the world. We need to remind our partners and potential buyers that despite this uncertainty, the US offers endless reasons to invest in real estate, as long as you are investing with an experienced, consumer-oriented, transparent and highly regarded builder, co-investor, operator ... like Lennar. Lennar is happy to roll out the welcome mat for everyone. “Disruption is around every corner - and on every phone. The way the U.S. real estate industry does business could be at the vanguard of the next great disruption. Lennar sees this as an opportunity to evolve rapidly to embrace the change that is inevitable in this industry -- and to lead our customers and investors into tomorrow’s realities, today.” “However, Brand America is alive and well. The USA remains, and is expected to remain for a long time, the #1 destination for real estate capital, globally. And Lennar will continue to demonstrate why its core principles of quality, value and integrity make its platform the premier destination for US real estate investment.”

Company: Lennar International Name: Chris Marlin Email: Web Address:



Wealth & Finance International

A Bright Future on the Horizon David Lundgren, CIO of Hancock Horizon Investments, speaks to us about the firm, its ongoing strategy, and how teamwork plays a vital role in its success.


ancock Horizon Investments is an unincorporated department of Whitney Bank (established 1899) which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hancock Holding Company (HBHC). Hancock Horizon Investments (HHI) manages assets for institutional and high net worth clients including pension plans, endowments, foundations, government entities, corporations, trusts, and estates.

“A good number of our current clients have been with us since our inception in 1998, which we view as quite a success given this competitive business, and we continue to gain new clients and acceptance onto a greater number of national platforms. They like the transparency, quality, consistency and success of our investment processes.” One Strong Future With regards to the future, David foresees a very bright 2017 and beyond for Hancock Horizon Investments.

Hancock Horizon’s Chief Investment Officer, David Lundgren, tells us more about the firm and its recent successes. “With over $5B AUM, including a $1.8B complex of10 mutual funds, we deliver 12 investment strategies to clients of the Gulf South USA market directly through a banking network and nationwide indirectly via many different investment platforms including the wirehouses. At this time they are not yet distributed internationally or through offshore vehicles.

“We’re excited about the continued growth of our business as a small cap strategy specialist, but understand that it is a very competitive world as well. “The current market environment is great for actively managed small cap and long short strategies. The debate continues about the typical investment cycle success of actively managed strategies versus passive, ETFs and robo techniques. We’ve studied this issue thoroughly and remain committed to the value of active management for our strategies and clients. Our equity strategies typically score in the 80s and 90s for Active Share.”

Recent Successes within the Firm “December 31, 2016 marked the 15th anniversary of our regional small cap core fund, the Hancock Horizon Burkenroad Small Cap Fund, HHBUX/HIBUX, which Lipper has ranked #1 in its universe of 268 small cap core funds dating from its inception. The success of this $780M fund has inspired us to launch several more small cap funds including US Small Cap, HSCAX/HSCIX, Microcap, HMIAX/HMIIX, and International Small Cap, HISAX/HICIX, such that we are fast becoming a specialist in the small cap space.

Company: Hancock Horizon Investments Name: David Lundgren Email: Web Address: Address: One Hancock Plaza, 3d Floor, Gulfport, MS 39501 Telephone: + 1 800 990 2434

“We’ve also had great success in the transparent liquid alt space with our Hancock Horizon Quantitative Long Short Fund, HHQAX/HHQTX, which at more than eight years is one of the oldest in its category and consistently has been ranking five or four stars with Morningstar currently and in recent years.” Client Services Delivered through a Team Approach David’s role as CIO is to direct the firm’s investment approach, models, and portfolio management; manage a platform of client-focused internal and external money managers, and ensure the firm meets regulatory requirements that protect its clients. “I am also responsible for managing the Hancock Horizon Burkenroad Small Cap Fund, HHBUX/HIBUX, mentioned previously, which also has the highest Morningstar rating of 5 stars for the 10-year time period.” However David is quick to praise the hardworking team of staff who help him run the business on a daily basis. “Teamwork between the 21 investment management professionals at our firm is key to the success of our strategies,” he enthuses. “Final stock selections are determined by our quantitative models complemented by qualitative research performed by many of our team members. Additionally, our trading team ensures that we receive outstanding execution.



February 2017

Champion for Public Health Steven Jonas of Stony Brook Medicine tells us what it is like to be his own boss, plus he describes the challenges that this creates.


teven Jonas of Stony Brook Medicine tells us more about his life.

it has reduced the adult cigarette smoking rate in the United States from 45% in 1964 to 18% presently. And guess what? It hasn’t locked up one cigarette smoker. In the meantime, the “drug war” has had virtually no effect on the use of the “illicits” at which it is aimed.

“My ‘firm’ is located at my home office. I am a life-long writer. In the course of my 40-plus year-long career I have authored, co-authored, edited and co-edited 36 books (see my book-list on Amazon), as well as numerous columns/articles in the lay and professional periodical press. Although technically retired, I have not stopped writing and continue to do so in a variety of venues, on a variety of subjects.”

Steven is his own boss. From chief cook and bottle washer to the single author of the firm. He describes the most immediate opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for him. “The useless, indeed very harmful, ‘Drug War’ is about to be re-intensified by the incoming United States Attorney General. It has been enormously expensive since it was started by President Nixon in 1971, has been ineffective in controlling the use of the RMADs at which it is aimed, and had locked up hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug users. The current drug policy reform movement focuses primarily on legalising marijuana. My proposal deals with bringing the use of all of the RMADs under control. By using tried-and-true public health methods it can be successful, at much less financial and social cost. I look forward to working with other interested parties, in my own country and internationally, to develop and implement the Public Health Approach to the Drug Problem.”

Recent successes for Steven include the publication of his 36th book, “Ending the ‘Drug War’; Solving the Drug Problem: The Public Health Approach.” The basic argument is that all of what he calls the Recreational Mood-Altering Drugs (the RMADs) --- beginning with nicotine and alcohol, the two most harmful of them --- should be treated in the same way. To control/regulate their use so that their negative health effects can be significantly diminished, we should follow the model of one of the most successful non-communicable disease control programs ever, the U.S. National Smoking Cessation Program. Indeed, over time

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS, FNYAS Professor Emeritus, Stony Brook Medicine Dept. of Preventive Medicine and the Program in Public Health Stony Brook University c/o 450 Rte. 25A, PO Box 843 East Setauket, NY 11733 email: Tel. + 1 631 473 7228 FAX + 1 631 473-5005



Wealth & Finance International

Earning Their Stripes Zebra Technologies is a global technology firm that specialises in building tracking technology and solutions that generate actionable information and insight, giving companies unprecedented visibility into their businesses by giving physical things a digital voice. We profile the firm and explore how it has come to achieve its phenomenal success.


ebra Technologies’ products and solutions are currently used by 95% of Fortune 500 companies across the manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and logistics and retail industries. Zebra’s IoT-enabled devices and solutions have improved everything from efficiency for global shipping networks to retail stocking environments. With the unparalleled visibility Zebra provides, enterprises can become as smart and connected as the world we live in.

“According to IDC, every person online will create 1.7 megabytes of new data every second by 2020. At this rate, the concept of “perishable data” is more relevant than ever. We see that one of the challenges next year will be for businesses to translate captured data into actionable insights as fast as they can.” “Furthermore, the future of connection known as the Internet of Things (IoT) is already here. Enterprises will spend $235 billion this year to connect devices to the IoT, Gartner estimates. That’s up 22% from 2015.”

Among the firm’s recent innovations is the Zebra SmartSense™ for Retail asset visibility solution, an Enterprise Asset Intelligence (EAI) offering that delivers deeper visibility into retail operations, provides better business insights and enables smarter decisions. This innovative solution combines UHF RFID, video and a new micro-location capability — to identify and track the journey and location of merchandise, associates and shoppers in a retail store in real-time. A powerful edge analytics engine analyses data from these sources to provide intelligent, actionable insights to achieve optimal stocking levels, detect and identify misplaced merchandise or assets, pinpoint theft and enhance store promotions and product placement activities.

“Overall, the greatest challenge in our increasingly connected world is successfully adopting and leveraging new technology to provide operational efficiency and agility in real-time. Despite the potential that IoT presents, it is only with the proper set of enabling technologies that enterprises can extract the full value from their IoT investments. Zebra is helping enterprises adopt a more dynamic workflow through IoT-centric sensor technology, powerful cloud computing software, and connected enterprise-class mobile computers. The IoT has enabled everything from improved efficiency for global shipping networks to devices that receive environmental feedback from home appliances and minimize their energy use. Thousands of new use cases are in development right now such as smart toothbrushes and intelligent can openers. The good news is many organisations already have the building blocks in place to digitise their operations.”

In addition, Zebra’s TC8000 touch mobile computer drives significant gains in productivity in warehouse operations and decreases worker fatigue with its ergonomic design. This product earned the Red Dot Award for Design Innovation in 2016. Zebra also recently introduced the next evolution in enterprise mobile computing: the TC5 Series touch mobile computers.

Therefore, in order build upon this success, over the coming years Zebra will continue to work toward realizing its company’s vision to create a smarter, more connected global business community, together with its partners, to offer better operational visibility to enterprises around the world. Focuses will include converting the physical to the digital, giving businesses insights into the location, motion and state of their assets, people and transactions and then harnessing this new wave of technology with Enterprise Asset Intelligence (EAI). EAI refers to a businesses’ ability to obtain real-time visibility into every aspect of its operations, enabling them to improve productivity, reduce expenses, empower mobile workforces and increase opportunities for sustainable growth.

As part of its dedication to supporting clients and providing them with the very best solutions that meet their needs, many senior staff work closely with clients, including CEO Anders Gustafsson. Working with customers, partners, investors, employees and other stakeholders to help improve enterprises by connecting the physical and digital worlds to drive innovation, efficiencies and global economic growth, Anders supports the creation of the “intelligent enterprise”. The rate of technological change is rapid, and businesses need to be able to adapt quickly to keep up. Zebra’s solutions offer real-time operational visibility into their enterprises to help them achieve this goal, as he is keen to emphasise. Gustafsson said, “At Zebra, we believe data is perishable. Its value is time-sensitive and has a limited shelf life. Businesses must make sense of data before it expires. However, enterprises are losing valuable insights as there are many disjointed sources generating and collecting data on their own, contributing to only bits and pieces of the big picture, instead of rendering a broad view. Decoding these data collected through IoT-enabled devices and wearables will help companies accelerate their decision-making processes and make more informed business decisions.”

Company: Zebra Technologies Web Address:


February 2017



Wealth & Finance International

Interaction in Investing Peloton Street is a FinTECH start up that uses big-data to help real estate dealmakers and investors come together and transact. We caught up with Co-Founder and CEO Tabish Rizvi to learn more about this innovative and dynamic firm.


escribed by the co-founders as the “e-Harmony for real estate fundraising,” Peloton Street is focused on how technology can make the process of marketing deals and deploying capital more efficient by helping the investment community focus only on the opportunities that are right for them, so they can close more deals faster. Across the corporate landscape, data-driven solutions designed connect people have been hugely successful, with everything from flat sharing to dating supported by a range of online platforms created specifically to support users in connecting with one another. However, so far nothing of this kind has been offered for the private capital markets and specifically commercial real estate finance industry; which is where Peloton Street comes in.

Peloton Street to the current value proposition about a year ago after restructuring the company. “We learned the hard way that syndicating private real estate investment opportunities online was not really a scalable business model” – at least, not one that necessarily benefited from the use of technology to generate revenue. “We found ourselves dealing with all of the same social and regulatory ‘mishigas’ that traditional investment bankers have to deal with when marketing a deal. It just wasn’t going to work; and, rather than burn through our seed round raised from friends and family, we decided to pivot and not have to deal with a lifetime of awkward dinner table conversations.”   Together, they are still working on the original mandate of helping investment capital flow to the most deserving deals, but by tackling another problem that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the commercial real estate industry. “Discretionary capital for investment is the Holy Grail, but it’s gotten a lot harder to raise today. Investors have become smarter and are more sophisticated; and, so many of them like to call the shots.” Tabish explains that the new regulations introduced following global recession are inadvertently responsible for this new norm. According to him, the financial services industry “underwent a disaggregation that no one really likes to talk about;” however, the diaspora of financial professionals displaced during recession “have seeded a whole bunch of new companies, instead of seeking gainful employment elsewhere.” Smaller players, such as boutique private equity firms and family offices, are gaining market share and are now at the helm of an increasing number of transactions each year.

Peloton Street’s online platform uses data science and machine learning (a subset of artificial intelligence technology) to help facilitate actionable results and engagement between members of the investment community – a solution analogous to how online dating platforms helps 41 million Americans find “friends, dates, and relationships, and everything in between.” By reliably collating the criteria used by investors when evaluating and deploying capital into such deals, both sides of a transaction are better ensured the outcome they are seeking. Investors are shown only the deals that they most likely to invest in, while dealmakers can focus their marketing efforts on the leads that are most likely to invest in their deal – instead of “carpet bombing” everyone out there when raising capital. Tabish explains, “The process of raising private capital is not all that different from dating and searching for a soul mate – except, that the first date in context of what we’re doing is meeting with an investor.” Peloton Street’s artificially intelligent matching platform looks at thousands of professional investors and calculates a match for deals based not only on an assessment of investors’ preferences and similarity to other deals that they may have participated in the past but also their interaction with any new deal flow presented to them through the platform. “We believe that this behaviour is foretelling of how an investor feels about a particular deal – it’s just like the first date… if he or she is just not that into you from the get-go, then you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.”

The increasing number of finance professionals “hanging their own shingles” is in part likely responsible for why capital from private unregistered securities now outpaces the amount raised through publicly registered securities (totalling more than $2 trillion in 2014). “More and more people are chasing after private capital, which in our opinion has actually made it harder to raise capital and do deals,” Tabish surprisingly explains. “While the market is seeing more activity, this deal flow lacks homogeneity and creates a steeper learning curve for investors.” The definition of a “good deal” is highly subjective, often based on the divergent investment criteria. This environment has motivated even more investors to eschew the fund format in favour of deploying capital on a deal-by-deal basis, simply to stay in control. Peloton Street sees a significant market opportunity in using its technology to help facilitate more actionable engagement between these “users” and “providers” of capital, as players on both sides scramble to source deals and deploy capital.

Drawing on a vast wealth of expertise by working professionally in commercial real estate finance and investing for over 12 years, Tabish has a strong knowledge of the industry. It is how he and his technical co-founder – Neville Jos, a 20 year old computer science prodigy with a passion for data science who has been coding since the age of 12, conceived the idea for Peloton Street. Originally founded in 2013 as a crowdfunding platform with a different team, Tabish and Neville pivoted


February 2017

Since commercial release of the beta platform in late October last year, Peloton Street has been signing up about 1 to 2 new users a week and having conversations with several more interested in learning more about how the platform could help them with their equity and debt fundraising efforts. “It’s going to take a little time for people to wrap their heads around how an online platform can shortcircuit the process of identifying the right investor for a deal – something that has traditionally taken weeks and months to do. The same thing happened to online dating sites and online discount brokers two decades ago,” says Tabish. After gathering feedback from a core group of users, Peloton Street recently introduced simpler subscription-based pricing where users can pay $79, $129, or $199 depending on the features that best suit them. “We are immensely thankful to our first 50 users, who have in effect helped us put the finishing touches on the airplane as we fly,” explains Tabish. Peloton Street has been selected to join the Spring 2017 cohort of, one of the world’s leading real estate tech incubators based in New York City; and, is “looking forward to working with and learning from the accomplished advisors and extended network. It is our opportunity to learn from the best-of-the-best in the industry.” Tabish is keen to build upon this opportunity and grow the business, all while executing effective marketing campaigns and supporting a growing client base over the coming months and years.”

Company: Peloton Street Name: Tabish Rizvi Email: Web Address: Address: 79 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10016




Wealth & Finance International

Superior Risk-Adjusted Returns Capital Equity Group is a private real estate investment firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. The firm is involved in all aspects of real estate ownership, from acquisition analysis and capital formation to property management and disposition.


ark Tiefel tells us more about the firm and his role.

cant growth in rents and in the capital appreciation that has taken place in the industry. The challenge ahead will be how to deliver a quality ex¬perience to our residents and at that same time deliver solid investment returns to our investors.

