At the Carrick Virtual Conference held on 14th January 2021, CEO Craig Featherby and his team outlined the strategy behind Carrick 2.0: The Next Chapter.
When Carrick Wealth launched in 2014, it set about changing the face of financial services and wealth management on the African continent. Six years down the line and Carrick CEO Craig Featherby believes the company is well on track to achieving just that. The Carrick group has achieved an average growth of 63% for assets under management and 47.5% for client growth year on year. “We have far exceeded our own expectations set when we first started out in business,” he says, adding that he firmly believes that to build a great business you need to set your sights on a seemingly impossible goal.
Surviving a crisis
Despite the global challenges faced in 2020, as an organisation Carrick remained strong, which Featherby attributes to the people behind the organisation. “Carrick’s core is our sense of purpose. We have a determined team with resolute members. Our success attests to what can be achieved when a group of like-minded people put their minds to the same goal.”
Some of the milestones reached in 2020 include the launch of Carrick Property, a fully-fledged offshore property company; the creation of Carrick Consult, a division providing personalised fiduciary and financial solutions to clients; an investment management business providing world-leading investment solutions for all clients; and Carrick Partners, a franchise-type company that seeks to tap into the wealth of rural South Africa. Carrick also received a number of accolades, including Top Wealth Manager for Wealthy Executives and Best Adviser Firm in South Africa, taking the awards to 11 in the last five years.
“We did this by sticking to our core values,” says Featherby. “We remained a trusted partner to our clients and stakeholders – this speaks to the spirit of collaboration. We had the courage of our convictions. We had very specific goals and knew exactly where we were going. We maintained our commitments to our clients and team members as an organisation. We gained respect in the way we treated everyone. We always expressed our thanks and sought to give back more than we took. We outperformed ourselves in maintaining and growing as an organisation. Above all, despite the hardships of 2020, we still maintained the highest levels of professionalism at every point of our interactions with each other, our clients and our stakeholders.”
Carrick emerged from this gruelling period stronger, better and faster. But there is no room for complacency. “We simply cannot take our foot off the accelerator. Our industry is not changing – it’s changed.”
While the business will always be about helping clients make good financial decisions, the next chapter brings partnership and collaboration to the fore to ensure real financial life management. “It’s not about dying rich,” says Featherby, “it’s about living rich and fulfilling life and being able to pass that on to our children.”
Key to this is including clients in the decision-making process and offering them an unbeatable experience.
A euphoric client experience
To deliver relevant, simple, distinctive and consistent client experience (CX), the following process needs to be followed, says Rob Fleming, Founder and Director of Incrementum, who was a keynote speaker at the conference:
- Understand your current client and employee experience: Who are your clients and what do they think and feel about their current experience? Does your work environment set your people up to thrive?
- Re-imagine the optimal “end-to-end” CX: Who do you wish to serve? What problem are you solving or what situation are you improving? How do you solve the problem differently and better than your competitors? Importantly, how do your clients feel? “In today’s world, everything can be copied, but you cannot copy how you make your clients feel,” says Fleming.
- Work together to deliver the optimal “end–to–end” CX consistently: This means having the right people with the right resources on board, who are set up to thrive. Are all the people, systems and structures aligned? Are your people empowered and trusted to deliver a great experience?
The Carrick flywheel
“Good to great comes about by a cumulative process – step by step, action by action, decision by decision, turn by turn of the flywheel – that adds up to sustained and spectacular results,” explains author and consultant Jim Collins. His flywheel analogy for implementing business strategy describes how getting a flywheel in motion takes huge effort initially, but as movement starts, so the flywheel gains momentum. Although the engine room is the key, as more people throw their weight behind the wheel and move in the same direction, so the momentum is sustained.
What does this mean for Carrick? The success of the strategy, although driven by the CEO and management team, is dependent on the buy-in of the whole Carrick family and the sustained efforts of every single person. “Only if all our best resources – our people – pull in the same direction and all of Carrick’s activities and culture are aligned behind the flywheel, can we achieve maximum momentum with minimum friction,” says Bradd Bendall, Carrick Group Sales Director. “In terms of the Carrick way, this means understanding the ecosystem; identifying opportunities; researching feasibility; recruiting the right people for the job; building sustainable, repeatable, businesses; and relentlessly pursuing excellence.”
The next chapter
Featherby has no doubt that the next chapter will be a greater success story. “It will be led by Carrick’s vision of providing certainty in an uncertain world. We will do this by continuing to provide trusted advice and financial investment solutions that enable clients to grow, protect and preserve their wealth; making clients aware of the gap between the life they want and the life they are actually living right now.
“I promise you we are going to build greatness. As Bradd says, ‘Let’s make magic!’”