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Stonehage Fleming appoints new Partner in South Africa

20 Sep 2019


Stonehage Fleming appoints new Partner in South Africa


Stonehage Fleming welcomes Dr Charl du Toit to the Stonehage Fleming family in South Africa. Starting 1 November, Charl has been appointed as Partner in the South African Family Office Division, with responsibility for Tax Advisory services. He will be based in the Group’s Cape Town office.

Charl brings with him almost 40 years financial services experience and three decades of specialist experience within the corporate international tax arena. He joins the company from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was a tax partner. He has also consulted to a wide range of South African and international groups including several JSE listed companies. In addition, Charl has extensive experience advising families on cross-border trust and corporate structures. He also served as President of the South African Fiscal Association for twelve years.

An international published author, his book titled “The beneficial ownership of royalties in bilateral tax treaties”, is a reference source consistently used by tax practitioners and universities around the world. He is a regular speaker at both local and international tax seminars and has been instrumental in effecting a number of amendments to tax legislation in Parliament.

Charl is a qualified Chartered Accountant, holding several degrees including a Bachelor of Agriculture degree (Cum Laude) from the University of Stellenbosch, a Bachelor of Commerce degree with Honours in Taxation and a Masters in Philosophy in Tax Law from the University of Cape Town, as well as a PHD in International Tax Law from the University of Amsterdam.

Giuseppe Ciucci, Managing Partner of Stonehage Fleming, said:

“As a Group, we have worked closely with Charl over the past 15 years and have always held him in the highest regard. In the global family office environment, the need for specialist expertise in tax and estate planning has become increasingly important. We are therefore delighted to welcome Charl as a Partner to Stonehage Fleming and look forward to more of our clients benefiting from his significant experience and skill set.”


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Stonehage Fleming appoints new CEO

03 Sep 2019


Stonehage Fleming appoints new CEO


Formerly CEO of Ipes, a leading European provider of fund administration and outsourcing services, Chris Merry’s appointment is effective from 3 September 2019. He will be based in Stonehage Fleming’s London office.

Chris will be taking over from Giuseppe Ciucci, Stonehage Fleming Group CEO since 1997. Mr. Ciucci will remain in a full-time executive capacity as Managing Partner, concentrating first and foremost on serving existing clients as well as building new client relationships. He will also become Deputy Chairman of the Board, where he will continue to contribute to the strategic direction of the firm.

In a highly distinguished career that has spanned both financial and professional services businesses, Chris has a proven track record as an experienced and effective CEO. As well as his five-year tenure at Ipes, Chris has also served as CEO of RSM Tenon, the UK accounting firm later acquired by Baker Tilly, and at Matrix Group, a privately held boutique financial services firm. He was the Finance Director for Clifford Chance, a leading global law firm, prior to which he was a Partner at PwC, with experience in London, New York and Shanghai.

Giuseppe Ciucci, Managing Partner, Stonehage Fleming, said: “After 22 years as Group CEO the time is now right to appoint a new person to this role, to bring some fresh ideas and direction and enable me to concentrate first and foremost on serving our clients. It has given me great pride and pleasure to lead such a talented team in transforming our business into the leading European multi-family office.”

“We are delighted to have been able to appoint Chris as our new CEO. He will bring exceptional experience and vision to his new role at Stonehage Fleming. Importantly, he is widely known for his practical as well as his strategic skills, which are critical to a business like ours as we seek to expand upon our truly unique proposition and consolidate our leading position as advisers to wealthy international families.”

Stonehage Fleming Group CEO Chris Merry said: “Stonehage Fleming has a remarkable position in its market, and this has been endorsed by Caledonia’s decision to make such a significant investment in the future of the firm.”

“Stonehage Fleming has a strong culture, an enviable array of services and unrivalled experience in counselling families across the entirety of their wealth. Anchored by a founding family now in its sixth generation, the firm has also demonstrated its ability to understand the requirements of a contemporary audience. I am excited to work with a team that has redefined the modern Family Office.”


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Stonehage sees the role for long/short strategies with higher volatility ahead

02 Aug 2019


Stonehage sees the role for long/short strategies with higher volatility ahead


“We are increasingly helping families to implement a formal risk-management process to identify, monitor and mitigate these risks. Family governance is important to agree decision-making frameworks when they are matters of principle rather than when it is personal. We help our clients in this regard by reviewing their existing governance framework and identifying potential areas for improvements”


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£854m fund manager: ‘Google will be a great dividend payer one day’

28 Jul 2019


£854m fund manager: ‘Google will be a great dividend payer one day’



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Stonehage Fleming appoints new Partner in South Africa


Stonehage Fleming welcomes Dr Charl du Toit to the Stonehage Fleming family in South Africa. Starting 1 November, Charl has been appointed as Partner in the South African Family Office Division, with responsibility for Tax Advisory services. He will be based in the Group’s Cape Town office.