“I am the President of Capital Equity Group. My primary duties include asset management responsibilities for each of our apartment properties, acquisition analysis, and managing capital events (sale and refinance) at every property.

“We believe the building blocks that have resulted in the investment success in the multifamily industry for both our clients and us are still largely in place. That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges and difficult days ahead. By maintaining our underwriting discipline, using leverage moderately, and managing our properties with a focus on providing a great resident experience we expect the next five years to be just a profitable for our investors as the last 25.”

“Our mission is to provide investors with superior, risk-adjusted returns on real estate through selective acquisitions, focused asset manage-ment strategies, and clearly-defined exit strategies.” Recent successes for the firm include the celebration of its 25th year of investing in and managing of apartment properties, which took place last year. “In 2016 we sold five apartment properties returning more than $20,000,000 of capital to our investors,” says Tiefel. “The sale of each property returned investors their original invested capital plus significant capital appreciation.”

Company: Capital Equity Group, INC. Name: Mark Tiefel Email: Web Address: Address: Capital Equity Group, INC. 17124 Northbrook Trail Chagrin Falls, OH 44023 Telephone: + 1 440-543-4137

Staff play a huge role in the success of the firm, as Tiefel explains: “Our staff are key elements in the success that we have acheived over the last 25 years. From managing the day to day events at each property to handling partner¬ship reporting, tax preparation, and investor reporting, Capital Equity Group would not have enjoyed the success it has experienced for 25 years without the significant contributions of our staff”. “We consistently receive positive feedback from our two primary stake-holders - Our investors in the properties and the residents who live at each property. While our business involves bricks and mortar, exceeding the expectations of our customers and investors drives the success of our company.” With regards to the future, Tiefel expects to see both challenges and opportunities arising. “The multifamily business and the capital markets that impact the multifamily sector are dynamic and ever-evolving. Staying on top of those trends and the impact of those trends will challenge us in 2017 and beyond. “The multifamily industry like every other industry in our economy is subject to market swings. The multifamily sector has enjoyed signifi¬-



February 2017

An Asset to the Industry Sara van den Broek talks to us about ABN AMRO Lease in the wake of it being awarded Corporate Bank of the Year for The Netherlands and the Best for Leasing & Equipment Finance 2016 for the Netherlands.


BN AMRO Lease is an international equipment leasing company operating in four countries. As a wholly owned subsidiary of ABN AMRO, the firm provides lease contracts in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the UK, and leases a wide variety of business assets: from sea containers to tractors and from plant and equipment to vehicle fleets.

The firm’s aim is to become a long-term partner rather than merely funding a single transaction. It takes the time to understand a client’s business and plans for the future and presents an offer that helps people achieve their ambitions. Entrepreneurial mentality and asset expertise A flat hierarchy and relatively small organisation ensures fast processing and decision-making. This also make it more flexible and pragmatic.

The firm is in the top segment of the equipment leasing market. It carefully tracks market developments and responds to the needs and expectations of its customers. As a result, ABN AMRO Lease has shown healthy results year after year, ensuring the continuity of the services it provides. With head office in the Netherlands, the firm employs a total of over 250 loyal and committed staff.

Investment in a strong and effective asset management department ensures that the industry / asset knowledge supports the setting of strong equipment residual values and therefore competitive rental profiles and costs. Also, because ABN AMRO knows the assets, it offers excellent opportunities for remarketing. It is one of the few lessors with both the appetite and capability to inject equity into equipment lease residual value positions in order to create real operating lease structures.

Sara van den Broek is Head of Marketing and Product Development and tells us a little more about the company she works for. “In a time of de-leveraging and constrained liquidity, you need to ensure that you do not have all your eggs in one basket. As the economy improves, you will need to be able to expect more from your financial partners. As a wholly owned subsidiary of ABN AMRO Bank, we are, through the provision of asset finance products including hire purchase, finance lease and operating lease, now spearheading the growth ambitions of the bank.”

The firm aims to provide its customers with added value by means of lease structures that best match customers – and potential customers – requirements and situations. “We believe that leasing is the best way to finance business assets, and actively encourage business people and businesses to be aware of the attractiveness of the leasing option,” states Sara.

Subsidiary of ABN AMRO Bank As a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dutch ABN AMRO Bank, this guarantees continuity of service to customers. This status also provides reassurance for all customers that the firm meets the highest professional standards.

To continue to strengthen its position in the Netherlands and win a sizeable share of the European market, ABN AMRO Lease is focussing its on several strategic cornerstones: - Every client is a promoter: In everything ABN AMRO does, it constantly thinks about the wishes and needs of customers. This means asking clients frequently about their opinions of its services and new developments. - Dedicated professionals: The many years of experience have made ABN AMRO experts in equipment leasing. To serve its customers even better, to be able to offer the keenest rates and to stay ahead of competitors, the firm must continue to develop its knowledge of equipment leasing. Ways in which it does this include setting up a specialist knowledge team tasked solely with developing the asset management strategy. It has also created the Lease Academy, which draws on all the expertise within ABN AMRO Lease and works to improve awareness of leasing in the marketplace. - By continuing to develop partnerships with colleagues from ABN AMRO Bank, the firm can serve customers faster and better when it comes to equipment finance. In combination with strategic cornerstones, this enables it to pursue sustainable growth.

Financing core assets ABN AMRO Lease is an international asset-based lender focusing fully on financing the core assets at the heart of your business. It believes that asset-based lending is the best way to finance business assets. The key feature of this service is that it takes a partnership approach and works on the solution that suits clients best.

Company: ABN AMRO Lease Name: Sara van den Broek Email: Web Address: Address: Vliegend Hertlaan 77, 3526 KT Utrecht, The Netherlands Telephone: +31 (0)30 212 64 06

“Indeed, we are one of the few players with the appetite and capability to inject equity into equipment residual value positions in order to create real operating lease structures.” Partnership approach ABN AMRO Lease recognises that companies need to ensure that the liquidity of their business remains appropriate for the level of business activity. Companies also need to be able to respond quickly and effectively to changes in the market. This calls for a partner who thinks and behaves in the same manner. The firm’s aim is to achieve sustainable results, together, whilst remaining as easy to do business with as possible.



Wealth & Finance International

Shaping the Face of The Beauty Industry Shapes Brow Bar is a creative thought leader within the beauty market, having brought threading into the mainstream and changing the way we look at brows forever.


hapes Brow Bar, the pioneer of brow threading, started in 2003 when Reema Khan noticed a clear demand for her brow threading services. With women driving from all over just for a short threading session, she saw the opportunity to maximiSe and make people more aware of this burgeoning marketplace.

Today a team of highly skilled and dedicated people are an extension of the Shapes family, to which the group attributes its over 13 years of success. Professionalism and passion paralleled by the values of respect, excellence and entrepreneurial spirit, are the trademarks of the Shapes Brow Bar. This success can be attributed to the firm’s focus on customer satisfaction, as Reema is keen to emphasise.

Armed with her threading expertise and a mission to educate people about this ancient art, she launched her first brow bar at a local mall in Chicago. With the success of her first brow bar, Reema took the brow artistry experience to the next level and expanded the brow bar concept to malls across the U.S. Equipped with great brow shaping techniques, an affordable price point, and a growing demand, Shapes Brow Bar set forth the next level of beauty – the brow bar experience – and turned one woman’s vision into a flourishing business. Reema outlines the principals of threading and explains why this ancient art is becoming the latest beauty innovation.

“At Shapes Brow Bar, our customers are thrilled by the difference a brow threading session can make on their overall facial structure. At Shapes, customers enhance their beauty by getting an instant facelift by correctly and safely shaping their brows. Our customers are not here today, gone tomorrow. Threading is not a trend or a fad. Shapes creates customers for life that recognize the benefits of brow threading and acknowledge that until now there has been no better way of shaping brows. Until Shapes Brow Bar, there was no leading brand offering brow services, so we have filled a gap in the market and are keen to continue to remain at the forefront of industry innovation in order to provide our clients with the support they need.”

“Threading is an ancient method of hair removal originated in India that involves rolling a twisted cotton thread over unruly hairs then removing them at the follicle level. Unlike tweezing, which removes a single hair at a time, threading can eliminate a whole row of hairs at once, creating a more uniform and appealing line.

Therefore, moving forward Reema foresees continued success for the business as it seeks to build upon its current success. “There is tremendous potential in this industry and we are keen to take advantage of this. We have developed a niche concept that is an amazing business opportunity and we are looking to continue on our growth trajectory and bring this fantastic concept to a wider range of customers.”

“Additionally, threading is a lot gentler on the skin than waxing because it does not cause redness and skin irritation. Threading does not peel away a layer of the skin, so customers who are unable to tolerate waxing or simply find the process too painful have finally found a better method of shaping their brows with threading.”

Company: Shapes Brow Bar Name: Reema Khan (CEO) Web Address:

A chance to make a difference for women means the world to a highly driven woman like Reema. From being the owner of one small brow salon to becoming an icon in the brow business, she has been a model for success, hard work, and determination. Today, Reema is the head of a multi-million-dollar business with 50 Shapes Brow Bar locations. The success of the salons is not the only achievement Reema has made, as she has also created a celebrity-sought cosmetic line called Reema Beauty. She was featured as one of the 28 most powerful women by SHAPES mag-zine and is sought after for her advice by press, media, and business women around the world. And now, she has tackled what only a select few have done – broken and set a Guinness World Record.


February 2017



Wealth & Finance International

Rolling with the Times Simon Koziel, founder of ProTrak, tells us more about the firm and how it has adapted over the years to suit the ever-evolving financial landscape.


roTrak International, Inc. was founded over 25 years ago, and has been the go-to choice for traditional investment managers, hedge funds, private equity and wealth management firms seeking a highly focused, industry-specific, and easy to use CRM platform.

rience with ProTrak and a client services team with an average of 10+ years with the firm, it’s easy to see how integral these employees are to the success of the firm. “Since ProTrak is our only product and, with our staff’s in-depth industry knowledge, we truly understand our clients’ business,” he enthuses. “It is this skill of the team that really drives the ongoing development of our solution. They know how to identify an opportunity for improvement and new enhancements from client feedback. Since every team member has to use ProTrak for their day-to-day work flow, the knowledge of what’s available and how to provide a solution to client questions, comes naturally to them.”

Founder, Simon Koziel, tells us more about the firm and its core offering to clients. “Initially, ProTrak was designed from ground up to serve the relationship needs of the traditional investment managers with a focus on institutional investment community,” he begins. “Over the year as alternative investment strategies, such as hedge funds, funds-of-funds and private equity began to enter the industry in greater numbers, we were quick to adapt our solution to fit their needs. As a result, ProTrak evolved into a firm-wide strategic solution built on a strong CRM foundation that is the glue that binds it all together.

The investment management space is continuously changing due to frequent regulatory requirements and political winds, especially with the election of a new president in USA. Simon explains that 2016 saw more hedge fund closings than the number of new start-ups, in effect contracting the hedge fund universe. He goes into more depth about what ProTrak can expect in the future, both with regards to opportunities and challenges.

“Today, ProTrak CRM provides a unified investor centric view focused on client’s accounts, funds, products, activities and follow-ups plus pipeline, analytics / reports, email mass marketing / tracking, event and workflows management. The out-of-the-box configuration offers three distinct database silos encapsulated under one central ProTrak data warehouse. Depending on the type of the firm, one can separately configure the profiles as Clients / Investors, Consultants / Intermediaries, Managers, Advisors, Brokers, Deal Flow and so on.

“When ProTrak was founded 28 years ago, we were predominantly focused on the institutional investment management space. Over the subsequent years, as non-traditional investment strategies such as hedge funds, fund-of-funds and private equity began to grow in size and dominance, we were quick to adapt our solution to the changing marketplace. Today, 45% of our clients are in the alternative asset management space. There are fewer investment management firms around today than in 2009, when the last recession hit.

As founder of the firm Simon is very proud of the fact that three of the top 10 largest global hedge fund managers are ProTrak clients. “Over 85% of ProTrak’s new updates stem directly from clients feedback, and we are continuously re-investing in new functional enhancements,” he explains. Hedge Funds are just one of ProTrak’s primary markets, the others being Traditional Asset Managers, Private Equity, Family Offices, Wealth Management and Investment Research.”

“This year and beyond we plan to steadily grow our client universe in alternative management and investment research space. The vast majority of ProTrak’s clients are located in the United States and the United Kingdom, with New York and London being the most active sources of business. But, we have started to see more interest from Asia and Middle East, primarily from Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. Our most recent expansion effort has been focused on start-ups and emerging managers, which historically has been outside the scope of our client base. In order to attract this sector we have recently reorganized our fee structure and started offering a “hybrid” solution that gives lower tier clients the option to design a license that fits their specific needs. For example, we have an administrative license, a standard full user license, a view only license and an email only license. These options offer start-ups a high value system that better fits their pocketbook.”

Simon is very much involved on a day-to-day basis with all aspects of running the business. His primary role is on overseeing sales, client services and product development teams. He tells us more about his role: “What helps me a lot in managing so many different aspects of running a business is our in-house ProTrak CRM solution that is used internally by all members of the firm, from Sales, Marketing, Client Services, Accounting, and Product Development. “I am very passionate about our solution and its benefits, and in this spirit personally sign off on all of the new functional designs being introduced by ProTrak. Since the user interface is such an important aspect of a software solution, I provide a direction and approve the final design that is offered in new versions of the software.”

Company: ProTrak International, Inc. Name: Simon Koziel Email: Web Address: Address: 237 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001, USA Telephone: 212-586-7781

Simon is also very quick to sing the praises of his staff, of whom he is very proud. With a management team with more than 15 years’ expe-


February 2017



Wealth & Finance International

Driving Force Vice President Ed Pearson talks to Wealth & Finance magazine about Meineke Car Care Centers and its success, as well as what makes a great franchisee.


pening its first location in 1972, today Meineke operates nearly 1,000 locations across the globe. It is also a member of the Driven Brands family, the largest automotive aftermarket franchisor with more than 10 brands and 2,500 locations. Meineke offers overall car care maintenance and repairs to customers, with services including fluid, filters and belts as well as brakes, tires, suspension and steering.

When franchisees don’t lose money in real estate, they’re faster to break even and become cash flow positive. “Meineke has success under its belt as it celebrates 45 years of automotive experience and brand recognition. The name “Meineke” is instantly recognisable for most. We’ve figured out what works from business plans to day-to-day management and it’s that kind of knowledge and experience we pass onto our franchisees. This opportunity is right for franchisees looking for a brand name and a proven, predictable and scalable model. Many of our owners have multiple locations because we are designed for growth. Our IT platform allows franchisees to monitor the health of one or multiple locations without being on-site.”

Ed Pearson is Vice President of Franchise and Sales Development for Meineke. He tells us more about the franchise’s objectives and tells us a little more about its recent successes. “Our goal is to provide a total car care experience to our customers. We’re in the relationship business, not transactional, and because of that our customers continue to come back time after time.

With regards to potential franchisees, Pearson tells us that, whilst they look for a diverse range, an important aspect of a good franchisee is a that they are committed and an integral part of the franchise.

“Many people have a preconceived notion of the automotive industry, especially when it comes to repair and maintenance centres. At Meineke, we are constantly breaking that mould with new and innovative solutions to increase not only traffic to our centres but customer retention for our franchisees. We’ve developed and utilised new tools like online scheduling, the Meineke rewards app, and Revvy, a device customers plug into their car, to make our services more easy and accessible for customers in the communities we service.

“All of the business systems and tools Meineke has cannot be auto-piloted by an absent franchisee. In order to achieve success, our franchise owners have to be committed contributors to their centre(s), which can be defined in a variety of ways but regardless the person we want will take charge of his or her business. We want someone who’s able to follow a system, as we’ve established and will provide our proven playbook for success.

