Archive for December, 2014

City High-Flyer In Sudden Exit From Signia

A top City wealth management firm backed by the billionaire founder of Phones 4U has seen its chief executive quit suddenly in the wake of a string of executive departures.

Sky News understands that Nathalie Dauriac-Stoebe, a former Coutts partner who founded Signia Wealth in 2010, resigned earlier this week and left immediately.

Sources said there had been tensions between Ms Dauriac-Stoebe and senior colleagues despite the success of Signia, which manages £2.3bn on behalf of high net worth clients.

Signia was established with the backing of John Caudwell, the founder of Phones 4U, which collapsed into administration amid acrimonious circumstances earlier this year.

Mr Caudwell had had no involvement with the mobile phone retailer since selling it to private equity firms nearly a decade ago, instead committing his time and money to philanthropic ventures and private business interests such as Signia.

Ms Dauriac-Stoebe is widely regarded as one of the rising stars of the City, and is frequently named in lists of the financial sector’s leading women executives.

Last year, the Daily Mail reported that she had hosted a private dinner attended by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, and some of Signia’s clients.

It is unclear whether she will be prevented under the terms of her departure from launching or joining another wealth management business in the near future, although she remains a significant shareholder in Signia alongside Mr Caudwell.

Signia’s other backers include Jon Moulton, the veteran investor, Mike Balfour, founder of the Fitness First chain, and Sir Keith Mills, the founder of the Air Miles and Nectar customer loyalty schemes and architect of London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

The departure of Ms Dauriac-Stoebe comes amid a shake-up in the regulation of the wealth management sector following the implementation of a framework called the Retail Distribution Review, which is designed to improve advice and transparency around client fees.

Meanwhile, the private banking arms of lenders such as Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns Coutts, have been experiencing a significant period of upheaval amid broader restructuring of their parent companies.

A number of other senior executives have left Signia since its launch, including Rupert Robinson, a former Schroders executive who quit just over a year ago after less than 12 months in the job.

Signia is chaired by Paul Lester, an industrialist whose other roles include chairing the John Laing Infrastructure Fund, which recently made an audacious approach to buy parts of the struggling construction company Balfour Beatty.

A Signia spokeswoman declined to comment.


Friday, December 26th, 2014 EN No Comments

VM to brighten children’s ward

Patients and staff at the Spanish Town Hospital paediatric ward will see a welcoming new environment at the children’s facility in the new year, following the donation of $250,000 last Thursday by Victoria Mutual (VM) Wealth Management Limited to assist with refurbishing efforts being undertaken by the institution.

Jennifer Chambers, operations manager at the health facility, says it will cost an estimated $1 million for the refurbishing exercise that should start in early January. The paediatric ward will see a facelift that should include repainting and tiling the entire ward and possibly changing the windows, if all the money required for the project is obtained.

“We want to make the facility more pleasant for the patients and staff. It is a demanding atmosphere for everyone who utilises the ward, so we want to ensure that it is more comfortable and friendly,” Chambers said.

The 50-bed paediatric ward cares for up to 1,700 patients per year, with an average of 200 admissions per month. Currently, the ward has more than 52 beds and cots, 15 bassinets; six walk-out cots, 14 large beds, and 22 railed cots.

Dr Jacqueline Wright-James, head of the paediatric ward and consultant paediatrician, says the facility has an upward spiral of patients during March to April, and October to December of each year, with 40 per cent of cases being respiratory related.

“The donation is great news so that we can improve the aesthetics of the room. VM Wealth Management is our third sponsor, so hopefully we can get things started in early January,” Wright-James said.

During the courtesy call at the institution, representatives of both entities were in a celebratory mood as the objectives of refurbishing the department envisioned over a year were met.

According to Devon Barrett, general manager, Victoria Mutual Wealth Management Limited, when the request was made for assistance in refurbishing the facility, they did not hesitate as their donation would not only assist the Spanish Town Hospital, but the wider community.

“Our children are the future, and we felt it was necessary to provide assistance in areas that are in need and that will help our children. Giving back is important to what we do, and we see this donation as helping to improve health care in the community and, by extension, Jamaica,” Barrett said.

VM Wealth opened for business more than 20 years ago, with their primary purpose then and now of assisting clients in acquiring and growing their wealth. To that end, they have continued to create products and services to satisfy that need.

Their clients have benefited significantly from these new offerings as the organisation has raised more than US$120 million of $12 billion in debt and equity financing in the last three years. They are projecting growth by $61 billion, from $34 billion to $95 billion by 2018, mainly from the asset management business.

