By Rinus DeVilliers, 21 June 2016
Many things are happening worldwide, more so in South Africa. Closer to home the financial services industry has been and forever will be changing. It is Clem Sunter, a motivational speaker, who placed emphasis on the value of “flagging” and ”scenario planning on these flags” in an effort to contemplate the possible outcomes of these trends and events.
Flagging, as I understand the concept, is having an awareness of events and trends in our world, both internationally and locally.
The run-up to the local municipal elections are heating up and all the political parties are scrambling to pounce on each other’s construed weaknesses and short-comings.
Examples of some flags are:
Without a doubt, a lot is said about the possible down grading of South Africa by the three most powerful and influential credit rating agencies in the world, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s.
These agencies assign credit ratings, which rate a debtor’s ability to repay debt by making timely interest payments and their likelihood of default. An agency may rate the creditworthiness of issuers of debt obligations, debt instruments, and in some cases, the servicers of the underlying debt.
The consequences of these agencies ratings are thought to possibly be responsible for the potential financial destruction of businesses, industries and even countries. Be that as it may, it does not bode well for South Africa should this happen. Friday, June 3rd, South Africa avoided a downgrade by S&P, but sentiment remains low and a possible downgrade may be inevitable.
Another flag closer to home is South Africa’s political situation. It is perceived to be unstable and full of negative sentiment. Our President is continually having to stave off attacks on his character, management style and his decision making skills. Opposition parties are having a field day in capitalising on these very uncomfortable times; which does not add to any sense of comfort that one should have for this wonderful country we live in.
There are a number of International “flags” one can talk about e.g. Global warming, the election campaigns in the U.S.A., (and many other issues) but that is not the purpose of this message.
I recently had very refreshing conversations with a number of young people in our society from all denominations, creed and colour. The message they carry was very different to my own. Where I focussed on all the burning platforms and the changes that are bound to impact us, theirs were future based and very aspirational.
It was wonderful how they could relate to all the issues but still had this wonderful vision of Hope and of Prosperity. It changed my views of South Africa and also had a huge impact on the message that I relay to others.
A few years ago I was fortunate to listen and watch some of the work of Dewitt Jones, a photographer for National Geographic. He compiled a programme that was intent on ‘Celebrating What’s Right with the World”. If we look close enough and long enough, we will also see the good things in this world of ours. This changes one’s mind set and thinking, but you have to be on the look-out for the special moments, recognise them and then celebrate them.
I would like to tell you a nice story, a little something to celebrate.
It is about our business called Succession. A fledgling business intent on creating a successful distribution network throughout South Africa.
This business has been created because of a number concerns and trends we observed in our industry:
To be the largest World Class Professional Planner Organisation in South Africa that focusses on holistic financial planning for clients and creating lasting partnerships with all stakeholders.
But how would we accomplish this?
Succession is an exciting business growing at an exponential but expected rate. Our focus remains on dispensing proper financial advice with suitable solutions to clients with able financial planners described in our vision statement and underpinned by our unique culture and values.
Thank you for being a part of this journey with us.