Archive for August, 2013

Versant Capital Management, Inc. Announces New Shareholder

PHOENIX, Aug. 31, 2013 /NEWS.GNOM.ES-iReach/ — Versant Capital Management, Inc., a Phoenix-based wealth management firm announced that Elizabeth Shabaker has been elected as a shareholder of the firm, effective July 31, 2013.

Shabaker joined Versant in 2010, and serves as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Investment Counselor.  She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Enrolled Agent.  With over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, Shabaker specializes in all aspects of wealth management, including investments, financial planning, estate planning, tax planning and consulting, family governance, next-generation education, and philanthropy.  She is a member of Versant’s Investment Committee and serves as one of three members of the Management Committee.

“It is exciting to announce Elizabeth as a shareholder, as she has proven herself to be immensely dedicated to client service, the community, and a tremendous asset in growing the firm.” said Thomas J. Connelly, President and Chief Investment Officer.  ”Changing our business model to allow additional owners ensures an internal succession plan for the firm’s future success.  We are proud to have her as a shareholder.”

Shabaker currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Central Arizona Estate Planning Council, is a member of the Development Committee of Free Arts of Arizona for Abused Children, and serves as an Adjunct Faculty Member for the Institute for Preparing Heirs.  Versant is a Partner with the Phoenix Art Museum’s Contemporary Forum. Through this partnership, Shabaker has become actively involved in the Museum’s social, educational, and cultural activities.

About Versant Capital Management, Inc.

Versant Capital Management, Inc. was formed in 2004, and is one of the leading wealth management firms in Arizona.   Over the last few years, Versant expanded its service offering to provide comprehensive wealth management services, including investment advisory, financial planning, estate planning, family governance and next-generation education to high net worth individuals, multi-generational families and their related entities, as well as pension and profit sharing plans throughout the United States.  For more information, please visit

Media Contact: Beth Pragliola, Versant Capital Management, Inc., 602-354-4091, [email protected]

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SOURCE Versant Capital Management, Inc.


Saturday, August 31st, 2013 EN No Comments

Five of the Best: Multi-asset funds for a post-RDR climate

Flows into multi-asset products have been growing consistently in recent months, and multi-asset now constitutes 11% of the UK funds market.

The UK is the largest holder and fastest growing market for multi-asset funds, with inflows of £23.5bn in 2012, according to data from Lipper. Many IFAs are flocking towards the asset class as a result of a changing focus on investment themes post-RDR.

According to analysis conducted by Goldman Sachs Asset Management in June, 10.8% of UCITS funds are mixed asset, with the sector posting the largest net inflows in many recent months.

For Kathryn Koch, senior portfolio strategist and chief of staff at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, one of the factors that have driven flows has been the post-RDR environment, which has led IFAs to place an increasing focus on core skills of life and inheritance planning.

“We are finding the IFAs want to focus more on life stage and inheritance planning and are outsourcing asset allocation as a result of this,” she said.

“Disappointment with equity returns has also been contributory, since it typically dominates the risk in many investors’ portfolios and there has traditionally been a belief that asset managers can add value there.

“People also fear sleepwalking into a rising rate environment whereby ‘low risk’ bond allocations, which have done well over the last decade, lead to large losses,” she added.

As a result of these factors, wealth managers are increasingly choosing multi-asset classes over other options to bolster their portfolios. Below are some of their key picks.

Baring Multi Asset

James Davison, consultant at IFG Financial Services, said the wealth manager uses the Baring Multi Asset fund within some of its portfolios. “The team actively asset allocates between different asset classes, so the returns depend on it marking good asset allocation decisions,” he explained.

“The performance during the difficult summer of 2011 was impressive in this regard, while relative performance in the strong market over the last year has not been so good.”

However, he said he remains happy to hold the fund despite this recent wobble.

“We remain very comfortable with the fund. It aims to produce equity-like returns with lower volatility, and the managers have long experience running multi-asset mandates in the institutional market.”

