The eve of lockdown & the dawn of alternative investments

Chantel, what was it like joining a new company and going straight into lockdown? 
I was lucky enough to fly down to Cape Town just before lockdown and meet my new employer and colleagues. This helped me greatly. The TBI team welcomed me warmly and made me feel very privileged to be a part of the TBI family.

Lockdown being implemented shortly after I started was daunting, especially with me being in Gauteng and my colleagues all housed in Cape Town. I put so much pressure on myself to make a good impression and worked as hard as I could but lockdown did create some constraints and frankly, I felt a bit lost and anxious initially. 

However, TBI made sure that I was okay. My new colleagues called me to ensure that I was coping and provided me with the professional and emotional support that I needed. I feel very proud to be part of a company which really takes care of their employees on every level.

Settled in now?
Yes, I have settled in quite well working from home. We have daily Microsoft Teams/ Zoom meetings with existing and prospective channels. I have enormous support from Jonathan Whittaker and the TBI Distribution team. I have already presented my own investment session to a new broker channel, alongside Jonathan who is my Supervisor and “Teacher”, on the tax efficient funds and have more coming up. 

What motivated you to join TBI?
I did not know much about TBI after being head hunted on LinkedIn. After discussions with the recruiting agency, I was quite excited to apply for a position which lines up with what I studied and where my passion really lies – the financial planning industry. 

What will you be doing at TBI?
As a Distribution Executive, I source, service and educate channels, companies and trusts about our tax efficient funds (Sanlam Alternative Income Fund and Sanlam Diversified Income Fund of Funds) which TBI co-manages with Sanlam. The goal is to increase the assets under management of the funds and, given the times, our funds make enormous sense. 

Where were you before joining TBI? 
Much of my career has in fact prepared me for this role at TBI as I have first-hand experience of the audiences I’ll be talking to. 

I started as a Planning Analyst, supporting a Financial Planner. Later, as a certified financial planner, I built my own book and also ran a programme at the University of Pretoria to educate students. 

At Warwick Wealth, my role of Client Relationship Officer was to support the Wealth Manager. Then, at Grindrod Bank as the Treasury Portfolio Manager I built an impressive book from scratch consisting of individuals, trusts, companies, estate administrators and conveyancing attorneys. 

I can relate easily enough to our audience.

COVID-19 has accelerated change in all spheres of life. What changes do you see? 
The main change in most walks of life is that what was considered “alternative” or “different” two months ago is now fast becoming the norm. Tomorrow’s success depends on how quickly one can make that transition but obviously, in an informed and considered way. 

In our immediate area, the COVID-19 crisis has reminded investors of the importance of maintaining adequate cash reserves. Unfortunately, Money Market yields will continue to decline over the coming weeks as recent rate cuts wash through. On top of a yield decline, investors have to pay away 45% in income tax. I cannot imagine that investors in money markets, bank deposits and CCM type accounts will find this attractive! 

This means that our Sanlam tax efficient funds shift from what was considered “alternative” yesterday to highly desirable and in fact, sensible today.

Chantel du Plessis
Distribution Executive 
TBI Investment Managers 
M: + 27 834 232152