5 months ago

Blue Chip Issue 86

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Blue Chip Journal is a quarterly journal for the financial planning industry and is the official publication of the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa NPC (FPI), effective from the January 2020 edition. Blue Chip publishes contributions from FPI and other leading industry figures, covering all aspects of the financial planning industry. Visit Blue Chip Digital:


BLUE CHIP PRACTICE MANAGEMENT | Profile ORGANISATIONAL OBJECTIVITY FPI Approved Professional Practice: Integral Wealth Management Integral Wealth Management provides financial planning services and offers a full range of investment products and platforms. Director, Michael Frantzeskou, CFP®, speaks to Blue Chip about the high standards Integral Wealth upholds as an FPI Approved Professional Practice. 66

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT | Profile BLUE CHIP Please provide a brief history of Integral Wealth Management. How did it come about? Providing independent advice and putting our clients first are the guiding principles that drove us to start Integral Wealth. Three of us worked together at a listed company and we knew that if we put our clients first in all that we did, we would have a successful business. We opened our doors in May 2016, and fortunately our strategy has worked – we grow through referrals from our existing clients. We are based in Johannesburg and have clients all over South Africa and many who have emigrated. Why would a client choose Integral Wealth Management? What sets you apart? We pride ourselves on our culture of transparency and integrity. We believe that our clients’ financial wellbeing must always come first. This reputation has stood us in good stead, cementing strong and trusting relationships which have contributed to our growth. We do not have minimum client portfolio sizes or any other strict criteria that determine which new clients we take on. Anyone who wants to work with a financial planner and who is committed to their own financial future is welcome to become a client. We operate as a team, meaning that we are all able to assist each other with product and market knowledge, providing a think-tank for complex client solutions and assisting with client servicing in the event of someone being ill or on leave. Although small, our robust and skilled team believe strongly in sharing knowledge and continuous professional development is at the forefront of our business model. We believe that in upskilling ourselves and keeping up to date with industry trends, we are best positioned to provide effective client solutions. We work hard to retain existing clients through high levels of service. We conduct annual reviews at minimum as a standard practice and interact with our clients using a variety of channels such as email, monthly newsletters, face-to-face or virtual meetings, telephone and WhatsApp. We treat our clients the way we like to be treated. What is the company’s financial planning philosophy? We believe that each client deserves a financial plan that is personalised and actively managed to enable them to live the life they deserve. We do this through the following: • Organisation. Bringing order to our client’s financial life. • Accountability. Helping them follow through with their commitments. • Objectivity. Delivering insight from the outside to avoid emotional decisions. • Proactivity. Anticipating life’s transitions and being prepared for them. • Education. Exploring and bestowing knowledge to empower client success. • Partnership. Partnering to achieve the best life possible. What services does Integral Wealth Management offer? How do you charge for your services? We provide financial planning and wealth management services to individuals and corporates and offer a full range of investment products and platforms, as well as life assurance and medical aid. Each plan is tailored to a client’s unique requirements, and we adhere to the highest level of ethics and integrity in all our client and product provider relationships. We pride ourselves on providing independent financial advice that is client-focused, and appropriate based on each client’s personal requirements and situation. If we cannot add any value, we would prefer to steer a client in the right direction rather than earn fees without adding value. We have contracts with most investment and life firms in South Africa, and contracts with a few offshore service providers. We also provide advice on medical aids, wills and trusts as part of our service, but we do not establish or manage trusts or draft wills. Our planners are all salaried employees who do not earn commission based on sales. Staff are remunerated by way of profit share annually, encouraging everyone to have a vested interest in the success of the business. What is the practice’s vision and mission? Our ethos as a business is to always put our clients and their best interests first, and all our planners and assistants have a track record of delivering on that promise. Part of this ethos is ensuring that the following criteria are met: • Client-centric • Value for money • No client is too small • Full transparency and disclosure • Honesty, integrity, ethics and professionalism • Compliance is embedded in our culture • Work as a team and value our staff • Owner-managed and independent Please detail how you have integrated the FPI’s Code of Conduct into your practice. We follow the six-step financial planning process, treating all clients with the same care and diligence. We do not turn away any client and do pro bono work for low-income earners introduced by existing clients. We have employed interns and trained them in all aspects of our business, offering them permanent employment at the end of their internship. We encouraged them to study towards the Post-Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning and to become CFPs®. It is our intention that our two current interns will progress to become independent financial planners with us, and we plan to repeat this process soon. We require all new planners to be CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS®, or to be studying towards the designation when they join us. We believe the biggest contribution we can make to transformation of our industry is through training and giving people the opportunity to grow themselves. 67

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