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Wealth & Finance International | January 2017

Winning Business Strategies for 2017

Lilian H Weinreich Architects

Richard Tyler gives us his latest installment of some excellent Tyler Tips®. PAGE 8

Food for Thought

An Asset to Their Clients

DONNA MARGHERITA - PAGE 59

A Fund to Watch SENTINEL - PAGE 40

Cyber - Challenging Conventional Wisdom

VEDANTA HEDGING LIMITED - PAGE 34

Stunning Seaside Escapes WEISSE VILLA AM MEER - PAGE 55

Creating a New Approach to Private Equity COGRESS - PAGE 46

Excellence in ETFs

POWERSHARES BY INVESCO - PAGE 52

CYBERLYTIC - PAGE 44

A Platform for Success DYNAMO SOFTWARE - PAGE 50

Strength Through Unity THRIVENT FINANCIAL 12

Accessible Treatment and Prevention Options

HERBORIUM GROUP, INC. - PAGE 56

Intelligent Architecture in a Challenging Industry NORR - PAGE 32

Creating Real Estate Opportunities

RICARDO CAPORAL, PRESIDENT - MATTONI GROUP - PAGE 14

A Bespoke Approach to Wealth Management EMM - PAGE 53

Also in This Issue... Above, left to right... FMI Corporation PAGE 36 Sushen Investments Limited PAGE 38 Julia Onslow-Cole - PwC PAGE 42 GuideStone Capital Management PAGE 54 Omni Aesthetics PAGE 48 www.wealthandfinance-intl.com


Editor’s Comment

Wealth & Finance International

Welcome to the January 2017 edition of Wealth & Finance International magazine, which has a rich and varied range of content, including real estate, wealth management and tax plus much more! Every year at this time, individuals and corporations renew the timehonoured tradition of making commitments to be better this year than last. For most, the intentions are good, however the results tend to be lacking writes Richard Tyler in the latest instalment of his excellent Tyler Tips®. In comment from first direct, home ownership has fallen in most areas of the UK, according to the parliamentary Home Ownership Statistics report. While Scotland appears slightly immune to the trend, with a 0.8% rise in ownership since 2011, and ownership amongst those aged 70+ has also risen by a similar margin, other areas in the UK aren’t seeing the same growth. I hope you enjoy reading this edition. Jonathan Miles, Editor READ THIS MONTH’S CPD ACCREDITED ISSUE TO GAIN 6 CPD POINTS The content of the following has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles Acquisition International & Wealth & Finance INTL June Edition Online Learning

AI GLOBAL MEDIA LTD (10347) Date:

June 2016

Certificate No:

A002970

The CPD Certification Service, The Coach House, Ealing Green, London W5 5ER. Tel: 020 8840 4383 Fax: 020 8579 3991 E-mail: info@cpduk.co.uk Web: www.cpduk.co.uk

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Contents

Winning Business Strategies for 2017

January 2017

4. News 8. Winning Business Strategies for 2017 12. Strength Through Unity 14. Creating Real Estate Opportunities 16. The Right Partner for Your Business 18. Fund Solutions for Fund Managers 20. Wealth Preservation Tax Studies 22. Uncovering the Hidden Gems 24. Large Enough to Count, Small Enough to Care 25. Returns Service 26. Alternative Investment Fund Strategies 28. Providing Clients with Peace of Mind 31. Reflections on BREXIT and Its Impact on the Commercial Vehicle Industry 32. Intelligent Architecture in a Challenging Industry 34. An Asset to Their Clients 36. Serving the Global Engineering and Construction Industry 38. Building Great Ventures 40. Sentinel Retirement Fund 42. Shaping UK Government Policy 44. Cyber - Challenging Conventional Wisdom 46. Creating a New Approach to Private Equity 48. The Age of Stem Cells 50. A Platform for Success 52. Excellence in ETFs 53. A Bespoke, Multigenerational Approach to Wealth Management 54. Guiding the Path to Success 55. Stunning Seaside Escapes 56. Accessible Treatment and Prevention Options 58. Waste Not Want Not 59. Food for Thought 60. Making the World a Better Place 62. The Highest Level of Excellence 64. 200 Years’ Experience in Power Generation 66. The Effects of Divorce on Business 68. Is Home Ownership Still the Great British Dream? 70. Changes to Salary Sacrifice Schemes 72. Banks of Tomorrow - Intelligent Data-Driven Experiences for a Consumer-Centric World 74. Nothing to Wine About 75. Brilliance in Boutique Business 76. High Quality, Low Volatility Returns 78. Spike in Profits for Cheri’s Desert Harvest 79. Winners’ Directory

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Wealth Wealth & Finance & Finance International International | News

Hard Brexit and Strong Inflation Data: Now Is the Time to ‘Go More Global’ Theresa May’s recent Brexit speech and this month’s strong inflation data should prompt investors to reduce exposure to UK assets and invest more internationally, affirms the boss of one of the world’s largest independent advisory organisations.

The observation from Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, comes as the British Prime Minister on 17th January said Britain would be prepared to leave the single market.

He also said that the “stronger-than-expected inflation data - UK inflation has hit its highest level since the middle of 2014 – also adds weight to the argument to reduce portfolio exposure to UK assets as the Bank of England could be more inclined to now hike interest rates.”

Mr Green comments, “after months of keeping her cards close to her chest, in her most important speech since becoming Prime Minister in July, Mrs May told the world that her plans for Brexit cannot allow the UK to remain in the European single market. Although this stance has been widely expected by the markets, it is likely that this confirmation of a hard Brexit will trigger several years of ongoing uncertainty.

Mr Green concludes, “regardless of the hard Brexit and the increasing likelihood of a rate rise, many investors should be considering a rebalance of their portfolios away from the UK. Investing across geographical regions is one of the fundamentals of a well-diversified portfolio – and those with a well-diversified portfolio are best-placed to mitigate risk in times of market turbulence and best-placed to take advantage of the opportunities. The greater diversification that is secured by ‘going more global’, the greater the reduction of overall portfolio risk.”

“The markets detest uncertainty. As such, investors should take precautions against a potential fall in the value of UK assets and avoid firms dependent upon UK-only earnings. Investors can achieve this by increasing exposure to non-UK investments, such as international stocks, bonds and property.”

www.devere-group.com

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January 2017

Banks to Seize $490 Billion Crowdlending Market Opportunity with Launch of Misys FusionBanking CrowdLending On 17th January at its Connect Forum in Paris, Misys launched its new crowdlending module. Misys FusionBanking CrowdLending supports retail and corporate banks in delivering funding to all customers, from the individual to SMEs and large corporations. It opens the door for banks to claim a stake in the accelerating global loan origination market, which could command almost half a trillion dollars globally by 2020.

“Alternative finance has made its mark,” said Simon Paris, President at Misys. “Overall loan volumes are on the up, but a growing and increasingly relevant slice of the market is now being processed by independent P2P providers. With traditional lending vehicles, also under pressure from marketplace lenders, banks risk missing out. Our approach enables banks to capture more of the opportunities in this market, and to de-risk, disrupt and quickly grow in this competitive space. Crowdlending with Misys is a digital leap that banks can make now and it is a leap that could see them play a significant role in boosting SME funding – an area that has been underserved to date.”

scene as it allows traditional banks to contribute their expertise in credit management to borrowers and lenders alike. “Additionally, unlike some marketplace lending platform providers who continue to operate at a loss, FusionBanking CrowdLending will enable bank-administered platforms to provide long-term financial stability to the marketplace lending sector, allowing for the acceleration of innovation in the future while plugging a funding gap that currently exists for SMEs.” For borrowers, FusionBanking CrowdLending provides easy access to alternative funding through a trusted bank platform, with no additional sign up processes required. In-house processing affords cost efficiencies which deliver borrowers competitive rates. Users also benefit from their bank’s customer network of lenders and investors, for fast loan origination. Investors benefit from established credit risk processes and bank infrastructure, to minimise potential risk.

FusionBanking CrowdLending provides a fully integrated, white-label platform which enables banks to bring lenders, including individuals, asset managers and banks, together with borrowers of all sizes, innovating and digitalising traditional lending. By embedding crowdlending in the overall credit lifecycle, a bank can maintain and expand its client base, no longer having to turn away those they otherwise wouldn’t fund. At the same time, loans are originated off balance sheet to diversify risk.

FusionBanking CrowdLending is born out of the Misys FusionReactor innovation lab. The agile cloud-based platform is built on the Misys FusionFabric architecture. The new platform serves to originate peer to peer commercial loans. It is available pre-integrated with Misys FusionBanking Loan IQ for servicing resulting syndicated loans. It can also be integrated into other existing servicing platforms.

James O’Neill, Senior Analyst for Banking at Celent said, “a key limitation to the long-term growth of the marketplace lending sector is the lack of industry standards across the various platforms competing in the market, and as a result important metrics like credit quality and collection policies are not uniformly administered across competitors. FusionBanking CrowdLending is thus a welcome addition to the marketplace lending

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Wealth Wealth & Finance & Finance International International | News

What Could Brexit Mean for Your Mortgage? Contractor Financials, a company dedicated to making financial services easy for contractors, has run an information-gathering campaign designed to highlight the effects on the mortgage market after Brexit.

With house prices up 5.2% from 2015, this article explores a range of different angles and scenarios to provide insight for those feeling concerned following the Brexit decision. This insight is provided through quotes and predictions from industry professionals and influencers who work in the financial world day after day, within banks, mortgage lenders, or financial advisors.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer considering your options, a property developer looking for an opportunity, or a concerned landlord, this article has the valuable information you need to calm your nerves and help you make informed decisions moving forward. For more information on the findings, check out the full article at https://goo.gl/3E45Z4. About the company - Contractor Financials was founded in 2001 after identifying a gap in the market for financial help aimed at freelancers and contractors. Since then, they have helped over 22,000 contractors achieve their financial goals, offering a one-stop-shop for financial services including pensions, mortgages, financial protection and investment advice.

Key facts: • *57% of the lenders and financial experts are expecting a 1-5% growth over the next 12 months despite Brexit ‘fears’. • 60% of lenders questioned viewed now was the best time to take out a fixed rate mortgage. • The cost of borrowing has fallen since the vote, with the average mortgage now repaid at a rate of 2.85%- down from 2.99%.

*The survey was conducted during October 2016 - there were 23 respondents.

With first-hand data collected from the field, this information provides a unique overview of the property market, focusing on property investment and mortgages.

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January 2017

EBRD Rolls out Covered Bonds Framework in Slovakia The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is rolling out a €200 million framework for mortgage covered bonds in the Slovak Republic with the aim of strengthening the development of the local capital market. The EBRD has also partnered with the Slovak Ministry of Finance to improve the existing legal and regulatory framework for covered bonds.

In the first project under the programme, the EBRD has invested €49 million in a series of 7-year mortgage covered bonds issued by the Všeobecná úverová banka (VUB), the second largest universal bank in the Slovak Republic by total assets. The face value of the issuance was €250 million, the largest so far on the Slovak market.

Lucyna Stanczak-Wuczynska, EBRD Director of Financial Instituations and EU Banks, said: “We are very proud to launch this innovative and important programme. It underlines the contribution the EBRD can still make in an advanced economy like the Slovak Republic. Strengthening the capital market will benefit the Slovak banking sector by contributing to its resiliency and will ultimately facilitate sustainable financial intermediation in the country.”

Developing local capital markets is one of the EBRD’s priorities in its work to strengthen the resilience of the economies of the country where the Bank invests. Resilience is one of the six transition qualities defining the EBRD’s work. The Bank believes that a well-functioning market economy should be more than just competitive; it should also be inclusive, well-governed, environmentally friendly, resilient and integrated.

Alexander Resch, CEO of VUB added, “I am very happy that the EBRD have chosen VUB for its first investment into covered bonds issued by a Slovak bank. The funding will help the bank to grow its mortgage book further and at the same time strengthen its funding structure.” Since the beginning of its operations in the Slovak Republic, the EBRD has invested over €2.2 billion in some 130 projects in the country.

Covered bonds are a long-term funding tool backed by assets on the issuing banks’ balance sheets like mortgages. They are viewed as low-risk investments and are a well-established instrument in western markets. The EBRD is ready to support the legislative reform which enables issuance of covered bonds in line with the best market standards and to invest in new covered bonds in the regions where it invests as this instrument can make an important contribution to the stability of banking systems.

www.ebrd.com

Before launching the Slovak Covered Bonds framework, the EBRD had invested in similar funding tools in Poland and Turkey. The Bank also engaged, under the Local Currency and Capital Market Initiative, in reform work in a number of countries including Croatia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. The Bank has just started a project with the Slovak Ministry of Finance to enhance the existing covered bonds’ legislative framework in the Slovak Republic. The new draft law is expected soon. “Until recently, covered bonds were hardly known or used in the EBRD’s countries of operations,” said André Küüsvek, EBRD Director for Local Currency and Capital Market Development. “The EBRD supports the development of covered bonds as they combine safe long-term funding for banks with a great transition story. Behind every covered bond, there are hundreds of mortgage loans, and behind every mortgage loan there is a household and a family.”

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Wealth & Finance International

Winning Business Strategies for 2017 Every year at this time, individuals and corporations renew the time-honoured tradition of making commitments to be better this year than last. For most, the intentions are good, however the results tend to be lacking writes Richard Tyler in his latest installment of some excellent Tyler Tips®.

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his can happen for the following six primary reasons: • Goals are not specific enough; • There is no action plan; • There are no specific target deadlines; • There is no real commitment to the objectives by the necessary people (individuals or company); • There is no vision of the trends that may influence the objectives over the next 12 months and; • The skills to achieve the objectives are lacking or non-existent.

Each award focuses on the organisation with the exception of the AKAP Prize, which focuses on recognising individuals. As wonderful as all this sounds, when taken as a whole, last year as in previous years, most company Total Quality Management programs turned out to be a complete bust; most of those implemented during 2017 will be a dismal failure as well. This need not be. Total Quality Management winners in 2017 will be those companies and individuals that realise there are cultural differences between workers around the world. These differences need to be embraced and assimilated if the desired goals are to be reached.

To turn these six primary reasons for failure into success, businesses and individuals must devote attention to five critical areas: Quality Improvement, Customer Service, Sales, Management and Leadership.

As an illustration of this point, the statistical, regimented approach of traditional Total Quality Management does not work long-term in the United States. Companies have to teach their people to be better communicators, how to analyse challenges and how to improve problem-solving skills in a freethinking format which is more analogous of the U.S. market.

Quality Improvement For a number of years, Total Quality Management (TQM) or some variation on the name has been a hot topic around executive teams. Most companies have some type of quality improvement initiatives or programs in place. These programs were originally driven by successes enjoyed by countries such as Japan and Germany, where TQM programs first took root.

Of course, these skills are not exclusive to the United States, they are critical to any developed or developing country wanting to get to or stay at the top of world business markets. Rapid innovation tends to be a little messy. If you are following too strict and regimented an approach you will sooner or later be following someone else that has figured out how to have maximum quality in a freethinking, problem-solving environment.

To compete, companies began to read the philosophies that W. Edwards Deming had taught to post World War II Japanese top management, engineers and scholars in a series of lectures held in Japan from June to August 1950. The Japanese executives embraced the idea that improving quality would increase productivity and reduce expenses.

Remember, quality is a measure of pride, ownership and high self-esteem. Without these three attitudes, no Total Quality Management program will ever produce lasting results that compensate for the time and money spent on implementation.

As they applied these principles and experienced quality and productivity at record levels the demand for lower cost, higher quality Japanese goods increased; hence the beginning of the formidable Japanese economy took hold.

Customer Service Customer Service will be hotter than ever in 2017. Consumers and businesses have a tremendous number of options at their disposal. Decisions will be based on who provides the better service, as measured by speed of answers, quality of implementation and customer sentiment as it relates to the ‘entire buying experience’.

As time went on others chose to implement these teachings in order to successfully compete on total quality. Countries and associations established awards to recognise the best practitioners. The first such major management award was Japan’s Deming Prize, aptly named after W. Edwards Deming.

Every long-term successful company will see the need to enroll its people in an ongoing customer-service education program, using both inside and outside sources. Individuals wishing to perform at the levels that customers reward with loyalty will want to enroll themselves in a program if their company isn’t progressive enough to invest in ongoing education

The four other most prestigious major awards are the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, established in 1987 by the United States Congress to be the USA equivalent of the Deming Prize, the Canada Awards for Excellence, The European Quality Awards, and the AKAO Prize.

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January 2017

“God plans for everyone to be successful. If we’re not, we’ve chosen to follow a different set of blueprints.” - Richard Tyler 9


Wealth & Finance International

“Remember, your success tomorrow is in direct proportion to your “Commitment to Excellence®” today.” ™

and skill training. Notice in my comments the operative word is ongoing. Unfortunately, most companies or individuals will not opt for ongoing. Instead, they will do nothing or have one-time training for just a few hours and think mistakenly that everything is covered. In order to save a few dollars, others will opt to just do online customer service training over live, interactive, role-play based training. History has proven that this mistake will cost money and time rather than being an investment since the long and short term results will be lacking. Contrary to that, participating in a quality ongoing customer-service education program is truly an investment since it will reap significant financial as well as personal rewards that are compounded over time. Additionally, make the commitment to enroll all your customer support people in a top-quality sales education program. No service department or individual can provide the best value to the customer experience without this critical ongoing training. An excellent sales education program will teach virtually all the skills that are necessary for excellent service. Product and service specifics will still need to be addressed and should be handled internally. The best companies train everyone from the receptionist to the product development people in fundamental sales philosophies. This creates a company synergistic approach to customers that yields incredible results over time. If you choose not to get everyone involved, at least have all customer-facing people in the program. Sales The best companies will invest in their people’s skills by using outside sources to create long-term programs with custom-designed, industry-specific components. The benefits of a $199.00 (or country equivalent currency), one-day program are limited. Winners will look at ongoing programs as critical to success and will devote top priority and money to them. To provide an example of this point, the investment in my company’s world renown six-day Sales Immersion® Sales Training Program is $5000.00 U.S. dollars per participant. The ROI for individuals and companies that attend is off the charts as illustrated by this comment from the President of a major company that participated. “I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend Richard Tyler’s award-winning ‘Commitment to Excellence, Sales Immersion’ Sales Training program. I considered myself an accomplished sales professional, and I entered into this six-day program thinking that I could pick up a few tips and ideas that might help me be even more successful. What actually happened is I completely revamped and retooled how I did my job and approached my profession based on the intensive course work, presentations and study that was required during the session. I cannot emphasise enough the profound impact this course has had on both my career and my personal life. One of my proudest moments ever has been that I graduated from the Sales Immersion program as the Valedictorian with the highest score in the class that I attended. My success since that time has been exceptional, as I used all of the techniques and disciplines I learned while leading the sales and marketing organisation in the company that I was working for at the time. We were able to achieve a remarkable 70% increase in overall revenues in the 5 years that followed my time at Sales Immersion.” The results of high quality, ongoing programs that establish and help maintain a revenue-generation culture will pay massive dividends year after year to those that commit to them. 10


January 2017

Vice presidents, managers and heads of human resources must push for the types of programs. It’s too easy to miss what you need so work with outside expertise to develop and implement effective programs for maximum results.

If you are unsure of the types of information that should be part of any excellent leadership development program check out my award-winning Leadership Mastery™ Program at RichardTyler.com. There you will get a complete view of what you should be looking for in any top-notch leadership training program.

It is particularly important for all human resource professionals, including at the highest levels, to participate in the sales education program themselves so they are best able to recognise the qualities and attributes of the best candidates. This recognition will perpetuate the revenue generation culture throughout the organisation. HR must remember a significant portion of their job function involves sales at multiple levels.

As an individual, you cannot wait for your company to provide this leadership education. You can strongly encourage it, but you should not and must not trust your entire leadership destiny to the company. You must take control. If you are thinking, “I don’t have a leadership position in my company” maybe the reason you don’t have a leadership position is your skill level and attitude about leadership. If you are thinking, “I do not really want a leadership role”, you have a wrong-headed idea of leadership because everyone will have to lead at something at some time in his or her life. The better you are at leadership the happier and less negatively stressed you will be when it is your turn.

Too often weak leaders will not push for the types of programs discussed here because of fears of inadequacy and job loss. Pressure for performance in 2017 will expose weak sales and service leaders quickly. Ignoring this weakness will have punishing consequences to the business.

Remember leadership does not just happen at work. Leadership happens in your family, at your church, with your homeowners’ association, with your civic organisation, with a field of interest, and in conversation. You get the idea; leadership happens everywhere. You cannot avoid it, so why not embrace it and be good at it. Get started today!

Management Management skills are still woefully inadequate. Most managers are reasonably good at giving orders, but not at motivating their people to action. Successful managers in 2017 will be excellent teachers. To be an excellent teacher requires both managers and their companies to educate themselves in leadership and managerial principles. It’s impossible to make your subordinates perform at peak levels if you have inadequate skills. “Do as I say and not as I do” won’t work at achieving consistent maximum results.

