Robert Cowen Investments was started in 1982 by Robert Cowen in order to manage private client assets, and is now positioned as a niche investment house, specializing in family wealth management. Robert Cowen Investments prides itself on being able to provide a comprehensive investment, administration and accounting service with a great deal of emphasis on personal service.
For the past few months we have told you we were in the process of identifying and then wooing a new Chief Investment Officer to step into the breach as Alan is battling with his health. We are delighted to announce that we are appointing Mike Gresty.
Mike is a Chartered Accountant, and a Chartered Financial Analyst, who comes to us from Citibank (a top US bank which has a presence in South Africa) where he was a Telkom analyst and is, inter alia, an expert on our largest share, Naspers. Prior to that, he was at Deutsche Bank where he was the top-rated banking analyst in South Africa and was also involved in overall portfolio allocation. He has been in the financial services industry since 1998 so has almost 20 years’ experience in share markets.
We think Mike is extremely smart, well educated, experienced in the fields of analysis and investment and perfectly suits our clients. Mostly importantly, he is a very nice person who should suit our family office ethos very, very well. He is also the perfect age (46) to take our business forward and to provide great advice for us all in our old age! We can’t wait to introduce him to our clients. He will join us in the next few months as soon as the notice period with Citibank is completed.
RCI BCI Flexible Fund closed March at 342.62, down 3.89% for the month. This compares with a 5% fall in the JSE Overall Index for March. The rand seemed to have bottomed out during March.
RCI BCI World Wide Flex closed March at 96.39, down 3.6% for the month. The fund was down 3.6% for the month, caused by the drop in the foreign markets. The investments are mainly in foreign companies with very high ROCE (return on capital employed) which has normally resulted in fantastic returns with low risk investments. The S&P 500 was down by 2.7%, so a similar performance was achieved.
The primary areas for investment were equities, bonds and cash in the South African markets. Our focus was to invest in shares listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange unless clients had a need for income. Equities have been the only asset class to outperform inflation on a long-term basis.
Individuals have been allowed to send ever increasing capital sums offshore in the form of exchange control allowances, and portfolio managers have been able to send 30% of assets under management offshore in the form of asset swaps. This has enabled the South African investing public to participate not only in South African investments but also in investments of a global nature.
Depending on the individual’s circumstances, we recommend that an appropriate amount be transferred offshore and that the client keeps what is required locally to fund the individual’s chosen lifestyle, subject to exchange control regulations in force.