“Additionally, from a corporate level, we are continuing our growth in the fleet sector by leveraging the current $100 million fleet footprint of our sister brand in the rental car, fleet management, private and government space, to provide even more work to our franchisees. Because of these initiatives, we’ve had a lot of success growing within our existing franchise base, which truly speaks to the strength and longevity of the Meineke franchise opportunity.”

“You don’t need to have been a mechanic in order to become a franchisee, in fact 90 percent of our prospects have zero automotive experience but they recognise Meineke’s scalable and dependable business systems. The majority of people applying today are C-level individuals from the corporate world, having had direct reports, management experience and profit and loss knowledge. Many have led by example their whole lives. All of these skill sets easily transfer to being a successful Meineke franchisee.

A key aspect of Pearson’s job is to grow the Meineke brand with the right franchise partners. “To have a successful brand you have to have strong franchise owners,” he explains. “With my team of development managers, we work across North America and Puerto Rico to scope out and award licenses to those top prospects.”

“Initially, we want to make sure the prospect is educated on the Meineke franchise model - what we do, our systems, our emphasis on customer service and our relationship-focused system. Obviously, there are financial requirements, real estate reviews and operational interviews to make sure expectations are the same on both ends. We get to know the prospective franchisee so we can ensure a long-lasting relationship.”

It is clear to see why Meineke is such a lucrative investment opportunity. As a needs-based business, Meineke is predictable and sustainable for the long-term. “We won’t experience huge upticks or downticks,” states Pearson. “When a franchisee opens a location, costs will be kept to a minimum because of proper project coordination. Some 80 percent of new openings are through the conversion of existing buildings, rather than being built from the ground up, which keeps the investment amount low. In this regard, Meineke is versatile in its real estate model.

As Meineke continues to revitalise its business systems there are becoming increasingly more opportunities for franchisees to become successful. Pearson embellishes on what the future holds for the brand and its franchisees.


February 2017

“We are continuing our growth and dominance within the automotive aftermarket through technology initiatives like our KPI dashboard and online scheduling application which cater to a more modern customer. Additionally, through our parent company Driven Brands we are able to leverage the power behind our parent company to provide franchisees not only with fantastic support teams but continued opportunities to not only grow their business but save more money through fleet and procurement partnerships.

“Our association with Roark Capital has given us the ability to share best practices with some of the biggest brands in franchising, furthering our goal to continue being the consumer’s first choice for all of their car care needs. Lastly, because of economic situations and cars being built to last longer, with the average vehicle around 11.5 years of age, people are choosing to keep and maintain their cars, which are both great factors for our business. Competition is always a challenge that we’re mindful of, but with over four decades in the automotive aftermarket we pride ourselves on always staying one step ahead.” For more information on franchising with Meineke, please feel free to get in touch with them with the contact details provided here.

Company: Meineke Car Care Centers Name: Ed Pearson Email: Web Address: Address: 440 S. Church Street Suite 700 Charlotte, NC 28202 Telephone: + 1 866 675 7687



Wealth & Finance International

The Real Deal in Real Estate Joseph Deglomini Jr of Simone Development takes us through some of the highlights the firm has seen and gives us his predictions for the future.


imone Development is a full service commercial and residential real estate investment and development company. Principal, Joseph Deglomini Jr, tells us about one of the firm’s greatest successes to date.

Joseph is also quick to sing the praises of his hard-working, dedicated team who operate behind the scenes, and who are imperative to the firm’s success. “We have really talented real estate professionals in our office. Every department is really important and we all work together well. Communication between departments is key to ensure optimum running of the business.”

“Our Hutchinson Metro Center is a 42-acre parcel we developed. It features an office, retail and prime medical space on campus along with a 125 room Marriott Residence Inn. This development really changed the Bronx, NY real estate market. The economic development that has been created here is something we are really proud of.”

With regards to the future, Joseph foresees both challenges as well as opportunities.

As a Principal, Joseph gets involved in all aspects of the business on a daily basis, spending most of his time with his leasing, management and finance departments, as well as spending time looking at new deals. He is passionate about the work that he does, and tells us a little bit more about the firm’s ongoing key to success.

“We do many healthcare developments and the hospitals we deal with are unsure about how the repeal of ObamaCare will play out. I believe it may take six months to a year to figure it out. Maybe longer, unfortunately.

“We focus on long term relationships - our tenants are our partners,” he enthuses. “I have seen some of our tenants grow from 2000 square feet of space to 50,000 square feet of space. As they grow, we grow. Our tenant relationship programme is very important to us.

“Finding new deals is also becoming harder. You really have to be creative. Buying an investment property is not difficult but a development from scratch takes knowledge and experience. You have to plan for the worst.”

“I really love what I do. I think any entrepreneur needs to be passionate about their business in order to succeed.”

Company: Simone Development Name: Joseph Deglomini Jr Web Address:



February 2017

The Winds of Change Hagen Ruff talks to us about his firm, CHAVA Wind and the breakthrough technology behind it.


HAVA Wind LLC is an innovator in the field of energy technologies and has developed a new business approach with a breakthrough product to succeed in the rapidly growing deployment of smaller-sized Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) around the world.

most durable design through extensive modeling and testing and low noise; hydraulic tilt -tower for easy installations and maintenance; the best long-term Leveled Cost of Electricity; and mass-producible design at low cost. Chava Wind is currently seeking a third and final round of funding in the amount of $2.5M and is expecting to complete the International IEC 61400-2 certification in summer of this year.

Chief Executive Officer, Hagen Ruff, tells us more about the firm and its business approach. “As many regions in the world lack the grid capacity for large wind farms, special incentives are provided for small distributed wind. The highest incentive is provided in Japan, where the central government mandates a Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) of ~50 US-cents/KWh.

Hagen Ruff is Chief Executive Officer of CHAVA Wind. He earned his MS in Mechanical Engineering (Dipl. Ing. FH) from Fachhochschule Wiesbaden in Germany and is responsible for the overall CHAVA Wind offering from mechanical engineering through end-user systems integration as well as sales and marketing.

“For this, and several other strategic reasons, we are starting the market roll-out in Japan, followed shortly thereafter by several other regions world-wide.”

Hagen started his career at Accenture (previously Anderson Consulting) working on business process work flow challenges and opportunities for improved R.O.I. through process improvement for companies like Sempra Energy, Polaroid, the German Railway, Philip Morris, the Hong Kong Railway KCRC and CPS Energy.

The advantages of small-to-medium-sized wind turbines include not being in any competition with ‘big-wind’ high-voltage grid-tied wind farms. Large wind projects can only be fed in large-capacity transmission networks and are paid on the basis of wholesale prices.

Mr. Ruff started his own Business Intelligence management consulting firm, Business Information Solutions LLC (BIS), with a focus on management consulting, IT consulting, Executive Leadership, and SAP and Enterprise Software integration solutions for large-scale Enterprise Applications for Fortune 100 clients.

Smaller wind farms can also focus on smaller and mid-scale applications between 20- 100KW/unit which allows direct use of power and therefore power is paid at retail pricing, (up to eight times higher in many parts of the world).

His firm, BIS, was acquired by Sapient Inc. (now PublicisSapient and Mr. Ruff was responsible for leading Sapient’s global SAP practice, with a particular focus on the Energy Services marketplace, where companies like Canadian electric utility Enbridge relied upon Mr. Ruff’s process improvement focused methodology for solving the type of energy demand challenges that are creating new opportunities to improve the world’s current energy systems. In addition to his hands on experience, Mr. Ruff has also served as a Board Member and Executive of the Energy Industry focused joint venture Soliance.

CHAVA Wind uses a different approach to other similar companies, in that its technology employs Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) as opposed to Horizontal Axis wind Turbines (HAWTs). Using (VAWTs) has clear advantages over HAWTs - they take wind from all directions without the need for a yaw system; VAWT wind-farms will require up to eight times less land compared to HAWTs; and they are more aesthetic. CHAVA’s technology is the result of a multi-year research and development project, however it faced several challenges, including VAWTs not receiving the same attention and funding thus far compared to ‘bigwind’ HAWTs; and many small group designs showed initial flaws and failures, with efficiency being sub-par.

In co-founding CHAVA Wind, Hagen Ruff brings his strong passion for solving energy demand challenges and the associated economic, geopolitical, and environmental problems to his background in mechanical engineering as well as information infrastructure integration with a goal of disrupting the strategic delivery market for both enterprise and single user green wind power energy solutions.

“It required a focused effort by experts in the field of aerodynamics, engineering, and composite manufacturing to develop a robust design for a 20-year life-span with superior efficiency,” comments Hagen. The goal of this focused “century project” of Vertical Axis Wind Technology was to develop the next generation of the most advanced small VAWTs, including the highest ever VAWT peak efficiency (43%); the

Contact: Hagen Ruff - CEO 26100 SW 162nd. Ave., Homestead, FL 33031 USA Phone: +1-619-227-3176



Wealth & Finance International

Fundamentally Speaking ALTO Real Estate Funds specialize in the acquisition of value-added commercial properties in major cities throughout the U.S. ALTO manages and leases its properties through its New York City and Dallas offices. We take a more in-depth look at the firm and its offerings.


LTO Real Estate Funds provides investors with a stabilizing component in their investment portfolio: Real Estate investments with a low risk profile combined with a value added approach, to target an attractive annual yield and long-term, stable cash flow.

Mr. Kidon served as a pilot in the Israeli Air Force and continued to fly until age 45 in the military reserves, finishing with the rank of major. Mr. Kidon holds a B.A. in Economics from Tel Aviv University, and an AMP from Harvard Business School. Yaniv Melamud has more than 10 years’ experience in the real estate industry. Prior to founding ALTO, Mr. Melamud was Head of Private Equity at Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services, Ltd., the third largest insurance group in Israel, where he managed a multi-billion NIS portfolio comprised of nearly one hundred private funds and companies in both Israel and abroad, with holdings in the real estate and infrastructure markets. Previously, Mr. Melamud was the Senior Economist – “Fast Lanes” project with Cross Israel Highway Ltd. Mr. Melamud holds an MBA degree in finance and accounting from Tel Aviv University.

The Funds provide access to investment opportunities that are ordinarily only available to large, international institutional financial managers. The investors in the Funds are exposed to income-producing assets, an essential component of a healthy portfolio, while also enjoying geographic and currency diversification and taking advantage of the opportunities now available in the United States real estate market.

“Alto specializes in valueaddcommercialrealestate investments throughout the united states.”

Company: ALTO Real Estate Funds Name: Sarah A. Ellis Email: Web Address: Address: Raoul Wallenberg St 8 Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel Telephone: +972 3 644 0700

Alto’s Unique Solution: • Providing private investors with the investment opportunities usually only available to major institutional investors. • Offering a way to spread the risk across a diverse portfolio of income-producing properties throughout the United States. • Directly aligning the interests of the Investor, ALTO Management, and their local partners. The managers and the local partner invest approximately 35% of the equity in each deal, thus creating a shared and common interest. Alto was founded six years ago by Mody Kidon, who serves as Executive Chairman, and Yaniv Melamud who, serves as Chief Executive Officer. Mody Kidon has more than 22 years’ experience in real estate. He is the CEO of Gitam Group, with holdings in real estate, advertising, finance, technology and private equity investments. Mr. Kidon is also one of the founders and owners of Vitania, a real estate public company which was established in 1995.



February 2017

Empowering Everyday Investors Gallery Capital Management L.P. is an investment firm established in London, U.K. and Atlanta, Georgia. Our portfolio is made up exclusively from Syndicates underwriting insurance drawn from the worldwide sources accessible to insurance businesses operating within the Lloyd’s of London marketplace. We are an authorized Member of Lloyd’s of London, which is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), established by the Bank of England.


ichael Chatwin is responsible for business development at the firm. He goes into more detail about the services and products it offers. “We provide capital to Syndicates within the Lloyd’s market. Our portfolio is made up of diverse insurance risk, both from a business and geographic perspective. Around 50% of the risk within our portfolio is US-based, the balance is spread around the globe.”

“We believe that we are the only Fund in the market that has the singular purpose of providing capital to Lloyd’s. This is a double edged sword, in the sense that whilst investors are looking for unique products, that have little or no correlation to other markets yet The fact that they have never seen a Fund like this means that they need to do extra work to understand our market, the possible returns and the risks. “Our investors have the ability to create a double use of assets, they can provide capital to us, and in turn to the Lloyd’s market, whilst still being able to use that capital to invest in other markets.”

The staff at Gallery Capital are of paramount importance in the ongoing success of the firm, as Michael embellishes: “They have a large role managing the liquidity of our Funds, the cash flows, and the analysis of the risks inherent within the market, and within the individual syndicates that we provide capital to.”

Company: Gallery Capital Management Name: Michael Chatwin Email: Web Address: Address: London, UK and Atlanta, Georgia, USA

With regards to the future, both short and long term, Michael sees huge opportunities for growth. “We are structuring a Fund that will provide capital to a select number of syndicates on an annual basis, rather than in an evergreen form. This will create a much larger portfolio, and will enable us to use capital in a manner that will create higher returns, with very similar risk.



Wealth & Finance International

Pushing the Boat Out We take a more in-depth look at luxury real estate brand, Engel & Völkers and, in particular, its affiliation with Ginger Hornaday.


ince opening its doors in 1977 as a specialty boutique providing exclusive, high-end real estate services in Hamburg, Germany, Engel & Völkers has become one of the world’s leading companies specialising in the sale and letting of premium residential and commercial property, yachts and private aviation. It currently operates a global network of over 7,000 real estate Advisors in more than 700 brokerages spanning 37 countries across five continents.

of Engle & Volkers with offices in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, FL and throughout Europe and the world. With an extraordinary sense of market execution, she possesses a vast array of skills in positioning, branding and defining target markets, as well overseeing the creative direction of photography, writing, PR and Internet marketing providing her listings the services they require to sell. The global network of the Engle and Volkers brand and world class marketing initiatives, provides the perfect platform to showcase her expertise internationally. This is an exclusive environment and requires strategic planning to find the right market and tools to bring a bespoke buyer to luxury properties in South Florida and worldwide.

Offering both private and institutional clients a professionally tailored range of luxury services, Engel & Völkers is committed to exceptional service, and supports its advisors with an array of premium quality business services; marketing programs and tools; multiple platforms for mobile, social and web; as well as access to its global network of real estate professionals, property listings and market data.

With more than 16 years of marketing in the Caribbean and US, as well as 25 developments in her portfolio, branding comes naturally and positions Ginger as a veteran in the luxury and marine real estate industry.

Founded by Christian Völkers in 1977 as a boutique shop delivering high-end services to an exclusive clientele, it is today a luxury brand recognised around the world for our culture of exclusivity, competence and passion. These core values are shared by thousands of dedicated professionals and are the driving force behind the growth and success of our unique brand.

Her current memberships and associations include: Super Yacht Society, Florida Yacht Brokers Association, International Professional Women, United Way Volunteer, past Chair of Ft. Lauderdale Boys and Girls Club events.

Meet Ginger As a seasoned sales Broker and Marketing Consultant in the marine and luxury real estate industry, Virginia (Ginger) Hornaday possesses a specialisation that is unique and has positioned her as an authority in executing sales in waterfront, marina / resort and luxury properties. Located in South FL, for over 40 years, her specialisation is a service

Company: Engel & Völkers Palm Beach EV, LLC Name: Virginia Hornaday Email: Web Address: Address: 150 Worth Avenue, FL Palm Beach, Florida 33480 USA Telephone: Palm Beach+1 561 659 3872


February 2017



Wealth & Finance International

Carpediem Capital is Investing in India’s Emerging Consumer Companies Carpediem Capital is an India focused fund partnering with promoters to create India’s leading consumer companies. The Investment team is led by three senior professionals Abhishek Sharman, Arvind Nair and Hithendra Ramachandran.Carpediem serves as an ideal investment platform pursuing a differentiated investment strategy along with creating a customised build and transform framework for its portfolio companies.


he maiden fund closed with approximately $30 million in commitments from domestic institutional investors, including the sovereign fund and Ultra HNIs running large businesses in India. Carpediem pursues an active co-investment strategy, and manages an additional $15 million in co-investment accounts.