Let’s boil these five areas down to just a singular truth. The companies and individuals that will lay the groundwork for excellent results in 2017 and beyond will be those that spend a significantly larger portion of time and money developing the attitudes of pride, ownership and high self-esteem. At the same time, they will educate their people and themselves with long-term commitments to skill enhancement in Sales, Customer Service, Quality Improvement, Management and Leadership.

Leadership Even rarer than an excellent sales professional is an excellent leader. In my book “Leadership Defined”, I had the privilege of being a featured contributing author with world class leaders and experts on leadership, people such as; General Alexander Haig, Dr. Warren Bennis, Jack Barry, Patricia Ball and Alan Keyes. All of us agree that powerful, ethical leadership is the most critical element to business success. We also agree that it doesn’t exist in most organisations and that leadership development is a key area of concentration.

Success is an ongoing lifetime journey not a destination. Now get busy making your company and yourself the best in 2017. Richard Tyler is a Best-Selling Author and the World’s Top Sales and Management Expert. For more Personal and Professional development principles you may subscribe to Tyler Tips® at www.TylerTips.com ©1989-2017 Richard Tyler. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means or stored in any database or retrieval system without prior written permission from Richard Tyler. Tyler Tips®, Commitment to Excellence® and Sales Immersion® are Registered Trademarks of Richard Tyler

I have been asked many times the difference between management and leadership. As I state in the book, “In its purest form to lead people is: to inspire them to achieve or do things they would not necessarily achieve or do left on their own. To manage people and ourselves is: to direct, encourage, expect and inspect the day-to-day activities that are the action plan of the objectives to be achieved. To lead and manage effectively we have to make some determination about ourselves.”

Company: Richard Tyler International, Inc.® CEO: Richard Tyler Address: 5773 Woodway Dr., Suite 860, Houston, TX 77057-1501, USA Phone: (+1) 713 974 7214 Websites: www.RichardTyler.com www.SalesImmersion.com www.RichardTylerTechnologies.com

The determination about our leadership style, comfort and skill level as well as that of our team, department, division or corporation needs to be a top priority. Leadership development programs that become part of the corporate culture should be implemented ASAP. These leadership programs should be synergistic to the other education programs. In other words, they should not be conducted in a vacuum but rather they should be an integrated part of the other skill training. They should have complementary not contradictory principles and language. Leadership training should be implemented at the top first then immediately filter down to all levels. When leadership training occurs in this manner people have the skills as they are called upon to use them and there are no leadership voids.

®

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Wealth & Finance International

Strength Through Unity Thrivent Financial is a not-for-profit membership financial organisation that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. We profile the firm, who were recently awarded Stock Broker of the Year 2016, and explore the innovative range of services it offers.

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or more than a century Thrivent helped its nearly 2.4 million member-owners make wise money choices that reflect their values. This is achieved through offering a broad range of products and services, including life insurance, annuities and mutual funds, along with guidance from financial representatives nationwide. These products help clients to grow assets, prepare for retirement and stay protected.

financial solutions, products and services that are right for them, ensuring that the client makes the very most out of their money. In addition, the firm offers the Thrivent Financial Guidance Team®, a unique unit that ensures clients get one-on-one support from licensed financial representatives. This dedicated team offers a variety of products and services including annuities, life insurance and mutual funds. They will work with clients to address questions, provide guidance and, if needed, connect them with a local Thrivent Financial representative.

Uniquely, the firm is a creative form of non-profit known as a fraternal benefit society. By definition, a fraternal benefit society is a not-for-profit organisation that provides insurance to its members and has to carry out social, intellectual, educational, charitable, benevolent, moral, fraternal, patriotic or religious purposes for the benefit of its members and the public. This combination of charity work and financial services makes the firm truly unique.

For clients who are looking for technological, remote access to their accounts and information MyThrivent acts as the ideal resource. This innovative solution allows users to conveniently view and manage their Thrivent accounts online 24 hours a day. MyThrivent gives them secure access to their insurance, individual mutual fund, annuity and brokerage accounts. In addition, clients can also find local member (chapter) information, designate Choice Dollars® and get additional financial resources.

Another key differentiator is that the firm have to operate under the lodge system, which means a member of the “society” is a member of a local group of the society (which is self-governing). Other unique aspects include the fact that fraternal benefit societies have representative governments (local and national boards elected by members), and members share a common bond that can be religious, ethnic, vocational or another common bond.

This innovative approach saw the firm improve its yearly dividend and as such, in 2017, solid business fundamentals, including rigorous expense management, strong investment practices and careful underwriting of new business, contributed to the creation of surplus to allow the organisation to distribute back to the members who have contributed to its success. As such eligible members of will receive an estimated $319 million in dividends in 2017. This figure represents a 2% increase from last year’s dividend distribution of approximately $312 million.

“Uniquely, the firm is a creative form of non-profit known as a fraternal benefit society.”

Ultimately, the financial solutions Thrivent offer and its community involvement both drive toward the same goal; the success of its members, their families and their communities. As such looking to the future this will remain the firm’s ongoing focus as it seeks to build upon this success and support even more members.

Company: Thrivent Financial Address: 625 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN, 55415-1624 USA Phone: 800-847-4836 Fax: 800-225-2264 Website: https://www.thrivent.com/

Therefore, with this individual focus and collective mind-set, client’s individual needs, aims and objectives are all taken into account when Thrivent start working with new clients. The firm have more than 2,300 financial representatives in all 50 states who can help clients ascertain what is most importance. They each work out of a regional financial office (RFO) located close to the client and apply their local knowledge and vast experience to understand the clients’ needs. As they begin to understand their financial situation, they will partner the client with a local Thrivent Financial team or RFO. Together, they will determine the

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Wealth & Finance International

Creating Real Estate Opportunities Mattoni Group is a Private Equity Real Estate Investment company who raises capital, then puts it to use in real estate opportunities. The firm also carries out deals that originate internally, as well as through joint venture structures and strategic partnerships with external sponsors of real estate in multiple locations and different asset classes. Following their recent win of the Real Estate Fund Manager of the Year 2016, the firm’s President Ricardo Caporal speaks to us about winning this prestigious award.

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aporal is very happy to have won the Real Estate Fund Manager of the Year 2016 award, and said “it was unexpected, but it is always nice to receive such awards and be recognised.”

deck, cabanas, poolside gymnasium, community entertainment lounge and Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the property. In terms of his staff, there are people focused on operations, full-time acquisitions specialists, asset managers, and investor relations people. Half look at the new deals and focus on revenue generation and the remaining half focus on the operations. “My role is to look at all aspects of the business, as well as sourcing capital” Caporal adds.

In partnership with ZOM Florida and New York-based Clarion Partners, Mattoni Group recently invested in a 366-unit multifamily apartment development project located on Progress Boulevard. This expanding south Brandon/Riverview submarket is home to a growing number of corporate employers, and an array of retail and entertainment venues is anchored by the nearby Westfield Brandon Mall.

The firm continues to grow and has never lost an investor Caporal reveals, and “one of the challenges today is to find good “non-speculative” opportunities and put your money to work in an efficient and transparent way, and to get good returns.

Caporal said, “we are very bullish on the Tampa market, and we are obtaining healthy rents per square foot in that area, primarily due to the quality of product being delivered. This is our second development venture here. ZOM will deliver a first-class project, and we are excited to have partnered with both ZOM and Clarion Partners.”

The future There are a lot of unknowns politically in the sector Caporal says, “so we need to understand firstly what are the tax implications in terms of short and long-term capital gains will be under a new president elect.” Secondly, interest rates will need to be tracked closely and can influence our industry tremendously. Thirdly, “will Trump close the borders and if so, how will that impact regulation on the tax side and other vehicles foreigners have to bring in capital?”

This is a very recent and apt example of how the firm partners with developers, who already have good opportunities put together, and are seeking for equity. Mattoni Group would therefore come in at this stage and provide the equity required. Mattoni Group has a team of people who raise money on a full-time basis, Caporal explains. They raise money from institutional funds, family offices, high-net-worth individuals (HNWI), so “we look for opportunities to invest in and once we close the deal we carry out construction, asset and development management, looking at leasing reports and a variety of activities around real estate asset management.”

“We are always looking at technology to help us facilitate and improve our operations, but for us it is more about stepping in and creating opportunity and value where there is an imbalance or underserved need in the market.

Name: Ricardo Caporal, President Company: Mattoni Group Email: rcaporal@mattonigroup.com Address: 1401 Brickell Ave, Suite 530 Miami, FL 33131 Telephone: + 1 (305) 621 9607

In terms of recent successes, Mattoni Group sold a deal in Summer 2016, when the Chicago-based Waterton purchased Soleste West Gables, a newly built 206-unit apartment community located in West Miami. Waterton bought the asset from the development group comprising Mattoni Group, Estate Investments Group and Fortune Capital Partners for $57.4 million, or $278,000 per unit. The group’s other projects in the area include the 196-unit Soleste Club Prado and the 221-unit Soleste West Gables II,. Soleste Club Prado began leasing in early in 2016 and offers one, two and three-bedroom units with amenities including a resort-style pool with an oversized sun-

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January 2017

“it was unexpected, but it is always nice to receive such awards and be recognised.�

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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.

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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.

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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: geoff.kinsella@safeonline.com Web Address: www.safeonline.com 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.

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Wealth & Finance International

Fund Solutions for Fund Managers Host Capital is an independent Authorised Corporate Director and Alternative Investment Fund Manager, authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority since 2005. We invited Christopher Finch to talk us through the firm and how it supports investors through its diverse service offering, as well as his reflections on winning the Best Independent AIFM Real Estate 2016 award.

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ere at Host Capital, we offer Fund hosting services across a multitude of asset classes and sectors, with each fund benefitting from a robust and efficient approach to fund and risk management.

Providing AIFM services to Real Estate fund managers is of particular interest to Host Capital. It takes a firm with internal real estate experience to be able to provide clients with often the fast turnaround required to support real estate transactions and/or development opportunities.

Using the best available technology, together with the knowledge, skill and experience of industry professionals, we bring together the best ingredients and framework to optimise the customer outcome for our clients’ investors.

We are delighted and proud to be voted best Best Independent AIFM Real Estate 2016 and would like to thank all our clients for their loyal support.

Through the careful selection of our product partners we structure, deliver, launch, host and then operate tailored investment funds under a wide range of delivery vehicles and regulatory frameworks. Our clients are typically institutions or fund managers but we also service private and retail clients via professional advisers.

Company: Host Capital Limited Name: Christopher Finch Email: cfinch@hostcapital.com Web Address: www.hostcapital.com Address: 73 New Bond Street, Mayfair, London W1S 1RS Telephone: 0207 290 9490

With regulatory bodies ever widening the regulatory framework and so increasing the compliance burden, it has never been a more appropriate time to consider using independent Man Co services. For many fund managers, it no longer makes commercial sense to operate its own Man Co when this function can be quickly outsourced to a specialist provider. Even investors are now expecting independent oversight of the fund management function (something which has been in place for some time within the investment trust world).

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1701WF11

Wealth & Finance International

Wealth Preservation Tax Studies Engineered Tax Services (ETS), winner of Family Office of the Year 2016, is an engineering tax boutique firm that provides significant wealth preservation tax studies through cost segregation, energy tax incentives, research and development tax credits, and other real estate tax strategies.

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263(a) Tangible property regulations The final IRS regulations relating to tangible property were issued in September of 2013 and provide for additional write-offs for most taxpayers. ETS can assist in creating required capitalisation policies and identifying expenses for repairs and maintenance, which can reduce your tax liability and improve cash flow. First, ETS will identify which asset costs are not properly classified, then reclassify them as deductible repairs defined by I.R.C. §162 and §263(a). Deductible repairs may include “incidental repairs” that help to maintain efficient operating conditions but do not necessarily prolong the life and material value or adapt the property to a new or different use. Expenses incurred or paid for incidental repairs and maintenance are not considered capital expenditures and may be reclassified to accelerate deductions in the current year.

n winning the Family Office of the Year 2016 accolade, I cherish the award. To be awarded such an honour from such a prestigious organisation vindicates my vision as to how we are approaching real estate with our family office community and peers.

ETS serves as the engineering tax firm for the Gonzalez Family Office and other family offices globally, assisting to generate tax efficiencies for real estate, private equity, and venture capital in order to preserve family wealth. ETS recognises that each Family Office has unique clients with sophisticated real estate engineering tax needs including: Cost segregation Families can greatly accelerate the depreciation of their real estate investments to preserve wealth. ETS prepares an engineering-based tax study that carves out certain qualifying portions of your building into 5 and 15-year life spans that are normally buried in 39 or 27.5 (residential) year categories. ETS offers a premium cost segregation analysis in which we incorporate principles of construction tax planning and abandonments per the final 263(a) repair regulations.

Disposition of assets When you undertake demolition, or renovate investment property and tear out old lighting, HVAC units and other building parts, these assets are abandoned. As such, their book value can be treated as a business deduction. Tangible personal property within a structure can be written off when a building is demolished or remodelled. (Value must have been identified prior to the demolition and it must not have been purchased with the intent to demolish.) Additional services include: Historic Tax Credit, New Market Tax Credit, and Energy Management Opportunities and challenges in 2017 and beyond Opportunities and challenges in 2017 and beyond will be based on the tax reform upon us from the new Presidency. In terms of the family office, we will be challenged with successful succession planning and the challenges that come from bringing in the new generation of family into the collective businesses.

Company: Engineered Tax Services Name: Julio Gonzalez Email: jgonzalez@engineeredtaxservices.com Web Address: www.engineeredtaxservices.com Address: 303 Evernia Street, STE 300, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 Telephone: + 1 561 253 6640

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January 2017

Feedback from customer “Our Energy Tax Certification resulted in a $74,000 tax deduction, which meant about $20.000 actual cash back to us!” “I wanted to thank you for the cost segregation and energy tax work you have done for several of the firm’s clients. The results have been very favourable and have resulted in significant tax benefits. You have a very talented team, and I look forward to working with you more in the future.” “We have utilised ETS for cost segregation studies and certain energy and R&D tax credit engagements for our firm’s real estate holdings as well as for our clients’ real estate and business interests. The way ETS incorporates energy credits and insurance into other engagements for maximum benefit is unique – no one else does this. The fact that ETS insures their reports through Lloyds of London instils confidence and security. I have personally referred over 60 contacts to ETS for cost segregation studies and will continue to send referrals. The ETS professionals are competent, service-oriented and, most of all, providing cost savings to our clients. By having a reliable source to handle these kinds of engagements, we have essentially increased our firm’s value-added service offerings. That is the truest definition of a strategic partnership.” “We worked with ETS for the first time in 2009. They performed an Energy Tax Certification for our firm that resulted in a $74,000 tax deduction, which meant about $20,000 actual cash back to us. The staff was knowledgeable and friendly and took the time to explain and guide us through the process. While inevitable bumps delayed the report by about a week, we anticipate working with ETS on more projects in the future. We highly recommend ETS and look forward to our enhanced profitability as a result.” “Bonavista Holdings, Inc. is a real estate holding company with approximately 1,000,000 square feet of commercial space located primarily in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Our firm engaged Engineered Tax Services to perform a cost segregation study on our behalf. I received a favourable result that exceeded all of my expectations. I found Mr. Gonzalez to be extremely competent, thorough, and knowledgeable of the subject matter. I had used other firms to do similar work previously, and none compared to the expertise and professionalism exhibited by Mr. Gonzalez’s firm. Needless to say, I would highly recommend his firm, and I would not hesitate to use his services in the future.”

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Wealth & Finance International

Uncovering the Hidden Gems Founded in 1991, Asset Strategy Consultants (ASC) is a privately held, independent investment management consulting firm. They provide unbiased, customised consulting solutions to fiduciaries of endowments/foundations, retirement plans and insurance companies. We caught up with the firm’s Principal & Sr. Consultant Edwin R. Boyer to ascertain more about the work of this independent consulting firm founded in 1991, and his reflections on winning the Most Innovative Private Equity Investor of the Year 2016 award.

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lease give us a brief, overall description of what your firm does? Asset Strategy Consultants is a full-service investment consulting firm with over $7bn of plain assets We provide services to pension funds, endowments, foundations and insurance reserves.

In addition to winning this prestigious award, can you give any other examples of any successes your company has had? I would say that co-investments are very good both in the private equity and venture capital sectors, and we have even found some very unique opportunities in the non-investment grade debt that provides equity like returns with a strong income.

Can you go into more detail about the work your firm does in terms of equity investment? More recently in our 25-year history, we realised that the trend on passive investments was a wise idea, so we have been allocating more in this area and this is currently under review. This will allow us more time to focus on private equity investments (or the less liquid component) of alternative investments in the portfolio which we thought going forward would add more value and improve the returns. The strategy, to swap out the traditional equity products for liquid alternatives, has been very successful.

What opportunities and challenges does your firm face in 2017 and beyond? There is always the fundamental challenge of doing ongoing research and due diligence into managers that you have not heard of, and it takes increased intensity and curiosity to find those gems. We are also finding an increasing number of the private equity firms are hearing about or efforts with smaller and undiscovered managers, and they are finding their way to Baltimore and see us which has been very helpful. We now need to focus on only focussing on those managers who are rigorous in maintaining their disciplines on the valuations that they are buying into on the private equity side - they are not overpaying to do the deal. The challenge is to be assured that that they are going to continue to be disciplined.

How does it feel to have been awarded Most Innovative Private Equity Investor of the Year 2016 – USA? This award is very special to me, and it validates the excellent work our analysts do for our clients, that is uncovering unique opportunities that are overlooked by larger investors. What role do staff play in the undoubted success of your firm? The staff here are very pro-active, and they seek out funds that have had a consistent track record, and rank in the top quartile but are usually overlooked by larger consulting firms. We think that the smaller AUM managers are capable, and are showing a stronger return, and our clients like the extra efforts we supply in uncovering the hidden gems.

Looking at the wider picture, what opportunities and challenges lie ahead for the industry you work in? We need to selectively grow the business, and we also need to take in clients where we can also add value. More clients are willing to go into alternative investments today, and they appreciate that we provide an educational background in order for them to make that decision. We take this very seriously, to help them understand that while you give up liquidity, it is really not as risky as they might think. We do this all the time, so we are comfortable with this.

How would you characterise the clientele your firm serves? The general theme is that we serve tax-exempt clients, typically they will have a portfolio anywhere north of $25m and public or private plans, schools, private foundations, insurance reserves characterise the firm’s inception.

Is there anything else that you would like to add? We really appreciate the award and the compliments from our clients, in trusting us to lead them into the world of alternative or private equity investments, and they feel validated that we are helping them to meet their overall term targets and spending needs.

What kind feedback do you receive from your clientele? The clients have expressed have given us positive feedback on the strong results, particularly in the co-investment early stage private equity type of investments. If they were a little sceptical, the market has certainly been very favourable towards this particular area of alternative investments, and the ideas that our clients have committed to have performed exceptionally well.

Company: Asset Strategy Consultants Name: Edwin R. Boyer, Principal & Sr. Consultant Email: boyer@assetstrategyconsultants.com Web Address: www.assetstrategyconsultants.com Address: 6 North Park Drive, Suite 208 Hunt Valley, MD 21030-1820 Telephone: +1 410 528 8282

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MERCANTIL SWISS TRUST Mercantil Swiss Trust AG is a Swiss based Asset Manager, member of OAR-G (Organisme d’Autoregulation des Gerants de Patrimoine) with license No 1013. The company offers wealth management services, advising both private and institutional clients since January 2015.

www.mercantilswiss.com 1612WF28

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Boulevard des Philosophes 17 | 1205 Geneva | Switzerland | T +41 22 808 05 08 | info@mercantilswiss.com


FI160014

Wealth & Finance International

Large Enough to Count, Small Enough to Care Plan Insurance Brokers, winner of the Best Commercial Motor Insurance Provider – UK award, is a market leading commercial motor insurance brokerage who arrange high quality cover and provide streamlined insurance solutions to commercial motorists. Their client base includes individual business owners as well as large fleets, all of whom benefit from the independent advice of Plan Insurance Brokers which is based on over 25 years of expertise.

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lan Insurance Brokers aim to be recognised as the UK’s #1 commercial motor insurance brokerage by raising standards of professionalism and customer satisfaction across the market. Their outstanding levels of customer service, forward thinking approach to technology and expert claims management have helped them to win multiple awards, which Ryan Georgiades, Managing Director of Plan, is incredibly proud of.

Company: Plan Insurance Brokers Name: Ryan Georgiades, Managing Director Email: customerservices@planinsurance.co.uk Web Address: www.planinsurance.co.uk Address: Orion House, 854 Brighton Road, Purley, Surrey, CR8 2BH Telephone: 0333 003 0615

“Each client of Plan is treated with the level of care and personal attention that can be expected from an award winning family business. All client feedback is independently gathered and made public by the global review company Feefo; which ensures total transparency. Each year since registering with Feefo, we have been awarded their gold trusted merchant rating with over 96% positive feedback, as we do not rest on our laurels and always strive to improve our service. Ryan believes that the commercial motor market should be preparing for significant disruption within the next five to ten years, owing to the emergence of autonomous vehicles. “We have always been forward thinking and have embraced new technology. Our strengths in digital marketing and social media have helped us to keep marketing costs down, meaning capital can be invested in developing our own back office software which helps us to streamline processes and improve the customer experience. Plan is establishing itself as a thought leader within the commercial motor industry by providing expert opinion and advice in areas of regulation. “Plan is a well-established and robust business with great potential for further growth, and we never prioritise short term gain over long term stability. As a family business, we ensure relationships are developed, maintained and truly valued; our motto is ‘large enough to count, small enough to care’. We place a great emphasis on our brand as it is the heart of our business, a promise of what people can expect from our company. Our 70 strong team share in our vision and our desire to achieve excellence. “We place a huge emphasis on training and developing our team. Everyone is given the necessary skills and the knowledge to perform to their best ability. There is also a clear career path for everyone, so that each person sees potential progress and remains passionate about improving.”

