Billion dollar milestones
Speaking on the milestones, Tilman Friedrich said, “We believe that these are milestones for the local financial industry as well. In the past, most financial services were sourced from South Africa. In reaching these marks, and taking stock of our local clients, we believe that we have shown that locally established, owned and managed entities, without cross border agendas, can compete.”
Discussing the growth of the firm, Friedrich said, “We opened for business 14 years ago, expecting to be a niche player. We based our model on a high degree of accountability and service, and we have continued growing ever since. The challenge has been to measure our growth in terms of our ability to develop employees through training and fostering our internal values and work ethic. We see ourselves and our clients as interdependent, so if we sacrifice capacity in the pursuit of growth, we place ourselves and our clients at risk. This is why we have taken the path of managed growth.” Talking about development of the Namibian financial industry, he said, “We expect to see more localisation. We recognise that South Africa holds excellent opportunities for investment, but the industry has to recognize and react to local interests and legislation.”
“We understand that some may feel threatened by change, which to a large extent is introduced by NAMFISA. We have adopted a policy of advocacy and active engagement. We appreciate and make use of the doors that are opened to us, and we believe that this approach is constructive to the development of the local industry,” he continued.
Talking about skills development, Friedrich said, “We have an active and continuous internal training process that ensures that our staff is up to date with the latest administrative requirements, legislation and associated regulations. We also encourage our staff to develop their skills in the field of finance, and give them opportunities to put knowledge to work within the parameters of our services.”
He noted that three staff members recently obtained Post Graduate Diplomas in Financial Planning. “This adds to our capacity and is to the benefit of our clients.”
Talking on the challenges of building trust in a Namibian entity, Friedrich said, “We were recently recognised by PMR Africa, and received a Diamond Arrow, with a rating of 4,36. What we appreciate about this award is that it represents the opinion of industry peers and business leaders. We see the award as something we have earned, but also as a mark of trust.”
“We believe that their recognition is an acknowledgment of the high standard we set for ourselves,” Friedrich concluded.