Newton Real Return

For Mark Insley, managing director at Ascot Wealth Management, the Newton Real Return fund is the ideal absolute return multi-asset option, which caters for the both possible outcomes of an end to quantitative easing and equally for the scenario that QE is maintained.

“We particularly expect the Newton Real Return fund to have a good year, as a result of our global macroeconomic outlook,” Insley said.

“In our ‘stimulus withdrawal’ scenario, where we believe interest rates will rise and equity markets will be seriously impacted, the funds index shorts and defensive stocks should outperform, along with their emerging market positions and their long USD position.

“In our more likely ‘stimulus maintained’ scenario, the biggest risk to investors will be the massive inflationary pressures that such stimulus will exacerbate. In this scenario, the fund’s gold should outperform, and its higher yielding investments will also prove highly profitable.”

Standard Life GARS

Mike Deverell, investment manager at Equilibrium, said his firm uses the Standard Life GARS fund as a way to access a range of asset classes including equities, property, and fixed income, as well as more niche areas of the market.

“GARS is quite a unique fund in that it has so many different strategies and works in a different way to any other fund ,” he said. “The advantage of the fund is that it has so much variety , providing access to lots of different strategies through one fund – it is great for diversification.”

FC Lifestyle

For Andy Gadd, head of research at Lighthouse Group, the FC Lifestyle range is a core holding, and tries to capture market upside through short-term moves.

“The FC fund managers Rob Burdett and Gary Potter are good, with long-term experience of bull and bear markets,” he said. “The FC funds can have a 5% deviance, so are good for short-term tactical moves.”

Threadneedle Managed funds 3,4,5,6 and 7

Gadd said one of the most appealing factors about both the FC and Threadneedle ranges is that they are specifically managed to match Distribution Technology risk profiles.

“These are core holdings as far as I am concerned,” he said. “The Threadneedle range can have 10% deviance, so it provides a more aggressive alternative for short-term tactical positions and is always linked to Distribution Technology ratings.”


Saturday, August 31st, 2013 EN No Comments

Investment One Acquires Nigfund From Fidelity, Promises Quality Services

Investment One Financial Services Limited (formerly GTB Asset Management Limited) has acquired the funds management rights and responsibilities of the Nigeria International Growth Fund “NIGFUND” from Fidelity Bank Plc. NIGFUND is a balanced mutual fund launched in 2002 to satisfy the investment objectives of individual and institutional investors. The Bank’s transfer of the fund management right and responsibilities is in compliance with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy which directed all banks to divest from their non-core financial services.

The acquisition was consequent upon the approval of the unit-holders at the 9th Annual General Meeting of the Fund and ratification by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Addressing the Press at the company’s head office in Lagos, on the aquisition of the fund, the Head of Corporate Services, Mrs Abimbola Afolabi-Ajayi, stated that the acquisition was geared toward fulfilling the organisation’s desire to be a one-stop shop for comprehensive investment services and the “first point of call” for insightful and innovative financial solutions.

According to her, the company will bring on board its wealth of experience as a foremost asset management company to provide unit-holders optimal and efficient services. She also affirmed the company’s commitment towards achieving the overeaching objectives of creating long term capital appreciation and regular dividend distribution to unit-holders through the deployment of investment strategies that are supported by diligent and in-depth research analysis covering all spectra of domestic and international market.

While calling on retail investors to embrace the fund which she said that has balanced investment in equities, fixed income securities and real estate, Afolabi-Ajayi disclosed that the company would embark on massive investment education across the country to increase retail investors’ participation in the fund.

Investment One was licensed by SEC to provide capital market services like funds management, trusteeship, securities brokerage and financial advisory.


Saturday, August 31st, 2013 EN No Comments

UBS launches first Wealth Management Master programme in Asia Pacific

Hong Kong / Singapore – UBS Wealth Management has launched its first Wealth Management Master programme in Asia Pacific targeted at its most senior client advisors in the region, as part of a global roll-out of the training programme.

Twenty-two senior client-facing staff from Hong Kong and Singapore have joined the inaugural Asia Pacific intake.