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January 2017

Returns Service FundBox SGFII is a Portuguese regulated fund manager wholly dedicated to the management of real estate funds. The firm was set up in 1992, acquired by the current shareholder base in 2002, and operates with a staff of 18 professionals in two offices, Lisbon and Porto. Today, it is the proud recipient of the Real Estate Fund Manager of the Year 2016 Award for Portugal.

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undBox SGFII is a Portuguese regulated fund manager wholly dedicated to the management of real estate funds. The firm was set up in 1992, acquired by the current shareholder base in 2002, and operates with a staff of 18 professionals in two offices, Lisbon and Porto. Today, it is the proud recipient of the Real Estate Fund Manager of the Year 2016 Award for Portugal.

returns to our investors and to execute the best we know and can the investment strategies decided for the funds we manage. We take great pride in good execution and find it wonderful that the Wealth & Finance International team chose us among our competitors. In terms of future challenges, fund raising is the big challenge these days, both in terms of equity and debt. If the challenge is met, there are quite a few distressed assets around that are interesting opportunities. Finally, we wish the Wealth & Finance International team a prosperous 2017.

FundBox SGFII’s parent company, FundBox Holdings, specialises in originating, structuring and investing in alternative assets. FundBox SGFII handles the investments which are structured as real estate funds. Current assets under management are €220 million and the number of funds managed is currently 16, one of which Alternext-listed.

Company: FundBox SGFII Name: Manuel Monteiro de Andrade Email: mandrade@fundbox.pt Web Address: www.fundbox.pt Address: Largo Tomé Pires, 27, 4150-731 Porto, Portugal Telephone: + 351 22 615 61 20

I am the Managing Director in charge of FundBox’s Porto office. In that capacity, I am fund director of seven real estate funds, of which some are development funds and other income funds. Most of my time is spent with two development funds, Nexponor SICAFI which is Alternext listed and owns Exponor, one of the largest exhibition sites in Portugal, and Coimbra Viva I, an urban regeneration fund whose main investors are the Coimbra Municipality and IRHU, the Portuguese Government Agency for Urban Regeneration. There are around thirty regulated fund managers active in Portugal, and FundBox ranks in the middle of the table considering AuM. In Porto, there are three firms with a local presence, and we try to be above the middle of the table. In terms of the staff of FundBox SGFII, they play a decisive role. FundBox is a small company operating in a small market and in such an outfit everybody’s contribution is paramount. We are happy to have a focused and dedicated team of talented individuals at FundBox. In terms of the industry we are a part of, the universe of investors which consider getting exposure to Portuguese property through regulated vehicles changed a lot. Before the Great Depression, investors tapping the Portuguese market were mainly core and core plus investors. These days, most of the likely investors are opportunistic vehicles - less interested in investing through regulated vehicles. This is certainly a challenge for the industry and for FundBox, as is the relative unwillingness of Portuguese banks to fund real estate investments. Concluding thoughts On being awarded the Real Estate Fund Manager of the Year 2016 for Portugal, I am delighted. We at FundBox work hard every day to deliver

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Wealth & Finance International

Alternative Investment Fund Strategies Winner of the Best Alternative Investments Law Firm award, Matheson’s primary focus is on serving the Irish legal needs of international companies and financial institutions doing business in and from Ireland. Their clients include the majority of the Fortune 100 companies, 7 of the top 10 global technology brands and over half of the world’s 50 largest banks.

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eadquartered in Dublin, the firm also has offices in London, New York and Palo Alto. More than 600 people work across the four offices, including 80 partners and tax principals and over 350 legal and tax professionals. The firm’s strength in depth is spread across more than 20 distinct practice areas, including asset management and investment funds, banking and financial services, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, corporate, insurance, international business and tax. This broad spread of expertise and legal know-how allows Matheson to provide best-in-class advice to clients on all facets of the law.

In the past year, Matheson advised on the launch of one of the first loan originating funds in Ireland. Ireland was the first European Union member state to introduce a specific regulatory framework for loan originating investment funds in 2014 and the Central Bank of Ireland has recently introduced enhancements to the regime to broaden the range of permissible activities in which loan originating qualifying investor AIFs may engage. According to the head of the team, Tara Doyle, “we differentiate ourselves from competitors and peers by adopting a client team approach, and ensuring that all of our practitioners have expertise in the alternative investment fund strategies used by our clients. The funds team views our relationship with each of our clients as a partnership, working to develop advanced solutions to enable our clients to deliver innovative products.”

Matheson’s Asset Management and Investment Funds team is led by 12 partners and comprises over 50 fund professionals in total. The team is ranked by independent industry research as the top ranked funds practice in Ireland, acting for 29% of Irish domiciled investment funds by assets under management. Advising the world’s leading institutional fund managers, its client base includes 6 of the top 10 global promoters of Irish funds, 8 of the top 10 US asset managers and the world’s 4 largest asset managers.

Tara adds, “developing our team internally is also key to ensuring that we stay at the top of the industry. The firm’s graduate recruitment and trainee development programme aims to ensure that the firm continues to attract the best talent, and that those individuals go on to fulfil their potential as lawyers and business leaders in the firm.” Committed to excellence and the calibre of its lawyers, Matheson has partnered with INSEAD and the Cambridge Business School in delivering its Partner Development Programme and Senior Associate Programme respectively.

The group advises on all matters relating to the establishment and ongoing operation of fund products including AIFs, manager platforms, private equity and property funds, loan funds, UCITS, money market funds, exchange traded funds, fund of funds and Sharia compliant funds. Drawing on the considerable breadth and depth of expertise not only in its asset management and investment funds group, but also in its taxation, structured finance and commercial litigation departments, the firm provides a comprehensive and professional service to its clients.

Looking to possible developments in the year ahead, Shay Lydon, partner in the asset management group, comments, “we believe that Brexit presents major opportunities as well as challenges to Ireland. We are already working with many UK-based institutions looking to establish a presence in Ireland as part of their Brexit strategy or to expand their existing presence in Ireland. We see this trend growing in 2017 and beyond. As the only remaining English speaking common law jurisdiction in the EU, with a similar approach to regulation, Ireland is proving to be very attractive to London-based institutions looking for a bridge into the EU in a post Brexit world.”

The funds team at Matheson advised on the first AIFM authorisation in Europe, and the first inward AIFMD management passport into Ireland. Its practitioners are experts in alternative investment funds including AIFs investing in pharmaceutical royalties, life settlements, property, currencies, commodities, bank loans, private equity, other hedge funds and on all hedge fund strategies including long / short, event driven, arbitrage, global macro, distressed debt and multi-strategy amongst others. Matheson’s asset management group also specialises in all aspects of UCITS, including UCITS pursuing alternative or hedge fund strategies.

Ireland is regarded as a key strategic location by the world’s leading asset managers. Over 800 fund managers from 55 countries have assets administered in Ireland. Ireland is known for its clear and practical regulatory framework, with certainty around timeframes for establishing investment funds and a pro-business government, presenting an attractive international fund domicile for fund promoters.

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In June 2016, Matheson formed a dedicated Brexit Advisory Group comprising some of their most senior and specialist lawyers to provide legal expertise and insight for their clients with respect to preparation and planning for the British exit from the European Union. The firm is actively pursuing a strategy of monitoring and updating clients and potential clients on the likely impact of political and legal developments on their businesses. Tara comments, “while Brexit presents both opportunities and challenges for the industry and for Matheson, a likely positive future development is that the pace of regulatory change may slow down, with European and domestic regulators focusing increasingly on harmonisation and enforcement as opposed to rule-making in the coming years.�

Name: Tara Doyle Email: tara.doyle@matheson.com Telephone: +353 1 232 2221 Name: Shay Lydon Email: shay.lydon@matheson.com Telephone: +353 1 232 2735

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Wealth & Finance International

Providing Clients with Peace of Mind Transcend Private Client was created by Provisus Wealth Management to offer Canadians flexible Wealth Management services. They are a financial planning firm that caters to a diverse range of clients and specialises in creating customised solutions that provide their clients with financial peace of mind.

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ranscend recently won the Most Outstanding Wealth Management Firm of the Year 2016 award, in part because they offer the revolutionary Pay-for-Performance™ platform which delivers sophisticated investment management for a low cost. Provisus the parent company manages $425 million in private client assets and has been offering investment management services since 2007.

them understand, organise and simplify their financial affairs. Financial services should not be pulled from a shelf. Transcend’s vision is to build and nurture long term client relationships based on client-centric and highly customised services that focus on personal interaction, professionalism and integrity. Their team strives to be the leader in the design and delivery of high-value wealth management services and to be regarded as innovators in the financial industry. Feedback from customers Transcend shows that innovation does not stop in trying to deliver financial planning to clients at lower costs than the traditional financial services industry. Clients have provided extremely good feedback for the program as per the following examples:

Transcend has turned the standard industry model on its head by aligning its interests with clients on an unprecedented level with the Pay-for-Performance™ fee structure. Specifically, clients will pay a fee of 0.25% for the administration of the investment funds used in their portfolios. If the funds perform better than the benchmark, a performance fee equal to 20% of the fund’s performance over and above the benchmark will be charged. Until the client sees performance over and above the industry benchmark they have a fee of 25 basis points, which is lower than the fees charged by most equity Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in Canada.

“...tax efficiency and tax planning capability which have been lacking in other formats.” ”Account service has been excellent when I have made changes to my portfolios and I have found them great to deal with and they make things easy to understand. Their reports are particularly informative and fees charged are fair. I have been investing for 25 years I have found them to be the best I have ever dealt with.”

“Transcend has something different to offer Canadian investors who are tired of paying high investment costs without high returns.”

Opportunities and challenges ahead The onset of this new model comes on the heels of a new Canadian legal framework, pushing for tighter regulations governing the financial services industry. Many are of the opinion that greater transparency about how fees are calculated is required. With the advent of online financial firms, often known as robo-advisors, it is clear that more Canadians are searching for alternate methods of investing. 2017 is going to be a very trying year for many firms as fees, service levels and performance are thrust into the spotlight. There are a lot of people who are very knowledgeable and skilled, but in order to stand out, you’ve got to either shout a little louder or shine a little brighter. And Transcend prefers to shine a little brighter.

Transcend’s achievements Transcend has adopted an idea that has never really caught on in the world of retail investing. Most firms do not like it because variable revenues are not a good match for an industry where the cost of doing business is steady. Transcend’s novel spin on performance fees is to use them as way to present an attractively low base fee of 0.25% on equity funds to clients. The innovation it represents is significant because it shows that fee competition in the financial services industry is picking up steam.

Due to upcoming changes in the Canadian marketplace, clients for the first time in many instances will truly start to see what they are paying, and see what they are actually getting in terms of performance. Transcend suspects there’s going to be a lot of people questioning what they are in and trying to determine if change is necessary. As such, Transcend’s service model will provide lower net worth clients with the same level of service as higher net worth investors – an important feature as robo-advisor models become more prevalent among investors.

Enhancing the quality of clients’ lives Transcend believes that all investors are entitled to personalised, comprehensive services, not just high net worth individuals. Their professionals work to enhance the quality of their clients’ lives by helping

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Transcend has something different to offer Canadian investors who are tired of paying high investment costs without high returns. Operating on the philosophy that fee’s will be earned when client portfolios outperform industry benchmarks, the firm plans to redefine the nature and delivery of financial services. Transcend believe that linking fees to the quality of performance achieved is a good way to align their clients’ interests with theirs.

Company: Transcend Private Client Name: Chris Ambridge, President Email: info@transcend.ca Web Address: www.transcend.ca Address: 18 King Street East, Suite 303, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1C4 Telephone: + 1 (800) 988-5608

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Lilian H. Weinreich Architects weinreich-architects.com 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

lhweinreich@rcn.com 150 Central Park South #502 New York, New York 10019-1566 United States of America +1 (917) 770 1000


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January 2017

Reflections on BREXIT and Its Impact on the Commercial Vehicle Industry With 25 years’ experience of manufacturing and distribution of rear view mirrors to the commercial vehicle industry and an ever expanding range of quality lighting, Unitruck has established itself as a leading name and the biggest after-market CV wing mirror distributer in the UK. Unitruck continues to expand into new territory aiming to achieve a similar dominant market position in Europe.

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nitruck was started 25 years ago, by Ken Heginbotham as a family business in Ashton–Under-Lyne, through continued investment in tooling and development, the family built a very successful business. In 2011 Unitruck was bought by GCH Capital Ltd, a privately owned and personally financed group of companies with a strategy to grow and develop each business with investment capital and add-on acquisitions. Since then Unitruck has sustained its strong growth, under the watchful eye of Carl Schalch, managing director, having its most successful year ever in 2016.

We at Unitruck Ltd will continue to move forward and believe that people are the heart of the business and that the right balance of talent, commitment and infrastructure enables us to serve our customers to the highest standards. A commitment to continued investment in people, will ensure that the people who work at Unitruck, will continue to want to work at Unitruck. A happy workforce is a productive workforce, and this will see us in good setting for the future.

Company: Unitruck Ltd Name: Carl Schalch Email: Carl@unitruck.co.uk Web Address: www.unitruck.com Address: Units 2-4 Mackeson Road, Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire OL6 8HZ Telephone: +44 (0) 161 343 2407

We at Unitruck continue to strive to develop new parts for our customers’ ever changing demands, and we pride ourselves in our commitment to quality and service. There was significant investment in new warehouse space in 2013, giving us 25,000 square feet of space to house our extensive stock range of over 5000 different parts, and an average stock value of over £2,000,000.

“A happy workforce is a productive workforce.” 2016 has been a particularly challenging year for Unitruck Ltd since the BREXIT result on the 23rd June last year, being both an importer and exporter we have been affected significantly by the weakening of sterling. With the foresight to hedge USD prior to the vote we have limited some of the negative affect while we have leveraged the weak sterling situation to make ourselves more competitive in Europe. The current position of uncertainty across the UK, which is felt more so by the SMEs, is our biggest worry. We would like the government to outline our ‘exit’ and ensure we strike the best possible trade deals for the UK. The initial backlash of Brexit has not been as bad as first thought. If anything, it has generated an unexpected opportunity, but uncertainty is still hanging around.

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Wealth & Finance International

Intelligent Architecture in a Challenging Industry NORR is an employee owned award winning International firm of architects, planners, master planners, interior designers and engineers operating in the USA, Canada, the UK and the Middle East.

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ORR facilitates. We take a client’s brief for any development and challenge it to produce the greatest benefits in terms of economic performance as well as social, personal and environmental contribution. We believe that good planning and architecture brings the greatest rewards for our clients, allowing them to maximise development potential whilst also meeting their own social responsibilities. NORR can assist any client in this, from inception to completion of projects of all types, sizes and geographies.

“…. people matter. The way in which we deal with staff, consultants and clients matters and without this there is nothing at the heart of the company” It reminds me that it is important to engage with, challenge and enlist the expertise that our people have to retain success in our business. Client feedback We all like to receive compliments on a job well done. At NORR we are proud of the high percentage of repeat client work that we receive and feel that this is a testimony to the people, systems and attitude that we employ serving our clients’ needs.

Current success stories We have a wide range of current projects in a number of sectors and a number of geographies (from the USA, Canada and even in the Antarctic). Within the UK commercial sector for example, we are currently working with a number of blue chip companies in the Whisky industry, as well as finalising a scheme for 250,000 sqft of offices, 50,000 sqft of retail and 300 apartments as part of a city centre mixed use development in Birmingham for a private developer client.

A few examples are: ”NORR immediately demonstrated strong knowledge of the…sector and worked tirelessly with (us) to ensure that we maximised value and achieved all of the customer’s requirements. We will be pleased to work with NORR again on future projects” ISG on Walsall Pools Project

We are seeing more and more activity with innovative public/private partnerships that have sprung up between local authorities and investors, where the former has the land (usually under or undeveloped) and the latter the finance to realise the vision and the social, economic and environmental benefits of developing such underutilised resources. We are currently onsite with a large commercial mixed use scheme of residential, leisure, modern offices and hotel accommodation on a sensitive brown field site in South East England.

“An excellent level of service provided by an experienced and conscientious team from feasibility through to delivery.” Lend Lease / DIO on Project SLAM

I am sure that we will see more of these new vehicles for asset development in all of our markets, whether this be the 3P (Private Public Partnerships) in Canada or investment partnerships in the UK.

“Just amazing...surpasses all expectations we ever had for the end result!” Port Glasgow Community Campus

“NORR has continued to provide us with quality of service, advice and cost benefit throughout the …. contract and on previous occasions. Their ability to understand our business requirements was important to us when making the appointment. They did not disappoint.”

“We have been very happy with the work undertaken by the NORR team so far…. The flexible, open approach adopted in first gathering the brief and then developing the design really helped bring together a diverse range of stakeholders and is central to the success of the project. I would recommend the team to anyone.” Andrew Mowbray, Northumbria University

The people of the company I see my primary role as one of communicator within the organisation, with our clients and in the general market that we operate in; forecasting trends, agreeing priorities and searching for new opportunities. While it sounds easy, numerous office locations/sectors, directors and the input of our people make this an interesting challenge!

“NORR’s team are highly skilled in developing varied and complex briefs ensuring end users interests are maximised whilst balancing budgets, site constraints and the interests of the contractor. The design skills offered are always tailored, appropriate and of very high stan-

Talking of staff, our people are fundamental to the success of our business. This is easy to say but I keep it to the forefront of my mind by pinning a note from a retiring director on the wall above my desk:

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dards. The team have had to deal with challenging programmes but always deliver required services effectively, efficiently and on time.” Phil McDowell, Construction Manager and Project Leader, Kier

I would finish by saying that the architectural profession has much to offer agents, funds, developers and clients – good architecture which we all aspire to, must balance: • Design; • Economics; • Social contribution; • Environmental responsibility; • Personal experience and;

Opportunities and challenges in 2017 and beyond As we operate under differing jurisdictions throughout the world we face differing regional challenges. To take just one region, the UK; the word on everyone’s lips is Brexit and the effect that this could have on the economy and therefore our business. The fundamental here is really uncertainty and the caution that can spring from this. We have seen many projects delayed, downsized and lost in the past year and the continuing uncertainty will have an effect until we see a clearer political and economic road ahead.

What we at NORR call INTELLIGENT ARCHITECTURE

Name: Neil Davidson Company: Managing Director – Business Development Email: Neil.Davidson@norr.com Web Address: www.norr.com Address: Percy House, 8th Floor, Percy Street, Newcastle NE1 4PW Telephone: +44 (0) 191 222 1116

However, the lower value of the pound can bring foreign investment; devaluing of assets can see domestic sales and development as well, and the result of this can be more of the strategic early asset assessments that utilises our skill base at NORR to maximise potential at a time when there is pressure on the authorities to ensure development continues. Challenges for the construction industry The Construction Industry faces a number of challenges and the Architectural Profession must align itself with the solutions that overcome these. Will Brexit mean that there will be a skills shortage in the UK as some suggest? The lower value of the pound brings higher material costs and therefore greater efficiency in their use. Continuing the drive for greater efficiency, less waste, more offsite construction, safer working environments, greater fiscal certainty, more stringent programming and so on calls for the use of greater levels of technology. It is no longer sufficient for an Architectural student to be able to draw, they must be able to use complex design tools such as Revit that can be used to produce complex Building Information Models (BIM) that in turn can be used to integrate the development and build processes – the challenge for the profession is to embrace this, work with the construction profession and continue to create the type of infrastructure and environment that we can be proud of – no mean feat.

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Wealth & Finance International

An Asset to Their Clients Vedanta Hedging is an independent, FCA authorised hedging advisor. We provide impartial advice and practical support to both retail and professional clients. We help all sizes of businesses ranging from small owner managed to large listed companies.

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ur key philosophy is to add transparency to financial management and hedging processes. We achieve this by shining a light into the dark box of derivatives!

when you can’t do a real-time comparison? Our benchmarking service gives the client peace of mind that they are getting a fair price, and in some cases, we can even negotiate margins lower if we feel they are not competitive.

Background I launched Vedanta Hedging back in 2011 after I noticed that there wasn’t anybody giving independent hedging advice to businesses. This area was dominated by the banks and it became clear to me there were serious conflicts of interests when you receive advice from the same bank that is selling you the product. It is one of the only areas where a business owner is completely in the dark and wholly reliant upon their bank. In some cases, the banks insisted on a client having a hedge as a condition to a loan thus creating an obvious conflict.