<$10 million capital to fast growing consumer products and services companies for a significant minority / control ownership. This market segment in India is significantly underserved, but large. The majority of growth capital and private equity in India typically invests upwards of $20 million, and funds that invest <$10 million are mostly venture funds focused on newer industry verticals such as technology, e-commerce, AI and life sciences. The market structure therefore ensures limited competition from other pools of capital creating a robust and protected deal flow at attractive entry valuations. This unique positioning also creates a greater number of exit opportunities to other Funds and strategics as Carpediem’s exit point becomes the entry point for most other growth funds.

Carpediem’s investments are centered on two broad consumption themes. Carpediem invests in emerging SME leaders that are creating consumer brands or providing organised services that have been traditionally unorganised and fragmented. There is a compelling story underlying each of the investments that echoes the strong underlying demographic changes taking place in India. It is for this reason that India despite its challenges remains a positive story for investment. The demand for branded products and organised services are being fueled by the changing lifestyles and growing income of the world’s largest workforce.

Carpediem has a strong team with a clear vision to best leverage this opportunity. The senior team has complimentary skills and a rich experience in incubating, operating and investing in SME companies. The team has played a key role in building and transforming companies into some of India’s leading consumer and services companies. Abhishek Sharman, the Founder & Managing Director of Carpediem leads the Fund’s investment strategy and deal sourcing efforts. He also spearheads the fund-raising activities. Abhishek has over 11 years of private equity experience, and has invested in and managed 15 portfolio companies and exited a few of them. He previously served on the boards of IKYA Human Capital Solutions, ILFS Education, Sagar Ratna Restaurants, RG Stone and Axiss Dental. Arvind Nair is the Chairman of Carpediem, and has over 30 years of operating experience across retail and consumer companies. He is a key strategic resource to the portfolio companies and their CEOs. Arvind has reinvented the business model as Managing Director of Domino’s Pizza India, led the development and management of 20 malls at DLF, and was previously CEO of UAE’s leading consumer electronics company Jumbo Electronics. Hithendra Ramachandran, Managing Director at Carpediem drives the transformation agenda and people strategy at the portfolio companies. He also manages the operations of the Investment Manager. Hithendra has 15 years of operating and entrepreneurial experience, and has been a

As per published data, India expects to add 137 million more people to the workforce by 2020, bringing the total Indian workforce to 752 million. Improving macro-economic conditions and wage growth is also increasing migration to cities which is expected to reach 69 cities with a population of >1 million (compared to 9 cities in the U.S. today). Increasing consumption demand in urban India is resulting in the emergence of many new industries and companies with a significant untapped potential. Carpediem’s focus segments, consumer products & services, consumer finance, healthcare & pharma, and managed services & skills, cover many of these fast-growing sub-segments including repairs & refurbishment, consumer waste collection services, niche F&B verticals, single specialty clinics, etc. Consumer companies have historically created value, both in India and globally. Unlike other industries, consumer companies typically require growth capital when they are young. Once they reach an optimal size they can fund their growth using internal resources or have access to many forms of capital. Carpediem fills this funding gap and provides


February 2017

founding member at two of Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest HR Services companies, IKYA Human Capital Solutions (now Quess Corp) and PeopleOne Consulting (now Adecco India).

From its maiden Fund, three investments have been made till date; Thea Kitchen (Biryani Blues) is a top-rated biryani delivery chain in the National Capital Region (NCR), Adinath Agro is a meal accompaniments company with a leadership position in Jain (no onion, no garlic) sauces, and Gadgetwood eServices (Yaantra) provides on-demand repair services for mobiles & tablets, and sells refurbished gadgets. It is the only repair & refurbishment company in India with in-house repair capabilities.

The Fund follows a bottom-up investment approach, and typically invests between $2-8 million for a controlling or significant minority position. It is often the first or only institutional investor in the portfolio company allowing the team to form deep and constructive relationships with promoters to help them co-build the company. The Investment team actively participates in all the portfolio companies including board participation, providing meaningful input on operations and strategy, and augmenting the risk management and corporate governance framework.

Company: Carpediem Advisors Private Limited Name: Hithendra Ramachandran Email: Web Address: Address: 84, 8th Floor, Free Press House Free Press Journal Marg Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 Telephone: +91 22 6184 5500 Mobile: +91 9967974000

One of the key differentiators of the Carpediem strategy is the custom build and transform framework that the team develops for each of the portfolio companies with the objective of accelerated revenue growth and multiple expansion. The transformational agenda is built on three pillars - scale & profitability, people strategy and value enhancement. Key features of this framework include accelerating revenue growth from increased market penetration and market expansion, process-based cost controls, product and service optimisation, strong branding and marketing strategy, talent acquisition and retention, implementation of strong monitoring and reporting systems, and an optimised capital structure.

L to R: - Hithendra Ramachandran, Abhishek Sharman, Arvind Nair



Wealth & Finance International

From the Highline to the Lowline, Manhattan Reinvents Itself Well known for its skyscrapers (buildings higher than 984feet), such as the iconic Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, Manhattan is again experiencing a major construction boom. Nine more gigantic towers are currently under construction and seven others are proposed.


different Manhattan skyline by 2024 Due to the geology of the island, high-rise buildings can only be built in Midtown and in the tip of the island in the Financial District, because in both areas the bedrock made of schist is close to the surface and can solidly anchor them. So while visiting New York in the coming decade, you should be able to count at least 23 skyscrapers instead of the current seven.

coming in and out of Penn station and railway traffic will continue to run under the enormous platform on stilts on which this complex is built. A visit of the site is most interesting: it is rare to see a new neighborhood springing up from the ground in such a short period. Lowline underground garden On the east side of town, in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, another major urban revamping is taking place above the world’s first underground park: the Lowline scheduled to open in 2021. Created in a disaffected trolley terminal under the street, the park is an experiment in using innovative solar technology to bring light and grow thousands of plants in what are now dark areas. It could serve as a model for dense cities in need of more green space.

Construction is not limited to 57th Street, called ‘Billionaire’s Row’ for its numerous upscale condos, and the Financial District, proudly thriving after more that a decade of recovery from the disaster of September 11, 2001. Cranes are visible all around town. Two neighborhoods in particular are truly reinventing themselves by building around and above distinct garden concepts: the Highline and the Lowline.

Essex Crossing rendering Once open, the Lowline will be the focal point of subterranean cultural events, concerts and shopping. The area above, called Essex Crossing, will include a major museum (to be announced soon) and several midsize buildings, such as a residence for seniors with a medical clinic operated by NYU Hospital, offices and a luxury condo complex which includes 20% of affordable apartments on the lower floors. These will be awarded though a lottery system reserved to individuals or families earning a maximum of $119,000/year.

The Highline A decade ago the Highline, a disaffected elevated railway line servicing industrial plants, was gracefully transformed into a strolling garden running from West 12th Street (next to the spectacular new Whitney Museum designed by Renzo Piano) to West 34th Street (the Jacob Javits Convention Center). It promptly became a favorite site of tourists and residents alike, which in turn encouraged construction of condo and rental buildings all along. The initial cost of this park was $153 million, quickly dwarfed by the more than $ 2 billion in new developments it generated.

The Affordability challenge While the new residential skyscrapers will continue to attract wealthy individuals, New York City is determined to make sure that well located moderately-priced housing for rent or for sale is available for people occupying various jobs in the city. This philosophy, which is a key ingredient of the success of The Big Apple’s global appeal, is fully in line with Agenda 2030 adopted by 193 countries in Quito last October during the UN Habitat III Conference.

The Highline enables one to admire the Empire State building and some interesting architecture (such as Zaha Hadid’s elegant condos) while leisurely walking, listening to the chirping birds in a variety of trees and watching the bees and insects on flowers and shrubs without having to care about street lights or traffic. Lounging chairs and numerous seating areas give the visitor the opportunity to relax in this unique setting. Hudson Yards 2016 and 2025 Well worth the stroll, a major engineering accomplishment can be observed from this raised promenade between 30th and 34th street: the Hudson Yards. It is currently the largest private development project in America and will include 16 buildings when completed in 2025, therefore significantly modifying the skyline of Manhattan’s west side. It will add a total of over 18 million square feet to the city’s Real Estate and 125,000 people a day are expected to visit, work or live there. The Hudson yards will bring vibrant life to an area now occupied by train tracks

“Vibrant cities are the ones offering value to everyone. New York is an excellent example of a metropolis constantly reinventing itself and attracting more and more residents” says Danielle Grossenbacher, winner of the Best Manhattan Broker 2016 Build Award. As 2015-2016 World President of FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation, she represented the organisation at the Quito Conference mentioned above and realised how urgent it is for professionals to get personally involved in the improvement of cities. 74

February 2017

With over 35 years of experience as a real estate broker, Danielle is active at Brown Harris Stevens, a company founded in 1873 and the New York City affiliate of CHRISTIE’S International Real Estate. Her daily involvement in listing and selling Manhattan residential and investment properties is a privilege she thoroughly appreciates. But she is also determined to identify and publicise efforts by private companies, cities and national governments around the world to make urban environments as thrilling, inclusive and enjoyable as Manhattan. In close cooperation with UN-Habitat and under her leadership, FIABCI has launched on January 10, 2016 the World Urban Campaign “The City We Need is Affordable” and published a book in October 2016. A century ago, only 20% of the world population lived in cities. In 2009, we reached the threshold of 50%. By 2050, the UN forecasts that 70 % of people will live in urban areas and the global population will increase from 7 billion to 9 billion. The quicker we share successful solutions; the better life conditions will be for all. So much to build, so little time!

Company: Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales, LLC. Name: Danielle Grossenbacher Email: Web Address: danielle-grossenbacher Address: 445 Park Avenue, 11th floor, New York, NY 10022 USA Telephone: +1 212 906 9303



Wealth & Finance International

Asset Allocation Alan Mason is Managing Director of New Providence Asset Management. He goes into depth about the firm and the challenges that lie ahead for the industry.


ew Providence Asset Management serves as an outsourced investment office for endowed not for profit institutions and select private families. The firm manages multi-asset class portfolios for a portion or the entirety of client capital.

an equal emphasis on these two activities in adding value for clients. Our team prides itself with customer communication that can range from global politics, tactical asset allocation or upcoming fiscal issues.” With regards to the future, Alan sees both opportunities and challenges ahead. He explains more about the issues that the industry is currently facing, and how these can be turned around for a positive outcome.

Managing Director, Alan Mason, tells us more about the firm and its clientele. “Without sounding like an advertisement, institutional investors and high net worth clients are embracing investment outsourcing models more than ever. OCIO models deliver timely asset allocation and manager decisions while further delivering professional global investment advice with fiduciary responsiveness. We bring our clients a discretionary, multi manager approach that affords flexibility with customized asset allocation which addresses the client’s investment mandates. Our portfolios are designed in separate managed accounts or incorporated in commingled funds and are designed to deliver strong risk-adjusted returns. As we are an open architecture firm clients will not be sold third party products after they are on board. We do not have conflicts of interest and our employees invest a long side with our accounts assuring a full alignment of interest adding an additional layer of confidence. We are solely here to address their needs in the most efficient manner possible.

“There seem to be challenges in every market environment – when assets are inexpensive it is generally due to weak and uncertain economic environments. When markets have been doing well, prices are frequently high. We are in a fully valued environment in many markets. We face uncertainty regarding global growth as rates rise, and regarding the impact of policy change for specific industries and geopolitical reactions. We remain bullish on equities which continue to make up the majority of client portfolios, and we are focusing on the use of high conviction managers who manage relatively concentrated portfolios. “As an Outsourced Investment Office which has been in business for over 18 years, the opportunities are significant in that many small to mid-sized not for profit entities are realizing the limitations of an investment program managed solely by an Investment Committee, or a Committee assisted by a consultant. As the trend for OCIO becomes more familiar to institutional investors the more the model grows. The complexity of the markets, volatility and the costs of maintaining investment staffs has led more institutions to partner with OCIO’s. Trusted advice, risk management and the delegation of tactical asset allocation make the investment process more efficient with the added value of fiduciary accountability. The increasing interest in outsourcing key discretionary activities is generating significant growth in our industry (OCIO) and our business at New Providence.”

“We have an 18-year history and an extremely good record for client retention. Our customers appreciate knowing that we understand their investment goals and know that we are there to address changes at a moment’s notice. Our clients appreciate knowing that they will have portfolio managers and firm principles that are assigned to the account and will be there to answer their impending questions.” Alan specialises in client and prospect communications. In this role, he is responsible for identifying and reviewing the future business development for New Providence.

Company: New Providence Asset Management Name: Alan Mason Managing Director Web Address: Address: 570 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10022 Telephone: + 1 646 292 1225

“I review new requests for proposals from institutional investors such as universities, foundations, state and local governments and other non for profit organizations,” he explains. “It is imperative that I delineate the flexibility our resources and expertise lend to our client’s overall investment strategy. Making sure that the client understands that they are not removed from the investment process and that managers they will be introduced too are not always accessible to the public. Understanding our client’s goals is not robotic and getting them correct when changes occur is most important.” New Providence has a ten-person investment team and, although the firm employs about 35 managers annually, it is always in the review process to the tune of 400 managers a year. Alan tells us more about the team. “Our five investment strategists are responsible for all final decisions regarding asset allocation and the selection of external managers. We place



February 2017

A Fundamental Approach Luetia Capital, based in Paris, is an absolute returns specialist. Here is a little more about the firm and its areas of specialism.


utetia Capital is a leader on absolute return strategies. Headquartered in Paris and registered with the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) under the identification GP 09000017, the capital of the firm is held entirely by the Group’s founding families and its employees.

Lutetia Capital has only one activity: asset management. The firm does not engage in other financial activities such as credit lending, brokerage or research that might undermine a complete alignment of interests with clients or lead to the creation of collateral risk. Lutetia believes in independence, specialization and expertise.

Lutetia Capital is led by co-founders Jean-François Comte and Fabrice Seiman. Combined, our senior staff has more than 60 years of experience in the asset management and investment banking industries, having held senior positions at some of the world’s leading financial institutions in Paris, Geneva, London and New York.

Its investment process combines the flexibility of the discretionary approach within the discipline of quantitative methods. The firm has two fundamental priorities: capital preservation and optimizing risk/reward. It aims to avoid short-term fluctuations in order to maintain its performances over a long period of time and does not hesitate to be directly involved as an active investor.

Jean-François Comte is Managing Partner of Lutetia Capital. He also is co-manager of the fund Lutetia Patrimoine. Prior to founding Lutetia Capital, Mr. Comte was a Vice President of Lazard in New York, where he specialised in mergers and acquisitions.

It offers Fund and Index management, specialising in absolute return strategies such as merger arbitrage and volatility arbitrage and managed accounts and advisory services for institutional investors, corporations, family offices and high net worth individuals, offered with the operational security of our custodial partnership with BNP Paribas.

Throughout his career at Lazard, Mr. Comte advised leading corporations and financial investors in over 25 major transactions totalling more than $50 billion in value. Jean-François graduated from NYU Law School.

Luetia’s investment strategy is driven by fundamental analysis and the principles of value investing.

Fabrice Seiman is Managing Partner of Lutetia Capital. Prior to founding Lutetia Capital, Mr. Seiman was member of the Investment Group at PAI Partners, the largest LBO firm in Continental Europe, where he took part in several major transactions.

Regardless of the investment strategy, the firm remains committed to buying ‘at the right price’, based on intrinsic value and prevailing market conditions. The firm is highly reactive to our own investment views and does not hesitate to seize market opportunities.

Mr. Seiman was previously the Diplomatic Advisor to the Finance Minister of France, Spokesman of the Government. In this capacity, he was in charge of advising the Minister on economic and international affairs, in relationship with the French Presidency. Mr. Seiman has been, from 2006 to 2012, an Associate Professor at Science Po Paris, in both Finance and International Affairs.

