“ 57% of clients rate their broker's service as excellent, up from 40% last year ”

- 2017 Top Stockbrokers survey

“ 6% of stockbroker clients execute trades worth more than R100,000 a month ”

- 2017 Top Stockbrokers survey

“ 40% of stockbroker clients average monthly trades of R5,000 or less ”

- 2017 Top Stockbrokers survey

“ 52% of clients have assets under management of between R1m and R3m ”

- 2018 Top Private Banks & Wealth Managers Survey

“ 39% of wealth clients have been with the same firm for more than 10 years ”

- 2018 Top Private Banks & Wealth Managers Survey

“ Of the 100 largest JSE-listed companies, 87 conducted BEE deals, 35 of which included public benefit organisations ”

- 2017 Empowerment Endowment

“ R32.6bn in endowments are now held by foundations set up as a result of BEE deals that will support charitable activities ”

- 2017 Empowerment Endowment

“ 50% of clients rate their wealth manager as excellent and 31% as very good ”

- 2018 Top Private Banks & Wealth Managers Survey

“ 33% of clients rate the value for money they get from wealth managers as excellent, against 18% for transactional banking ”

- 2018 Top Private Banks & Wealth Managers Survey

“ R51.6bn value created specifically for charitable recipients through BEE deals ”

- 2017 Empowerment Endowment

“ 81% of clients are very likely or extremely likely to recommend their wealth manager to friends of family ”

- 2018 Top Private Banks & Wealth Managers Survey
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Amount invested in tax-free savings accounts doubles over the last year

A total of R5,174bn has been invested in tax-free savings accounts as at end-February 2017, close to double the R2,6bn from a year earlier. And 459,848 TFSAs have been opened since inception in March 2015, with 207,172 of those having been opened in the 12 months to end-February 2017.

The average account value is R11,251.

Those are the headline numbers from a survey of all TFSA providers conducted by financial research house Intellidex in March this year, covering to 28 February 2017, the end of the tax year.

This is Intellidex’s third survey on the TFSA market. It sourced figures from all TFSA providers in SA, gathering information for the 12 months to 28 February 2017, adding to data collected on the previous two years since TFSAs were launched. The study focused on all TFSA providers including stockbrokers, asset managers, banks and life insurers.

A total of 26 firms responded to a questionnaire sent in March 2017, though some were from different divisions of the same firm (eg, banks’ cash and stockbroking TFSA offerings). We estimate the sample includes more than 95% of the universe by assets and the results are a reliable guide to total market activity.

The main goals of the survey are to assess the impact of TFSAs on savings behaviour in South Africa and on institutions in the investment industry and the products they develop.

The full report can be accessed at www.intellidex.co.za/tfsa2017.

Other key findings include:

  • A total of 207,172 accounts were opened in the 12 months to end-February 2017 (averaging 567 accounts a day).
  • The net number of accounts opened (after incorporating accounts closed) rose by 39% from the previous year.
  • Respondents believe that 13% of TFSAs opened in the year to end-February 2017 are by first-time savers, indicating that the accounts do have a reasonable effect in galvanising people to become savers. It should be noted that an unknown number of these are held by minors, where parents have effectively donated the balance.
  • About 70% of the assets held in TFSAs are new to the firms that manage them (rather than being transferred from existing investments). While some of these would have accrued to the firms in the absence of TFSAs, it does indicate that the TFSAs provide a means for firms to attract new assets.
  • Of the 207,172 new accounts opened in the 2016/17 tax year, 157,331 (76%) of clients held existing accounts with their TFSA provider.
  • Cash TFSAs offered by banks continue to dominate the market. The major asset class held in TFSAs is in the form of cash at just over 47% (from 51% the previous year), followed closely by equities, which rose from 36% to 40%.
  • However, the other asset classes have seen strong growth in average account balances compared with banks. Total equities under management more than doubled to over R2bn. Similarly, the average value in collective investment schemes grew 29% to R27,452, while that of life insurance accounts rose by 16% to R16,680. In contrast, the average account value for bank balances barely changed.
  • An estimated 49,841 TFSAs, or 13% of all accounts, have been opened by first-time savers since inception.
  • Appears that annual limits are not serving as a hindrance to low-income earners, with only about 8% of new accounts invest the full amount on opening the account.