Charl brings with him almost 40 years financial services experience and three decades of specialist experience within the corporate international tax arena. He joins the company from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was a tax partner. He has also consulted to a wide range of South African and international groups including several JSE listed companies. In addition, Charl has extensive experience advising families on cross-border trust and corporate structures. He also served as President of the South African Fiscal Association for twelve years.

An international published author, his book titled “The beneficial ownership of royalties in bilateral tax treaties”, is a reference source consistently used by tax practitioners and universities around the world. He is a regular speaker at both local and international tax seminars and has been instrumental in effecting a number of amendments to tax legislation in Parliament.

Charl is a qualified Chartered Accountant, holding several degrees including a Bachelor of Agriculture degree (Cum Laude) from the University of Stellenbosch, a Bachelor of Commerce degree with Honours in Taxation and a Masters in Philosophy in Tax Law from the University of Cape Town, as well as a PHD in International Tax Law from the University of Amsterdam.

Giuseppe Ciucci, Managing Partner of Stonehage Fleming, said:

“As a Group, we have worked closely with Charl over the past 15 years and have always held him in the highest regard. In the global family office environment, the need for specialist expertise in tax and estate planning has become increasingly important. We are therefore delighted to welcome Charl as a Partner to Stonehage Fleming and look forward to more of our clients benefiting from his significant experience and skill set.”


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Stonehage Fleming appoints new CEO


Formerly CEO of Ipes, a leading European provider of fund administration and outsourcing services, Chris Merry’s appointment is effective from 3 September 2019. He will be based in Stonehage Fleming’s London office.

Chris will be taking over from Giuseppe Ciucci, Stonehage Fleming Group CEO since 1997. Mr. Ciucci will remain in a full-time executive capacity as Managing Partner, concentrating first and foremost on serving existing clients as well as building new client relationships. He will also become Deputy Chairman of the Board, where he will continue to contribute to the strategic direction of the firm.

In a highly distinguished career that has spanned both financial and professional services businesses, Chris has a proven track record as an experienced and effective CEO. As well as his five-year tenure at Ipes, Chris has also served as CEO of RSM Tenon, the UK accounting firm later acquired by Baker Tilly, and at Matrix Group, a privately held boutique financial services firm. He was the Finance Director for Clifford Chance, a leading global law firm, prior to which he was a Partner at PwC, with experience in London, New York and Shanghai.

Giuseppe Ciucci, Managing Partner, Stonehage Fleming, said: “After 22 years as Group CEO the time is now right to appoint a new person to this role, to bring some fresh ideas and direction and enable me to concentrate first and foremost on serving our clients. It has given me great pride and pleasure to lead such a talented team in transforming our business into the leading European multi-family office.”

“We are delighted to have been able to appoint Chris as our new CEO. He will bring exceptional experience and vision to his new role at Stonehage Fleming. Importantly, he is widely known for his practical as well as his strategic skills, which are critical to a business like ours as we seek to expand upon our truly unique proposition and consolidate our leading position as advisers to wealthy international families.”

Stonehage Fleming Group CEO Chris Merry said: “Stonehage Fleming has a remarkable position in its market, and this has been endorsed by Caledonia’s decision to make such a significant investment in the future of the firm.”

“Stonehage Fleming has a strong culture, an enviable array of services and unrivalled experience in counselling families across the entirety of their wealth. Anchored by a founding family now in its sixth generation, the firm has also demonstrated its ability to understand the requirements of a contemporary audience. I am excited to work with a team that has redefined the modern Family Office.”


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Stonehage sees the role for long/short strategies with higher volatility ahead


“We are increasingly helping families to implement a formal risk-management process to identify, monitor and mitigate these risks. Family governance is important to agree decision-making frameworks when they are matters of principle rather than when it is personal. We help our clients in this regard by reviewing their existing governance framework and identifying potential areas for improvements”


Email Copy Link


£854m fund manager: ‘Google will be a great dividend payer one day’



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Tech stocks poised for a comeback, says equity manager

05 Jun 2019


Tech stocks poised for a comeback, says equity manager


Technology stocks, which have fallen sharply in recent weeks on heightened regulatory scrutiny and ongoing trade tensions, are poised for a recovery, according to Gerrit Smit, head of equity at international family office Stonehage Fleming.