Other areas where we can help, include hedge accounting and dispute resolution. Recently we have witnessed a surge in exotic FX structures being sold by banks and brokers, that are more often than not adding considerable risks to what should be a risk-reducing exercise. If a business believes it has been mis-sold any of these products, we can provide the technical support to assess the merits and the quantum of a claim. Success We have advised hundreds of firms (including a number of firms based in Europe and the US). So far, every one of our clients has received a settlement from their bank, without reaching trial. However, the terms of settlement are almost always confidential.

Fast forward to 2017 and we have now established ourselves as the largest FCA authorised derivatives advisor to SME’s in the UK. We have formally advised the FCA (our regulator) and the UK government, who have published our advice and recommendations on best practices on hedging for SMEs.

On hedging, the Government has endorsed our advice on how SMEs should hedge their risks. We have also prepared hedging strategies which have been adopted by multiple AIM listed PLCs.

For businesses, we help them to navigate through the complex area of Interest Rate or FX Hedging. Let’s not forget, even an innocent looking commercial fixed rate loan can carry significant breakage cost risk, so it is vital that a business fully understands these risks before they enter into any hedging transaction.

Part of our bread and butter business is to make sure hedging products are priced fairly. Due to the recent volatility of Brexit, we are finding the banks are using this volatility to their advantage. Saving 0.14% on a £500k fixed loan may not sound a lot, but this actually equates to us saving the client just under £7000 in interest payments!

On a day-to-day basis, we meet with clients, solicitors, barristers, finance brokers, accountants, MPs, Ministers, Lords and journalists, to help simplify hedging. This ranges from advising on complex hedge accounting implications in multi-jurisdictions across several currency pairs, down to assisting SMEs negotiate better terms on their new fixed rate loans.

Client base Our clients cover all sectors of business and they appreciate that whilst they are experts in their line of business, they are not derivatives experts. Since we take the burden away from them in this area, our clients have always felt that we have added value to their business. We can save a business thousands in hedging costs and have clients who settle claims of many millions in derivative disputes. The biggest measure of feedback for us, is the fact that almost all of our clients are referred to us by other clients, or their advisors.

Documentation is another area that businesses can be bogged down with, ISDA, MiFID, EMIR, LEI and FATCA are some of the regulatory documentation that may need to be completed prior to transacting a hedge. We can remove this burden by helping in their completion, to avoid frustrating late minute delays, which in some cases can derail a transaction.

Staff – a true asset Team Vedanta are a diverse bunch of investment professionals with extensive knowledge in all asset classes, covering all aspects of financial hedging. With previous careers ranging from corporate and investment banking, asset management, hedge funds and private banking, totalling 165 years, which allows Vedanta to apply this experience and rebalance the knowledge gap in favour of our clients.

Transaction benchmarking is another area that is often overlooked. Hedging products, be it a ‘Fixed Rate Loan’, Swap or FX Forward, move around every second of the working day, depending on the interbank rates at that time. This leads to opaque pricing, as a client will not have access to sophisticated derivative pricing models and live interbank rates. On this basis, how can you be sure you are receiving the best rate

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It doesn’t stop there, we have real estate professionals that have negotiated and structured transactions valued at over £6bn. This pooled knowledge and experience is why Vedanta Hedging are consistently chosen to act as an expert witness in some of the largest derivative legal cases in the UK, as well as advising listed PLCs on their hedging strategies. Opportunities and challenges in 2017 2017 is looking to become the busiest by far for Vedanta. Brexit has caused a significant shift in volatility in both the FX and Interest Rates market. It has now become more than ever, important for businesses to have a solid hedging policy in place and to regularly review this policy and its implementation. Regulation from both an accounting and conduct point of view, is continuing to evolve and provide a very challenging landscape, not only for businesses, but also accountants and we expect this to be a big growth area for Vedanta. In all walks of life, in any business sector, if there is opaqueness, there will be someone willing to take advantage of this to the detriment of the end client. Even with financial regulation tightening, the goalposts are constantly moving with regards to transparency. This process will never stop as financial institutions will always look to enhance their returns by ever more discreet ways. Currently, banks are appearing to be more transparent in derivative pricing, but in fact are imposing more onerous conditions in other parts of their derivative agreements. This makes obtaining independent advice more critical than ever.

Name: Ahishek Sachdev Company: Vedanta Hedging Limited, Email: as@vedantahedging.com Web Address: www.vedantahedging.com Address: 35 New Broad Street, London, EC2M 1NH Telephone: 020 7183 2277

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Wealth & Finance International

Serving the Global Engineering and Construction Industry FMI Corporation is a management consulting firm that serves the engineering and construction industry worldwide. We spoke to the firm’s Principal Gregg Schoppman to gain an absorbing insight into how the company works.

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rawing on over 65 years of dedicated industry experience, FMI Corporation provides services ranging from strategic planning, talent development, and operational improvement, as well as leadership cultivation/ development, compensation benchmarking and buyer/ seller representation for its construction and engineering clients. Gregg discusses how the firm aims to offer a truly unique service to its clients thanks to its vast experience working exclusively in this sector.

Moving forward, Gregg outlines the challenges faced by both his firm and its clients and how his company will be adapting around these in order to build upon its current success. “The engineering and construction sector is constantly transforming itself. Whether we are talking about autonomous heavy equipment, building information modelling, prefabrication/modularisation, etc. we are constantly working with our clients to innovate and challenge the status quo. There are plenty of macro-economic trends that have everyone on edge but there is also plenty that our clients can be doing strategically to situate themselves appropriately in the short and longterm.

“At FMI Corporation we serve as the catalyst for change within our clients’ business. Whether it is defining a fact-based strategic plan to helping implement operationally superior best practices, FMI has a long-list of raving fans. We are fanatical about how we deliver value and work tirelessly to drive our clients to be best in class.

“Ultimately it is my passion for my industry and dedication to my clients which will remain our ongoing focus as we look towards the future. Prior to being a part of FMI, I was a builder, and I have been able to leverage this knowledge into helping my clients get better and be best on the market. It is this knowledge and passion that has dissipated throughout FMI and is evident in every one of our dedicated and hardworking staff. We love what we do and the industry we support, and continuing to provide high quality services will remain our ongoing focus.”

“Over the years we have helped clients develop sound, long-range strategies for growth including office/services expansion. We have also recently helped several clients with productivity and efficiency, in some cases doubling their bottom line all through better operations. One of our greatest successes has been training and developing executive, managers and leaders for some of the largest firms in the construction industry.” Client service is of the utmost importance to the company and central to its success, as Gregg is eager to emphasise.

Company: FMI Corporation Name: Gregg Schoppman Email: gschoppman@fminet.com Web Address: www.fminet.com Telephone: 813.636.1259

“As a niche consultancy, we find it imperative to drive not only superior results, regardless of what we are doing, but amazing customer service throughout. Sometimes, owing to the nature of our work, we have to deliver bad news, but it is our responsibility to deliver this in a professional manner and provide constructive feedback. More importantly it is important to find the right solutions and drive our clients to success. “In order to deliver this we need a strong workforce who are committed to supporting the success of both our company and those we serve. Whether it is our Research Group, our Marketing Group, our Office Administration back home or the many field consultants we employ, our success solely rests with our staff. They are the women and men that make FMI great; as a consultancy, we are the trusted advisors that our clients rely on. Without our staff we are nothing. With our staff, we are truly the best in the business.”

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“We are fanatical about how we deliver value and work tirelessly to drive our clients to be best in class.� 37


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Wealth & Finance International

Building Great Ventures Ashwani Singh (Ash) is Partner at 35North Ventures LLP, a financial product and services company which has two India Centric products in Private Equity / Venture Capital asset class, namely, 35North Ventures India Growth Fund –I, a VC Fund focused on technology and consumer sector investments and India Growth Fund –II, a PE Fund focused on the break-out companies in the key sectors of Indian Economy. He is also on the board of Sushen Investment Services Pvt Ltd and Clockwork Business Solutions Pvt Ltd (an Enterprise Technology Solutions company).

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shwani comes with extensive India and International experience spanning 20 plus years in investments, product and wealth management. He has advised and executed assignments for clients in the listed and unlisted space in India and overseas on Equity and Debt placement, value addition to existing business, and cross-border activities including M&A.

In terms of successes the company has had in 2016, Ash points to some of the firm’s excellent returns from propriety investments, the success of which he attributes to the in-house research skills. The firm has looked at some unique structured investments into companies generating excellent returns for its portfolio investors. On a day-to-day basis, Ashwani (Ash) overseas three aspects of the firm’s work, which are: 1. Monitoring of investments made; 2. Macro - Sectors to invest in – keeping a watch on these and; 3. Micro - Portfolio management, in terms of screening potential companies to investment, and keeping his ears to the ground.

Before moving to back to India with 35North Ventures and Sushen Investments, he was Head of Products at UTI International, UK (a T. Rowe Price affiliate company), responsible for nurturing the international product suite including funds, multi-class fund structures, structured products and investment structuring. He successfully conceptualised and managed a USD Convertible Bond Fund which gave high double digit returns in 2009-10.

In terms of the staff that he heads, Ashwani underlines the importance of employing staff who not only are happy with the quality of their work but also have the required skill set to do the job effectively and consistently. This is essential when the work of the company is largely concerned with long-term investments for clients, and he ensures that the company’s policies encourage the upskilling and the mentoring of the staff. Skill development of staff in this vein enables them to make more educated judgments when taking a view on an industry sector or a company.

Earlier at Barclays Wealth London, as part of Global Investments & Product Office - Discretionary Portfolio Management Team, Ashwani helped set up the Global South Asian Product Proposition. He has previously held senior positions at ICICI Bank & ABN AMRO Bank in India. He is a Bachelor of Technology, a MBA and a Sloan Fellow from London Business School. He has been a speaker at several International conferences in London, Singapore and Hong Kong on the Investment Structuring and Hedge Fund space. He has been on board of a Museum in London as a Trustee and Treasurer. He is a speaker at the Reserve Bank of India Staff College in India to senior bankers on investment products amongst other topics.

Concerning the clients they serve, Ashwani remarks that they are looking to more active portfolio management for their wealth, in different asset classes. This is from an asset risk mitigation, as well as an investment duration perspective in the shorter, longer and medium term, he says. Looking ahead to 2017 and beyond, Ashwani believes it is important for him and his staff to further understand various sectors and countries in which they intend to make investments in for their clients. The difference between sectors and countries is an important distinction to make, he goes on to say. For example, an event that happens in China could have a knock-down effect on India, or on investments in the Middle East as an economy, but select sectors in the same countries may still do well.

35North Ventures focuses on growth and early stage companies as a trusted partner. Its affiliate, Sushen Investments focuses on consumer-focused industries, cleantech, technology, and cross border deals. It has its own prop investments into companies in Asia. Ashwani leads investments as well as deal origination, structuring and execution. Providing unique investment solutions for ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI), family offices and institutions is what the company also specialises in; keeping a conservative perspective on risk management is what underlines this company’s ethos. They focus on direct equity, unlisted equity as well as structured debt. 35North Ventures also works closely with its affiliate Aranca, a customized research and advisory firm that works with over 2000 clients globally. Aranca’s 550+ research analysts deliver custom insights for various client requirements including research and advisory, IP valuation and strategic consulting.

In terms of investing in emerging markets, there are new products and regions which are interesting investment opportunities. Trade with Iran is opening up for companies and so is the Sharia products area – good investment opportunities with appropriate due diligence. In India, due to the recent demonetization drive, there is a massive shift in terms of people moving from using hard cash for transactions to adopting digital banking and cashless options for consumer and business payment transactions. This situation is similar to radical shift

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experienced by users in Indian telecom sector in mid 1990s where mobile penetration zoomed up multi-fold in a short time span due to rapid shift in consumer use from landlines as a mode of communication to mobile telephony.

Name: Ashwani Singh Company: 35North Ventures LLP Email: ashwani.singh@35northventures.com Web Address: www.35northventures.com Address: 3rd Floor, B Wing, Supreme Business Park, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai – 400076. India Telephone: +91 22 39379988

The challenge is also to keep one’s self updated by independent research houses, to connect with the insights to make the right decisions, in order to move forward with investment decisions. “ The firm welcomes new investors who believe in their philosophy. They also invite accredited entities and high net worth investors who aim for enhanced social and/or environmental impact to join them in building great ventures and reaping the rewards along the way.

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Wealth & Finance International

Sentinel Retirement Fund Sentinel, a self-administered defined contribution pension fund was founded back in 1946 as a mining industry only fund, but in recent years has evolved to position itself as a highly competitive fund available to all employers in South Africa, both large and small. The Board of management had long ago understood that mining in South Africa was a mature industry with limited expansion opportunities.

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ver the robust decades when South African mining led the world, Sentinel built up the institutional expertise to provide a compelling value proposition for its participants, delivering consistently excellent investment returns, a broad range of member focused benefits and services, all at a highly competitive cost structure.

The Fund’s Asset Liability Modelling shows that members can actually achieve well in excess of this replacement ratio. For pensioners, the strategy is geared to maintain the purchasing power of pensions on a level of at least 80% of inflation. In addition, annual bonuses are also awarded to annuitants and these have exceeded 10% of annual pension over the past ten years.

Sentinel provides an in-house financial advisory service for its membership, at no cost, that aims to educate individuals on financial discipline and the importance of saving and preserving retirement savings from a young age. This service also advises members on important life changes and decision-making around the Sentinel product range, to ensure effective long term saving.

Although the South African retirement industry is mostly well structured, regulated and operates effectively, many individuals who have the opportunity to save for retirement still do not do so sufficiently. Citizens impoverish themselves and place themselves in a position where they erode security in old age, undermine the alleviation of chronic poverty, and increase reliability on others including the State.

By providing flexible and dynamic fund products, Sentinel allows its members to choose the most suited product to meet their individual post retirement income needs, while also providing default options that are designed for those who prefer not to manage their own affairs. This concept is further supported by Sentinel’s seamless and costless transition of a retiree from contributing member to pensioner status.

South Africa’s National Treasury (NT) initiated a retirement reform programme in 2012 to address shortfalls in the current system. The process started well, with a number of proposals being legislated in 2014, but has since hit an obstacle as actual implementation of certain proposals were postponed from 1 March 2015 to 1 March 2016, and now to 1 March 2018 or later.

To enable contributory members to save sufficiently for their retirement years, Sentinel’s LDI driven investment strategy aims to provide a post-retirement income replacement of at least 75% of final salary (assuming contributions are made at 15% over a 40-year working life).

Given the potential for South Africa’s retirement industry and the knowledge that the reform process is underway and that the various obstacles will be overcome, further growth can be expected from this sector in coming years.

Name: Eric Visser, Chief Executive Officer Pension Fund: Sentinel Retirement Fund Email: info@sentinel.za.com Web Address www.sentinel.za.com Address: PO Box 61172 MARSHALLTOWN 2107 Telephone: (011) 481 8000

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Wealth & Finance International

Shaping UK Government Policy P •

• •

wC’s services, that are provided to over 20,000 clients, can broadly be described as follows: • Legal - services includes corporate and banking, cyber security and data protection, dispute resolution, employment, entity governance & compliance, immigration, international business reorganisations, IPIT, pension, public sector and real estate. Tax - corporate tax advisory, transfer pricing, restructuring, indirect tax, finance and treasury, tax investigations, private tax and human resources tax. Human resources are part of tax services and includes areas such as global mobility, reward, human capital effectiveness and benchmarking, as well as many others. Assurance - provides assurance services for financial performance and operations. The main areas of focus include statutory, regulatory and internal audit, treasury services, accounting and compliance advice. Consulting - includes consulting, and sustainability and climate change services. Deals - includes business recovery services, corporate finance, forensic services and transaction services.

We have immigration teams in 169 countries, with our own PwC immigration practices in 154 of these locations, making us the largest in-house network of immigration specialists. I am the Legal Markets Leader & Head of Global Immigration. Indeed, I am regarded as the expert’s expert on UK immigration and have been heavily involved in shaping UK government policy on the points-based immigration system and have worked collaboratively with the Home Office to devise the Tier 2 compliance audit concept. As a prominent media commentator and regular party conference speaker on global immigration issues, I have extensive expertise in global immigration governance and risk management for international businesses. I have also led a number of high-profile crisis management projects from an immigration standpoint, including the Arab Spring and Algeria Crisis. In the last 12 months, we have assisted with over 12,000 individual immigration applications across all categories including points-based system categories (Tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5), dependants of British and EEA nationals, ancestry, business and general visitors. We also provide immigration consultancy services, strategic management of complex immigration scenarios, government liaison, audits and risk reviews.

PricewaterhouseCoopers was formed in July 1998 and was constituted from the merger of two of the world’s most prominent professional services organisations: Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand. Each of the legacy firms had a proud history of over 100 years, serving clients around the world since 1894. There are over 170,000 experts in the PwC network located in 221 countries, of which, 15,000 are in the UK.

PwC certainly plays a key role in many committees and associations who advise governments on immigration policy. Our approach to government relations is very different from many of our competitors. We are the ‘voice of business’ to the UK government and we represent our clients through our strong relationships. Our global network organises a number of well attended local events to bring our clients and governments together.

PwC has been providing immigration services since the mid-1990s and continues to be ranked as the number 1 provider of Global immigration services by Chambers & Partners. The 2016 ALM Intelligence report rated PwC as Vanguard Leader for global mobility services. We were also listed as ‘Best in Class’ for Strategic Planning capabilities.

From an immigration perspective, PwC has an unrivalled reputation for helping our clients remain compliant, minimise risks and prepare for legislative changes. For example, in the UK, we can help with any Sponsor Licence renewals, ensuring our clients will be in the strongest possible position to meet UKVI’s strict requirements and successfully navigate a compliance audit. PwC’s immigration team is supported by specialists across the firm. We work with global mobility, employment law, and HR specialists which gives us the ability to provide holistic immigration advice. In addition, we have a deep understanding of how industry events and trends affect the global mobility function. We can help plan for predicted market trends, and using our government liaison capabilities, we can help put clients in the best position in their strategically important locations.

Company: PwC Name: Julia Onslow-Cole Email: julia.onslow-cole@pwc.com

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“We are the ‘voice of business to the UK government and we represent our clients through our strong relationships.”

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Wealth & Finance International

Cyber - Challenging Conventional Wisdom Cyberlytic is a world leading web application threat defence company. It provides cyber security software that detects, prioritises and prevents the most sophisticated web-based attacks. The firm’s CEO Stuart Laidlaw lifts the lid on his firm’s award-winning software and the impressive array of clients they work with.

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ur award-winning software, originally commissioned by GCHQ and the MOD, uses machine learning to analyse web traffic; pinpointing high risk attacks to prevent data loss and keep businesses secure.

expertise in defining and measuring information security risk. Cutting a long-story short, we were awarded contracts with GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to research new ways of prioritising the growing number of attacks by using artificial intelligence techniques; i.e. using machines to cut through the deluge of data facing security analysts, to pinpoint the attacks that would cause harm.

Barely a day goes by where a high profile cyber-attack is not in the news. The average cost of a security breach is estimated to be around £4M and increasing, as attackers use the latest tools and techniques to launch sophisticated attacks.

The research projects were successful and as a result we founded Cyberlytic in 2013. Our founding belief is that applying artificial intelligence within the cyber security domain, should enable security teams to be more efficient and reduce the demand on human operators; in other words, it’s time to let machines defend against machine led attacks and allow our limited human cyber resources to focus on business-critical responses.

At the same time, software automation and artificial intelligence is being used as a weapon, exponentially increasing the volume of attacks and confounding security teams. Everybody (and everything!) is now a potential target, as attackers search relentlessly for weaknesses to exploit. The rewards continue to heavily outweigh the risks For the attackers, the risk vs reward is a simple equation. Global cybercrime is estimated to be costing around $400 billion annually. A teenager can hack into a corporate network with a few clicks of a commercially available tool. The chances of being caught are low. The chances of be punished are even lower, as law enforcement struggles to convict attackers operating across international jurisdictions.

This approach is revolutionising how cyber security is conducted. It is why we are seeing an influx of start-ups challenging the more established players. The scene is set for a few of these companies to take the initiative and effectively lead the battle against the attackers. At Cyberlytic, we have developed and patented an approach that doesn’t rely on rules to detect cyber-attacks. We use machine learning to determine and build the characteristics of an attack. Our software analyses web traffic and when it spots something that looks dangerous, it conducts an analysis.

There is no doubt that cyber criminals are winning. A proportion of the profits is ploughed back into research and development of new offensive methods. For example, it is estimated that a new malware signature is created every 5 seconds. Polymorphic attacks that modify and adapt known attack signatures will always defeat reactive, rule-based defences.

Essentially, our software has two core functions; detect the attack and determine if it poses a risk to the business. For example, it can determine if the attack is performing a reconnaissance (such as an automated tool), which is lower risk than an attack that enumerated a database. This analysis happens instantly. Our software even strips out the malicious part of an attack meaning they are stopped before they do any harm. All without maintaining a set of rules that are out of date the moment they are created.