Intellidex launched the website savetaxfree.co.za last year to help savers identify account providers. The site has tools to assist users to identify accounts that match their needs, with more than 500 hits per day. The survey of TFSA providers helps regulators and those in the market understand the trends and features of tax-free savings market.

Top Private Banks and Wealth Managers Survey 2017

Standard Bank emerges as the Top Private Bank & Wealth Manager of the Year.

Last year’s overall winner, Sanlam Private Wealth, put in another strong performance to secure second place, holding off a surging Nedbank Private Wealth, which displaces PSG Wealth from third place.

But the eye-opening move comes from one of the smaller players, Brenthurst Wealth Management, which wins the Top Wealth Management Boutique award and secures fifth place in the overall rankings, ahead of some of the bigger, muscular players in the market.

Verso Wealth, in its debut year of participation in our survey, wins the People’s Choice award as Top Wealth Manager. In the private banks category, Investec Private Bank wins the People’s Choice award for the fifth time – a truly remarkable achievement. It is clearly a cut above the rest when it comes to its ability to satisfy clients.

Verso Wealth is a new company to the survey but was formed in 2015 through a merger with Galileo Capital Grow, a unit of Galileo Capital which won this same award last year. Clearly, Verso is maintaining the high standards of customer service.

This year almost 6,000 clients participated in the online survey – a massive increase on last year when 2,732 clients participated. The high number of participants entrenches the credibility of the survey findings.

The top three firms overall, Standard, Sanlam and Nedbank, between them hoovered up all the archetype awards, awarded to firms that best cater to a specific income segment.

Click here for Intellidex’s summary report on the survey, or click here for FM Investor’s Monthly survey coverage.

The Empowerment Endowment

Since 2002, R51,6bn in value has been created specifically for charitable recipients through BEE deals, including community trusts, existing charities and newly established foundations. There is R32.6bn held by foundations set up as a result of BEE deals that will support charitable activities on a perpetual basis, while R19.06bn has been generated in contributions to public benefit beneficiaries, outside of the new foundations, some of which are existing endowments.

These are the main findings from a study conducted by financial research house Intellidex into trusts and foundations established from SA’s black economic empowerment transactions. The figures are based on an analysis of a sample of 35 companies’ deals, which includes all those of the 100 largest JSE-listed companies which had a charitable component to their BEE deals.

The full research findings can be found in the Empowerment Endowment by Intellidex, funded by FirstRand. Intellidex is solely responsible for the research and content of the report. FirstRand’s funding was not contingent on any of the findings contained in this report. The full report can be accessed here.

Key findings include:

  • Of the 100 largest companies on the JSE, 35 conducted empowerment deals that included public-benefit organisations as beneficiaries. These were mostly made up of trusts whose beneficiaries include the most in need in South African society.
  • In total, these deals resulted in value of R51.6bn of value for beneficiaries, made up of a mix of endowed assets and cash flows to beneficiaries.
  • Of those deals, 27 involved the creation of new trusts which have been endowed with assets to support foundations.
  • Collectively, the new foundations have endowments totalling R32.6bn. We estimate that these endowments should generate funding for philanthropic activities of about 10% per year, resulting in spending of over R3bn per year.
  • Most of the new foundations are structured with independent boards of trustees. However, the sponsoring companies usually retain some control over the investment strategies for the endowments, usually ensuring that the endowments remain invested in the sponsoring companies’ shares.
  • The new foundations support a wide variety of objectives, but education stands out as a priority area. We estimate that 67% of the financial resources the foundations command is focused on education-related funding objectives. This is followed by community development (10.6%) and entrepreneurship (8.4%).
  • It is clear that the assets and spending power of the new foundations will make a major impact on the overall philanthropic sector in South Africa. There is little comprehensive research on philanthropic endowments currently in South Africa. One sample of prominent foundations found a total of R12.6bn held in endowments (Gastrow & Bloch 2016). A study of corporate social investment in South Africa estimated annual total spend of R8.1bn (Trialogue, 2015).
  • Most of the new foundations are less than two years old and are still gearing up to launch full activities. The findings therefore indicate a change that is currently in the making and will have an impact in the years to come.

