- George S. Clason - from the book, “The richest man in Babylon”
Our brand is what other people say when we are not in the room.
"Consult with wise men. Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investments."
- Benjamin Graham
We empower our clients to develop a risk culture to thereby ensure risk efficient portfolios.
“The essence of investment management is the management of risks, not the management of returns.”
Our world class, rigorous and proven quantitative and qualitative due diligence process ensures that all our clients are presented with the best investment opportunities.
Invest in yourself. Your career is the engine of your wealth.
- Paul Clitheroe
We are an award-winning investment advisory firm serving institutional and private clients nationwide from our offices in Johannesburg and Somerset West.
We provide premium and tailor-made investment advisory services.
We have a passionate commitment to share investment ideas to help others succeed. With more than R20 billion in asset under advice are we one of the largest truly independent advisors in South Africa.
“To invest with success, you must be a long-term investor.”
- John Clifton Bogle
Our core team has more than 110 years of investment experience and has been working together in excess of 10 years.
"In investing, experience is not only the best teacher, it’s the only teacher.”
- Charles D. Ellis author of “Winning the Losers Game”
The asset classes, investment managers and funds in which to invest and the cost thereof is just as important as how much you save for retirement.
"We always count."
- GraySwan motto
> R20 billion
assets under our advice
of investment experience
to our charitable trust
GRAYSWAN IN NUMBERS...
Gauteng & Western Cape
GraySwan is an award winning independent investment advisory and wealth management company.
Our core business is to provide investment advice to institutional and corporate investors and wealth management solutions to personal and family office investors.
We are one of the most experienced independent investment advisory and wealth management businesses in South Africa in terms of assets under advice and the depth and strength and stability of our investment team. Our track record is proof of a successful and robust investment process that has been developed over the past 10 years. Our clients are all top performers and are the ambassadors of our business.
We have offices in the Western Cape and Gauteng. We are a level 4 BBEE contributor are a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing (UNPRI). We have been awarded in 2016 as the Responsible Investment Consultant of the Year by BATSETA (our industry body). We have now again been nominated for Responsible Investment Consultant of the Year as well as best Investment Consultant of the Year for the 2017 BATSETA awards.
Gray Swan Financial Services (Pty) Ltd has two divisions:
GraySwan Investments provides investment consulting services to institutional investors such as pension funds, umbrella funds, medical aid funds as well as corporate clients.
GraySwan Wealth provides investment consulting services to private clients and family offices who require pre and post-retirement investment advice.
A “Black Swan” was first described in AD 82 to depict a creature that did not exist. However, in 1790 a Black Swan was discovered and therefore proved the existence of the improbable.
In Nicholas Taleb’s book, The Black Swan, he used the bird to explain the belief that “all swans are white” is based on the limits of our experience. In other words, some occurrences are unpredictable because they deviate so far beyond what is normally expected. Such experiences are rare but when they occur they have massive consequences. Examples of such are the 9/11 twin towers event, the invention of the internet or the 2008 US sub-prime financial crises.
We can protect against what we know, but not against what we do not know. “Black Swan” events are therefore random and unexpected. They are the unpredictable unknowns. “GraySwans”, as we coined the term, however, are risks that can be identified and which have unintended consequences on investors’ portfolios and therefore should be avoided.
At GraySwan we do not intend to predict the unpredictable. Our investment and risk advisory services rather empower our clients to avoid GraySwan risks. Risks that are unintended or uncompensated for, should be avoided. Robust portfolio design eliminates GraySwan risks and thereby maximizes expected returns at a predefined level of risk.
Absolute Return Partners LLP is a London based client-driven, alternative investment boutique and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
ARP provides independent investment advisory services globally to institutional investors. Founded in 2002, they focus on providing bespoke alternative investment solutions to institutional investors. In total, they advise to over $600m of assets across their group.
ARP’s focus is strictly on absolute returns and their thinking, product development, asset allocation and portfolio construction are all driven by a series of long-term macro themes.
Since the inception of our business, we have proactively worked to build a truly South African representative business and we will continue to do so. We believe that you should be the change you want to see in the world.
In GraySwan’s dictionary, the acronym BEE stands for BEing Equal. Although all our employees, clients and suppliers are all unique and deserve to be treated in a special manner, they are all equally important to us.
The BEE areas that we focus on:
To advance equity ownership.
To support supplier and enterprise development.
To continue to develop our staff.
To meet employment equity targets.
To care for and uplift our community in partnership with the GraySwan Charitable Trust.
We are a BEE Level 4 contributor.
We are passionate about investments. We are passionate about doing the right things for the right reasons.
This means that whatever we set ourselves out to do, we do it with integrity and we do it whole-heartedly. We always go the extra mile. That’s just us.
We run our business based on the following principles:
Boutique – We are an owner-managed, boutique company. We focus on our core purpose and offer premium investment advisory services. We tailor-make our offering to ensure you have an authentic experience that meets your unique needs. Boutique does not mean expensive and exclusive, it means focused and tailor-made.
Trustworthy – Doing the right things for the right reasons is our DNA. That is why you can trust our objective and independent advice and why you can sleep well at night. For us it is about integrity. We do what we say we do. We value transparency and we ensure that the people who manage your money care about the right things too.
Disciplined – We always count. We do thorough and detailed proprietary analyses and research. We follow disciplined processes, which we have refined over the past two decades. We apply our minds and experience to provide you with high conviction recommendations.
Passionate – We believe that passion changes everything. It certainly changes everything for us. Our passion for investments is the reason why everything we do is tailor-made for you. It is the drive beyond our professional excellence. Passion drives us to find new opportunities and innovate smarter ways of doing things. One thing about us, that you can know for sure, is we always go the extra mile.
Giving generously springs from the passion in our hearts to be part of the change.
Since the inception of GraySwan, we have allocated 10% of our profits to the GraySwan Charitable Trust (GSCT). The sole purpose of the Trust is to be a channel through which GraySwan and other companies or individuals generously give. We aspire to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the less privileged.
We partner with organisations that are skillfully managed to competently steward resources while adhering to principles that we value and relate to.
As with our motto, “always count”, we test and verify everything. Each month we conduct more than 30 different detailed investment manager peer group GraySwan ScoreCards. Every report encapsulates more than 30 pages of performance and risk related statistics and form part of various quantitative reports, which we use as an initial screening methodology in our investment manager research process.