The conventional cyber defences that use rules to detect precise attack signatures were not designed to prevent these types of attacks. However, most businesses continue to rely on this technology. Detecting an attack using a rule depends on something already having been attacked in that way. This is an archaic and reactive approach that is not effective and will continue to lead to businesses being compromised.

Looking ahead and making a change This is a huge year for Cyberlytic. We’ve deployed the software with large and small businesses and have had compelling results. Frequently our software detects and helps prevent attacks that bypass conventional firewalls. Due to these successful deployments, we’ve raised early-stage investment funding and are growing our data science and development team in Belfast, as well as our commercial teams in London and the USA.

As a result, public and corporate perception in defensive cyber security is at an all-time low. Something must change. It’s time to get smart! My co-founder and I have worked across UK security agencies and GCHQ, where we have delivered cyber security projects with particular

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We offer a free proof of value trial to our customers. Our software provides advanced web threat detection and the trial concludes with a riskbased impact report that our customers can use to inform their CISO or Board of the level of attacks during the trial period and assessment of the risk. It is this risk-based approach that makes Cyberlytic unique, together with the no-rules method of attack detection. During 2017, it is a certainty that more companies will become victims of cyber-attacks. It is inevitable that attackers will broaden their target base to SMEs, whilst developing new methods to defeat large businesses. There is a high probability that an attack will compromise a critical organisation, such as a financial institution. None of this is good news! Therefore, businesses must act now. Cyberlytic provides a critical part of the protection. Our revolutionary, AIapproach to cyber detection, prioritisation and prevention is easy to install, simple to set-up and requires no human intervention or maintenance. Please get in touch to arrange a proof of value trial.

Name: Stuart Laidlaw, CEO Company: Cyberlytic Email: stuart.laidlaw@cyberlytic.com Web Address: www.cyberlytic.com Address: IDEAL, 69 Wilson St, London EC2A 2BB Telephone: +44 (0) 203 290 0011

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Wealth & Finance International

Creating a New Approach to Private Equity Cogress provides an exit-oriented private equity platform connecting its community of investors with opportunities usually reserved for the largest clients on the market.

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Cogress has created a unique model to break through the monopolistic approach to investment and open the door to investment opportunities usually reserved for the largest investors. Tal Orly, Cogress Co-Founder and CEO, is eager to emphasise the transparency and accessibility of this innovative investment approach.

also looking into innovative approaches for expansion. I do not believe that we are like any other private equity firm and so my role constantly changes, but what never does is my commitment in ensuring all processes in place are efficient and that they uphold Cogress’ highest professional standards.” “As a company we all feel a sense of duty when working closely with our investors and developers and we believe that by gaining their trust, loyal partnerships can be created and sustained. To achieve this, our team work hard to ensure that we offer the very highest standard of service to all of our clients. I consider my team to be family. We have gone through a lot together, building this company from the ground up. Without their support and commitment, Cogress would not be what it now is today. I believe that as a manager, you are only as good as the people in your team - so my goal is to provide an environment where everyone can grow professionally and have a voice in the success of the company.”

“At Cogress we are a fully regulated property investment firm that works closely with qualified investors and property developers alike, enabling them to access opportunities with as little as £20,000. I believe Cogress has introduced an innovative way for people to invest, going beyond the boundaries of the status quo in providing huge potential to all stakeholders. We bring liquidity to illiquid markets by delivering choices to investors and developers that they weren’t able to consider before. Since 2014, Cogress has invested in more than 35 UK projects, with an asset value (GDV) of over £650 million.

Moving forward, Tal believes that the firm’s current success will help lead it to even greater achievements.

“Ultimately, I relish the challenge of bringing Cogress’ ambitions to life”

“Overall, 2016 was an eventful year where the change of the stamp duty tax was announced and the Brexit vote was passed. As such, 2017 inherits this legacy and as a company we have to examine the effects of these issues in the property market. I believe that wherever there are challenges there are always opportunities as when there are opportunities there are always challenges, that is why we make it our job to analyse the market and create new beneficial opportunities for our clients.

“Our unique platform enables its investors to get started with as little as £20,000 with typical projected exits between 18 and 36 months.* Our team rigorously screens and carefully selects investment opportunities for our investors allowing them to choose when and in which project(s) they wish to participate. By democratising the investing process, we have created a ‘pick and choose’ culture in the property world allowing investors to diversify their portfolio based on their individual appetites. Each investor has an Investor Relations Manager assigned to them in order to provide peace of mind.”

“Ultimately, I relish the challenge of bringing Cogress’ ambitions to life and continuing our successes. As we look into the future, we look to provide a more seamless experience to our investors making our process fully automated and accessible. I believe that we have the perfect opportunity and environment to do so.” *Your capital is at risk and you may lose all of what you invest. Investments in property are not readily accessible and are therefore illiquid. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Seek independent advice if you are in doubt about whether our products are suitable for you or if you require tax advice. Cogress Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 696171). Cogress ltd is a company registered in England & Wales (No. 08950180).

Operating in such an innovative company many staff have ever evolving roles; what makes them so dedicated to excellence, according to Tal, is their strong belief in the company’s vision and approach to investments. “As the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Cogress, I am involved in all aspects of the business from the property developments to its legal and financial complexities to the day to day management of the team. My role is balanced between meeting with potential investors, liaising with developers, discussing new development opportunities but

Company: Cogress Email: info@cogressltd.co.uk Web Address: www.cogressltd.co.uk Address: 50 Eastcastle Street London W1W 8EA Telephone: +44 020 7100 9744 46


PRECONSTRUCTION CATALYSTS

Non-Recourse Project Funding

preconstructioncatalysts.com


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Wealth & Finance International

The Age of Stem Cells Omni Aesthetics is not your typical cosmetic medical practice. Instead of focusing on invasive surgery, Dr. H. William Song at Omni Aesthetics uses technology to provide minimally invasive alternatives to popular surgeries like face lifts and tummy tucks.

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ith over twenty different lasers and devices, Omni Aesthetics provides some of the most advanced treatments available in the world. However, what really sets this clinic apart are the autologous stem cell treatments that harness the human body’s own regenerative powers to correct and even reverse the signs of aging.

Dr. Song uses a technique that mechanically harvests isolated stem cells from the fat. This method is considered a tissue transfer rather than a new drug; therefore, it can be legally performed and administered within the United States. Elite athletes and ultra-wealthy clients from the United States have always had the luxury of travelling to established, overseas stem cell clinics. Unfortunately, the popularity of stem cell treatments and the limited availability in the States have opened up opportunities for unscrupulous practitioners to set up sham clinics in countries with lax regulations. Desperate patients have been travelling to fake clinics in places like Mexico and the Caribbean islands and spending their life savings on ineffective or even dangerous treatments.

Recognising the enormous potentials of stem cells that are readily available in the fat that most plastic surgeons discard as medical waste, Dr. Song has developed a passion for the new science of regenerative medicine. He is a recognised authority on Adipose Derived Stem Cell technology and is dedicated to teaching the medical community about the incredible therapies that can be performed with stem cells that are harvested from liposuctioned fat.

Dr. Song is one of a handful of physicians offering true stem cell treatments in the United States. He primarily uses the stem cells to enhance cosmetic procedures like autologous fat transfers and stem cell face lifts. With the harvested stem cells, Dr. Song is also able to deploy stem cells to treat chronic pain from osteoarthritis and tendon injuries. The adipose derived stem cell treatment has been shown to be even more effective than the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment which has become popular due to widespread use by professional athletes.

Stem cells are unique in that they can turn into any other cell in the body. This special quality makes stem cells the ideal building blocks for repairing and regenerating damaged and aging tissues and organs. We used to think that stem cells were only found in controversial sources like human embryos or from difficult to access areas like the bone marrow and umbilical cord. We now know that stem cells reside all over the body including within the unwanted fat that so many of us would be happy to get rid of.

As this treatment is still viewed as experimental, it cannot be advertised as a cure for any of the many conditions that it has been found to be incredibly helpful for. Most people find out about Dr. Song’s stem cell treatments through word of mouth. When patients find sudden relief from chronic, debilitating pain or are able to cancel a scheduled surgery, they tend to tell their friends. When they call the clinic, the staff at Omni Aesthetics are very knowledgeable and are instrumental in helping guide the patients through the process because many of them have had the treatment themselves.

With the right tools, cosmetic surgeons can easily harness stem cells from fat that is removed by liposuction. Advanced harvesting and processing techniques allow us to cleave the stem cells off the fat without the use of enzymes. This part is significant because other techniques that, more than minimally manipulates the fat, have prompted the FDA to view the process as creating a drug, making it unavailable to patients in the United States.

Having practiced internal medicine for 15 years before focusing on cosmetic medicine, Dr. Song is looking at stem cells as a potential treatment for a variety of medical ailments including respiratory conditions, degenerative diseases, vascular diseases and even neurologic conditions such as dementia and stroke. Dr. Song is convinced that the next great medical breakthrough is just waiting to be unleashed, of all places, from the excess fat that most of us have despised for decades.

Company: Omni Aesthetics Name: H. William Song, MD Email: song@docpages.com Web Address: www.SCEFI.com Address: 169 Ramapo Valley Rd LL104 Oakland, NJ 07436 U.S.A. Telephone: (201) 368-3800

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Wealth & Finance International

A Platform for Success Dynamo Software’s London-based, dedicated European sales and client relations office was founded in October 2015 to augment Dynamo Software’s mission of providing a personalised experience for the Dynamo™ investment management platform.

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ynamo™ is a configurable, industry-specific solution for alternative investment management, and is currently entrusted by over 400 firms worldwide to optimise the productivity of their fund management and asset allocation operations. Dynamo Software’s diverse client base encompasses private equity and venture capital groups, hedge funds, funds of funds, real estate investment firms, endowments, family offices, pensions, foundations, and fund administrators.

Benham-Hermetz has observed significant shifts in European firms’ attitudes toward asset management technology. “General partners have become increasingly educated and sophisticated in selecting software platforms to support their business over the past decade. Technology is seen as a backbone of the contemporary fund manager, delivering not only operational efficiency and data management, but also intelligence, analysis and ongoing flexibility in adapting to the ever-changing regulatory climate.”

Dynamo Software’s London, UK office has exceeded the company’s growth expectations in the first 15 months of operation. The London team has seamlessly assimilated existing European Dynamo Software clients, and signed several of Western Europe’s most prominent alternative investment firms as Dynamo™ users. New clients attained since the Dynamo Software UK office’s inception include IP Group, Aermont Capital, and Rockspring Property Investment Managers.

Benham-Hermetz adds, “Dynamo’s success in this particular market globally is largely due to our ability to understand the needs of the market as a whole, and at the same time, offer a tailored solution to each client’s specific requirements.” Benham-Hermetz also feels that Dynamo’s™ flexibility and deep expertise in alternative investment benefits limited partners. “The common denominators we come across among limited partners are almost always related to improving risk management and increasing automation. Regardless of the size, LPs commonly face challenges when it comes to collecting, managing and analysing data and assessing risks.”

Complementing the accelerated growth, Dynamo Software was awarded ‘Best Asset Management and Reporting Software Company’ by Wealth & Finance in the publication’s 2016 Alternative Investment Awards. This recognition is the result of the company’s emphasis on hiring subject matter experts in alternative investment, ingraining experience into the software platform. Those qualities have naturally extended to the London office’s leadership.

She further notes, “Dynamo’s LP platform not only helps LPs find solutions to these complex processes, but is also effectively doing so across widely diversified portfolios. Dynamo has always kept a step ahead of the industry and as a result, the product has grown to a truly multi-asset class platform. The software’s operational due diligence and portfolio monitoring functions further complement Dynamo’s multi-asset class portfolio management offering to create one aggregated platform that benefits everyone in the organisation, from Operations to the Investment Team.”

The Dynamo Software London office’s operations are led by Angelina Benham-Hermetz, an experienced service director within the European alternative investment industry. Previously serving in a senior consulting role for eFront Ltd., as well as TheNextRound Inc.’s Director of Client Services, and SS&C’s Director of EMEA Operations, Ms. Benham-Hermetz has been instrumental in the London office’s success.

Dynamo Software UK’s exceptional growth has been complemented by positive feedback from the office’s client base. Clearbell Capital, a Dynamo Software client that provides private fund management and advisory services focused on real estate, has been impressed with the UK team’s post-implementation offerings.

“Dynamo’s decision to open a London operation was driven by a clear strategy to increase European presence and consistently offer our clients high standards of local support. Having feet on the ground enables us to stay close to our clients and provide personalised service through regular face to face meetings and workshops,” stated Benham-Hermetz.

“Since working with Dynamo, we have found that the client service-hosted webinars and the client events to be very useful for understanding the functionality and long-term aims of the platform and to share experiences with other users,” stated Clearbell PR and Investor Relations Manager Siân Morgan. “We have been impressed by both the industry experience and ongoing support of the London office.”

“Dynamo’s award-winning track record of successful system implementations and project methodology, combined with our strong knowledge of the European market, puts us in a very advantageous position ahead of the other providers in our market. We feel that we are very wellplaced to expand Dynamo’s existing partnerships and build close, new relationships that will help us grow further.”

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The ongoing trend of acquisition within the alternative investment technology industry represents a significant opportunity for the London office to continue increasing its marketplace presence. As more products lapse in being maintained after acquisition, firms will be looking for a platform that is able to scale and adapt to evolving operational needs. Dynamo Software’s product development focus and customer-centric philosophy ensure that clients benefit from robust, relevant functionality. This focus on improving the user experience is evident in the recently released 7.0 update, which incorporates a commercial-grade API, single sign-on capabilities, and front-end enhancements that streamline performance on significantly configured systems.

Company: Dynamo Software – London Office Web Address: www.dynamosoftware.com Address: Moor Place, 1 Fore Street, 6th Floor, London, UK EC2Y 5EJ Telephone: +44 (0)20 7193 9004

Dynamo Software plans to capitalise on the gains made in Europe by the UK office by promoting original commentary and research aimed at the European alternative investment industry, and maintaining a consistent presence at European industry events for general and limited partners. Firms interested in learning about Dynamo Software and remaining up-to-date on the company’s developments can visit www.dynamosoftware.com

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Wealth & Finance International

Excellence in ETFs PowerShares by Invesco is leading the Intelligent ETF Revolution through its family of more than 140 domestic and international exchange-traded funds. We invited the firm’s Global Head, Dan Draper, to tell us more.

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owerShares by Invesco is a global provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that bridge the gap between active and passive investing by combining the best of both investing philosophies. The firm is the fourth largest ETF provider by assets, with a line-up of more than 140 domestic and international PowerShares ETFs.

“Fundamentally, our greatest asset is our people and the intellectual capital they bring to bear in their jobs every day. This ranges from the portfolio managers who ensure that we deliver strong performance within each ETF’s stated goals, to the strategists who analyse and understand the inner workings of market conditions and how our products behave; our sales professionals who work tirelessly on the road supporting customer needs, and the research and product development teams that drive innovation. PowerShares is built on the knowledge and experience of our staff.”

Its ETF offerings seek to outperform traditional benchmark indexes while providing advisors and investors access to an innovative array of focused investment opportunities. PowerShares is a pioneer in the realm of factor investing and smart beta strategies and has US franchise assets exceeding $110 billion as of December 30, 2016. Dan discusses the firm’s offerings. PowerShares works hard to ensure that it offers the broadest possible range of products that meet the needs of its myriad investors.

PowerShares enjoyed a very strong 2016 across its key objectives, and the strong performance of its ETFs, in terms of index tracking and adherence to each strategy’s mandate, helped the firm to gather clients’ support and provide great momentum heading into 2017. Dan concludes by outlining how the firm will take advantage of the opportunities it is presented with over the upcoming 12 months.

“From our earliest beginnings, PowerShares has challenged conventional investment thinking by pioneering the world of factor-based, alternatively weighted ETFs, which later became known as ‘smart beta.’ Smart beta ETFs are beneficially-disruptive technology that blend the positive characteristics of active and passive management while improving the toolbox of options available to investors.

“Looking ahead, PowerShares is squarely in the middle of the ongoing opportunities that exist by combining active and passive investing. Specifically, in ETFs, there continues to be a number of new issuers in the marketplace who, collectively, launched 250 new ETFs in 2016, which followed the 284 that launched in 2015. Investors have a dizzying array of choices, and we must continually prove our value.

“Each of our ETFs is designed to apply a rules-based approach to investing, and most of them also provide investors with exposure to performance-based risk factors. In contrast to the traditional approach to portfolio construction based on market cap weighting and diversification by asset classes and sectors, factor investing builds portfolios based on the objective characteristics, or factors, that help to explain risk and return. The five most commonly accepted factors are low volatility, momentum, quality, value and size. Overall, we have the broadest lineup of smart beta ETFs in the industry, including an expanding suite of single and multi-factor strategies that combine two factors to achieve specific objectives.”

“In terms of opportunities, I believe factor investing will continue to be a growth driver for us. A survey we conducted found that 71 percent of institutional investors, consultants and private banks expect to increase their allocations to factor-based strategies over the next five years. Looking at asset classes, fixed income is one area that is ripe for growth. ETFs currently make up three percent of the equities market but just half of one percent of the fixed income market. Closing that gap, and achieving comparable penetration in fixed income, represents an enormous opportunity, and at Powershare’s we are looking forward to taking advantage of this going forward.”

In order to continually improve upon its service offering and ensure that clients receive the very best investment opportunities possible, PowerShares has recently invested in research, client services and education tools, which has helped the company to better engage with clients who are looking to understand their own demands and the correlation among different factors when combining these single- and multi-factor strategies together in a portfolio. As Global Head of PowerShares, Dan oversees the strategic direction of Invesco’s ETF business, including the products it offers, how the firm positions itself in a competitive marketplace, and, ultimately, how the firm achieves success. One of the central factors in this, according to Dan, is PowerShares’ staff, who bring a vast array of knowledge and expertise to the firm and allow it to provide the very highest standards of service and products to its clients.

Company: PowerShares by Invesco Name: Dan Draper, Global Head of PowerShares by Invesco Web Address: www.invescopowershares.com Address: 3500 Lacey Road, Suite 700, Downers Grove, IL Telephone: (800) 983-0903 (US) Outside US: +1 (713) 626-1919

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January 2017

A Bespoke, Multigenerational Approach to Wealth Management Through their client relationships that span generations, private wealth advisory firm EMM has found its niche helping families with substantial wealth focus on their legacy.

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icture the following scene: a new client walks into EMM’s Manhattan offices at East 42nd Street with a shoebox under her arm. She greets her EMM wealth advisor on the 32nd floor and empties the contents of the bulging shoebox onto the advisor’s desk.

It makes sense that the firm prides itself on its strong work within families. After all, Co-CEO David Aaron took over his current position from his father and EMM’s founder, William Aaron. Together, David Aaron and Lloyd Abramowitz have honed in on the success of creating a familial culture, both within the organisation and with their clients. “In an age where some may be tempted to explore new alternatives such as robo-advisors,” Mr. Aaron says, “it’s more important than ever to reinforce the unique value of face-to-face problem solving, especially for families with complex financial lives.”

Strewn across its surface now is an impressively disorganised array of investment statements from multiple custodians, cryptic insurance policies, complex retirement agreements and the washed-out receipt for the box’s long-gone former contents.

Though they place a strong emphasis on their personal touch, EMM’s industry expertise is no less palpable. They cite the goal of their investment advisory practice as seeking to provide “maximum risk-adjusted returns tailored to each client’s financial objectives, risk tolerance, cash flow and liquidity needs, existing investments, time horizon and tax situation.” The firm’s investment committee described their rigorous five-step due diligence process for approving investments and managers across a diverse spectrum of asset classes. As every client has different return and risk objectives, they customise each portfolio to encourage optimal results.

This assembly of the client’s life in documents now makes up an important piece of EMM’s ‘discovery meeting’ that begins all new client relationships at the firm. After hearing more about the client’s financial goals and personal passions, her hopes for the future and for her children, the EMM advisor can begin to bring into focus a 360-degree picture of the client’s financial world and move forward with clear and tailored suggestions. This scene is a familiar one at EMM; and with nearly fifty years in the family wealth management business, the shoeboxes have varied widely in size, style and complexity.

It is this balance of objective financial advice and personalised service across generations that seem responsible for EMM’s rare lifespan. With some client relationships going back forty years, it’s no surprise that the firm’s services would naturally extend to the rising generations of those families. It also helps that EMM’s leadership seems to have embraced the rising generation within their own workforce.

EMM’s advisors take the time to engage with this meticulous introductory exercise because promoting their clients’ financial wealth and well-being is at the core of the firm’s value proposition. Since its founding in 1968, EMM has operated as an independent wealth advisor, offering high and ultra-high net worth individuals and families comprehensive wealth management solutions that include investment advisory, financial planning and tax services.

So, as the aging of the baby boomers heralds the greatest transfer of wealth in history, to the folks at EMM this will be business as usual. “All too often wealth is squandered as it is transferred between generations,” David Aaron asserts. “We often find that other family offices have good intentions, but the execution of the handoff is lacking.” To this end, EMM offers programs like EMM University, a week-long immersive summer program designed to help clients’ high-school-aged children become more financially literate and better prepared to accept the responsibilities of inheriting and managing wealth.