Sizwe Nxasana, chairman of the FirstRand Empowerment Foundation, has called for greater co-operation between sponsoring companies, trusts and foundations to maximise the impact of these initiatives. “Collectively the impact that these could make is far greater than any of us acting alone. This fact calls for innovation and coordination to really maximise the difference this legacy can make in the country.

“We should aim to develop, share best practice and collaborate where possible. Knowing more about each other and working together can only help,” he says in the introduction to the Empowerment Endowment report. “This research helps us to understand the lay of the land. By having a clearer picture of what other companies are doing, we can better shape our own activities to ensure a better overall outcome.”

Intellidex chairperson Stuart Theobald, who headed up the research project, says that the R32.6bn in endowments, of which most are destined to exist in perpetuity, can make a long-running difference to the lives of millions of South Africans.

“The key challenges facing these new entities are a shortage of skills and lack of infrastructure. Many are struggling to find the required staff to run operations. Foundations also have to think through the right operational model, that will balance efficiency with the need to be independent of their sponsoring companies. The use of sponsoring company infrastructure lowers costs, but can come at the loss of real independence in grant making activities.

“Foundations also have to find ways to manage the concentration risks inherent in their portfolios. All have major exposures to the shares of their sponsoring companies. This is an outcome of the current BEE regulatory environment which requires companies to maintain BEE-qualifying investment levels. But it leaves foundations with inefficient investment portfolios. Some have begun diversifying by using a proportion of cash flows to diversify their portfolios. But more creative solutions are surely feasible, such as total returns swaps, a form of derivative.

“There is clear potential for foundations to cooperate, both in dovetailing their programmes to maximise impact, and in sharing best practice, infrastructure and potentially in pooling financial risks and jointly supporting projects.

“The new foundations also bring a corporate culture, particularly in driving innovation, into the philanthropic sector that could have spin offs for the rest of the sector too. This could result in new innovations such as social impact bonds, philanthropy markets, activist investing, and so on.”


The Empowerment Endowment report is based on a year-long research exercise into the charitable and community components of the 100 largest JSE companies’ empowerment deals implemented since 2002, when community schemes started to be included in BEE deals. It follows an earlier research report by Intellidex, The Value of BEE Deals, which considered the top 100 companies’ deals overall. The sources for this research included the published documents of the companies, but also extensive interviews and other engagements with various company executives to obtain information. Additionally, Intellidex interviewed several other individuals involved in philanthropy who provided background information and context.


Intellidex (www.intellidex.co.za) is a leading South African research and media company that brings together top financial analysis skills with media experience.

It produces research-driven content published in partnership with some of South Africa’s leading media companies. It also consults to a range of financial services companies to help them understand their markets better and produce better products.

Intellidex projects include:

  • Top Stockbroker of the Year survey (in partnership with FM Investors Monthly magazine)
  • Top Private Banks and Wealth Managers survey (in partnership with FM Investors Monthly magazine)
  • Financial Mail Ranking the Analysts survey
  • Most Empowered Companies survey (in partnership with Empowerdex and Independent Media)
  • Intellidex’s financial analysts also produce research on financial instruments and investment strategy. This includes sell-side research on listed instruments and valuations in partnership with brokers and other firms.

The company also undertakes significant research on various aspects of the financial services industry and capital markets each year. That research allows financial services companies, investors and the public at large to better understand the market and products available to them.

Intellidex was founded in 2008 by Stuart Theobald, Vuyo Jack and Chia-Chao Wu.