About the UBS Master Programme

The 2-year part-time programme is aimed at providing participants exposure to in-depth and actionable expertise in client book management, client investment and client relationship management.

Faculty include world class thought leaders from leading academic institutions like Harvard, Columbia, Princeton University and University of Zurich, experts from renowned consultancies like PwC and KPMG, and senior leaders and subject matter experts from UBS providing best practice insights. The programme is tailored towards on-the-job development and business application with off-the-job lectures.

Said Kathryn Shih, CEO of UBS Wealth Management Asia Pacific: “The wealth management industry is seeing a paradigm shift, where there is an increased focus on investment performance and transparency. In this highly complex environment, our clients are seeking credible professional advice and investment solutions that match their needs and objectives. More than ever, client advisors need to be equipped to provide investment advice which allows their clients to meet their wealth objectives and achieve optimal portfolio performance.”

“Training and development have always been cornerstones of our business strategy as we recognize that our ability to serve our clients to the highest standards depends on the quality of our people. Our client-facing staff undergo structured learning pathways, including certification, to ensure uniformly high standards. The UBS Wealth Management Master programme is a further demonstration of our commitment to delivering the best service to our clients,” she added.

Topics in the UBS Wealth Management Master programme include delivering on our client promise, the global and emerging market economic environment and financial markets, investment management, intranpreneurial leadership and client relationship success.

With about 1,000 client advisors across Asia Pacific, UBS has one of the largest and most experienced Wealth Management teams in the region.

UBS Business University Asia Pacific

UBS established the UBS Business University Asia Pacific located at the historic Command House in Singapore in 2007, to provide ongoing training and professional development for employees in Singapore and across Asia Pacific. To set uniformly high standards in wealth management across the region, the UBS Business University delivers comprehensive curricula for client-facing staff with certification programmes such as the Wealth Management Master and the Wealth Management Diploma training. UBS is the first to receive an external recognition and accreditation by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) on its Wealth Management Diploma programme. In Singapore, UBS is one of the first institutions to be recognised by the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) to conduct Financial Industry Competency Standards (FICS) accredited training programmes. UBS staff who complete those programmes such as the UBS Wealth Management Diploma are eligible for FICS certification.

About UBS

UBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Its business strategy is centered on its pre-eminent global wealth management businesses and its universal bank in Switzerland. Together with a client-focused Investment Bank and a strong, well-diversified Global Asset Management business, UBS will expand its premier wealth management franchise and drive further growth across the Group.

UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in more than 50 countries, with about 35% of its employees working in the Americas, 36% in Switzerland, 17% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 12% in Asia Pacific. UBS employs about 61,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

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Friday, August 30th, 2013 EN No Comments

Struble completes estate planning program

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Alicia Struble, an investment management consultant in the Ellis, Sneed Struble office of Raymond James Associates, 2321 Rudolphtown Road, recently completed the Advanced Estate Planning Institute at the Raymond James Institute of Finance, said Patrick Daxon, vice president of Raymond James’ Wealth Management Solutions.

The Advanced Estate Planning Institute (AEPI) is a three-day program for financial advisors on developing strategies and recognizing opportunities within the estate planning, philanthropy and wealth management process and how to leverage this new knowledge to serve the needs of their clients. Among the topics covered are the changing federal estate tax laws, strategies for high-net-worth families, long-term care alternatives, irrevocable trusts and charitable techniques.

“Through this program, our financial advisors gain a deeper and broader understanding of the estate planning process and strategies to facilitate the passing of wealth while potentially minimizing the impact of taxes for high-net-worth families,” said Daxon in a news release.

The Raymond James Institute of Finance provides ongoing education and professional training for the firm’s more than 6,000 financial advisors and their assistants. The Institute’s wide-ranging curriculum encompasses many disciplines in the financial services industry and is designed to enable the financial advisor to recognize, quantify, illustrate and solve financial problems as the key to providing superior customer service to the client.