Their approach to client service, beginning with the ‘discovery meeting,’ may seem a bit more personal than at other firms. This is deliberate. “We see our role,” says Co-CEO Lloyd Abramowitz, “as our clients’ advocate in any life event that affects their financial well-being. Whether it’s setting up a foundation or starting over after the sale of a business, we seek to be our clients’ first call.” He goes on to describe the collaborative relationships the EMM team builds with their clients’ other trusted advisors— estate attorneys, accountants, even art and philanthropy advisors—all to help clients live their best lives. Mr. Abramowitz refers to this as ‘financial quarterbacking.’ In many cases, particularly with family business clients, EMM also steps in as a mediator and assists in setting up appropriate family governance policies to ease or avoid conflict.

Mr. Aaron sums it up, “Our goal in advising across the generations is to make that transition seamless and serve as a true steward of the family’s wealth and legacy.” As for those shoeboxes, EMM’s team plans to welcome their upended contents for years to come. Company: EMM CEOs: Lloyd Abramowitz - David Aaron Web Address: www.emmwealth.com Address: 220 East 42nd Street New York, New York 10017 Telephone: + 1 212 476 5555

The firm’s clients are successful entrepreneurs and leaders in the entertainment, legal and financial fields, as well as institutions and foundations with multiple entities and portfolios. What this advisor group has learned in its half-century’s worth of client relationships however is that a client’s most valuable asset is often not found on their net worth statement; that is, many clients’ primary concern is with the continued security of their family, particularly their children. This type of advising with a multigenerational lens has become a sweet spot for EMM, and it could be one explanation for why over half of EMM’s clients have been with the firm a decade or more.

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Guiding the Path to Success GuideStone Capital Management provides investment management services for retirement plans, institutional investors and retail investors and is the largest Christian-screened mutual fund company in the world. We caught up with GuideStone Capital Management President David Spika to find out more.

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rawing on a heritage that dates back almost a full century, GuideStone Capital Management is the adviser to GuideStone Funds, and is responsible for portfolio management, operations, compliance and distribution of the firm’s funds. GuideStone Funds is a controlled-affiliate of GuideStone Financial Resources, a leading provider of retirement and insurance plans to an array of Christian churches, entities and individuals. David talks us through the innovative approach the firm uses in order to provide clients with the very best solutions on the market.

a medium- to long-term time horizon with the ability to participate in most of the upside potential of stocks while also pursuing a risk level that has been up to 50% lower than the S&P 500® Index. This five-star fund allows our investors to combine historically excellent performance with Christian values. Ultimately David is excited to take advantage of the various opportunities the firm is being presented with thanks to its exceptional growth and proven successful approach. “Looking to the future, we have a tremendous opportunity to continue to grow our client base both inside and outside of our traditional market, which consists of Southern Baptist-affiliated organisations. In order to take advantage of this we are adding resources to sell our funds in the institutional and retail markets and have already experienced solid success. Importantly, we have an excellent opportunity to articulate our brand and value proposition to those who don’t know us yet. As with all investment firms, we are faced with consistent downward fee pressure and continue to seek to grow so that we can provide economies of scale, thereby helping to reduce the fees our investors incur, while also developing new, unique investment strategies that can’t be replicated by an ETF or index fund.

“By partnering with GuideStone, our clients can benefit from a sophisticated approach to investing that combines global asset allocation, manager selection and active portfolio management. We take a globally diversified approach to building portfolios and managing risks. We employ timely research and global capital market insights to allocate assets across a wide range of investment options, encompassing a mix of equity, fixed income and real asset investments. “Our manager-of-managers approach to implementing investment solutions means we research, select and monitor some of the world’s best money managers. Each manager (sub-adviser) we work with has significant expertise and a strong track record in a particular style of investing, so our clients are diversified across four levels — asset class, money manager, geography and investment style.

“A great opportunity in front of us is the growth of investors who are actively seeking out SRI, ESG and faith-based approaches. While many investment firms are seeking to enter this space, GuideStone was an early leader in the field of values-based investing. According to one report, in 2016 some $8.72 trillion were held in SRI assets. This is one out of every five dollars under management in the United States and has grown 33% since 2014. While that includes the full breadth of ESG, and not just Christian-screened firms like GuideStone, it illustrates the huge potential, especially since both the retiring Baby Boomer generation and the even larger Millennial generation look to be more purposeful in their investments.”

“As a key part of our approach, GuideStone’s investment professionals are continuously working to develop strategies, products and processes designed to adapt to changing market conditions. Exploring new ways to manage risk and meet changing investor needs helps us better manage portfolios as we work toward our overall goal of achieving more consistent outcomes for our clients. “All of this is achieved while screening our funds according to the values held by most Christians. Investments are not permissible in any company that is publicly recognised as being in the alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography or abortion industries or any company whose products, services or activities are publicly recognized as being incompatible with the moral and ethical posture of GuideStone.”

Company: GuideStone Capital Management, LLC Name: David S. Spika Web Address: GuideStoneFunds.com Address: 2401 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, Texas 75201 Telephone: 1-888-GS-FUNDS (1-888-473-8637)

Testimony to the success of this approach is the fact that over the last five years, GuideStone Funds has received increased recognitions. The firm has received the extraordinary recognition of being recognised by Lipper as the No. 1 mutual fund family (with up to $40 billion in assets) in the United States as well as several funds receiving individual awards. For 2016, the GuideStone Defensive Market Strategies Fund has been awarded Morningstar’s five-star rating and a top performer within the category of more than 800 funds. The fund provides investors who have

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Stunning Seaside Escapes Weisse Villa Am Meer is an apartment complex based in scenic Büsum, Germany. We invited Lolita Strueben to tell us more about the firm.

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f quality of life during holidays means not having to make sacrifices, then the Weisse Villa Am Meer is the right place for you. You will feel right at home in the firm’s beautifully designed apartments able to be independent while letting your gaze wander over Büsum Harbour and its fishing boats, feeling the North Sea breeze in your face, yet being where it is all happening in the midst of sea village life.

“My job is to organise the office, the work of the employees and to always look for new ways and marketing strategies to get more guests interested in the Weisse Villa Am Meer all year around. “Overall, we get a lot of feedback directly at the Weisse Villa Am Meer or the customers send us emails - some even send postcards to say thank you for the wonderful holiday as well as posts on Facebook Weisse Villa Am Meer, Holidaycheck and booking.com – customers commented positively on the comfort, location, cleanliness, facilities and the friendly staff here.”

The Weisse Villa Am Meer is located directly at the harbour behind the sea dike - 100 km from Hamburg to the coast. Guests are less than one minute walk away from the beach at the North Sea Coast. The elegantly decorated flats at the Weisse Villa Am Meer feature flat screen TV and private balconysome have a ‘Strandkorb’, a beautiful beach basket on the balcony.

Ultimately, Lolita believes that Weisse Villa Am Meer makes the perfect escape thanks to its beautiful setting and well-furnished apartments.

Each apartment has a separate bedroom, large living room and dining room with a modern kitchen which is equipped with dishwasher and coffee machine for your convenience. Five apartments have their own sauna in the bathroom.

“Today people work hard every day, spending a lot of time at their offices. To do your job well, you need more breaks for your soul and to regain energy. Short breaks or longer stays, particularly in the wintertime, are good for the health. Long walks on the beach, then coming ‘home’, going to the sauna or reading a book for example.”

Numerous cafes and restaurants are within 500 m of the Weisse Villa Am Meer, and rental bikes, spacious accommodation with free WiFi are all offered as part of the package, ensuring that guests want for nothing. Fishing, sailing, golfing and wind surfing are all popular leisure activities in Büsum.

“As such, it is my belief that we need more comfortable destinations, not big hotels, where guests are only a number. Guests like to be perceived like a friend coming home. That’s what I want to create in our guest house: a destination for couples and for families with children, with big and comfortable flats, high quality interior in a relaxing atmosphere. You come in and you never want to leave. This is our aim with Weisse Villa Am Meer.”

Every apartment has a name not a number. For example, ‘Anni`s Strandnest’ is a cosy beach nest, right behind the dike. The cry of seagulls and a fresh sea breeze bring back childhood memories. Guests will find tranquillity and comfort in this atmosphere, just like being home, as Lolita emphasises.

Company: Weisse Villa Am Meer Name: Lolita Strueben Email: kontakt@weisse-villa-am-meer.de Web Address: www.weisse-villa-am-meer.de Address: Alleestr. 48, 25761 Buesum, Germany Telephone: +49 481 787 6199

“While I own, and manage the business most of my work is done in the background. I train my team to the highest standard of care and diligence. As part of that, they attend seminars and meetings with our marketing company to constantly improve our service. A positive attitude from the staff is a prerequisite to fulfil the wishes of our customers.

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Wealth & Finance International

Accessible Treatment and Prevention Options Herborium Group, Inc a Botanical Therapeutics® company with a mission to bring the power of cutting edge herbal medicine to mainstream healthcare. We develop, license, and market proprietary, botanical based medicinal products to consumers and healthcare professionals.

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he company’s business model focuses on emerging market opportunities spearheaded by the growth of a new market sector positioned between high-cost, high-risk, ethical pharmaceuticals and commoditised classic nutraceuticals/ supplements.

(isotretinoin), a subject of Class Action Suit in the USA and number of markets withdrawals. With close to 145 million people affected by acne within North America and Europe; with an additional 17 million Americans and >35 million Europeans suffering from Rosacea, the market opportunity is enormous. 75% of all individuals will have acne sometime in their life. AcnEase has generated over $8 million in sales to date.

The company uses clinical validation and a proactive regulatory strategy based on the FDA Guidance for Industry: Botanical Drug Products (FDA Guidance 2004) to establish and maintain a competitive, differential advantage. Herborium harvests its therapeutic candidates from traditional natural medicine resources, and also develops its own formulations based on a combination of herbaceutical science and standard western drug development practices.

Herborium’s Immediate Product Pipeline - Sexual Enhancement Formulas Herborium’s Botanical Therapeutics® products for women (Lasting Pleasure) and men (Lasting Power) meet a growing interest in natural, safe sexual health products. Lasting Pleasure addresses the high demand for a ‘Viagra-like’ product for women. For female sexual dissatisfaction or dysfunction there currently is only Addyi.

With the global nutraceutical market valued at ~$250 billion in 2016 and expected to reach ~$385 billion by 2021, Herborium offers a robust business model designed to capitalise on this rapidly growing and evolving market opportunities in the healthcare sector. Due to the unique blend of management’s expertise, it’s diversified proprietary Botanical Therapeutics® portfolio and innovative market development strategies Herborium is ideally positioned to take advantage of these opportunities while complying with changing regulatory and manufacturing demands.

This recently approved drug has severe label restrictions and health concerns aside from questionable efficacy (10% better than placebo), Even with these limitations’ Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the company that developed Addyi, was purchased by Valeant Pharmaceutical for $1B. Sales projections for Addyi in 2016 range from $110-$150 million. The sole alternatives are topical agents and lubricants which have no impact on libido or female physical function. The female sexual enhancement industry is expected to grow into a multibillion dollar business. Sales of personal lubricants soared 52% to $61.2 million, according to Information Resources Inc. There is no safe and natural product on the market which is taken systemically to improve libido or sexual satisfaction.

AcnEase® The Company’s flagship product is AcnEase®, (www.acnease.com and www.acnease.fr) a proprietary, all botanical acne treatment for all forms of acne. In addition, AcnEase has been shown to improve conditions associated with Rosacea. The safety and efficacy of AcnEase has been demonstrated by initial clinical and preclinical testing and validated by consumer use. The results from the clinical studies demonstrated >96% improvement in both men and women with acne, which has been reinforced with consumer data reflecting over 98% satisfaction rate.

Lasting Power is distinct from all current Rx medicines for erectile dysfunction (ED) which all have the same mechanism of action (MOA). Due to their common MOA, these ED products have cardiovascular side effects that preclude use by men taking a wide range of cardiovascular medications. Lasting Power contains concentrated herbal extracts that are safe and work to stimulate and prolong a man’s erection in a sexually conducive environment. The single use sachet allows for spontaneous, discreet use for those looking to enhance their sexual experience or more chronic use is beneficial for those with mild ED.

A key distinguishing characteristic of AcnEase aside from its remarkable safety profile is the products ability to prevent acne pimples from forming. The existing alternatives in the market for acne are limited to topical agents, systemic antibiotics, and retinoic acid or vitamin A based products (Accutane/isotretinoin) ,which while improving existing acne are associated with a wide range of side effects or even, as Accutane

The market for pharmaceutical grade sexual health products is over $3.2 billion worldwide with Viagra (Pfizer), Cialis (Eli Lilly) and Levitra

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(Bayer) leading market share. The market for natural sexual health products is estimated to be over $1.5 billion and growing. The rising costs of pharmaceutical grade sexual health drugs together with known safety concerns will drive consumers to look for alternatives in the market for natural sexual health products. Energy Replenishment & Stress Management Lasting EnergyŽ the third of the Lasting Series is a unique energy restoration product composed of concentrated herbal extracts known to boost energy and mental acuity. Lasting Energy does not contain caffeine, sugar, amino acids, chemicals or vitamins. The energy drink sector previously dominated by Red Bull and 5-hour Energy, both face severe safety restrictions. Energy drinks represent an $8 billion-dollar market in the US. Lasting Energy not only naturally boosts energy for those involved in athletic training but can be used to maintain mental alertness during long working days or late night studying. Lasting Energy also helps alleviate fatigue associated with jet lag and the side effects associated with a hangover. The future While optimising the strategies to monetise its existing product portfolios and expertise, the company is also investigating a proprietary product candidate which restores hepatic function in patients with chronic liver disease (including Hepatitis and Cirrhosis). These pipeline products, a like Herborium’s present product portfolio focus on the application of natural medicine in areas of unmet medical needs that are either lacking products with demonstrated efficacy or areas where products exist but raise significant safety concerns. Herborium is committed to stay on target not only focusing on its own growth but also on using it unique expertise and proprietary formulations to make a mark on the present and future landscape of healthcare The biggest challenge and opportunity for healthcare is to create truly integrated medicine when traditional western medicinal achievements go hand in hand with modern science based natural medicine in pursuit of one goal: to provide the best available and accessible treatment and prevention options to everyone. Herborium and its leadership will continue to work diligently to make natural medicine a valuable and vibrant part of this equation.

Company: Herborium Group, Inc. Name: Dr. Agnes P. Olszewski PhD. MBA Email: Dragnes@Herborium.com Web Address: www.acnease.com; www.herborium.com Address: One Bridge Plaza N-275; Fort Lee, NJ 07024; USA Telephone: +201 849 4431

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Wealth & Finance International

Waste Not Want Not Global Water Resources is one of the largest investor-owned water utilities firms in Arizona. We invited Ron Fleming, President and CEO, to tell us more about the company and the range of solutions it offers, following their success in winning the Best Water Management Company 2016 – USA award.

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ince its inception in 2003, Global Water Resources has gone from strength to strength, with the company now owning and operating nine utilities that provide water, wastewater and recycled water services. Additionally, the company complete an Initial Public Offering in 2016, and trades on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol “GWRS”.

Company: Global Water Resources, Inc. Name: Ron L. Fleming Email: GWRS@cma.team Web Address: www.gwresources.com Address: 21410 N 19th Ave # 220 Phoenix, AZ 85027 Telephone: (480) 999-5290

Fleming describes how the company is building upon this success through its innovative approach to managing water utilities: “At Global Water Resources, our mission is to develop industry-leading, integrated water and wastewater utilities focused on conservation and reuse; allowing our customers, the company, and our shareholders to realize the benefits of consolidation, regionalization and environmental stewardship. “Our vision is to grow enduring utilities whose professional staff is focused on quality in customer service, excellence in water resource delivery, as well as the management of water scarcity through innovation in water recycling and technologies. “We call our innovative approach Total Water Management or TWM, where we manage the entire water cycle and maximize the use of recycled water, conserving water by using the right water for the right use. TWM protects water supplies in places where urban sprawl threatens to consume all available water.” The company’s primary service areas are strategically located along growth corridors in the metropolitan Phoenix area, where it maintains more than 37,000 active service connections. Ron walked us through the company’s plans for growth in the region. These plans revolve around the already completed master-planning and permitting that will ultimately allow for Global to service hundreds of thousands of homes in these areas. “Our near-term organic growth is closely tied to the metropolitan Phoenix area,” noted Fleming, “particularly as it continues to grow as the result of low-cost housing, favourable weather, large and growing universities, as well as a diverse employment base and low taxes.” The Employment and Population Statistics Department of the State of Arizona predicts that the population of Maricopa County will reach 4.5 million by 2020 and then 6.0 million by 2040. “We believe our utilities and service areas are located in the anticipated path of regional growth,” added Fleming “In fact, market data indicates that our service areas currently incorporate a large portion of the final plotted lots, partially finished lots and finished lots in metropolitan Phoenix. So, as the growth occurs, we expect to benefit from a large portion of it.”

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Food for Thought Donna Margherita is an authentic Italian restaurant, which serves traditional Neapolitan food with a modern twist and is dedicated to southern Italy’s spirit of passion, warmth and loyalty.

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ish by dish, Donna Margherita serves the most authentic flavours. They use centuries old Neapolitan cucina techniques to serve you the bellissimo dishes of southern Italy. A really good authentic Italian restaurant is a rare treat, so if it’s consistently full of Italians, you know you’re in for something great.

Gabriele Vitale, Owner and founder, is passionate about his home city of Naples and what he believes to be its greatest gift to the world — unsurpassed culinary heritage. Ever since he entered Italian catering college as a boy of 14, Gabriele has cooked, learned and absorbed the best from his mentor-chefs and other food professionals.

Founded in 2003, Donna Margherita has now refined the menu, focusing on using only the highest quality ingredients, many of which are free range, organically sourced and imported from southern Italy.

Consistency and authenticity are paramount among Gabriele’s foodie obsessions and he is devoted to his homeland’s spirit of enthusiasm, warmth and loyalty; what Gabriele proudly calls “Italian-style charm and enjoyment-of-life”. He now has an operations role teaching and training his team, developing new recipes and sourcing the best produce.

They constantly receive positive feedback on both the food and staff. They’re currently in the top three pizzerias in London on TripAdvisor which they are indeed very proud of.

Looking to the future, 2017 is all about expansion. Vitale would love to expand the business by gaining some new investors. The plan is to go to the next level and open a second sister restaurant in London.

The menu consists of a range of appetisers and antipasto: juicy beef meatballs in a homemade tomato and parmesan sauce, a selection of bruschetta including smoked buffalo mozzarella with aubergines and cherry tomatoes, steamed mussels with fresh lemon juice and cracked black pepper and a large selection of the finest Italian cured meats and fresh cheeses.

Company: Donna Margherita Italian restaurant and pizzeria Name: Gabriele Vitale - Owner Email: info@donna-margherita.com Web Address: www.donna-margherita.com Address: 183 Lavender Hill, SW11 5TE Telephone: +44 (0)207 228 2660

For main courses, there is much to choose from including fresh pasta dishes (gluten free options are also available) include O’Spagett Donna Margherita, which is authentic unique recipe, combining Italian cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Meat dishes range from grass fed fillet carpaccio and charcoal grilled Italian style homemade Dingley Dell pork sausages. Fish courses include whole sea bass in a crazy water with garlic, white wine and cherry tomatoes, homemade pasta O’Sccialatiell Ro’re Ferdinando and A’Linguin with fresh lobster. Then there are the famous pizzas, flying in many ingredients from Naples the pizzas are handcrafted using Esposito’s cucina method. From 1889 Naples became the pizza capital of the world. The menu ranges from the classic Margherita to Porchetta which marries succulent pork belly with fresh Italian mozzarella, provoke cheese and aubergines. They have also recently, after Dan Lepard said we created the near perfect pizza and thirteen years developing a unique recipe at Donna Margherita, launched the first ever type 1 flour pizza which is healthier than the usual type 00 flour, rich in protein, aids easier digestion and has a natural taste of wheat – with the added benefit of Himalayan pink salt which has 84 minerals which help detoxify the body. People are more and more interested in a healthier lifestyle and Donna Margherita wanted to create a pizza which their customers are able to enjoy, full of flavour yet still remaining healthy to eat. They are currently the only ones in London offering this and have had a fantastic response to it since they launched the product late last year.

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Wealth & Finance International

Making the World a Better Place PreConstruction Catalysts, Inc (PCC) is a financial services firm specialising in acting as a catalyst for ultra-high-level transactions. CEO Michael Weiner discusses the firm’s service offering and how it aims to support clients through these often complicated and crucial transactions.

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stablished in 2006, PCC originally marketed limited real estate partnerships for pre-construction sales of high-end condominium projects. The firm has since evolved after a client came forward with a need to raise $350 million for a large sports complex in New Jersey, USA.

As part of this focus on client service the firm is constantly seeking the best qualified individuals to support them, as Michael explains. “When 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 business. I provide informational writings to help bring both clients and prospective intermediaries on board who have actually read the materials.