Contributed Photos

CAPTION – Devon Barrett (second left), general manager at Victoria Mutual Wealth
Management Limited, presents the commitment cheque of $250,000 to
Jennifer Chambers (centre), operations manager at the Spanish Town
Hospital, during a presentation ceremony at the facility recently.
Looking on are (from left) Vivianne Lawrence, investment adviser; Sister
Norine Roberts (third left), nurse in charge of Ward 8; Jacqueline
Wright-James; Karlene Taylor-McKenzie, director of patient services;
Nurse Alicia Richards, paediatric nurse; Candice Thompson, acting
director of nursing services; and Karlene Mullings (right), manager,
sales and client relations at VM Wealth Management.


Friday, December 26th, 2014 EN No Comments

Abu Dhabi SWF to Invest $500 Mil. in Korean Value Stocks


Abu Dhabi Investment Authority building (image: Luca/flickr)

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority building (image: Luca/flickr)

SEOUL, Dec 25 (Korea Bizwire) – The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will invest US$500 million in Korea’s value stocks. According to financial investment sources on December 24, the sovereign wealth fund is currently selecting a consignment management firm for such purposes. 

The three mostly likely candidates are Korea Investment Value Asset Management, AssetPlus Investment Management and Shinyoung Asset Management. The actual consignment is likely to be made by the first quarter of next year. 

Earlier in June and December last year, the investment authority had consigned $500 million each to Truston Asset Management and Samsung Asset Management for growth stocks and index fund investment. 

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), a sovereign wealth fund owned by Emirate of Abu Dhabi (in United Arab Emirates) estimated to be as much as $500 billion. Its portfolio grows at an annual rate of about 10% compounded, according to latest available data issued by Euromoney.

By Sean Chung (



Thursday, December 25th, 2014 EN No Comments

JT Foxx, World’s #1 Wealth Coach Appears This Week On Dr. Zoe Today Show



Thursday, December 25th, 2014 EN No Comments

ETF trading ‘over,’ stock picking ‘back’: Experts

JetBlue planes sit at their gates at Kennedy International Airport in New York, April 23, 2014.

Among other mid-cap companies, JetBlue, Pilgrim’s Pride and Mohawk Industries may cash in on economic trends, a fund manger said.


Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 EN No Comments

Christmas Price Index shows inflation in a fun way

An annual and playful economic indicator is the Christmas Price Index, compiled annually by PNC Wealth Management. Using the current cost of giving the gifts listed in the old English carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the index suggests an inflation factor of just 1 percent.


Tumbling energy prices, low inflation and relatively flat wages combined to keep prices of the 12 gifts down, reports The New York Times, which says you’ll need $27,673 this year to purchase the famous gifts for each day of the Christmas season. That’s just $220 more than last year and the lowest percentage increase since 2002, when the index fell 7.6 percent.


In case you’re looking for last-minute gifts, here’s the current price list:

  • 12 drummers drumming = $2,854.80

  • 11 pipers piping = $2,635.20

  • 10 lords a-leaping = $5,348.24 (Among the entertainers, only the 10 lords a-leaping had any increase in wages, 2 percent, from $5,243 last year.)

  • 9 ladies dancing = $7,552.84

  • 8 milking maids = $58 (The eight milking maids, the only unskilled laborers, remained a bargain at $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage, which has been in effect since mid-2009.)

  • 7 swans a-swimming = $7,000 (Although subject to wide price fluctuations, in 2014, the cost of the seven swans stayed flat – also the same price as when the index began in 1984.)

  • 6 geese a-laying = $360 (The six geese a-laying jumped 71 percent from $210, because food prices, including poultry, rose this year.)

  • 5 gold rings = $150 each (Gold rings, which have had a run-up in some recent years, remained the same price, even though the price of gold is down.)

  • 4 calling birds = $599.96

  • 3 French hens = $181.50 (French hens – the Houdan variety – were up 10 percent.)

  • 2 turtledoves = $125

  • 1 partridge in a pear tree = $207.68 (includes $20 for the bird. The price tag for the partridge in a pear tree rose almost 4 percent this year, reflecting a leap in the bird’s price by a third. The costs of feed and care are not counted in the index. A pear tree also cost 2 percent more than last year, driven up by higher costs for fresh fruit and landscaping.)


Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 EN No Comments

Asia’s rich are getting richer – even faster

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KUALA LUMPUR: The wealthiest among us are getting richer quicker. The Asia-Pacific recorded a 17.3pc increase in the number of the very rich, the highest rate of increase in the world. Accumula–tively, these 4.32 million people have assets worth RM46.5 trillion.

The Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2014 by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management released recently shows that the number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in Malaysia grew 6.6pc last year to 65,800 and their total wealth rose 9pc to RM1.4 trillion.

(Capgemini is a provider of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, and RBC Wealth Management is a global wealth management company.)