Friday, August 30th, 2013 EN No Comments

Crestbridge family office director named in private client ‘power list’

Heather Tibbo, Director at Crestbridge

Heather Tibbo, Director at Crestbridge, has been identified as one of the top 100 women globally currently working in the private wealth management industry.

Compiled by wealth management publication Citywealth, the ‘IFC Power Women 100’ list was published this month and seeks to recognise the most high profile and influential women working in a range of international finance centres. Those named in the list come from a range of backgrounds stretching from the public sector, regulatory and jurisdictional promotional bodies to private client, investment, legal, trust and family office professionals.

A Director within Crestbridge’s family office service business, Heather has over 15 years’ experience in the private client arena and joined Crestbridge this year from a wealth management business, whose Jersey office she helped establish. Having worked initially in Jersey, Heather spent 11 years working in London before returning to the island in 2010. In her capacity as a lawyer in the UK and Jersey, Heather has previously advised individuals, intermediaries and trustees in relation to offshore matters. She is a Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Launched earlier this summer, Crestbridge’s family office service focuses on assisting families, family offices and family advisers with the administration and structuring of various vehicles used as part of family office arrangements, particularly those involving multi-generational and multi-jurisdictional family assets.

Commenting on her inclusion in the list, Heather said:

“The whole philosophy behind launching our family office service was to provide specialist administration and corporate governance support to the family office sector that was of an institutional quality. For those standards to be acknowledged in this list is fantastic, as it reflects our belief that there is a real need in the market for these levels of support. Personally, it is particularly pleasing to be named alongside a number of women who have such well-established reputations within the private client landscape.”

Paul Perris, Managing Director of Crestbridge’s Family Office service, added:
“Heather fully deserves to be recognised in this list. She has an incredible amount of international private client experience and undoubtedly adds significant knowledge and expertise to our team. This is an exciting time of growth for Crestbridge and our family office business is a major part of that growth, so to have people of Heather’s calibre within our dedicated family office team is absolutely vital. We are looking forward to further success and growth in our cross-border family office administration services in the coming months.”

Crestbridge, formerly known as DCG, has undergone a major rebrand this year and since 2011 has increased the size of its team in Jersey by over 30%. With a 15 year pedigree in financial services, Crestbridge administers over US$50 billion of assets across multi-jurisdictional structures and supports a broad range of blue chip clients.

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Friday, August 30th, 2013 EN No Comments

Savant Capital Management to host Medicare class Sept. 10

ROCKFORD — Savant Capital Management, a local wealth management firm, will host a free class on understanding Medicare at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at NIU Rockford, 8500 E. State St.

Tracey Fults of Williams-Manny Horizon Group will speak at the event. Fults specializes in Medicare and senior products from Medicare supplements to long term care plans. Registration will begin at 6:15 p.m.

For information:,


Thursday, August 29th, 2013 EN No Comments

UBS AG to Expand in Tennessee – Analyst Blog

Swiss banking major


) recently announced that it will strengthen its back office
operations in Nashville, Tenn. This move will result in the
creation of 1,000 jobs in the city through the next five years.

At present, UBS AG has about 200 people under its employment in
Nashville, across its two offices and wealth management unit.
Additionally, the bank intends to invest approximately $36.5
million in a new shared-services center, which will cater to the
company’s wealth management and investment banking operations.

According to industry rumors, UBS intends to lease about 90,000
square feet in the building that was formerly known as Regions
Center on Deaderick Street. The newly built UBS Nashville
Business Solutions Center will have job vacancies in information
technology, legal compliance and finance. The office will likely
open in the second quarter of 2014.

UBS has striven to gain profits and reinstate its former
reputation, after suffering heavy losses subsequent to the
housing bubble burst in 2007, a $2 billion trading scandal and
the discreditable U.S. tax evasion case involving Swiss banks.

Further, UBS had given a bleak outlook on the upcoming quarters
based on the failure to progress in material improvements, the
eurozone sovereign debt crisis, fragile European banking system
and economic uncertainty at large. However, the company expects
its wealth management businesses to continue attracting new

Therefore, UBS is at present exploring new avenues in order to
grow its wealth banking business. Such prudent investments can
further improve its earnings in the future and bolster its
competitive edge.