Company: Lutetia Capital Email: Web Address: Address: 7 Place Vendôme, Paris 75001 France Telephone: +33 1 79 97 97 97

In 2007, Mr Seiman was distinguished as one of the most influential leaders under 40 by the World Economic Forum. He graduated from Sciences Po Paris (Economy & Finance) and attended the Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies (Government) at Harvard University. Mr Seiman was awarded in 2013 the ‘Palmes Académiques’, the highest medal for figures in the world of culture and education, by the Prime Minister of France. The firm’s independent advisory board, comprised of leading business and academic personalities, completes the internal team. Lutetia gathers highly experienced professionals stemming from the asset management and investment banking industry. Over the years, the team has received multiple awards for the quality of its performance.



Wealth & Finance International

Magna Launches Private Capital & Consolidates Investment Offering Magna Group, the forward-thinking homebuilders who deliver affordable luxury homes for all, to include the First-Time Buyer market, has a current GDV of £103 million. As part of the Magna Group growth development strategy, set to reach £1 billion by 2019, Magna Group has just launched Magna Private Capital as part of the corporate investment offering.


rimarily, Magna Group offers exceptionally high spec homes at entry point prices, with lead-in prices for a one-bedroom Surrey apartment starting at £160,000. The Magna team, led by CEO Chris Madelin go the extra mile to make sure that everyone who buys a Magna property is buying into an aspirational and luxury lifestyle brand - one that is challenging traditional views of British home building.

throughout the Surrey/Hampshire borders. Magna Group lives up to the mantra “the devil is in the detail”, a mindset that many developers and homebuilders leave by the wayside. Every Magna property is crafted with opulence in mind; from the finish of the marble bathrooms to the inclusion of NEFF and Miele appliances and cutting edge technological installations. Magna by name. Magna by nature.

According to Chris Madelin, CEO of Magna Group: “The launch of Magna Private Capital is pivotal to the growth of the corporate brand. As a business that prides itself on a family-like ethos, we seek investors to become part of our team and grow with us. The Magna business is based on people, not faceless investment and this launch sits well alongside our corporate bond and pure equity deals. Regardless of what is taking place at macro level throughout the UK, post-Brexit or otherwise, every Magna home is and will continue to be a genuinely Great British built home.

Company: Magna Private Capital as part of Magna Group CEO: Chris Madelin Website: Address: 1st Floor, Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BD Contact:

“As a relative start-up in the property business, albeit one with sophisticated and elaborate long-term goals, we want to show investors how we can directly add value to their ROI from the outset and allow them (and their money) to grow with us. We are as determined as we are professional and only deliver the quality that we might expect for ourselves,” added Madelin. The Magna Private Capital investment vehicle is offering a one per cent monthly return on capital invested over a six-month period. The ideal investor will be a private individual who has a minimum of £100,000 to invest, ideally someone who has an interest in the property industry or who is keen to work with an ambitious entrepreneurial property business ‘with a difference’. Magna Group, launched in 2015 by two lifelong friends, is committed to urban revival and is currently focused on redeveloping nine sites


February 2017



Wealth & Finance International

Connecting Clients to their Capital Connection Capital is a leading UK alternative asset investment platform for self-select investment opportunities, for private clients and family offices. It offers its clients access to direct private equity and mezzanine deals, direct commercial property investments and access to specialist funds with diverse alternative asset strategies. We spoke with Claire Madden, a Founder and Managing Partner of the business, regarding the services, successes and future of the firm.


onnection Capital is not an advisory firm, nor does it operate under a traditional fund structure”, Clair Madden opened her conversation with us. “Our clients can participate directly in deals and funds of their choosing, all sourced, evaluated, structured and managed by a highly-experienced team of professionals. This flexible model gives them the opportunity to build their own bespoke portfolio of alternative investments without having to hand discretion over to a fund manager. Connection Capital is one of the leading private equity investors in the UK for management buy-out or growth capital transactions requiring up to £7m of equity. The firm has over £180m of assets under management.”

purchase of discounted loan notes and equity from a departing director of a private equity backed IT business. The business was sold three months later and our clients enjoyed a 1.3x return and a 180% IRR.” And the feedback they have had from clients after these successes has been understandably positive. “Our clients like the fact that they have control over investment decisions and can invest in deals and funds that they would find hard to access themselves. They like the interest factor that direct investing brings – particularly with our private equity investments. To see a private equity transaction through to exit as a direct stakeholder in the business is an experience most investors don’t get. In the current low interest rate environment, our clients are often willing to accept more risk and illiquidity in search of yield and many welcome exposure to strategies such as litigation funding which are uncorrelated to equity markets/global economy.”

“I am a founding Partner at Connection Capital and I manage the client side of our business as well as our commercial property and alternative asset fund investment activity” Claire explained to us. “I am a member of our executive committee and investment committees. My time is spent supporting our investment teams on new investment and portfolio matters and client relationship management.”

The coming year presents opportunities for those involved in alternative investment as portfolios continue to diversify. “2017 will be an interesting year – the current investment environment lends itself to at least some exposure to alternatives in a portfolio. We believe it is key to driving overall returns. Our firm is regulated by the FCA and we can only deal with clients who are suitably qualified to make their own investment decisions when it comes to the sort of opportunities we offer so, like any investment business, any changes in regulation may have an impact on us. Our clients’ appetite for investment after the Brexit vote last year did not wane and many saw it as an opportunity rather than a threat.”

“We have a great team at Connection Capital – as we are quite an unconventional financial services business we have attracted individuals who thrive in an entrepreneurial environment where the investments we structure and manage are so varied. Many of our clients, many of whom are entrepreneurs or finance professionals, get involved with our investments by introducing deals, helping with sector knowledge on due diligence or providing board resource to drive value post completion.” It is a team which has brought numerous successes over the past year. “Our clients funded four private equity deals in 2016 – two growth capital, two management buy-outs – which made us one of the most active investors in the UK lower market last year. We believe this asset class should play a part in an investor’s portfolio. The average investment by Connection Capital across those deals was £5.3m. This is a highly-underserved part of the UK private equity market as most institutional money has been directed at the mid/large cap market. This means that acquisition valuations in our sector have remained relatively low compared to the big jumps seen in the mid and large buy-out markets – vital since sensible entry valuations are a significant component of private equity returns. Our clients were also active participants in the alternative asset funds we negotiated access to in 2016 – strategies included commercial litigation funding, consumer digital venture, mezzanine, collateralised loan obligations. We completed a fast-turnaround exit last year, delivering impressive returns to clients within a very short space of time – we negotiated the

“‘Disintermediation’ in the financial services industry in the UK is growing - investors want to access investment products directly rather than via intermediaries and are happy to take the time to do so. The explosive growth in the P2P lending market is evidence of this. I think the investment and advice industry will need to continue to innovate and recognise that investors want to take more control over at least a proportion of their investment portfolio and that alternatives will be an important component of that.” Company: Connection Capital LLP Name: Claire Madden Email: Web Address: Address: Woolverstone House, 61–62 Berners St, London, W1T 3NJ Telephone: 0203 696 4010



February 2017

In a Class of Its Own Sharon Bonney of the Coalition on Adult Basic Education tells us more about the organisation and its secret to ongoing growth.


he Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) is the largest non-profit organisation in the world that is dedicated to providing leadership, communication, professional development, and research for the field of adult education.

the majority of whom have served in the field for many years and volunteer extensively in their leadership roles.” “We also get great feedback. Our members continually state that they are amazed at the new services we provide regularly. They often note that we have transformed and grown exponentially over the last few years.”

Sharon Bonney is the Executive Director of COABE, and she goes into further detail about the organisation and its core client base. “We are 15,000 members strong and growing, due in part to a number of strategic partnerships and ground breaking initiatives that we have led in our field,” she enthuses. “The majority of our members are administrators and teachers, many of whom work directly with adult students. Many of the students they work with are taking adult education classes because they want to pass the citizenship test, get their high school diplomas, reskill for different jobs, or learn how to read so they can read to their children or help them with their homework.”

The future is bright and Sharon foresees growth for the firm in 2017 and beyond, although it will not be without its challenges along the way. “The challenge we face is that the number of adults that read at or below the 4th grade reading level will likely only increase without additional dedicated funding. Thirty-six million adults are stuck in the cycle of poverty or recidivism because they do not have the basic skills that they need to get up and out of poverty. Our goal is that as we grow, we hope to continue to shine a light on the wonderful services that are out there, combatting illiteracy on a daily basis. In doing so, our intention is to attract greater funding for the field at large.”

Recently, COABE held a virtual conference for more than 2,000 members across the country. Sharon tells us more about this success story, and other recent highlights for the organisation. “The virtual conference was a great success in that it provided much needed professional development to the field in a format that was easy to use for all members, so long as they had internet access. “

“Our challenge and opportunity will be to find ways through technology to help adult students get their diplomas or take classes while dealing with their busy lives. Often these adults are working two to three jobs and have small children as well. Finding a way to work with them on their terms will be critical.”

“We also engaged in our first set of Capitol Hill Days where we brought state leaders in from around the country to talk with legislators about the value of adult education and the great return on investment to the economy.”

Company: Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Name: Sharon Bonney Email: Web Address: Address: P.O. Box 620, Syracuse, NY 13206 Telephone: +1-888-44-COABE (888 442 6223)

The organisation also launched its “Research to Practice” initiative within the past year, which pairs its research with webinars and PD resources. It embarked on a leadership initiative (taking place over the next year) to provide state leaders with various tools to lead their association. Finally, its successful “Shine a Light on Adult Education” campaign resulted in three videos that have been widely shared, along with toolkits, press releases, and webinars. As Executive Director, Sharon’s role is to run the organisation and to ensure it is meeting the needs of the field. However, she continues to explain how she could not do this without her team of first class, dedicated staff members. “From our folks on the front lines who answer the phones and respond to hundreds of emails daily, to the folks who play a role behind the scenes coordinating all of our meetings and calls, conference work, and much more—all are vital to the success of our organisation. We also are unique in that we work very closely with a dedicated board of directors,



Wealth & Finance International

Moving into Iran Arjan Capital is an investment and advisory firm, providing a unique mixture of investment banking, industrial and legal solutions to global investors contemplating entering the multi-sector market of Iran. We invited Senior Managing Partner Andreas Schweitzer to tell us more.


rjan Capital is a boutique M&A and Investment advisor operating across central Asia and the Middle East, with its core focus being Iran. The firm believes that the momentum to enter Iran will continue to accelerate, as time progresses, and that the first mover advantage principle will play a prominent role, which Arjan seeks to leverage for both itself and its business partners. Working with a wide range of clients, which include SMEs and listed firms, Arjan has to work hard to ensure it offers a superior service unlike any other, as Andreas outlines.

“Within the Iranian business market there have been a number of developments recently that will provide exciting opportunities and invigorating challenges to overcome. Donald Trump certainly added to the uncertainty regarding Middle East Policy in general and Iran in particular which is our main market. However, we see the opportunity for the 2017 movers as you can still choose your deal without too much competition. This window of opportunity we believe will run for 18 months, after that for many reasons the world might become more confident dealing in Iran.

“The fact that 80% of our clients are large companies with vast resources highlights our firm’s reputation for excellence. Our firm’s founders are active and invested in Iran since many years. We support our clients throughout the investment process, from sourcing the transaction to implementing operations and help them to achieve strong returns through our local knowledge and hands-on support. Many of our clients come from referrals from lawyers and consulting firms who have worked with us in the past, which is a testimony to the superior level of service we provide.”

“In addition, with the banks retracting from the trade finance market due to Basel II requirements we see trade finance as a great play. As such we have set up an EU regulated fund that factors receivables protected by export credit insurance and provide the investor with a 5-7% return p.a. on a government agency risk, with 180 days’ liquidity. This compares well in a world of flat or negative interest rates.” Moving forward, Andreas believes that Arjan’s unique market positon will help it to achieve even greater success with Iran transactions as it looks towards a bright and prosperous future.

Iran, Arjan’s target market, is a vital country with a young population which offers a wealth of opportunities for investors. As the sanctions imposed on Iran began to be lifted, global firms possessing capital, expertise and technology, will be gearing up to enter the large, untapped and potentially lucrative Iranian market, which has been closed for decades.

“Ultimately, over the next three to five years Arjan Capital will be seeking to build upon its current success and foster growth. This will be achieved by boosting M&A and trade finance, which are the driving forces of the market and will help our firm to grow and develop.”

To conduct business in Iran, however, requires a nuanced understanding of the way information and market intelligence flows amongst industry players. This flow is often informal and based on ties, often un-written, amongst market participants active in the country’s three economic sectors—the public, the private and the quasi-private.

Company: Arjan Capital Ltd Name: Andreas Schweitzer, Managing Director Email: Web Address:, Address: Registered Office: Suite 4, 62/63 Morina Court, STJ 1081 St Julians, Malta Correspondence Address: Seestrasse 1, CH 6330 Cham, Switzerland Company Registration Nr: 70804 – VAT Nr: 22580722 Telephone: +41 79 211 65 60

This unique business configuration can, to the initiated, be difficult to understand, penetrate and navigate. This is why Arjan Capital makes such a crucial business partner for those seeking to enter Iran; armed with an understanding and appreciation of Iran’s unique business environment, Arjan facilitates the entry of global firms into Iran. As an investment and advisory firm, Arjan providing a unique mixture of investment banking, industrial and legal solutions to global investors contemplating entering the multi-sector market of Iran. Andreas discusses the market and the challenges he foresees for the future in the region.


February 2017



Wealth & Finance International

Innovating A Better World Holland Innovation Team BV (HIT) are consultants across a wide variety of sectors including the production of bio-LNG, water technology, earth sciences and recycling. Director and owner Peter van der Gaag talks us through the latest developments and how the firm is working to ensure it remains at the forefront of this dynamic market.


stablished in 1998, HIT is committed to launching innovative ideas, transforming these ideas into feasible projects and subsequently developing innovative new business ventures. Peter discusses a number of the latest projects the firm has undertaken.

“Looking ahead, we see opportunities outside the EU, simply because our technologies and inventions always make the establishment worry about their investments which are mostly based upon existing structures and fossil fuels. We found out the Netherlands are simply too small and too fossil fuels oriented/minded. Bear in mind that the Netherlands were ahead in environmental engineering 30 years ago, and now far behind – the latest in the European union in the field of sustainable energy and renewables.”

“Here at HIT we work on a wide variety of projects across the biosciences and recycling sectors. Recently we have developed a method to produce drinking water from raw gypsum with the help of only the sun.

Useful investments “On the other hand, our base the port of Rotterdam is internationally well known. So, the challenge is to attract money and to do the projects in countries where our new technologies are cheap and can compete. We will establish a joint venture in other ports like Shanghai and Singapore to open this markets for us.

“We are currently setting up a new line of biofuels that do not compete with food production. We even invented the name bio-LNG; everything that can rot is able to produce biogas. We make liquid biomethane, which we believe is the best, most versatile biofuel ever, even better than its fossil counterpart LNG. We are now working on a new concept for geothermal energy – a closed system that never will cause earthquakes because it is a closed loop. Alongside this, we support a company that will turn asbestos into a new building material by using waste acids and lye.”

Ultimately, the world is getting smaller. In former days, it took a long time to export new technologies over the world. Now you only need an enthusiastic team in whatever country to set up projects that can really make the difference and make profit. As such our ongoing focus at HIT is to seek investors who have money, an open mind and who not only want to make more money but also want to do something useful with their budgets.”

Struggle Through this vast array of projects HIT is able to produce a wide range of technologies and solutions which meet the ever-evolving needs of their market. Innovation is not only developing new technologies. It is also implementing and combining technologies into viable projects. This means struggling against old economy and conventional key players and institutions with interests that are not in favour of innovation. Innovation needs knowledge, enthusiasm, cooperation, strength and non-conventional characters. Using combinations of new technologies, showing energy savings and benefits for economy and environment, even the establishment will be convinced that innovation pays.

