BHI PONZI: Q&A with GCI Wealth over Global & Local client portfolio takeover

By Chris Steyn

GCI Wealth has provided clarity over its role as the wealth management company that is taking over the client portfolio of Global & Local Investment Advisors.

The transition announcement was made as Global & Local came under increasing fire over its marketing – by founder Michael Haldane – of the BHI Trust that has lost at least 220 investors close to R2-billion.

BizNews was invited by GCI to submit a list of questions, to which it has responded:

Q: What exposure does G&L have to the BHI Trust? 

A: GCI Wealth has no involvement in this aspect of Global & Local’s business. GCI is a financial service provider which deals in regulated products and cannot comment on exposure of Global & Local. This question is best addressed to Global & Local.

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Q: Are there any other unregulated investments in the book? 

A: GCI Wealth has no involvement in this aspect of Global & Local’s business. GCI is a financial service provider which deals in regulated products and cannot comment on exposure of Global & Local. This question is best addressed to Global & Local.

Q: Is G&L closing down? 

A: We are not aware of plans to close Global & Local.

Q: How many staff members are coming across? 

A: GCI Wealth is working with Global & Local to allow for the continuation of as many administrative support jobs as possible, which will move into GCI. These plans are still evolving through our due diligence and will be finalised in due course. GCI is not taking on any of the advisors.

Q: How much is GCI paying? 

A: We are unable to disclose details of the commercial arrangements. To do so would be in breach of confidentiality requirements of the agreement.  

Q: On what basis is GCI taking over the G&L client portfolio? 

A: At GCI Wealth, our mission is to see more South Africans achieve financial freedom. For 23 years, we have been dedicated to helping individuals navigate the complexities of wealth management with integrity, expertise, and a client-centric approach. We invite clients of Global & Local to participate in this process by granting their consent to access information and allowing us to introduce them to a dedicated GCI Wealth Manager. This will provide an opportunity for us to explore how we can best assist clients in achieving their financial goals. Client trust is our priority, and we are committed to ensuring a smooth and transparent transition for Global & Local clients. To this end, it should be noted that the parties have elected to structure the client transfer in such a way to best protect the clients that will transition to GCI. GCI does not, and never has offered advice in relation to BHI Trust. Global & Local clients will be onboarded as GCI clients by existing GCI Wealth Managers and GCI will not be taking on Global & Local advisors onto its licences. GCI has not purchased shares in Global & Local, but rather has reached a co-operative agreement with respect to client relationships only. 

Q:  What is the combined value of the book G&L handed over? 

A: According to the Global and Local website we understand that they were advising to clients that had R5bn invested. We will gain more clarity on the makeup of the business as we receive consent from clients to investigate their position.

Q: Does GCI or any of its officers or directors have any past history or relationships directly or indirectly with G&L or any of its officers and directors past or present? 

A: GCI had no business or personal relationships with Global and Local nor with Michael Haldane or Mauro Forlin. Global and Local were introduced to GCI by their portfolio manager, Carl Isernhinke, who is well known in the industry as a credible portfolio manager.

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Q: Why did G&L pick GCI?

A:

  • GCI mission statement and core values are centred on creating financially secure futures for clients.  
  • GCI provide a reliable infrastructure with a national footprint. 
  • GCI have developed a professional approach to servicing in Wealth Management, Life Cover requirements, Short Term Insurance, Healthcare Insurance and Employee Benefits, all within a single Group. 
  • GCI have highly qualified staff, including an entire asset management division dedicated to selecting fund managers for various portfolios that will match clients’ required outcome.    
  • GCI maintain regular communication with clients.  
  • GCI is an independent financial services group, not tied to any large provider, and have contracts with major financial institutions.  

* These answers were provided to BizNews by Adel van der Merwe, Executive Assistant to and on behalf of CEO Alex Cook.

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