As word spread, the firm ultimately had around $63 billion in projects that were sourcing funding. In 2009, the firm’s 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 five banks. Michael talks us through the firm’s overall mission and the steps it takes to achieve this ambitious aim.

“The future for us is brighter every day.”

“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.

“Ultimately, people do business with people they like. We like people who have the right heart, mind, spirit and assets, and we like being a pathway to bring things about. The secret behind our success is simply in the intentional creation of good working relationships with Principal clients and certain qualified intermediaries, and as such we work hard to ensure that we always have the best staff who are able to create these relationships and support our clients throughout the financing process.”

One of the biggest challenges PCC and other firms in their industry face 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. Once the firm has found such clients, it is essential that they are supported fully throughout the process, as Michael emphasises.

Moving forward, Michael is excited for the future as the firm looks to grow and build upon its current success.

“In all cases, the most important step in our customer service approach 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, obstinance and arrogance are not worth our time when dealing with a client and their teams. So, an excellent client for us is someone with a pleasant personality and real projects. Communication is the most important activity we can engage in to keep information and conversations flowing, even when the communications become difficult due to personalities. As much as a potential client is interviewing us, we are also interviewing them before we engage in order to ensure that clients understand what we need from them and we understand fully what they are expecting from us.”

“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 in discussion to create a viable business model for some sovereign nations to create, with an expectation of explosive growth in 2017.”

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

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Wealth & Finance International

The Highest Level of Excellence Mack International, founded in 2002, is recognised as the premier boutique firm that specialises in providing retained executive search and strategic human capital consulting solutions. Their clients include single and multi-client family offices, family enterprises, and the full spectrum of wealth management advisory, investment management and financial services firms that serve ultra-high net private investors and family offices on a national and international basis. Following Mack International’s recent award, Best Family Office Executive Search and Consulting Firm--USA, we spoke with the firm’s founder and President, Linda C. Mack who revealed more about how they achieve the highest levels of excellence in all the work they undertake.

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inda Mack, who is credited for coining the term ‘expert generalist’ in the industry, is a frequent speaker at family office conferences on a global basis. She regularly leads presentations and closed door sessions with family members and family office executives on a broad range of topics including but not limited to recruiting, retaining and engaging top talent and best practices in designing compensation packages. Linda Mack recently gave a keynote address for the Private Banking and Family Office Summit held in Qingdao, China--an engagement Linda regards as one of the highlights of 2016.

offices over the last 15 years. Their clients range from first generation wealth creators through multi-generational families of six or more generations. They are known for successfully conducting searches for C-suite executives for their clients, including Chief Executive Officers, Presidents, Chief Operating Officers, Chief Investment Officers, and Chief Financial Officers. The firm owes their track record of success to their dedication to provide customised consulting solutions that meet the unique needs of their clients. Identifying, assessing and successfully recruiting candidates who not only have the necessary qualifications and expertise, but are the right ‘culture fit’ for their clients is key. “Ninety five percent of every search is about culture fit. In terms of potential candidates, the market is surprisingly limited so it can be a challenge to identify qualified individuals who can work in an ultra-specialised environment and culture for what can be a generation in time.”

Considered a thought leader and author of many best practices, the firm dominates its highly specialised market. “Every family is unique, and working with families is loaded with nuance.” To that end, Mack International helps families define performance expectations and metrics to evaluate what success might look like for them. The result becomes somewhat of a family “fingerprint” given the cultural differences that exist. “Our intention is to unquestionably be our clients’ most valued advisor by consistently delivering the best talent, counsel and advice supporting them in achieving their strategic goals and objectives,” says Linda.

Mack describes her relationship with her clients as “intensely personal.” “Our search process employs a proprietary 360 assessment tool developed by Mack International. The 360 assessment evaluates client needs and culture and enables clients to achieve the clarity, consensus and alignment regarding their collective vision and the position, which is paramount in identifying and recruiting their ideal candidate.” Linda is involved in every search from start to finish. The dedicated Mack team for each assignment is extremely experienced and collectively have more than 50 years’ experience in the family office/wealth management industry.

For most family offices, family enterprises and wealth advisors, finding the right professional to manage their wealth is a challenge. Mack immerses itself in the business and culture of each client in order to understand that client’s vision. Executing that vision by delivering exceptional counsel regarding critical human capital needs is what sets Mack International apart. “Our process is creative yet also highly disciplined, comprehensive and thorough. We never cut corners and do not believe in short cuts. Our philosophy is to do each search once and to do it right. “

Mack is present during initial candidate interviews to support their clients, and is often asked to come back to participate in further rounds of interviews. “We stay close to the candidates and clients throughout every step of the process. Our job doesn’t end with identifying the right candidate, but encompasses helping our clients negotiate compensation and onboard the executive successfully.”

With a special expertise in asset and wealth management, Mack and her colleagues have helped to staff some of the most prominent family

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While the marketplace is competitive, Mack emphasises that her firm is distinctive in terms of the partnerships they have built with their clients. “Nobody else has our depth of experience and expertise,” notes Mack. “In short, our sole measure of success is getting it right the first time, every time and providing the highest level of excellence to our clients on every assignment.” Indeed, they are also well-known for their absolute discretion and confidentiality--never revealing the identity of their clients or candidates without their expressed and prior approval. The last word goes to Mack on the firm’s plans for the future: “I will carry on my work as a thought leader, speak at conferences on a global basis, and continue to build the firm’s presence globally. We can bring unique perspectives and added value as a consultant to families everywhere in the world, and I want to build upon our reputation as a highly-specialized firm in this field.”

Name: Linda C. Mack, Founder & President Company: Mack International LLC Chicago . New York . Los Angeles Email: lmack@mackinternational.com Web Address: www.mackinternational.com Telephone: +1 800 976 0014

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Wealth & Finance International

200 Years’ Experience in Power Generation United Services Group are a full-service specialty contractor serving general contractors and utilities in the nuclear, fossil, natural gas, solar, and petrochemical industries. We caught up with CEO Josh Armstrong to learn more.

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nited Services Group operates under two core subsidiaries: United Energy Services, the non-union division, and United Technical Services, its union division. Both firms offer a wide range of services including specialty welding, specialty machining, pre- and post-weld heat treatment, staff augmentation (welders, machinists, pipe-fitters and project oversight), and equipment rental. Josh discusses the firm’s history of excellence and the techniques it has employed both to achieve and maintain this.

“Through this collaborative approach we are able to attract skilled staff to our firm, which is always crucial especially as there has been a global skills shortage in our industry for many years. Focusing on being the best in the industry is magnetising: it attracts the best. We look for employees who are driven and motivated to want to grow within the organisation. As a young company, we all wear many hats and having versatility within our ranks allows for advancement and growth opportunity. In addition, due to this increasing man power shortage safety and quality are often affected due to inexperienced workers. We provide continuous training with the highest emphasis on safety and quality. Many of our staff have worked with us and with each other for many years, so we treat everyone as family. Our mission is to provide service excellence. That mission is dependent upon everyone treating others and providing services as they would do for themselves.”

“United Services Group provides our customers with over 200 years of combined experience in the power generation industry. With a concentrated focus on safety, quality, and productivity, we perform preand post-job reviews, utilise experience from lessons learned from past industry project situations, and make process improvements based on customer feedback in order to meet our customer’s specific needs and work specifications.”

Alongside human resources, technology also plays a key part in the success of United Services Group. Josh talks us through how the company works to remain at the forefront of the latest developments in order to provide clients with the very best solutions possible.

“Clients can be assured of the quality of our services as the group holds both the ASME S-Stamp and National Board R-Stamp Certificates of Authorization. Our quality assurance program meets the requirements of ASME NQA-1 and 10 CFR 50 Appendix B. We set ourselves apart from the competition by building a team of skilled employees and not just assembling a workforce. Our craftsmen are specialised in their skill sets and our supporting staff is cross trained to honour our commitment to providing our customers with service excellence.”

“Technology is a big part of our business, from our home office to our job-sites, we have multiple employees in many areas of the country at any given time. We try to streamline all aspects of our work by using technology to help aide us in completing our work with maximum efficiency. “In our head office, we use cloud based technology to help communicate with all employees in real time. We have the ability to drop someone a file they need within seconds. Our employees have everything they need at the palm of their hands on any device they own. It helps streamline all aspects of our jobs from quotes to accounting to project completion.

Operating in such a competitive and ever evolving industry means that the firm needs to stay at the forefront of the latest innovations and developments, as Josh is keen to emphasise. “Our industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. We stay at the forefront in a few different ways, such as maintaining great relationships with leaders within our industry. These relationships were forged by the safety, quality and reliability of our previous work for them. They know when they are in a bind or a pinch, they can count on us to mobilise, get in and finish working without any issues. Building solid relationships built on hard work allows us to stay abreast to what is going on in our industry and know what opportunities are available to us. To continue on this, through these relationships, we get a lot of word of mouth references on other projects which allows us to continue to grow our business.”

“On the job-sites, technology is our business and knowing the inner workings of state of the art welding, machining and heat treating equipment. We have to be out in front of new technology, become experts with it and train our staff to use the technology to aide in project completion. Being an industry expert on various welding or machining technology allows us to offer more versatility to our customers.” Looking ahead, Josh is optimistic for the future as he discusses the firm’s ongoing focus on excellence.

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“The future for us is very bright. The group continues to grow exponentially each year and we plan on opening an office in Texas in the very near future. Within the industry we foresee environmental and political changes influencing our market. Being aware and keeping up with current and changing energy policies will be key in adapting around these and as such we will remain focused on this approach. “Ultimately we started our company with a vision of being an all-inclusive, state-of-the-art specialty contractor with a focus on safety, quality, affordability and effectiveness. Being able to unite with our customers with multiple field services provides our clients with a cost-savings and helps their projects be on-time and under budget. Our goal has and always will be to achieve service excellence and as such we will continue with our tried and tested approach moving forward.”

Company: United Services Group Name: Josh Armstrong Email: jarmstrong@united-services.com Web Address: www.united-services.com Address: 2835 Jeff Adams Drive, Suite G, Charlotte, NC 28206 Telephone: 980-237-1335

““The future for us is very bright.” 65


Wealth & Finance International

The Effects of Divorce on Business Going into business with your significant other is increasingly common and can be a hugely positive experience – helping to strengthen personal relationships and create a solid foundation from which a business can thrive.

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hese partnerships though could only work when there is an abundance of trust, like-minded thinking and honesty. At least this is what I have found in my own personal experience working along side my husband at my company A City Law Firm. When it comes to our working relationship we have very clearly defined roles that allow us to employ our own skills without stepping on each other’s toes. I’m the MD, he’s the Practice Manager and family time, is a ‘no-work-zone’, completely dedicated to our son.

situation where you have to buy out your business partner. Many businesses don’t have the free capital for this and it could be the beginning of the end.

Despite running an accomplished business together and being happy in our marriage, I am acutely aware that things can go wrong and have often found myself in the middle of a messy business dispute between spouses. Divorce does happen and for couples who are also in business together the impact can be detrimental and far reaching

Tip2: Pre and Post Nups

Several months ago, I dealt with a client who had no legal documentation and the business could not afford to buy the partner out. The couple were forced to work alongside each other for 18 months before they could afford a clean break which caused enormous friction, staffing issues and terrible disruption to the business.

In addition to the founder’s agreement, I would suggest getting a Pre or Post-nuptial agreement in place as it can be very persuasive during divorce proceedings. Also ensure your Will mirrors these documents too because in the event of your death, it governs where your shares or their cash value go and how this will be distributed. This is really important, especially if you have children together.

Over the years, I have dealt with hundreds of couples who have gone into business together without suitable legal protection because they felt the usual protection was not required of people in love. Having THAT conversation is not easy or romantic, but it’s certainly very necessary.

Tip 3: Be Wary of Dirty Tactics

If your marriage fails, it can have a serious impact on your business so how can you protect yourself and the business from the effects of divorce?

When your relationship has broken down and emotions are involved, it is hard to make logical and rational business decisions. Over the years’ I have witnessed some questionable tactics from owners trying to protect their businesses - hiding assets, selling them at an undervalue and even delaying account preparation. Sometimes partners will even gift assets away ahead of anticipated divorce proceedings to spite the other party and reduce the overall value and share of the company.

Tip 1: Documentation, Documentation, Documentation Every business with more than one owner should have a founder’s agreement in place. For married couples this is crucial and I cannot stress this enough. When you’re happy in your relationship and everything is running smoothly, the idea of what is seen as a ‘business pre-nup’ seems unnecessary and probably quite awkward to discuss but please consider this; without legal documentation, if it goes terribly wrong you could be leaving it to a court to decide on the ‘fair’ division of your assets.

While the family court can put injunctions in place or reverse transactions, it is costly and emotionally destructive for you at an already distressing time.

When it comes to divorce, many entrepreneurs (men and women) often don’t realise that their partner may be entitled to a 50:50 split of their company – even if through all your sweat and tears they haven’t been really involved at all. The longer you are in your marriage ; children or the financial resource disparity, the more likely this becomes.

As a solicitor and fellow entrepreneur, I urge all spouse partnerships to address this as a priority. I know what it’s like to build a business from scratch and it would be devastating to have it all taken away for the sake of a simple document.

Tip 4: Puff out your chest and have THAT chat now

If it’s not too late, get a founder’s agreement (Shareholder’s agreement for companies) drawn up to cover the following points: - Transfer of all IP to the company

The equal division is frequently the starting point for family proceedings and unless you can prove why it is unfair, you may be forced into a

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Set out what happens in the event of a dissolution or dispute Agree restrictive covenants to refrain the departing spouse stealing clients or setting up in direct competition or sharing confidential information Specify who owns what shares and make clear any monies put in by each of you. Keep good accounting records to formally log all sums paid in and withdrawn so its transparent and no one can hide anything during the proceedings if the worse happens Clarify how the business will be valued , shares sold/bought if one of you leaves and define each of your rights and roles

This agreement offers you a transparent and sound platform on which to build your business.

Company: A City Law Firm Limited Name: Karen Holden Email: enquiries@acitylawfirm.com Web Address: www.acitylawfirm.com Address: 64 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4HB Telephone: 0207 426 0382

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Is Home Ownership Still the Great British Dream? Home ownership has fallen in most areas of the UK, according to the parliamentary Home Ownership Statistics report. While Scotland appears slightly immune to the trend, with a 0.8% rise in ownership since 2011, and ownership amongst those aged 70+ has also risen by a similar margin, other areas in the UK aren’t seeing the same growth.

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eanwhile, the Local Government Association has found home ownership amongst 25-year-olds has more than halved during the last 20 years, with only 20% of 25-yearolds in England and Wales now owning a home, compared to 46% in 1996.

Turning the dream into a reality In early 2016 - the price of the average UK home crossed the £200,000 mark - higher than ever before. Location also heavily dictates the cost of a home, with houses in the north costing half that those in the south do, on average.

With projections so dire for the majority of UK citizens, is home ownership still considered a staple of the Great British dream? According to a survey of 2,000 Brits*, it is.

House prices have continued to rise at a dramatic rate over the past few years, but while the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predicts that the year-on-year growth will slow in 2017, there will still be brutal competition on the market, partially due to the lack of supply for the huge demand. This could potentially lead to a delayed hike in prices, sometimes predicted as high as 3%.

The Story of Success The first direct Story of Success sought to discover what goals and achievements UK adults consider to be signifiers of success. The results showed that there’s more to success than having money sat in a bank account.

The latest home ownership report supports these predictions, with the Local Government Association’s housing spokesman, Cllr Martin Tett saying, “a shortage of houses is a top concern for people as homes are too often unavailable, unaffordable and not appropriate for the different needs in our communities.”

Amongst the youngest participants, education (62%) and a career (60%) were shown to be a few of the most important factors that made them feel successful. Expand the age group a little wider, however, and home ownership quickly became a priority.

The average salary also comes into play regarding housing affordability, with the typical full-time working adult earning £27,000. A healthy deposit for the average home could very well reach £33,000; 14 months of pre-tax earnings.

The 18-34-year-old group deemed home ownership as an important sign of success, voting it at 71% – higher than any other age group included in the survey. The ‘perfect family home’ was a particular desire for the younger participants in that group, with 51% highlighting it as the ultimate achievement.

Millennials are not naïve; financial stability was considered essential to 86% of respondents, most of whom hoped to reach a form of financial security between the ages of 25 to 34. The importance of money, saving and financial responsibility further highlights the importance of these traditional values.

Turning a house into a home The characteristics of housing success don’t come from large or expensive properties. Rather, the respondents revealed that paying for their house independently was far more important – 41% agreed that this factor is what would make them feel successful.

Location, location, location It has become apparent in recent years that millennials who are earning the average wage are effectively priced out of the South of England. Career opportunities may be more promising around the Capital, and the cultural offerings more tantalising, but to achieve their declared long-term goals, the country’s youth may need to consider a northward move.

Renting and living in a large or expensive house, or one that’s in a desirable area or nearby to work, was considered to be less of a success than simply owning a home – even if it’s not the ‘perfect’ home. The research highlights the fact that other traditional values such as having a stable career and raising a family are also priorities for the UK’s young people. As to whether they can achieve these goals in a home that they own themselves is another issue.

A recent report conducted in late 2016 has shown that a recorded 77,000 people moved from London to elsewhere in the UK, with only four boroughs seeing an influx (rather than an output) of citizens.

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Apparently, 20-somethings still flock to London for the career opportunities – it is often the most promising place in the UK to offer a prospective career in high-demand fields such as journalism and the arts. But as soon as these people enter their 30s, they are leaving in search of northern affordability.

With the desire to achieve home ownership and financial stability being such an important indicator of success for young adults, the capital could find itself living through a mass exodus, as people prioritise home ownership over the big city lights in their search for the Great British dream.

In the previous two years, the percentage of 30 year olds leaving London has increased by 25%, with some moving within commuting distance, while other have completely created new lives for themselves in the midlands and the north.

*Survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of first direct, across 2,000 men and women living in regions throughout the UK.

Name: first direct Web Address www1.firstdirect.com

Of course, London will always be more expensive than other areas of the UK, due to the opportunities a capital city can offer residents, and the competition to live in the cultural and career hub of the country.

“a shortage of houses is a top concern for people as homes are too often unavailable, unaffordable and not appropriate for the different needs in our communities.�

But, with home-ownership on the rise in Scotland, perhaps this is the best choice for those 18-34 year olds looking for stability and a home to call their own?

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Changes to Salary Sacrifice Schemes Changes to the salary sacrifice schemes used by employers to provide a wide range of benefits to employees were announced by the UK government in November 2016’s Autumn Statement.

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he change in legislation is due to the UK government’s previously expressed concerns regarding the growing use of salary sacrifice arrangements, especially as the employee is effectively paying for the benefit themselves through the reduction in their gross pay, with the Government collecting less tax and National Insurance as a consequence of the salary sacrifice.

Employers can proceed with a degree of certainty and the ability to adopt salary sacrifice for employee pension contributions for those employees who do not participate in a defined benefit pension scheme. This will prove exceedingly helpful bearing in mind the requirement under the Workplace Pension Regulations where there will be a requirement for both the employer and employee to make combined minimum pension contributions of 8% by 6 April 2019.

Employers who have these arrangements in place must now take notice of these changes and prepare themselves to ensure they adhere to these new rules.

Transitional rules The draft legislation includes transitional rules which will help employers and employees adapt to the proposed changes. Where an employee has entered into an arrangement before 6 April 2017, they can continue to benefit from the tax and National Insurance advantages under the salary sacrifice until 2018. Where the arrangement relates to one of the following benefits, the transitional period will be extended to 5 April 2021: • Cars; • Living accommodation and; • School fees.

Draft legislation The Government published its consultation on 10th August 2016, which included the framework to address the perceived inequality created using salary sacrifice. On 5th December 2016, The Finance Bill 2017 was published and contains the provisions which are intended to eliminate the tax advantages previously obtained by entering into a salary sacrifice. The new legislation will come into effect from 6 April 2017.

However, the transitional period will be foreshortened where one of the following events occurs before the end of the transitional period: • The arrangement comes to an end or; • There is a change to the arrangement or; • Modification to the arrangement or; • Renewal of the arrangement.

It is proposed that where an employee enters into any salary sacrifice after 5 April 2017 a tax charge will be based upon the greater of: • The salary sacrifice or; • The cost to the employer in providing the benefit.

The first of the ‘tests’ is fairly clear cut and should represent a natural end of the benefit being provided. However, the remaining ‘tests’ will present some challenges for the transitional rules to be provided up to either April 2018 or 2021.

This approach will apply even where the benefit is normally exempt from tax and Class 1A National Insurance. Favourable benefits The provision of the following favourable benefits will be outside the scope of the “optional remuneration arrangements” which are: • Pension contributions; • Pension advice; • Childcare arrangements; • Cycle to work schemes and; • Ultra-low emission cars.