The report also reveals that our HNWIs invest 40pc of their money overseas.

That amounts to RM560 billion which, for Ste–gan Mueller, managing director (head of investments and products) of RBC Wealth Management, is staggering.

One reason, Mueller says, the rich are parking their money overseas is because there are “bigger opportunities” elsewhere. But are the rich merely looking overseas to preserve wealth or is this just a matter of putting their eggs in more than one basket?

At 65,800 it is a long list. The notable ones in the (obviously) rich and super rich list are the likes of Robert Kuok and T. Ananda Krishnan, among others.

But how much must one have to qualify for membership in this elite HNWI or Ul–tra-HNWI list?

There are a few factors that will determine if a person belongs to the HNWI or Ultra-HNWI category.

“Based on the Capgemini and Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report 2006, HNWIs are individuals with US$1 million to US$5 million (RM3.3 million to RM16.5 million) of investable assets while the Ultra-HNWIs have US$30 million (RM99.5 million) or more in investable assets,” says Bernard Seah, a partner of IPP Wealth Planners Sdn Bhd.

Those who have US$100,000 to US$1 million (RM331,000 to RM3.3 million) are only considered affluent.

IPP uses the Monetary Authority of Singapore guidelines which states that a HNWI must have at least S$2 million (RM5.2 million) in investable assets.

While many older HNWIs benefited from Malaysia’s development, today’s group found their wealth in the global economic expansion.

HNWIs can be from different backgrounds,but are usually owners of public listed companies, professionals or those who made their money through their own business (be it in property or construction).

“Based on my HNWIs clientele in Kuala Lumpur, they are from a few main sectors like oil, energy, plantation, construction or property and finance,” says Seah.

RHB OSK Asset Management Pte Ltd CEO Anthony Siau agrees that most HNWIs and Ultra-HNWIS are those who had inherited their wealth from the nation’s pioneers.

“But among them also are new entrepreneurs in the age of the Internet and social media as well as those in the services sectors,” says Siau.

The number of rich has probably grown because Malaysians are now more focused on the “latest and most interesting product ideas”to make money.

Fixed deposit accounts are no longer the only way to see your money grow.

Today, there are many ways to do this. Many seek advice from wealth management companies on how best to invest their money. Many Malaysians also prefer to do business abroad because of greater transparency.

HNWIs see more opportunities overseas, such as property in the United Kingdom or Australia. Many make thses decisions based on where their children will go for further studies.

Most, if not all, rich have offshore bank, accounts because they do not want to put all their eggs in one basket, just in case something unforeseen happens in Malaysia.

According to Siau, there are many private banks across the region to serve this need, a facility that is in short supply in Malaysia.

“There are not enough products width and depth at home to meet this need, so this rich have to go elsewhere to get access to these products,” he adds.

Expectation has changed. The current crop of HNWIs wants wealth management strategies that requires a new way of thinking, different strategies to manage risk and greater diversification of their investments.

The underlying objectives is to come up with a sound financial plan that will be able to withstand unusual and unexpected shocks and crises, say Siau.

“A defensive financial planning strategy should include a large rescue fund and enhanced short-term liquidity. There must be defensive startegies in equity and balanced funds, protection and insurance and counter-trend strategies. It must avoid additional debt on local and global property funds,” he adds.

Seah disagrees with Mueller’s contention that HNWIS are more concerned with what their peers think of their investment strategies. He believes HNWIs opt for timeless financial planning principles to create and protect their wealth.

“The rich always look for the bright spot in a bleak economy. They look for opportunities to buy global properties and invest in funds when there is a market correction rather that trade in equities,” he says.

HNWIs also invest in passions that they feel will provide opportunities for future mega trends. They seek advice to help them discover and attain their financial.


Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 EN No Comments

Part 1: Top Performers


2014 Advisor Benchmarking Report

Given the broad and extensive nature of the data collected in this year’s survey, we are able to gain deeper insight into what separates the top performing RIAs from their peers. First, in order to identify advisors that we believe lead the industry from the over 400 we surveyed, we classified them into three groups: large, growing and other. The three groups are mutually exclusive with the large and growing groups each representing approximately 10% of total respondents. 

The large group was simply defined by being a member of the largest AUM category, $350 million and above, and is characterized by broad service offerings, well-defined investment discipline, and established success in building their practices. The growing group was defined by two criteria: 1) they had to have moved up a bracket from last year in either AUM, revenues or profits; and 2) they had to offer at least four services, including either financial planning or investment management. The service- offering criterion ensured that we included advisors with both key and diverse offerings, and not simply niche players with less correlation to the overall advisor marketplace. The other group is simply all of those advisors not in the large or growing, providing a control group to which we can compare and contrast. 