Company: Holland Innovation Team BV Name: Peter van der Gaag Email: Web Address: Address: Jan Evertsenplaats 230 - 3012 HZ - Rotterdam Telephone: +31 625295155

Opportunities In this field HIT is eager to play an important role as a generator of ideas and a business developer. To this end, HIT has acquired several important patents, and is looking for opportunities to cooperate with other innovative companies to transform projects into new business. Therefore, moving forward, Peter foresees an exciting future as he looks beyond Europe and in order to provide HIT’s innovative solutions to a wider client base.



February 2017

A Hospitable Approach Dae Oh talks about the hospitality industry and his firm’s unique approach to taking on new clients.


Hospitality is an international manufacturer for FF&E for the hospitality industry for hotels, resorts and casinos. Its current holding company owns three factories totaling more than 2,000,000 square feet. As the fourth largest manufacturer in China the firm has worked on very high profile locations around the world.

no mark-up in products and direct manufacturing cost because we own the factory,” he explains. D Hospitality has grown year-on-year by 50% since 2011 and has revenues 93 million annually. It is now ranked among the top 25 purchasing firms in the US. Dae states that he owes a lot of this success to his dedicated team of employees and loyal clientele.

Dae Oh is Chief Executive Officer of the firm and his role is very diverse, from creating initial design concepts to ensuring overall growth. He tells us a little more about the company and its approach to business.

“Our staff are the core of our business model and the conduit that makes every project come to life We also have the highest level of commitment to our clients and have not lost one client in more than five years.

“Our mission is to evolve while continuously maintaining our high standards and excellence in these areas,” he begins. “The basis of all our efforts creates lasting value for our partners. We strive tirelessly to advance these masteries as we seek new and innovative ways to enrich the lives of people who will experience the atmospheres our designs and products help create.

“For the future, we will see more growth and we will continue to seek top level executive talent to join our team.”

Company: D HOSPITALITY Name: DAE OH Email: Web Address: Address: 4653 trueman blvd, hilliard, Ohio 43026 Telephone: + 1 866 878 7288

“Our approach to any new hotel project is among the most unique in the industry. We take time performing market research regarding where our client hotel stands in the COMP set and we then build a budget around the new design that can support the hotels financial needs, which in return provides the best ROI for the owners. We have found this approach to be very effective in making sure the new increase in rate and occupancy will justify any renovation or new build costs. Dae informs us that this approach is unique to D Hospitality and has been proven to save owners 30-40% on the original budget, meaning owners can recover the cost of the renovations a lot faster. Dae also assures us that this is done without compromising in integrity of the design or quality. “We can truly claim these savings by offering no fees,



Wealth & Finance International

Enabling Growth and Removing Barriers in Investment Management Hannes Helenius of FA Solutions talks to Wealth & Finance about the firm, the opportunities ahead and how integral the entire team is to its overriding success.


A Solutions offers best-in-class, cloud-based software solutions for investment management.

and integrated automated electronic trading seamlessly into portfolio management with our partner Infront.”

Helenius is partner and chairman of the Board at FA Solutions, responsible for business growth, internationalisation and partnerships. “On a day-to-day basis, I strive to be as close as possible in helping our personnel and customers to achieve their goals,” he explains.

FA Solutions was recently awarded the title of One to Watch in Software Solutions, as voted by readers of Wealth & Finance magazine. Helenius tells us how it feels to have been selected for this title in his jurisdiction, and how the firm’s strong team of staff members have helped make it the success it is today.

Helenius tells us more about the firm and the services it provides to clients.

“This award is not only a great reward but also a reminder for the entire team at FA Solutions of the great work we have done – and will do in the future. The award highlights our company values trust, co-operation and development. Furthermore, just week ago, we agreed internally at FA Solutions that we want to be the revolutionaries in the field.

“We want to lower the entry barrier for new businesses and enable growth for our clients by offering flexible solutions as a service and with a high level of automation. Currently we have customers in Europe, Middle East and Asia, including companies like asset managers, fund managers, financial advisors, family offices, institutional investors, and foundations, to mention a few. We are here to simplify the complex world of investment management.

“Our staff are everything. Without our bright and professional personnel, FA Solutions would not exist. Everyone in the company has their own role and place, and they truly give their own contribution into the final outcome. It is especially important that each member of our team has a meaningful job and that they really feel that they are appreciated, listened, and that they can make a difference. That, I believe, is also a motivator for people to stay with us and to collaborate in building the company together.”

“We are not just an IT partner for our customers, but we are a business partner that really cares. We help our customers to seize opportunities and tackle challenges. As the newest software version is always included in the monthly fee, it easy for our customers to adapt to the latest needs of the industry, such as tightening regulation, changing practices, increasing digitalisation, and automating laborious processes.”

Helenius tells us that the biggest challenges currently in the wider industry digitalisation and tightening regulation. “They actually go hand in hand,” he comments. “By higher degree of digitalisation, it becomes also easier to handle and automate cumbersome regulation-related processes. We are of course strongly involved in solving these challenges with our customers, and making these big changes also easier and manageable for our customers.”

The growth of FA Solutions shows that it is certainly heading in the right direction. During the past three years, the firm has achieved circa 50% yearly growth in turnover as well as 30% yearly growth in personnel. It has expanded from a small Nordic company into a truly international and multicultural growth company.

So how will this affect business for FA Solutions? Helenius has strong beliefs that they can tackle these issues head on and come out on top.

“We have also found our place in reshaping the financial industry,” continues Helenius, speaking of the company’s recent successes. “During the past 12 months, we launched a new ledger-free network for financial services firms called Roboblock, introduced the first B-to-B app store in the financial industry, developed the first single-platform solution for Asset Liability Management with our partner Finance Active,

“We like to see the tightening regulatory environment as an opportunity, but it can also be a challenge as it is impossible to know all the details and practices beforehand. However, it is our job to figure out how to solve these challenges with our clients.


February 2017

“And of course, growth is always an opportunity and a challenge. Luckily, we are in a great situation by having a smart, multicultural and engaged team of professionals. Together we can achieve anything. “The mission of our company is to enable growth in the financial industry. We have been helping many start-up asset managers to build their own success story, and we are privileged to share this history together with our clients.”

Company: FA Solutions Name: Hannes Helenius, Partner & Chairman of the Board Email: Web Address: Address: Fredrikinkatu 51-53 B, 00100 Helsinki, Finland Telephone: +358 20 7118 514



Wealth & Finance International

A Digital Twist to Marketing Solutions MintTwist is a full service creative digital agency in London that works with brands to build immersive digital experiences. Their team of creatives, technical experts and marketing specialists work with brands to create engaging marketing campaigns that deliver against core business objectives typically to connect with customers, increase brand awareness and grow revenues. We spoke with Alexis Pratsides, Managing Director at MintTwist about their work.


ince 2002, MintTwist has been delivering digital solutions tailored to meet with its clients brand marketing expectations. From its inception, it has grown quickly, moving to larger premises three times and opening up a second office

“Just recently a client said ““Creative team - Great to work with! We have been working with MintTwist for nearly 18 months now. They’ve produced some fantastic campaigns, with outstanding results! (Even a Search Awards UK nomination). Hoping to use them more for other initiatives and digital channels in 2017, as our partnership continues.””

in Dubai. “Integral to the success of our achievements for our clients, is the understanding of the fluid relationship between attracting customers and engaging them through a well-defined digital strategy”, Mr. Pratsides told us.

“In 2016 the management team was restructured with the senior members of the business further empowered so they could have a greater impact on the operational running of the day to day business. This has freed up my time to concentrate on the more strategic issues facing the business as we grow.”

“It is our mission to create digital solutions that are not only innovative and market leading - but most importantly, deliver commercial success.

And they certainly do continue to grow, receiving acknowledgements for their work over the summer on a campaign for ‘Discovery Education’. They successfully delivered the first eCommerce, click-and-collect platform for Nahdi, the largest retail pharmacy chain in Saudi Arabia with over 1,200 outlets. Their contract with City, University of London has just been retained for a further 3 years and they have just won a major piece of business with a cloud software giant Veeam.

“We regularly work on individual campaigns for clients, but more and more often we are being asked to either revamp a brand’s entire digital offering, or recreate it from scratch. “In these instances, we audit the company’s existing digital infrastructure to ascertain what assets they have and what they are missing, putting in a plan to create or amend where necessary.

On top of all this they have also begun work on a new project for music production company Ninja Tune due to be launched in the next few months.

“We then take a look at where they are spending their digital marketing budget and how successful it has been in the past.

Speaking about his own role as Managing Director of MintTwist, Alexis revealed it to be a varied position. “On a day-to-day basis I split my time between managing the operational departments (design, development and marketing), pitching for new business, overseeing our MintTwist marketing efforts as well as HR, PR and finance.”

The company’s plans for 2017 will build upon their core fundamentals and see them pushing to work their skills with ever more international clients. “Two core relationships are fundamental to the success of the business. The first is our employees. The talent in the business helps to set us apart from our competitors and will drive growth. The second is our relationship with our clients, so much so that we are restructuring the way that we deliver work to ensure that the relationship with our clients is at the heart of everything that we do. We strive to be long term partners to our clients and all long term relationships are built on trust, respect and excellent communication.

Of the staff he has built up around him, he had only the most positive things to say. “They are absolutely critical to the success of MintTwist and we have built a fantastic business around an amazing group of people.

“As for opportunities, we see Brexit as a huge opportunity to increase our presence overseas. We have traded off the British Flag for a number of years now and with the competitive nature of the pound, there is even more reason for overseas business to choose to work with exceptionally

“Using these sets of data, we combine the information with their core business objectives to design and develop a digital strategy target and engage precisely the audiences that the brand is keen to connect with.”


February 2017

talented British companies. To this end, we are reinforcing our business in the Middle Eastern market, investigating a central European office as well as putting the wheels in motion for an entity in the Far East.” Regarding the climate of the wider industry, Alexis notes a key point which all in the market must be aware of if they are to continue to remain relevant. “We are having to deal with large amounts of marketing work being taken back in-house as the digital skills within businesses increases. Whilst it is a step change for agencies, we welcome this with open arms. This allows us to focus much more on strategy and direction, with our clients starting to manage a larger portion of the dayto-day campaign delivery.” However, whatever changes may come it remains clear that MintTwist will remain committed to its home base of London. “Our business has grown out of the huge pool of talent and opportunity that London provides. We are passionate that London will always remain a fundamental part of our DNA as we look to grow the business in the next 3 years.”

Company: MintTwist Name: Alexis Pratsides Email: Web Address: Address: 800 Highgate Studios, 53-79 Highgate Road, London, NW5 1TL Telephone: 02072849750



Wealth & Finance International

The Bulldog Spirit BULLDOG Gin Company is an innovative company committed to reinventing London Dry Gin. We invited Founder Anshuman Vohra to tell us more about the firm and its pioneering product.


s a lifelong gin fan, Anshuman has always been committed to developing a new gin that would be distinctive within the category. He outlines the factors which have made BULLDOG Gin the 4th largest premium gin in the world within a decade of launch and tells us about an exciting new stage for the premium brand.

tilleries. Entrepreneurs are bringing innovation to the gin game which I love. I think that the premium gin category will continue to grow. As the current the number 4 premium gin in the world and the fastest growing, I look forward to BULLDOG maintain its leadership position as it does so. “Fundamentally, the spirits industry is an exciting one with endless innovation in terms of product development and marketing initiatives. The challenge for BULLDOG is to stay ahead of the curve and keep BULLDOG at the forefront of the latest market innovation, and this can be achieved this through commitment to excellence and strong focus on branding.”

“So many gins out there promote a strong juniper flavour, I saw the opportunity in creating a liquid that would appeal directly to the modern consumer and give them a premium, versatile gin with a more nuanced flavour profile. Consumers respond really well to this distinctive proposition and BULLDOG is now the 4th largest premium gin in the world, an achievement which everyone at the firm is immensely proud of.”

Since this interview was conducted, BULLDOG Gin has been acquired by Gruppo Campari, a major player in the global spirits industry, and with a portfolio of more than 50 premium and super premium brands. The deal leaves cash-on-hand and other assets on BULLDOG’s balance sheet, resulting in approximate proceeds of $70 million at closing to BULLDOG’s shareholders.

The firm has expanded since inception and as such Anshuman is proud to work with so many connoisseurs who are so passionate about creating a quality product. “At the beginning it was just me so for a long time, I was the CEO, the CFO, the COO and the CMO, as well as the door-to-door sales man, so entrepreneurial zeal kept me going. Now the team has expanded and I am more focused on the strategic direction of the brand. We are still a lean organisation and I remain heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the business – from reviewing production forecasts with our distillery to meeting an important retailer in one of our key markets or approving new advertising assets. I must admit I really enjoy all these aspects as it keeps me close to our markets and our customers. I often do not feel like I am working; I am doing something that I truly love and enjoy.

The new deal structure enables Gruppo Campari to achieve a financially attractive proposition, allowing it to fully exploit the brand’s growth potential going forward by taking full control of the marketing strategy as well as the brand building initiatives. Anshuman commented: “BULLDOG has always been a labour of love for me, and I’m quite pleased to hand over control of BULLDOG to a venerable institution, such as Gruppo Campari. I’ve had the pleasure of working with their very professional organization for the last few years and am confident the brand will continue to excel in its new home.”

“Overall, the team are key in keeping momentum behind the brand growth. We feed off each other’s energy. Relationships are paramount in the drinks industry and as a small team with a large global footprint, I rely on my team to build and maintain relationships with our distributor partners, customers and consumers across the world.

Company: BULLDOG Gin Company Name: Anshuman Vohra Web Address: Address: Suite 201, 594 Broadway, New York, NY 10012

“Gin has seen a lot of growth over the last few years and it is critical for us to differentiate ourselves and firmly establish BULLDOG as a leading brand in the growing category. To achieve this, we have to work closely with our distributor partners and garner learnings from across markets so we can feed in to the global strategy. No matter how technology advances, to do this well, I need a strong team, and I am proud to have one.”This strong market growth presents the company with many challenges which it will be looking to overcome, as Anshuman concludes. “Personally, I believe that the gin market is going from strength to strength and there is definitely a role for craft gin and micro-gin dis-



February 2017

Empowering Remittance Aamer Abedi, recently awarded Best for Money Transfer Software Solutions – UK, talks to us about RemitONE, the sector it operates in and how technology is key in building a successful future.


emitONE is a technology and business services firm that breathes innovation and excellence into the remittance world for all types and sizes of organisations including banks, money transfer operators, micro-finance institutions, telecom firms and start-ups.

money service businesses and banks in the industry. We ensure our team is up to date and well equipped with what’s happening in the industry so we can better serve our clients.” The trillion dollar money transfer industry is rapidly evolving with the advent of technology. This industry, despite consistently growing every year, has arrived onto the technology adoption scene late. It is a heavily regulated industry which means technology for automation, compliance and security is paramount. In such a fast-paced sector, it is imperative that RemitONE keeps up-to-date with emerging trends in order to stay ahead of the game. It does this through consistent market research and client feedback. “We have around 100 clients from all over the world,” Aamer says. “This gives us first-hand access to trends in all regions and allows us to implement new features and functionality quickly. Our active participation with lobby groups and Associations and our partnerships with key industry stakeholders and consultants puts us in an enviable position when it comes to knowledge and expertise.”

Aamer Abedi of RemitONE tells us a little more about the firm and the technology behind its services. “Founded in 2007, our technology allows you to manage your entire remittance business via multiple channels including branches, agents, online portals and mobile apps. Our consulting services have a fantastic success rate for license accreditation and for acquiring bank accounts as well as offering alternative approaches through our business network. Our impressive network of clients and partners around the globe allows our clients to tap into new markets and instantly increase transaction volumes and their bottom-line.” The firm’s mission is to empower the global money transfer industry with technologies to provide secure and fair transfers for those who need it most, with the ultimate aim being to facilitate financial inclusion and empowerment of the unbanked. Aamer embellishes: “We promote fair competition in the industry by working with multiple solutions’ providers, money service businesses and remittance hubs. We promote transparency by working with the industry’s leading lobby groups and Associations. With our unique mix of technology & services RemitONE can help all players in the market – from start-ups to the largest of enterprises – transform their technology landscape and improve their business network.”

