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Securing an inclusive legacy with stockbroking

Securing an inclusive legacy with stockbroking

By Cornell Meeks

Head of Private Wealth, Nedbank.

‘Greed’, it has been said, ‘is good.’ Greed empowers ambition, clarifies, ‘captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit’. Greed, in a nutshell, is the fuel in our economic engine, responsible for all the good we have gathered around us.

Or is it? The rather pinstriped 80’s view espoused by Michael Douglas’ character, the obnoxious Gordon Gekko, in Wall Street was representative of another time and place. There it was acceptable to do ‘whatever it took’. Any action was justified if it was taken in the pursuit of profits. Might made right, and autocratic styles of the supposed experts were unquestionable. Through all my years and experiences as an executive in various financial services businesses (and a female one, at that) this way of thinking always sat a mite uncomfortably with me. Left an unpleasant taste in my mouth.

Have we moved beyond this… state? I dare say we have. Over the last 30 years, as technology and business structures have shifted and changed, so have we. Selfishness was replaced by solicitousness. The demand for diverse opinions – rather than dictatorial one – grew ever higher. Short-term sprints were outperformed by long-term vision, and leaving lasting legacies became the objective. The age of greed was covered, built on top of, by teams working together to create a world that didn’t dole out one’s success in return for someone else’s failure.

This may seem like a strange position to take, as the head of Nedbank Namibia’s Private Wealth. After all, are our clients, and our very business, not a product of the mindset we’re setting ourselves so firmly against?

We believe that when ‘me’ became ‘we’ the potential for shared value growth became exponentially greater. From this position we can all see farther, create more and deliver wealth beyond what any of us could accomplish individually.

Sounds good, right? But, as someone biblical once said, ‘Faith without works is dead.’ Thus, this spirit has been built into the very foundations of business objectives since inception – all the way back in 2018 – and a large part of why we – Nedbank Private Wealth – exist in the first place. It is visible, and alive, in our brand-new offering – stockbroking.

Our stockbroking approach allows our clients – individuals, families, trusts or businesses – to dip their toes into the relatively deep and liquid South African markets, taking advantage of opportunities on the JSE, with the support of regular trading and fundamental research notes. With our expertise, we perform in-house proprietary research on all holdings in our client portfolios, which is why we’re so confident in their potential. To help our clients win, we have also developed a series of educational videos, which can be accessed from our website, so they are as fore-armed as possible, too.

Stockbroking should be the cornerstone of an investment journey and, now, our Namibian clients have access to the same level of service that keeps our South African client base so satisfied.

Rather than firing for the quick-wins, it is set up to keep the future in the sights, as the product increases in viability the longer it works. (A fine wine, rather than a hefty, commercial lager, metaphorically.) As such, we aim for three to five years – longer if possible – which strips out the short-term dislocations.

Rather than tell our clients what we’re doing, we spend the time to work out exactly what they want their journey to look like – from their perspective entirely, so we can plan and design it accordingly. After all, lifestyles are as varied as the lives they are built around. Together, Nedbank’s experts and their clients work as a unit to create new kinds of wealth that even Mr Gekko would applaud.

It is a service, more than a function, in fact a full-service execution and advisory that offers a comprehensive range of listed securities, and delivers them through personal relationships to our high-end clients.

‘Long term investing, well considered’ is the ethos. Superior, long-term, inflation-beating results are the end game.

At the end of the day, what excites me about Nedbank Private Wealth’s stockbroking proposition is that it’s exactly that – a motion, a bid or a request for connection with the real people behind the account numbers. It does not demand or decree. It is an idea and an approach. For those clients with whom this resonates, it’s why we’re trusted with their families and their futures.

What excites me most is the success we’re seeing as a result of this inclusive, collaborative thinking. How much better it is working, the higher results achieved and how much stronger the legacies built are proving to be.

A working, functional model of these two aspects – empathy and excess – is what we’ve been working towards, all these years. This is not a journey completed, but a destination defined. One we must all row towards.

I firmly believe we’ll all be glad we did.


*Client obsessed Cornell Meeks is an experienced Financial Services Executive and heads the Nedbank Private Wealth Management division since its establishment in 2018. As a seasoned banker just shy of 10 years, Cornell is skilled in sales, deal structuring and credit. She is further proficient in Negotiations, Business Planning, Analytics, Start-up of New Business Units, People Management and Customer Relations.


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A Guest Contributor is any of a number of experts who contribute articles and columns under their own respective names. They are regarded as authorities in their disciplines, and their work is usually published with limited editing only. They may also contribute to other publications. - Ed.


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