Other points to consider • Once the salary sacrifice arrangement comes to an end the employee’s earnings will revert to their pre-sacrificed amount which will be liable to income tax and National Insurance; • Depending upon the nature of the benefit provided, for some employees this could mean they will be liable to income tax at a higher rate; • The employer will potentially have an increased National Insurance liability; • The employer will also have an increase in earnings for the purpose of calculating the Apprenticeship Levy; • Potentially there will be an increase in pension contributions, although this will be dependent upon whether the employer arranged for pension contributions to be calculated by reference to the pre-or post sacrificed salary;

It will be possible for the above benefits to continue to be provided as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement and not be subject to the new legislation. The government has confirmed employers will be able to make available ‘intangible benefits’ such as additional leave, by entering into flexible working arrangements via salary sacrifice without invoking the new legislation.

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For the employee, the following points will need to be considered: Annual Allowance; Lifetime Allowance and; Increase in pension contributions. The impact on earnings related State benefits and other salary linked entitlements

Next steps The following are key action points you should be considering: • Employers who are affected by the changes should consider responding to the consultation in respect of the draft legislation (consultation period ends 30 January 2017); • Advise employees that tax efficient salary sacrifice arrangements are due to come to an end and whilst there are transitional rules in place, the likelihood is that the current year’s arrangement will be last which can be provided via an effective salary sacrifice arrangement; • Consider varying the existing arrangements before 5 April 2017 in order to fully maximise the transitional period; • Arrange for any new participants to enter into arrangements before 5 April 2017; • Advise employees that salary sacrifice can continue, or be introduced in respect of favoured and intangible benefits; • For employers with a payroll cost of £3m or more it will also be necessary to take into account the impact of the Apprenticeship Levy which is due to commence on 6 April 2017 and; • Where employers are not already doing so, consider offering salary sacrifice in respect of pension contributions, as well as the other favoured benefits The changes within the draft legislation are far reaching, going beyond preventing the use of salary sacrifice arrangements in the future. Employers should now review their existing arrangements and consider the impact of the new legislation.

Name: Nick Bustin Director of Employment Tax Company: haysmacintyre Email: nbustin@haysmacintyre.com Web Address: www.haysmacintyre.com Address: 26 Red Lion Square London WC1R 4AG Telephone: +44 20 7969 5578

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Banks of Tomorrow

- Intelligent Data-Driven Experiences for a Consumer-Centric World We’re at the cusp of one of the biggest shake-ups to hit the financial industry in modern times. By the end of 2017, 3,000+ banks across Europe will need to open up their APIs, giving third-party service providers access to their customers’ data.

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he new European legislation coming into play, PSD2, is designed to stimulate competition and innovation across the banking world – but is also heralding huge changes to a very traditional industry.

And yet, the financial industry is already struggling to see the potential of the PSD2 directive. Most banks’ heads are down, making sure they meet compliance but not thinking above and beyond what this change could – and will – mean to them.

Big banking institutions have been built over years with a DNA of stability, security, and adversity to risk – they’re currently not set up to shift at the pace the world around them is. Open banking and APIs will instantly move the banking sector into the software sector – an industry that prides itself in creating dynamic customer experiences made possible by taking risks, of failing fast and iterating.

While this is happening, there’s a general industry perception of future widespread disintermediation and that competitors will poach customers via their own APIs, both culminating in major revenue losses and reduced customer contact. It’s not a rosy picture. And it’s probably true for the banks that don’t embrace a new world of new opportunity. For those that do, we foresee a future world where the opposite happens. We foresee a world where banks atomise their services across the whole commerce ecosystem to create new data driven, real-time and fully personalised services across any type of interaction – between consumers, retailers, banks and platforms simultaneously. These atomised services will increase banks’ brand visibility and potentially also increase revenues.

Why banks need to open up to step up What at first might seem as doom and gloom, the new directive is in fact a great opportunity for the finance industry. The app revolution has led to instant gratification and spontaneous decision making for people, yet the current process of applying for a loan or a credit card involves many – often painful – steps spread out over time.

Think back to the example of PayPal. PSD2 dictates a similar customer experience where people choose and login to their bank when accessing or paying for a service. The choice is in the hands of the consumer, and it creates a new relationship with banks that simply doesn’t exist today.

“Take PayPal as an example. Over the last ten years, PayPal has come from nowhere.”

This is why the financial industry – and banks in particular – need to take that next step in their evolution. Flexibility and adaptability allow software businesses to rapidly change their approach depending on consumer demand – transitioning from reactive to proactive, and then evolving to become predictive.

Take PayPal as an example. Over the last ten years, PayPal has come from nowhere. You shop. You select PayPal. Log in and pay securely – with the knowledge that your goods are automatically insured. This is a much simpler way of buying goods and services, and it shows that people are ready and willing to change their habits for services that add value.

This journey needs to happen in partnership with the retail industry, as the new services will allow consumers to forge closer relationships with brands they use on a daily basis – fuelling innovation in the way we purchase goods, lend money, and manage our finances. New business models fit for the modern consumer For consumers, this rise in APIs and sharing of information will revolutionise what we consider retail experiences and how we purchase goods. It allows customers the flexibility and control to make decisions that are in their best interest – or allow intelligent real-time API driven services to do it for them. Imagine a consumer who wants to make a large purchase but needs credit to do so.

Then you have the explosive growth and popularity of Uber and Airbnb, due in large part to their direct and simple experience. Whether it’s tapping a button to summon a taxi, or using a social app to find accommodation in a new city, services like these offer easy, seamless ways of doing familiar, and often, mundane tasks.

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Services will exist that scrape two years’ worth of transaction data to calculate a credit score with absolute accuracy. They’ll then take the loan amount and credit score into a digital market place where banks can bid to supply the loan, with dynamic APR tailored to the individual. The person will pick the best bank rate and purchase the goods, all in seconds. Although we’re still some distance away from creating such an ecosystem (but closer than you think), it’s one of the possibilities available for consumers with the introduction of PSD2 and open banking standards. The prospect of being directly involved in a purchasing decision – and being in competition with others – should encourage banks to think differently. It’s not just about the consumer however. The business benefits of new interactions extend further than customer relations. Banks can implement new API-driven services that fight against fraud by allowing merchants to submit additional details about a customer when asking for transaction approval. Retailers can reduce overhead costs and wastage in logistics by using customer data. Meanwhile, consumers will get a new wave of intelligent services that enhance all aspects of the retail experience. PSD2 and open banking is about far more than just complying with regulation. Banks have a real chance to build and power new services that people love and use every day. Getting there will require planning, and will touch on every bit of the business: technology – a scalable tech stack and real-time big data processing; strategy – a focus on services and partnerships that align with the brand and business objectives; products – dynamic products that meet new digital capabilities; and new internal processes and skills across the business that can deliver and maintain in this new consumer-centric world.

Name: Dom O’Brien Company: Fjord, Design and Innovation from Accenture Interactive Web Address: www.fjordnet.com Address: 500 West Madison Street Suite 2200, 23rd Floor Chicago, IL, 60661 USA Telephone: +1 312 427 2470

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Wealth & Finance International

The Best the World Has to Offer Award winning olive oil and condiment specialists the Tassos brand has received several gold medals in the US, Mexico, Latin America for the quality and packaging of their products and has been recognised by LUX magazine’s 2016 Food & Drink Awards as Olive Products Company of the Year – USA. In addition, they have been awarded Acquisition International’s the Best Mediterranean Food Company 2016 - USA as well as an Award for Excellence in Olive Oil Food Products. We caught up with the firm’s CEO and Founder Tassos F Chronopoulos to find out more about how the firm has sought to provide fresh and delicious products.

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stablished in 1995 Tassos LLC is a family owned and operated business offering a wide range of olives, oils and condiments. The group serves as a product developer and importer of several natural products developed in association with several manufactures located in Greece, related to the production of olive oil, olives of various cultivars, spreads, marmalades and as of late wines, all produced under strict product specifications and management from cultivation to the end product.

“If it carries the Tassos seal, then it is, quite frankly, the best the world has to offer. The Tassos Group’s clients include, national and regional retailers and big house clubs in North and Central America including our presence of several of our products within the US military PX’S globally, and as such they demand the very best, which we always aim to provide across our full range, which also includes marmalades, cocktail onions and spreads.” Chronopoulos then stresses that the firm is committed to adhering to the highest standards across their product offering with quality of their products being just one aspect among many. Innovative packaging, customer service and competitive pricing are all additonal factors which he is keen to highlight.

The family aims to personify itself within all of their products, which carry the Tassos® seal to highlight their excellence. Accordingly, the firm’s products are bought about through the implementation of the firm’s core values; education, dedication, and hospitality. Chronopoulos outlines how these values have guided the firm to its present success.

“Here at Tassos LLC we are innovators in the industry, educating our customers constantly about the nature of our products and industry. We design our own glass containers and produce them, creating a unique package which is as valuable to our clients as the product it holds.”

“Our guiding principals have helped shape the Tassos® brand, from its creation to the present day. We hold our products out to be of artisan, handcrafted quality or better, esthetically pleasing and a catalyst for putting your life’s poetry into motion. Over the years, we have noticed that our customers share our values; that Tassos’ customers live with a friendly and adventurous spirit, are without pretension, yet still demand the highest standards of quality and sophistication. As such we always aim to offer them the products which will fulfil their needs and provide them with the most delicious, fresh foods possible.”

Ultimately despite the fact that Tassos LLC is a comparatively young business the firm have grown to be the largest exporter of olive based products from Greece, serving customers across North America, Canada, Mexico and Central America. The firm has ambitious plans for 2017, including to complete the construction of their first production facility in the USA so that they can provide a speedier service to their customers.

Today, fuelled by that same sense of imagination and adventure, the Tassos family has created a solid infrastructure for the sourcing, production and distribution of Tassos® products from the Mediterranean. The firm has also developed strong domestic and international alliances throughout the world, all founded on the aforementioned principles of education, hospitality and dedication to quality performance, but always bearing in mind the firm’s humble beginnings and never losing sight of our company’s mission: to be the premier brand of uncompromising quality, yet affordably priced products. Chronopoulos is keen to emphasize the firm’s focus on quality and dedication to providing the very best products to their discerning clients.

Company: The Tassos Group, LLC. Name: Tassos F Chronopoulos Web Address: www.tassos.com

“In order to ensure quality, Tassos® Olive Oils are estate bottled and never blended. They are 100% Cretan Olive Oils. Pressed from the carefully handpicked, unripe Koroneiki olives on the island of Crete, every bottle of olive oil is rich in flavor, the deepest green in color and full of aroma. It takes five Kilos of premium Koroneiki olives to create every liter of Tassos® Olive Oil, ensuring purity and a rich flavour.These are just some of the characteristics why the Tassos® Peza Olive Oil carries the seal of Protected Designated Origin (P.D.O) which was awarded by the European Union. Just like there is Champagne and everything else is sparkling wine, there is Tassos® Peza, and everything else is simply Olive Oil. 74


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Brilliance in Boutique Business Fiduciana Trust (Cyprus) Limited is a boutique Cyprus trustee and fiduciary services company with international coverage. They recently won the award for the Best Fiduciary Boutique Business Leader – Cyprus. We invited Anna Homenko, Managing Director to provide us with an overview of the firm and how it aims to offer the very highest level of service to its clients.

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ased in Nicosia, Cyprus, Fiduciana provides services in trust and corporate administration, accounting and financial management, international tax planning, family office, immigration and global residency planning services. Anna believes that the firm’s dedication to providing the very highest level of client service is what marks it out as the best possible option for its clients.

Company: Finucane Trust (Cyprus) Limited Name: Anna Homenko Managing Director Address: 8 Mikinon Street, 1065 Nicosia, Cyprus Phone: +357 22 460890 Email: anna.homenko@fiduciana.net Website: www.fiduciana.net

“Here at Fiduciana, we take pride in offering a friendly and personal service. In order to achieve this, we focus on offering the highest level of personalised trust, corporate and accounting services and solutions to our clients. The boutique nature of the business ensures that its clients’ affairs are kept strictly confidential and the most personal approach is offered in the handling of all matters. “Overall, we aim to deliver services of the highest standard, provide solutions and guide clients, working together with expert legal, financial and tax advisers. We combine legal knowledge, fiduciary experience and business sense to ensure the best possible outcome for the client. The firm believes that the art of fiduciary services is to ensure that there are no impossible solutions, and it has that down to a fine art.” As a key part of its vast service offering the firm’s personnel consists of chartered accountants, lawyers and paralegal administrators. As Anna explains, everyone who works at her firm is a high calibre professional carefully recruited and suitably trained to meet the needs of clients, even in the most demanding situations. “At Fiduciana, we pride ourselves in sourcing highly qualified employees in order to provide a service to our clients of extraordinary quality. We have built a committed team of people who take total responsibility for its services locally as well as internationally. This helps us to achieve our ongoing aim; to always exceed its client’s expectations.” Ultimately, Fiduciana is proud to be a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and ITPA. As testimony to its excellence, the firm has won awards for its service in 2016, and moving forward it will continue to offer its high quality service in order to build upon its current success.

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Wealth & Finance International

High Quality, Low Volatility Returns Headquartered in Boston, MA USA, Standish is a dedicated fixed income manager with over US$151.8 billion in assets under management (preliminary as of September 30th 2016).

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Staying ahead of emerging developments in the industry As an integral part of a global fixed income investment firm, we understand that imminent risks and opportunities can impact valuations in our market. Inefficiencies in the municipal bond market afford opportunities to investment managers who are experienced on both a macro and individual security perspective.

tandish traces its roots back to 1933, when its predecessor firm, Standish, Ayer & Wood, Inc., began managing fixed income portfolios for US financial institutions, banks and insurance companies. Standish currently offers a wide range of credit-based and specialty bond strategies for pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, central banks, endowments, foundations, insurance companies and other institutions.

Our firm-wide fixed income process is designed to uncover value and exploit market inefficiencies by marrying fundamental and quantitative analysts that first defines and clarifies that macro view and then emphasises sectors where valuation and fundamentals are strongest. Our single sector investment teams, such as our municipal bond team, provide security selection ideas within each sector, creating a true best ideas portfolio.

Standish’s mission is to provide clients with superior and consistent investment performance that, when combined with sophisticated investment counsel, creates a partnership that embraces their challenges and meets their goals. Standish recognises that because of our institutional clients’ level of sophistication, our client service program plays an important role in our overall relationship with our clients. While portfolio managers will meet with clients regularly, we also have dedicated client portfolio managers, relationship managers and product managers who spend the majority of their time working directly with their respective clients.

Our investment professionals are highly seasoned and educated with direct interaction with clients who are an important source of knowledge and feedback to the process. Internal culture - supporting staff to provide the very best service The following five cultural attributes support our goals of delivering outstanding products and performance, providing excellent client service and growing our relationships with current and future clients:

Our client portfolio managers, relationship managers and product managers are investment professionals who attend investment team meetings and have detailed knowledge of our investment processes, as well as in depth knowledge of the specifics of the portfolios which are assigned to them. This structure allows our portfolio managers to focus on managing our clients’ portfolios, while also ensuring the client has dayto-day access to Standish personnel that know the portfolio intimately.

Team: Our investment teams work closely together in a highly respectful and professional manner. Working as a team is critical to the free flow of information within and among our investment teams.

In addition to constant contact with our investment professionals, Standish provides clients with regular, thought-provoking content to reinforce/challenge current perspectives as well as, provide market updates. As the market evolves and clients seek insightful pieces from their investment managers, Standish is focused on evolving as well and delivering for our clients.

Client Focus: Everyone is very cognizant that we are here, first and foremost, to serve our clients. We believe that instilling a client focus throughout the organisation leads all associates to take those extra steps to deliver results. This focus feeds into our willingness to accommodate our clients’ needs and provide high quality service. Collegial: At Standish, we describe ourselves as having a ‘hallway culture’. People’s doors are open and people are free to walk into another person’s office for a conversation. This has proven to be an effective way to share ideas and ensure the best research is reflected in our investments for clients.

Areas of growth in the financial service marketplace We believe there are currently three areas of growth in the financial service marketplace: absolute return, customised solutions and environmental, social, and governance (ESG). In Europe, we have seen tremendous growth in sustainable investing from insurance companies, defined benefit plans, and sovereign wealth funds. Standish became a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing in 2012 because we believe the Principles are consistent with our long-term approach in allocating capital. Not only are we committed to incorporating ESG factors into our research process but we are also exploring the launch of dedicated product.

Experienced: Standish has a highly-experienced group of investment professionals, many of whom have been with the firm for many years. We believe our experience allows us to understand markets better and develop the convictions necessary to make good investments and effectively manage risk.

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Dedicated: There is a culture of strong personal accountability. Our motto is, “it’s always time to do what’s right.” Our staff works diligently every day to get the job done and do the best for our clients. Developments on the horizon Standish is a fixed income focused firm that is entirely dedicated to finding solutions for client objectives. We are uniquely positioned, through fundamental and qualitative analysis, to deliver investment portfolios that achieve overall client requirements. Our portfolio managers and client experts are equipped to adapt to changing client circumstances. Our distinctive municipal bond expertise places Standish as a leader in U.S. Municipal Bond investing. We believe, our ability to deliver U.S. Infrastructure Bonds for global investors sets us apart from our competitors. We expect that our ability to deliver high quality, low volatility returns and income will attract investors from around the globe.

Company: Standish Mellon Asset Management Company LLC Name: Christine Todd Email: ctodd@standish.com Web Address: www.standish.com Address: Boston, MA

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Wealth & Finance International

Spike in Profits for Cheri’s Desert Harvest Based in Tucson, Arizona, Cheri’s Desert Harvest is a food manufacturing company that produces allnatural and organic preserves, candy, syrup and quick mixes made from local, indigenous fruits and vegetables. Founder and President Cheri talks us through the unique selection of products her firm creates and how it works to educate and advise clients on the wonders of the innovative plants she uses. The firm recently won the Best Food & Beverage Entrepreneur – Arizona award.

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ince its establishment in 1985 Cheri’s Desert Harvest has been creating innovative products which are made with fresh fruit and vegetables that are grown and hand harvested locally in the Sonoran Desert. Using fresh ingredients and processing them in the firm’s facility creates a finished product with exceptional flavour and nutrient values, with ingredients including prickly pear cactus fruit, citrus, peppers of many varieties and several local honeys all used to create unique and delicious foodstuffs.

the benefit of the company, non-profit organisations and the environment. The ingredients that are used in the products are pure, unadulterated and simple, which ensures a clean, delicious and nutritious end product.” As the company has grown and gained greater acclaim the challenges for Cheri’s is keeping up with the demand for its products. As such looking to the future Cheri is keen to remain focused on growth, as she proudly concludes. “Here at Cheri’s Desert Harvest demand has grown steadily over recent years, and as such we need to improve our automation capabilities and to enlarge the current facility to maintain the room for additional machinery and personnel.

In addition to Cheri’s food manufacturing business, Cheri decided to find ways of using all parts of the certified organic prickly pear cactus fruit, the largest fruit crop that she uses for her preserves. Utilizing leftover juice to dye clothing spawned a new apparel business, and the seeds from the waste of the cactus fruit is separated, cleaned and processed to obtain a rich, anti-aging oil for the cosmetic industry. As such new, unique products have been created from nature, reducing waste and fuelling the local economy, as Cheri describes.

“Therefore, my ongoing goal is to continue to create new products, to expand our businesses into new countries, to educate consumers about being environmentally conscious and to encourage and foster new ideas from women striving to start a business. We will achieve these goals by aligning our businesses with strong, supportive leadership from businesses with the same foresight, direction and integrity.”

“Being stewards of our environment, we have developed two side businesses in different industries by utilising every part of the cactus fruit we harvest for CDH. Excess fruit is now being used to dye apparel for the clothing industry and the seeds from the waste is collected, cleaned and processed to extract the valuable oil within them for the cosmetic industry. Waste from this process is then used as an ingredient for animal feed in our zoos. We have developed processes to use all parts of this nutritional fruit that have never been explored before. These creative products can be found in tourist venues and department stores and are constantly increasing in popularity, which is a testimony to the quality of the products we offer.”

Company: Cheri’s Desert Harvest Name: Cheri Romanoski Email: cheri@cherisdesertharvest.com Web Address: www.cherisdesertharvest.com Address: 1840 E Winsett Street, Tucson, AZ 85719 Telephone: + 1 520 623 4141, 800 7431141

As a former Teacher Cheri is dedicated to supporting clients and helping them to learn about the various flora that can be found right on their doorstep, as she outlines. “As a former educator, I enjoy teaching people about Nature’s bounty in the desert and how to be a steward of the environment while enjoying the fruits of her labour. It has always been a challenge to be taken seriously as a woman-owned business, but years of taking on that challenge, receiving support from people in the industry as well as customers has brought us to the success we enjoy today 31 years and still going. I am truly proud of everything we have achieved so far and am honoured to run the only company in the world that uses all parts of the prickly pear cactus fruit for

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Winners’ Directory Private Equity Investor of the Year 2016 Company: Universal-Investment Email: ui-institutional@universal-investment.com Web Address: www.universal-investment.com Address: Theodor-Heuss-Allee 70, 60486 Frankfurt am Main, Germany Telephone: +49 69 71043-114 Real Estate Fund Manager of the Year Company: TH Real Estate Name: Gemma Young Email: contact@threalestate.com Web Address: www.threalestate.com Address: 201 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3BN Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3727 8000

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Wealth & Finance January 2017