The finance industry is changing more rapidly than ever before, however Aamer is optimistic about the future. “We are working on the latest technology solutions in the industry, delving into cryptocurrency, airtime, utility bills, mobile apps, self-service kiosks and the latest in payment technologies. We are at the juncture of best of breed technologies and innovative business models and are devising state of the art solutions in our industry. “We foresee cost of remittances going down and the advent of sophisticated mobile apps that could allow users to perform a range of value-added services. They could pay from their digital wallets, make cross border payments, make purchases in cryptocurrencies, top up mobile phones cross border and make utility payments around the world, all from one digital wallet.”

Working in such a vital industry it is of great importance that RemitONE strives for excellence and perfection in everything it does in order to ensure that customers receive the very best support and advice from the firm. “We have gone the extra mile to help our clients in the industry,” explains Aamer. “Our original solution was built as collaboration with customers driving the requirements. This customer centricity has stayed with us ever since. Everything we do is not only done with our customers in mind, but with their customers in mind. In this way we can stoke creativity and lead rather than follow. Any enhancements made for one customer are immediately made available for the benefit of all.

Company: RemitONE Limited Name: Aamer Abedi Email: Web Address: Address: 10TN The Office Village, E15 4EA, London Telephone: +44 (0)208 099 5795

“We are the only end to end money transfer solutions provider, helping our clients get licensed, bank accounted, platform provisioned and networked into our vast client and partner network worldwide. We work with well reputed compliance firms to provide optimum service to our clients. We work with PCI-DSS compliant payment firms to ensure payments with the best security features. We partner with well-known



Wealth & Finance International

The Golden Rule PCC, recently awarded the Best in Large Scale Project Funding 2016 – USA, began in 2006 marketing limited real estate partnerships for pre-construction sales of high-end condominium projects. It evolved when a client came forward with a need to raise $350-million for a large sports complex in New Jersey, USA.


s word spread, we ultimately had in neighbourhood of $63 billion in projects that were sourcing funding. In 2009, our principal was introduced to a European private banker, where a relationship was developed to allow PCC to act as an intake officer to five trade groups operating out of the top 5 banks.

business. I provide informational writings to help bring both clients and prospective intermediaries on board who have actually read the materials. Internal culture We follow the Golden Rule. We work with only the best qualified individuals and resources, and we communicate often to keep all partied informed of progress. Communication is the most important activity we can do to keep information and conversations flowing, even when the communications become difficult due to clashing personalities.

The mission of PCC is to leave the world in a better place than we found it, by creating alternative sources of funding for worthwhile projects that will create jobs, benefit the environment and build/rebuild infrastructure in nation’s around the world. This is accomplished by growing a very wide network of people who can meet the criteria required of the programs that fund these. Applying leadership, beneficial working relationships, and providing 110% effort on behalf of the programs and project developers, provides a space for collaboration between all parties concerned.

The finance industry today One of the biggest challenges is finding authentic clients who have what they say they have, are clear in their intentions to follow the prescribed protocols in place from the international authorities, and cooperate fully and expediently with their documentation. One of the biggest issues we face is the destruction of this business by Internet brokers and other malicious actors - who have created clouds of confusion - and caused otherwise good clients to paint a broad brush of negativity by ignoring the real needle in the haystack.

The firm is based in Washington, DC, where controls of our programs originate, and given the international assemblage here, connection and relationships can be engaged comfortably. Our programs do not operate within the USA, but are ruled from backyard organisations such as the IMF, US Treasury, Fed, World Bank and other concerned agencies.

Future developments The future for us is brighter every day. As we enjoy success with our clients, we intend to ultimately become principal investors in certain project areas of interest to us. Right now, we are discussing a viable business model for some sovereign nations to create, with an expectation of explosive growth in 2017.

Firm’s financial performance in 2016 Although we do not disclose financial performance (we are under a strict NDA), the secrets to our success are simply in the intentional creation of good working relationships with principal clients and certain qualified intermediaries. Approach to client service In all cases, the most important step is to develop a relationship that is conducive to trust, integrity, truthfulness, honesty and understanding each client’s goals, and then providing the expertise and relationships to help them achieve success. We have learned that ego + ignorance + obstinence + arrogance are not worth our time when dealing with a client and their teams. So, an excellent client for us is someone with pleasant personality + real projects or assets + integrity + intention. As much as a potential client is interviewing us, we are also interviewing them before we engage.

Concerning the wider industry, our crystal ball, like so many others, is rather foggy around the developments in the world, however, as long as humanity needs food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, energy, clean water, roads and railways, schools, hospitals, public safety and other peaceful enterprises, we will always be needed to be the Catalyst to create the working relationships and resources to accomplish them. In closing, I believe that people do business with those whom they like. We like people who have the right heart, mind, spirit and assets, and we like being a pathway to bring things about.

Approach to hiring new staff I look for people who are intelligent, willing to learn, are not egotistical or obstinent, understand that opportunities come about often with very few being acted on for different reasons, and can absorb and communicate the facts in a deal. I look for great personalities coupled with a high degree of intelligence. I stay away from people who insist they know better, or have some degree of expertise that may not be related to this

Company: PreConstruction Catalysts, Inc. Name: Michael J. Weiner, CEO Email: Web Address: Address: 18156 Darnell Drive, Olney MD 20832 USA Telephone: +1 202 657 6960


February 2017


Wealth & Finance International

What Does 2017 Have in Store for SME Investment? The start of the New Year has already brought with it some important developments for Britain’s SMEs explains Luke Davis, Co-founder of Crowdfinders and CEO of IW Capital in a guest article.


n January, the Government launched its industrial strategy, outlining how it intends to help small businesses to scale up. This was followed on 2 February by the release of the Brexit white paper, which sets out the Government’s preferred outcome in advance of the negotiations that will secure the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU). What already appears clear is that 2017 promises to be year of transition and opportunity as the UK implements and adapts to the landmark political and economic events from last year – namely Brexit, Trump and record low interest rates.

2017 looks set to be the year of the scale-up. Britain’s remarkable record of start-up creation has given rise to an ambitious impulse to similarly raise the nation’s record of scale-up support. Indeed, while the UK ranks third in the OECD for start-up support, it trails behind in 13th for the number of SMEs that manage to successfully scale-up. The Government’s upcoming Patient Capital Review will seek to address the barriers currently preventing SMEs from accessing growth capital and will form the basis of a renewed effort to spread the benefits of crowdfunding and alternative finance to support entrepreneurship and growth nationwide. For the UK’s 5.5 million SMEs, access to funding will be the critical vehicle towards success and industry solutions like Crowdfinders’ Race to Scale initiative will be vital to facilitate investment into the most promising investment opportunities the nation has to offer.

In this climate, the robust levels of confidence among SMEs provide a cause for optimism. A recent survey of UK SMEs found that 82% are confident about their businesses’ performance in 2017. Even businesses exporting into the EU remain confident, with over half expecting either no impact or even a positive outcome. Meanwhile, new IW Capital research has found that 6.62 million UK investors believe that entrepreneurs and private business leaders are and will continue to play a critical part in driving private sector growth this year.

It is clear to see why the confidence levels of entrepreneurs and investors alike are increasingly robust; given the importance private investment and government initiatives have placed upon improving the nation’s growth capital infrastructure. 2017 may well be remembered as the year that Article 50 triggered Britain’s exit from the EU, but equally it will also be the year that the scale-up revolution truly arrived; taking the forefront of both government policy and private investment agendas. In light of this, we look to the coming year not only for the opportunities that exist within the start-up economy but, with the expansion of the fast-moving alternative finance industry, to the rapid rise of a new category of investment opportunities within Britain’s thriving scale-up community.

The crowdfunding sector in particular has witnessed an exciting new trajectory; the emergence of rising numbers of lead investors on crowdfunding platforms, opening the possibility that much higher levels of funding may become available to SMEs. These lead investors come in the form of high net worth, angel, seed or institutional investors who are able to energise a crowdfunding campaign by injecting momentum and confidence into the funding round through large, early donations. If their needs are accommodated by diligent platforms, these investors can provide support not just to new start-ups but also to proven SMEs with ambitious plans for expansion.

Name: Luke Davis, Co-founder of Crowdfinders and CEO of IW Capital Email: Web Address: Address: 42 Bruton Place, London, W1J 6PA Telephone: +44(0)20 7015 2250

This emerging trend could not come at a more exciting time for UK SMEs. Since last year’s Autumn Statement, the Government has unveiled the most ambitious set of SME initiatives in living memory. The rollout out of the Bank Referral Scheme in November set a course for this renewed focus by embracing alternative finance providers as a government-mandated alternative to high street banks. New investments were also made in transport and digital infrastructure, and in SMEs themselves through local enterprise partnerships and venture capital funds via the British Business Bank.


February 2017


Wealth & Finance International

Why Wealth Management Is as Much About Feelings as Figures Diana Chambers, family wealth mentor and philanthropic advisor, outlines why wealth management is as much about feelings as figures, in a special guest article.


rom the Rich Kids of Instagram to the 7th Duke of Westminster’s £9bn inheritance, the relationship between high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and their financial assets has captured the media’s fascination in recent months. Indeed, the financial choices we have – how we make money, how much of it we have or want, what we do with it, the role it plays in our life, and how we pass it on – raise questions that affect us all.

The second step is to determine exactly what brings us true satisfaction and fulfilment. There is nothing wrong with money itself, but it cannot ultimately offer true power, freedom, control, security, and happiness. A strong network of relationships and a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives are the true drivers of happiness. The power of giving Those with wealth who are fixated on acquiring more tend to focus on personal rather than collaborative success. They forget that real significance is found in our contributions to others, our communities, and our society – not in the extent of our bank balances.

When we think of wealth management, we normally think in terms of learning how to manage investments. But in the broadest context, it’s how we manage money in our lives and relationships. My work is to help people understand their relationship to money so they are in control of it, rather than it being in control of them.

This is one reason why helping clients with their philanthropy is such a central facet of my work. Everyone who gives well feels good about doing so. Giving can generate a lasting impact, offers an avenue for a legacy that extends beyond immediate family, and generates great satisfaction knowing a well-placed social investment has been made.

Often I find many highly successful, intelligent people, both individuals and families, don’t prioritise financial emotional intelligence (EQ); that is, understanding their feelings, beliefs and expectations around wealth so they can foster a positive experience around their financial assets, including in their relationships. This is understandable. After all, feelings about money are often harder and more complex to address than hard financial facts.

Educating the next generation With wealth comes the responsibility to ensure that not just ourselves, but future generations, are equipped with financial EQ.

The pitfalls of wealth Money is simply a means of exchange that should be used to serve social, intellectual, human, and spiritual needs – both our own and those of others. But failure to explore, and constructively talk about, our feelings about wealth can be the first step towards money becoming our priority and us becoming subservient to it.

How large financial assets are handed down to the next generation is one of the issues that most concerns my clients. Parents and grandparents who have high financial EQ are inevitably concerned with how their wealth will help or hinder their next generations. Considerable inheritance carries considerable responsibility, which may be experienced as burdensome. There is a risk that young people are unable fully to define their own identities as the weight of the wealth shapes and suffocates them.

I have seen that if a family makes money a priority per se, and adopts a competitive attitude towards gaining the most – either in relation to other families or within the family itself – the family members become lost in the process. They can become mistrustful, even paranoid, as their wealth defines them and money becomes the determining factor in their relationships. Ultimately money starts to inhibit rather than facilitate their lives.

The ability of parents to talk openly to their children about money and inheritance is crucial in this situation. Doing so will ensure children feel trusted and are made aware of the wealth before they can access it, so they can be well-prepared and financially intelligent enough to handle the money well upon receiving it. Involving children in philanthropy from a young age will help ensure they enjoy the experience of giving to others and want to continue this as adults.

Developing financial emotional intelligence Building our self-awareness is the first step towards financial EQ. This is expressed as we overcome the taboo that surrounds talking about our wealth, which in turn increases our clarity. By having freedom to talk to those close to us about our wealth, we can also come to appreciate what we have in abundance and learn to establish ‘what is enough’. Once we have such clarity, we are no longer pawns to our financial desires.

The media often highlights young people who have fallen into a bad place because of the wealth they have inherited. Their parents have not tailored the inheritance to ensure it genuinely enhances their children’s lives and they may not have maintained an advisory role once the money has been passed down.


February 2017

But with a strong grounding in financial EQ, coupled with the values of hard work and resilience, as well as a growth mindset, considerable wealth needn’t negate the recipient’s appetite for being a productive member of society. In fact, it can be the trigger for developing greater meaning, purpose, and generosity in their lives.

Diana Chambers is a family wealth mentor and philanthropic advisor, and President and CEO of The Chambers Group/ ‘True Wealth: Letters on Money, Life, and Love’ by Diana Chambers is available on Amazon now. Paperback £21; Kindle £7.93



Wealth & Finance International

The Right Partner for Your Business Safeonline LLP is a specialist Lloyd’s insurance broker, based in the City of London United Kingdom, which specialises in fast-moving insurance lines such as cyber, financial, professional, contingency and intellectual property. As winner of the award, Best Technology Insurance Broker – UK, Geoff Kinsella, Partner, lifts the lid on the wonderful work the firm does.


We provide insurance services to a broad spectrum of clients, from multibillion turnover entities to businesses beginning their journey as start-ups. Whether our client is an SME or a major corporate, Safeonline will offer innovative and bespoke solutions to the risks inherent in today’s fast moving world.

It is through the employment of experienced, talented and creative people that we have been able to achieve our mission. It is our people that set us apart and ensures that Safeonline is recognised as a smart and progressive company. From its beginnings, Safeonline has also focussed on using technology to distribute its products. Through the creation of online portals, specifically built for its clients, it is able to offer insurance products fast and efficiently. This ability to use technology in this way, sets Safeonline apart from its competitors.

Safeonline (SOL) was conceived in 1998, when it’s founder Chris Cotterell saw an opportunity in the market to insure internet risk. Up to that point this risk was perceived to only affect financial institutions who were transferring funds around the world.

Approach to client service Clients always have a choice as to what provider they should use for the provision of any service. No company has a right to exist, unless it can provide exemplary service to its clients. Staying relevant and effective is the only way Safeonline has been able to take on the competition and win! We ensure that our clients are responded to fast, with turnaround times of less than 24hrs assured. Also, through the recruitment and retention of talented employees, we ensure that our clients have access to the best individuals in the market to respond to their needs.

Chris recognised early on that internet risk was beginning to manifest itself in any company who adopted the internet and whom had a computer network in place. Since those early days, Safeonline has continued to lead the way in the provision of niche insurance products that protect corporates and individuals from the dangers of cyber and network security events. It is amazing how the adoption of technology has grown exponentially since Safeonline was founded, but sadly the ability and creativity of the bad actors has also continued to evolve. Safeonline continues to develop insurance solutions to mitigate loss in this dynamic environment.

By continually updating our product suite, and indeed by driving change in the market in response to a changing risk landscape, our clients can be assured that they will be getting the most relevant solution to their business needs.

The firm’s mission Our mission is to be the leader in the financial services industry for the provision of Cyber and Technology insurances. To offer our clients complementary insurance products such as directors’ and officers’, professional indemnity and intellectual property insurances that protect them from the ever-growing spectrum of risks that our clients face.

The state of the finance industry in London Based in the City of London, which is recognised globally as the centre of the insurance industry, Safeonline has access to the most experienced and resourceful market in the world. Like every market however, competition is great both from within and without. Also, finding the right people to join the firm is a major challenge, even though we are working within the world’s largest insurance market. There is a shortage of experienced individuals given the nascent nature of the Cyber insurance field, which leads to increased demands in terms of employee remuneration and benefits. Competition is intense. The other significant challenge is the thus far unknown impact of Brexit on our ability to continue to provide insurance products to our clients globally. At this time, the ‘passporting’ rights afforded to us as part of the EU offers us the ability to directly offer our international clients innovative solutions from our base in London. Our principal provider of products, Lloyd’s, is closely monitoring this situation and is planning for every eventuality. We are also involved in this process. On a more positive note the insurance sector continues to lead the way in terms of innovation and Safeonline is helping the UK market stay ahead of the competition in this regard.


