Cape Town-based Carrick Wealth, a dynamic new company that is rewriting the book on wealth management, celebrated its impressive first year in business on October 8. The company achieved more than double the initial target it had set itself in securing far over a billion rand in invested assets under management.
“We have far exceeded our own expectations and targets set when we first started out in business a year ago,” said a buoyant Craig Featherby, Group Managing Director. “We set out to build three offices and have 50 staff managing half a billion rands worth of assets. We have more than doubled that.”
The company now operates fully compliant, regulator-licenced offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Harare and Mauritius, with partnering arrangements in London and elsewhere. Craig leads a dynamic and highly experienced team of 127 advisers and support staff. As at 30 September the company had over R1.308-billion invested funds under management on behalf of 429 new clients…and counting.
The company is particularly active in the retirement and estate-planning market with a strong focus on UK Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS); investing on behalf of clients in bonds, trusts, structured notes, regular saving and lump sum investments, and in a variety of investment funds. Carrick has teamed up with an impressive array of giant international product providers and listed companies in the financial industry – locally and around the world.
“Perhaps for me, as a mark of our success, is that when I meet with these product providers and listed companies in the financial industry, every single one of them has heard of Carrick,” says Craig.
But it has by no means always been easy going. Craig says that “like any journey of real significance” the road to success has been marked by “twists, turns, adventures, the expected and a healthy dose of the unexpected”. This, however, has made the company stronger, both as individuals and as a team, he says.
Changing the face of the financial services industry
It has also led to Carrick adopting a leading and innovative role in changing the way business is done in an industry that over the years has had its fair share of controversy – market crashes, soured investments, unlicensed and unscrupulous operators and more.
Carrick views itself as a respected and service-driven firm in the wealth and asset management industry, providing expert advice, rather than merely selling products, and having set the bar very high when it comes to professionalism and integrity.
“We pride ourselves on the high calibre of our employees who are matched seamlessly to the equally high expectations of our high-net-worth clients,” Craig says. “We would expect our own people and our product providers to unreservedly share our vision of the need for a marked shift in the financial landscape towards a higher level in every respect.”
“Our success attests to what can be achieved when a group of like-minded people put their minds to the same goal. I have learnt many lessons throughout my business career, but I honestly believe that regardless of the nature of your business, three factors remain critical to your success: your people, your brand and your clients.”
“Looking back over what we have created during the last year, I can honestly say that we have built an incredible team of people. None of it would have been possible without our people putting ‘their all’ into what we have created” says Craig.
“Carrick is a true leader in wealth and capital management. We are stewards who guide high net worth individuals onward to real dominion over their financial future, helping them to leave a lasting legacy of wealth.
“We offer independent financial advice to a diverse range of highly successful individuals, and a comprehensive spectrum of the finest financial solutions through well-respected international financial institutions. The Carrick seal carries with it the principles of trust, professionalism and partnership.”
Carrick’s ‘giving back’ philosophy
And the Carrick brand has certainly created some intense interest in the market and a few waves as well. But it goes further than that, with Carrick giving back as much as it receives. A philanthropist at heart, Craig and several of his directors are co-founders and trustees of the of Signature of Hope Trust, a charity vehicle to which both he and his entire team give much of their time and money on a regular basis.
“I had a dream that …”
A true man of the world, Craig was born in Zimbabwe, went to school in Melbourne, Australia and Michaelhouse in KwaZulu-Natal, before embarking on a career that saw him working in the Middle East, Far East and Africa.
While working for one of the largest independent offshore financial consultancies in the Far East he became regional manager for Africa, building the firm’s African division to 14 offices across the continent with over 200 staff. During his career he has signed up over 3,500 high net worth clients and attracted over R10-billion worth of new assets.
It is this success – together with an awareness of his own health, his family and the future – that led him, after 10 years with a large global financial services firm in senior roles, to make some critical decisions and embark on both a new business and a new lifestyle.
The dream that Craig had has certainly paid off. After just 9 months in the marketplace, Carrick had already attracted more than a billion rand’s worth of assets. In its bond business alone it had written up new assets worth R1.153-billion; R1.153-billion in trust business; R621.54-million in structured notes; and R157.32-million in funds business.
Carrick is growing
Apart from all of the group’s South African operations being fully licenced with the Financial Services Board, Carrick is also fully licenced in Zimbabwe by the Securities Exchange Commission and in Mauritius by the Financial Services Commission. The group now employs 91 associates and 36 administrative and support staff.
All of Carrick’s associates are licensed with the Financial Services Board and are trained in accordance with industry standards. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) ensures that ongoing training and development programmes are in place, says Craig.
Carrick’s Johannesburg office generates most of its business (35%), followed by Cape Town and Durban (25% each) and Zimbabwe (15%). Business in its office in Mauritius is channelled to or from the other offices.
The company’s philosophy in selecting product and service providers is to partner only with companies that have outstanding track records, are rigorously screened for being safe and secure and that are found to present limited risk for the company’s clients.
In congratulating Carrick on its first-year achievements, one of its major product-provider partners, MitonOptimal, said it was “very happy to be working with Craig in his new venture and we are impressed with both the way Carrick Wealth has grown and the direction Craig is taking the company, leading from the front and embracing the future for intermediaries in South Africa”.
Craig has assembled a formidable team around him, led by himself and his fellow directors – Kieron McRae, Mike Fannin, Michael Potts and David Morgan, who will soon lead the Mauritius division. Together they bring to Carrick a wealth of collective experience and knowledge in the industry totalling more than 50 years.
Commenting on the group’s first anniversary after a successful year, group sales director Michael Potts says: “I never fail to be astounded by how much we have achieved in the past 12 months.” He echoes Craig’s words in stating that every one of the large international product providers and listed companies with which he comes into contact has heard of Carrick and the amount of business it has been writing.
Based on Carrick’s success during its first year of operation, group business development director Kieron McRae is confident of the future.
“I have no doubt when we have this conversation again in a year’s time, the company will again report fantastic growth and as a leadership team we will continue to have the ‘first class problem’ of having to deal with exponential growth,” he says.
Craig adds the final word: “The future is looking really great for Carrick. Systems, procedures, policies are all in place. Great relationships with top product providers and a massive opportunity to assist clients secure their long term financial futures – it’s all there.”