The state of Tennessee has always been a much-opted choice for
foreign investors. The German auto giant
Volkswagen AG


), Japanese auto manufacturer
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.


) as well as Japanese electronics firm
Sharp Corporation


) have extensive operations in Tennessee too.

UBS currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

NISSAN ADR (NSANY): Get Free Report


UBS AG (UBS): Free Stock Analysis Report


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Thursday, August 29th, 2013 EN No Comments

Hedge Fund Karsch Capital to Shut Down After 13 Years -letter

Hedge fund manager Michael Karsch is shutting down his 13-year-old firm, Karsch Capital Management, in order to “think about the next chapter” of his career.

“I have decided to return capital to investors at the end of the third quarter,” Karsch wrote to investors on Wednesday, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Karsch, whose biggest investments include Yahoo Inc and Expedia, said that 95 percent of the fund’s $1.8 billion in assets would be returned to …


Thursday, August 29th, 2013 EN No Comments

Wealth Management: A recovery in the eurozone could help world economy

Recent  developments on the continent suggest the eurozone is in danger of becoming a help rather than a hindrance for the world economy.

Last week figures showed the 17-nation bloc pulled itself out of recession after six quarters of contraction and economists are starting to suggest this stabilisation may restore the region as a prop, if not a powerhouse, for global markets.

While a boom is not on the cards any time soon, a shift in momentum may be detected on the continent and this, inevitably, could have a knock on effect for trade worldwide.

The eurozone accounts for around a fifth of global GDP so any reasonable growth in the region could be enough to offset any potential slowdown in China. This has ramifications for the eurozone’s trading partners, which is good news for the UK and could help consolidate our own tentative signs of recovery.

Indeed, JP Morgan estimates that the eurozone could grow 1.3% in 2014 (after shrinking 0.5% this year) with imports expanding 3.7% after two years of decline.

Manufacturing in Poland and the Czech Republic rose in July due to increased export orders to elsewhere in Europe. Meanwhile, Chinese exports to the EU rose 2.8% in July, the first gain in five months, and Japanese shipments to the EU increased by 8.6% in June.

However, exports have grown faster than imports in recent years, leaving the euro area’s trade surplus around 3% of GDP in the first quarter, the most since the euro began trading in 1999. For this reason, investors should be mindful this recovery is unlikely to be enough to turn the eurozone into a significant driver of global growth any time soon.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs point out that the eurozone is likely to remain a net exporter for the foreseeable future as the “club med” economies continue to repair their economies. There is no doubt the rest of the world still needs Europe to grow and needs Europe to import more.

Looking at the positives, even if demand stays soft on the continent, the very fact it has escaped the depths of the debt crisis could be enough to rally financial sentiment worldwide.

A Bank of America survey of fund managers last month revealed that only 14% cited Europe as the biggest risk, compared with 59% in July 2012.

There are also signs that the uptick will continue with manufacturing unexpectedly rising in July after two years of contraction, while confidence among executives and consumers improved to a 15-month high. Italian industrial output increased in June by the biggest margin since January and rose in Greece by the most since October, while Spain’s recession eased in the second quarter.

Serious issues still remain in Europe with unemployment at a record 12.1%. Joblessness is more than 25% in Spain and Greece with economists predicting growth of only 1% in the eurozone next year versus 2.7% in the USA. In addition, the banking system remains dysfunctional with lending down at the lowest levels on record in June.

Political instability also remains a threat in Italy, Spain and Greece while Germany goes to the polls in the autumn. Tentative signs of recovery can easily be snuffed out by changes in the political mood.

Just over a year since the ECB vowed to “do whatever it takes” to save the euro, the situation does seem to be improving, but one must remain wary that Europe still has the potential to take a step or two back in the near future. With the economy appearing to stabilise, investors may wish to consider the levels of European exposure in their portfolios with a long-term recovery in mind.


Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 EN No Comments