February January 2017

London remains the centre of the insurance industry globally. With the Lloyd’s market celebrating its 325th year of operation, this longevity speaks volumes for the expertise and experience that is inherent in London.

Safeonline also relies on referrals from the market and personal references to ensure that the individuals with whom we engage are the right fit. Developments on the horizon We are focussing on enhancing our online presence to ensure that our ability to offer products through this medium remains ahead of the pack. We are also expanding our international reach, as the rest of the world data laws and corporate entities’ understanding of the risk that they face in the technology reliant world catch up with their peers in the US market.

Safeonline, as a Lloyd’s broker, has the ability to tap into this extremely unique marketplace for the benefit of its clients and sees London as the ideal hub for its future success. Responding to Emerging Developments in the industry There are several techniques that we employ in this regard. Firstly, we listen. We listen to our clients, to the changing risks that they face and to the challenges that manifest themselves in dealing in the interconnected world.

With the adoption of the new European General Data Protection Regulation likely to drive greater demand for insurance solutions to combat cyber risk, Safeonline is working hard to develop new products and distribution channels to respond to this growing client demand.

Secondly, we work with industry experts, in the Cyber security field and within the insurance industry, to ensure that we are fully aware of the type of attacks that hackers and miscreants are perpetrating.

It is extremely hard for clients to be fully up to speed with the developments in the cyber insurance space. Policy wordings are changing daily and the coverage afforded from provider to provider differs greatly. The policy wordings are forever changing and it is now possible to insure risks that were once automatically excluded.

Then finally, we anticipate. We anticipate what is around the corner in terms of innovation and risk. For example, the Internet of Things (IOT) is creating a whole new world of potential losses due the intrusive nature of the technology being adopted. From smart meters to self-monitoring fridges, the ability to cause harm is ever evolving.

It is therefore essential more than ever, that clients partner with the right service provider. As a winner of this prestigious award, Safeonline would like to be considered as the right partner for your business.

The firm’s financial performance Safeonline has seen double digit percentage growth over the past 12 months. This growth is a testament to our success, set against a backdrop of intense competition and consolidation within our industry.

Company: Safeonline LLP Name: Geoff Kinsella FCII MBA Email: Web Address: Address: 80 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3A 3DH Telephone: +44 (0)20 7954 4400

This success is built on a foundation of astute cost control, coupled with the speed at which we can innovate, specifically through the provision of online, low touch solutions, for our clients. It is the ability to move fast and to be extremely flexible, that maintains our positon as a leader in the market. Internal culture within the firm Safeonline believes in employing good people and then letting them ‘get on with it’! Our culture is very open and we encourage all our staff to contribute ideas and to challenge the status quo. We let staff have the freedom to be creative and encourage them to interact freely with our clients. Most of all however, we want our employees to have fun and to enjoy the work that they do. As an FCA regulated entity, we are naturally bound by the practices and procedures inherent in our industry. So, we ensure that we are compliant and follow all the relevant rules by which we are governed. However, this does not mean we cannot be seen as a great place to work. In fact, we are continually being approached by talented individuals who want to join the team, for this very reason. Through open forums, lunch & learn sessions and social gatherings we are able to successfully nurture our culture. Therefore, teamwork proliferates and every staff member is seen as an integral part of the overall company performance. Approach to hiring new staff Success breathes success and people want to be part of a successful and progressive company. We are lucky in the fact that people want to work for Safeonline, as they like the management style, our fun environment and our team ethic. We ensure that every new candidate gets to meet the senior management over a number of separate interviews. This way they can gain an insight into the strategy and plans of the business from different perspectives. Our first meeting is always spent gauging the potential employees ‘cultural fit’ to ensure that they will gel with the rest of the team and to see if they like our approach. Subsequent meetings focus more on their ability to get the job done.



Wealth & Finance International

Banking For All We take a look at the offerings and history of Bank Islam Malaysia as it is crowned Islamic Bank of the Year – 2016 – Malaysia.


ank Islam is the first Shariah based banking institution in Malaysia and South East Asia; and has been playing the leading role in the development of the nation’s Islamic banking industry. In fact, it has provided technical assistance in the setting up of several Islamic institutions in the Asian region such as Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Incorporated in 1983, it was originally established with the sole purpose of assisting with the financial needs of the Muslim population of Malaysia. Since then, Bank Islam has extended its services to the wider, non-Muslim, population fulfilling its ‘Banking-for-All’ principle.

service excellence culture, Bank Islam continues to offer only the best and cater to the differing needs of the customers as it strives to uphold its status as the symbol of Islamic banking in Malaysia. The establishment of Bank Islam can be traced even way back before World War II where Muslims in the country were already looking for an alternative financial system that would comply with the Shariah (Islamic jurisprudence) requirements. It was not until 1969 however that the Pilgrims Management and Fund Board (Lembaga Urusan dan Tabung Haji or ‘Tabung Haji’) was established as one of the first Islamic financial institutions, primarily to encourage savings and investments among the Muslims and help depositors perform Hajj.

Today, with over 70 innovative and sophisticated Islamic banking products and services, Bank Islam offers a comprehensive range of Shariah compliant banking and financial solutions to its more than five million customers. Primarily a retail bank with consumer banking constituting more than 70% of total financing, Bank Islam’s list of products ranges from the traditional financing, savings and investment solutions exclusively for individual customers, to banking and financial solutions designed to fulfil the fast-changing financial needs of customers from all categories including those related to micro financing, wealth management, capital market, treasury and structured products. The variety of financial services offered by the Bank has come a long way since its early days when it acted as the lead arranger for the world’s first Sukuk issuance of RM125 million in 1990 by Shell MDS Sdn Bhd.

At the international level, the call for the establishment of an Islamic banking system had been gaining in momentum but it was only in 1975 that the first Islamic bank was established in Dubai. The bank was formed after 15 years of extensive research and joint effort by professional Islamic economists, financiers and officers from various world Islamic organisations. The inception of Bank Islam in 1983 was the culmination of intense determination, inspired by the Bumiputera Economic Congress in 1980, followed by a seminar on the Concept of Development in Islam in 1981, and the tireless efforts of Tabung Haji, PERKIM (a non-governmental organisation committed to looking after the welfare of Muslims across the country) and the National Steering Committee for Islamic Bank (‘National Steering Committee’).

In serving its ever expanding customer base, Bank Islam currently has the widest dedicated Islamic banking network in Malaysia with 145 branches and more than 1,000 self-service terminals nationwide.

Starting with 30 pioneering staff, Bank Islam’s first year of operation was conducted by its temporary headquarter at the first floor of Kompleks Jemaah Haji at Subang, Selangor. By the end of its first financial year, Bank Islam has four (4) operating branches at Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Bharu and Alor Setar, with 272 employees.

A pioneer in the industry, Bank Islam believes in the importance of innovation and has produced some of the most innovative banking solutions for the market. A strong advocator of ethical and responsible financing, Bank Islam’s pioneering status has also given it an advantage by having a strong brand name and franchise that significantly differentiates it from its competitors – creating an appealing image of being the purest Islamic bank which has attracted and continued to attract a growing, loyal customer base. In addition, the Bank has always been committed to corporate social responsibility, not just by giving back to the community in which it operates but the Islamic finance industry as a whole through knowledge sharing and becoming the source of reference. In the recent years, the Bank not only had exhibited significant improvements in terms of financial performance but applied robust risk management as well to ensure sustainability of growth.

Via the innovative application of Waqf land development, today, Bank Islam’s headquarter is the pristine Menara Bank Islam, located in the midst of the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Kuala Lumpur. As at end of 2013, Bank Islam has 133 branches nationwide with a workforce of more than 4,200.

Company: Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad Name: Norainah Mohmad Zakuan Email: Web Address: Address: Executive Suite, Menara Bank Islam, 22 Jalan Perak, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Malaysia Telephone: +1 603 2088 8073

Bank Islam’s vision to become ‘A Global Leader in Islamic Banking’ illustrates its commitment to the expansion of Malaysia’s brand of Islamic finance into the global markets. By placing importance to the



February 2017

Strategies for Life Following being awarded Best Multidisciplinary Wealth Management Firm – Texas, we take a more in-depth look at The Investec Difference.


nvestec is a boutique wealth management firm based in Houston, TX that has been serving affluent individuals and families for more than 30 years. Investec helps clients align their financial life so they are free to focus on the things that matter most: spending time with family, enjoying a comfortable lifestyle, nurturing future generations, making a difference through charitable work, or experiencing those travel adventures they’ve been planning for years.

esty, and consideration. It’s no different for a financial advisory relationship. You want your advisor to be as prudent in investing your money as he is with his own. We believe our independence as a privately-held feebased registered investment advisor is an important element in forging successful relationships with clients in at least two important ways.” “First, we are not beholden to the corporate objectives of any brokerage house or mutual fund company. We are free to choose the funds in which we invest based on our research and judgment as to which will perform best for our clients and ourselves. Our fee-based pricing structure ensures that neither we nor our advice are influenced by anything other than your best interests. Clients can be assured that there are no monetary incentives from fund companies or brokerage firms affecting our choice of investments.”

The knight, featured in the Investec logo, is a chess piece that moves in all directions. Experienced chess players know the knight’s versatility is critical in implementing those forward-looking strategies essential to winning. Investec’s wealth management strategies are designed to provide clients with the flexibility and confidence to meet their financial goals. The firm aims to accompany clients on their journey, enabling them to spend their time and energy on the benefits of their wealth, not on the management of it.

“Second, registered investment advisors are legally required to uphold a fiduciary relationship with their clients. What does that mean? It means that we are obligated to make decisions and recommendations on the basis of what’s best for the client. Brokers are required to meet a standard of “suitability,” a criterion that allows financial incentives that flow back to them to impact their recommendations, such as promoting funds managed by the firm they work for. Registered investment advisors, on the other hand, are required to keep client interests foremost in mind.”

Mission Investec provides its clients with strategies for life. It builds lasting relationships with clients and their families, coordinating their life goals with financial solutions. Investec advisors combine their expertise and overriding concern for clients’ interests to deliver an unparalleled client experience.

“Our being independent fiduciaries doesn’t guarantee that the right chemistry will exist between us, but it should underscore that our commitment is to see you financially successful. And we think that should matter to you.”

Process Many advisors and their clients approach wealth management as a numerical exercise. They focus on investment performance and fees, while steering clear of emotion and subjective matters. Investec perceives wealth management differently.

- John Goottt, Daniel Goott and Doug Garrison

The firm begins by engaging clients in discussions that help it to uncover client goals and aspirations. Investec also expects the client to evaluate the firm to decide if they’re comfortable with its approach. Only then, if the right chemistry is there and both parties decide to work together, will the process continue.

Company: Investec Email: Web Address: Address: 4900 Woodway, Suite 550, Houston, TX 77056 Telephone: +1 713 622 9111

The Investec team develop a holistic financial plan for clients covering investments, cash flow planning, insurance planning, education funding, and estate planning—to help customers achieve their objectives. Investec aims to help its clients to avoid making mistakes, suggesting opportunities that might be helpful, and accompanying them on the path toward achieving their goals. The Investec Difference “The cornerstone of many a successful relationship, both personal and professional, is trust. Both parties want to be treated with respect, hon-



Wealth & Finance International

Shining Bright Clean Energy Enterprises Pty Ltd is the parent company that owns and operates the Solar Shop, Commsolar, Commercial Power Solutions and Premier Solar Project’s brands. We profile the firm to see how the positive impact they made on the energy sector.


lean Energy’s mission is to put an end to dependence on fossil fuels, by offering clients the latest innovations in energy efficiency and solar technologies. With an impressive portfolio of projects delivered and a truly national presence, CEE has the assets, expertise and capacity to assist clients in achieving sustainability goals.

One innovative and pioneering service has been the Solarshop, which was established with a strong belief in solar power – not just the environmental case but also having the benefits of free power generation. Growing from a humble beginning of three people distributing panels from Adelaide, Solarshop have come a long way in 12 years with offices now in five states.

These iconic brands have pioneered and dominated the roll out of Clean Energy Solar Power systems across Australia since 1999. Clean Energy Enterprises, through its iconic brands, has installed more Solar Panels and generated more Solar Power than any other business or company in Australia’s history. The firm’s vision is for the widespread availability and affordability of renewable energy to become a reality. As such CEE is investing extensive capital and resources to be the market leader in the energy sector.

Solarshops’ vision for the future drives everything they do at Solarshop with their main goal to be Australia’s leading and most trusted provider of integrated solar energy solutions. As well as Solarshop, Clean Energy operates Commsolar. They specialise in PV solar projects ranging from 10kW to 10MW. We are dedicated to projects that implement world’s best practice in design and delivery, earned not only in terms of installed solar capacity, but also through the success of projects that are delivered on time and within budget.

The firm’s products are sourced from leading manufacturers and suppliers in Australia and internationally, and build trust with those relationships by exploiting their capabilities of industry knowledge and technical expertise.

Commsolar’s experienced project managers and engineers are involved from the feasibility stage through to project execution and completion. They focus on planning down to the smallest level of detail, with particular attention paid to the interface between head contractor and management of the project schedule. This ensures that every commitment is realised on time, often exceeding client expectations.

The team at Clean Energy is one of the most experienced in delivering commercial and large scale solar and energy projects in Australia. Staff are dedicated to providing the best solutions to fit customers and clients needs, without compromise on value or quality.

Commsolar’s team members have a diverse range of experience, from delivering multi-megawatt solar projects in Europe to designing remote power stations in rural Australia. Large-scale projects require a wide range of expertise, and Commsolar’s team often manages the recruitment and development of specialised partnerships for a project.

Clean Energy’s partners are the best in their respective fields. They only use electrical contractors and installers that have passed all relevant training and are fully certified, thereby ensuring the highest quality product installations.

This has previously included construction and engineering firms, property groups, architects and finance advisors. These partnerships are often formed in the concept or pre-tender stages, with a thorough understanding of end-user needs always driving the approach. Excellence in managing projects from concept to completion, with the input of multiple stakeholders and project partners, is one of Commsolar’s hallmarks. We also recognise the need for flexibility, and do not commit to any one particular supplier or technology. In the last calendar year alone, the group has deployed more than nine photovoltaic module technologies (from seven of the world’s leading manufacturers) to rooftops and ground-based ‘free-field’ sites around Australia. Nevertheless, Commsolar’s established connections with domestic and international suppliers is one of their greatest strengths. Their long-term research and development programs have resulted in strong relationships, and have reduced the cost of cutting-edge systems for clients without compromising quality.

The core purpose of the business is to advocate and commercialize clean energy and clean technologies in a highly ethical and socially responsible way that is good for the community and the environment. In order to fulfil this, Clean energy has three core values which they adhere to. They always strive to be the most innovative and trusted company in the clean energy sector, in any given situation, they will always treat people in the same way that they would like to be treated in the same situation and they will always act in customers’ best interests. Clean Energy believes in making energy independence possible through their main values. These values are: - customer focus, quality products, teamwork, communication, dedication and a passion for the environment. That means that they take the time to listen to clients, understanding their needs and providing them with the optimum solution. That means making sure clients are getting the best returns on their investment.


February 2017

Energy efficiency is important to us all but in the commercial environment any improvements must be financially sustainable. If people are investing money into energy efficiency, businesses need to know how long it will take for the investment to pay for itself or the Return on Investment (ROI). Many companies will advise clients to invest substantial sums of money into energy efficiency with an ROI of six to ten years. CPS specialises in solutions that have an ROI of three years or under. Into the future, Clean Energy Enterprises hopes to be Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most prominent developer and owner of Solar Power Parks (100kw â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 10mw size) and to always have the best brands in the Clean Energy Industry Sectors that they participate in. Also, by 2020, the firm want to be rightfully recognized as the company that did more to help Australia achieve its 20% Renewable Energy Target than any other company.

Company: Clean Energy Enterprises Name: Daniel Cobb Web Address:



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Wealth & Finance February 2017