In prior years we carved out only the top performing group according to growth and service offering criteria but we felt that approach biased the results by not including many of the largest firms. This year’s approach allows us to conduct more granular comparisons and provides greater insight into the practices of the most successful firms. 

Next Part 2 of 10: Growth Trends

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Inside Section 8:brBest Practices of Top RIA’s

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Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 EN No Comments

Blue Water Advisors Hires Jeff Wund as Chief Operating Officer

BABYLON, N.Y., Dec. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Blue Water Advisors (BWA), an independent wealth management firm and SEC-registered investment advisor, today announced the addition of Jeff Wund, age 38, as its Chief Operating Officer. A 15-year veteran of the wealth management industry, Wund will be the firm’s first-ever Chief Operating Officer.

Photo –

“This strategic hire demonstrates the firm’s ongoing commitment to its clients and advisory team,” said Blue Water staff member Brendan Hand. “Now our advisors will spend less time and energy on the operational aspects of the business and instead be able to spend more time on wealth management strategies, investment research and client service. Jeff’s addition will also allow us to leverage our recent investment in industry-leading technology – we are committed to delivering best-in-class strategy implementation, service and results reporting,” Hand said.

As Chief Operating Officer, Wund will help refine and implement firm strategy and manage the firm’s operating activities. He will also serve as the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer.

“For 14 years, we have been acutely focused on providing exceptional value, service and outcomes for our clients. The addition of Jeff to our talented team will solidify this client experience,” said Max Haspel, founder of Blue Water Advisors. “Combined with our recent move to become an independent wealth management firm and our investment in leading technology, deepening our talent bench with a professional like Jeff positions us extremely well to execute on our mission – helping clients achieve their most important life goals and having an enjoyable experience along the way,” concluded Haspel.

Terry Gardner, Principal of Gardner Capital Advisors, which serves as a third-party adviser to BWA, agrees: “Jeff’s deep domain expertise in the areas of RIA operations and technology meshes perfectly with Blue Water Advisors’ commitment to delivering consistently high client service levels. The firm is fortunate to have someone of Jeff’s caliber leading its evolution in these critical areas.”

“Over the past 15 years, I have been fortunate to work with what I believe are some of the best firms in the wealth management industry,” Wund said when speaking of his new position at Blue Water Advisors. “This role offers a great opportunity to apply all that I have learned to help BWA build an even better business,” added Wund.


Wund brings a unique skill set to BWA. Prior to joining BWA, Wund spent almost 11 years as Director of Operations and Chief Compliance Officer for Prosper Advisors, an independent SEC-registered firm in Westchester County. Wund provided investment management and advisory services to clients, serving as a portfolio manager, member of Prosper’s Investment Committee, and performing research and due diligence on hedge fund and private equity managers. He also oversaw the operations of the firm, including client service, technology and regulatory compliance. Wund started his career as an advisor with American Express Financial Advisors. He earned his B.S. in Corporate Finance and Investment Management from the University of Alabama’s College of Business and Commerce. He graduated from Fox Lane High School in Bedford, NY.


Blue Water Advisors is an independent wealth management company and SEC-registered investment advisory firm. Over the past 14 years, the firm has been committed to meeting the comprehensive wealth management needs of business owners, executives, senior financial industry professionals, doctors, lawyers and widows. Blue Water Advisors combines boutique client service with objectivity and insights stemming from its research-based approach. For more information about the firm and our industry accolades, please visit

Media Contact: Leesy Palmer, Impact Communications, 913-649-5009,

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:

SOURCE Blue Water Advisors


Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 EN No Comments

MOVES- US Bancorp, Legal & General, Principal Financial

Dec 23 (Reuters) – The following financial services industry
appointments were announced on Tuesday. To inform us of other
job changes, email


The wealth management division of U.S. Bancorp said
it hired Ena Licina as vice president, trust relationship
manager, for its Private Client Reserve in Las Vegas. Prior to
this, Licina worked as a trust officer with Wells Fargo Wealth
Management, U.S Bank said.


The investment management company appointed Thomas Cheong
vice president of North Asia for Principal International. Cheong
will join in early January from Manulife Asset Management in
Taiwan, where he was CEO and executive director.


The insurance and investment management company said group
merger and acquisition and strategy director Wadham Downing
would leave at the end of June. He will step down from his
posts, effective Dec. 31, the company said.


The online trading services provider appointed Nicholas Lee
and Rebecca Fuller non-executive directors with immediate
effect. Lee is currently executive chairman of Paternoster
Resources Plc and non-executive director of MX Oil Plc
. Fuller is an independent non-executive director at BATS
Trading Ltd and director of Anico Financial Service Ltd, which
she co-founded, London Capital said.

(Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bengaluru)


Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 EN No Comments