“Innovation” has become a buzzword in businesses the world over. It evokes images of tech bros playing foosball in the office, of millennials taking team calls through AirPods while on the treadmill, and of AI-enhanced systems that can solve problems better than humans.

Certainly, a business keeping up with tech advancement and thinking about new ways to work are fundamental to doing business in the 21st century. Indeed, the word “innovate” is derived from the Latin “novus”, meaning “new”.

But innovation has another aspect, over and above finding new ways to do things. For Carrick Wealth, the most important part of innovation is the renewal of focus on certain fundamentals that competitors sometimes seem to forget.

The financial services industry can be a cold, hard place, with a focus on numbers and statistics couched in sterile politeness and professionalism that is not actually interested in forming relationships with clients. That is not Carrick’s approach. When we founded Carrick Wealth seven years ago, we decided that we wanted to get “back to basics” with a renewed focus on building real, lasting — and, most importantly, human — relationships between our clients and their advisers.

Despite being more “connected” than ever before through the internet, smartphones, and social media, loneliness and isolation are serious problems facing humanity. After the Covid pandemic is over, researchers have suggested, we will be left facing a pandemic of disconnectedness, which is giving rise to mental health issues of unprecedented severity and prevalence.

People are looking for human connection, and we believe financial advisers should help to fulfill some of this need.

Carrick Wealth is a leading boutique wealth and investment advisory, servicing predominantly high-net-worth individuals in South Africa and across Africa. Our premium financial services offering is based on an ethos of trustworthiness and a hospitality-based approach to client services. The question we ask clients is, “How do we make you feel”?

Carrick’s competitive edge stems from its creation what we term “euphoria” amongst its clients, who experience a warm and reassuring process of relationship formation with their advisers. Our clients invite their advisers to their weddings and their grandchildren’s bar mitzvahs — as a Carrick family, we celebrate Diwali, Eid, and Christmas together.

In terms of the investment technicals, our advisory team employs a strategy of financial diversification and active portfolio management with a view to long-term wealth creation and financial security.

A key part of this for South African investors is offshore investment — the globalisation of one’s investment base. In contrast to other figureheads in South African finance who promote offshore investment through rubbishing onshore investments, we believe that careful, well-considered onshore investment should still be a key part of a South African client’s well-balanced portfolio.

Despite our relative optimism about opportunities at home, Carrick nevertheless aims to dominate the offshore investment market, both in South Africa and in the five other jurisdictions in which we are licenced to operate.

Another aspect of Carrick’s innovativeness is our focus on Africa as a market. Traditionally thought of as a backwater, with little to offer businesses in terms of growth potential, we believe the African continent will produce the billionaires of tomorrow. While some companies, especially Swiss and British banks, have charged clients in Africa exorbitant fees to perform the smallest banking and investment services, we are focussed on delivering superior outcomes for our clients, growing
their wealth rather than leeching off of it.

We are currently licensed to operate in South Africa, Mauritius, Malawi, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom, and plan to add Zambia and Kenya to the list in the first quarter of 2022. We also have plans to re-establish our office in Botswana. As far as we know, we are the only company with serious plans to operate in every major African jurisdiction with an integrated wealth management offering aimed at wealth creation.
We are grateful that the financial services industry has recognised Carrick’s unique and innovative offerings. Last year, Carrick was named by Intellidex as the Top Wealth Manager for Wealthy Executives. Also last year, we were announced as the winner in the prestigious International Adviser Best Practice Adviser Awards 2020 as the Best Adviser Firm in the country. In 2021, we won the Excellence in Advisory Best Practice for Africa award at the International Investment Awards.

Carrick will continue to grow as a unique force in the South African financial services market by not only continuing to provide trusted advice and financial investment solutions that enable clients to grow, protect and preserve their wealth, but also by ensuring that clients feel a genuine human connection while doing so. Sometimes, the most innovative ideas are the ones that have always been closest to home.

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