Despite rallying 2.7% on Tuesday after US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said the central bank could cut rates, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite remained 7.8% down from its close on May 3.

Tech stocks — including JSE-heavyweight Naspers and its Chinese associate, Tencent — have been on the back foot for weeks amid trade disputes between the US and other major economies.

Tencent has slipped 14.6% since May 3, while Naspers has declined about 9%, propped up by the weaker rand and plans to list its international internet assets in Europe. Naspers’s decline has dented the JSE, given its hefty weighting in local indices.

The tech sell-off intensified on Monday after US authorities signaled their intention to curb the size and power of sector giants.

“The anti-trust probes will affect only some businesses to some extent, and it may take very long before that happens,” said Smit. “In those cases, valuations already reflect some of those risks.”

Read full article >>


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Stonehage Fleming's flagship fund passes USD1 billion mark

20 May 2019


Stonehage Fleming's flagship fund passes USD1 billion mark


Assets under Management (“AUM”) for the Stonehage Fleming Global Best Ideas Equity Fund (“the Fund”) have passed the USD1bn mark.

Since launching in August 2013, the USD1.03bn Fund has attracted assets from private, professional and institutional investors and has returned 66.7%* over the last five years, compared to the Global Equity peer group average of 30.0 %** and the comparative index return of 40.0%*** (US $ terms).

Fund Manager Gerrit Smit manages a concentrated, high conviction portfolio of 27 high quality businesses that are chosen for their sustainable growth potential, strong management team, strategic competitive edge and value.

Current investments include some of the world’s best-known companies such as Visa, PayPal, Alphabet, Nike, Amazon, Microsoft and Estée Lauder. Technology names now make up 25.5%**** of the Fund, a reflection of the manager’s view that the technology sector will remain a dominant feature of daily life and business in general. It also has a high health care exposure.

Gerrit Smit argues that: “The technology sectors’ contribution towards growing productivity, providing key information to businesses and individuals alike and creating new business opportunities seems to be ever increasing. Many technology businesses are currently benefiting from wide adoption, high business demand, general high profitability, strong cash flow generation and strong balance sheets. Some large technology businesses have become good growing dividend payers, which further supports capital growth. Investors can therefore also consider some of these businesses from an income perspective.”

Commenting on the current market environment, Smit adds: “The combination of stable and constructive leading US economic indicators, continuing moderate economic expansion and earnings growth, low inflation expectations, only moderate interest rate rises and fair valuations has created a proverbial ‘Goldilocks’ investment environment. This ‘dull but constructive’ environment leads to more certainty and lower economic volatility and is more attractive to more investors. Whilst expectations for the level of economic expansion have recently been tempered, the outlook for continuing earnings growth remains on course for quality businesses.”

The Fund had previously been available exclusively to clients of Stonehage Fleming, but has been open to outside investors since 2016. It is now available on eleven platforms across South Africa and the UK.

* Source: Stonehage Fleming Investment Management Ltd (SFIM), for period 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2019 (Class B).

**IA Global $, for period 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2019. Source: Financial Express.

***MSCI World All Country $ TR, for period 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2019. Source: Bloomberg, MSCI.

****Source: Stonehage Fleming Investment Management Ltd (SFIM), to 30 April 2019.


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Should you invest in Uber?

14 May 2019


Should you invest in Uber?


Gerrit Smit, Head of Equity Management, believes it is worth comparing Uber’s financial fundamentals with those of some of the more established tech stocks.

Read the full Uber IPO >>


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The first-gen wealth creators who struggle to talk to their kids about money

10 May 2019


The first-gen wealth creators who struggle to talk to their kids about money


Every culture has its own version, but in Britain the saying goes: from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. The anecdote about how family money can easily disappear is particularly poignant for entrepreneurs trying to navigate whether, or how, to pass along their wealth to their children.

Compared to the institutionally wealthy, who may see themselves as custodians of family wealth, entrepreneurs or first-generation wealth creators can have a more difficult time talking to the next generation about money.

Read full article >>


Email Copy Link


Tech stocks poised for a comeback, says equity manager


Technology stocks, which have fallen sharply in recent weeks on heightened regulatory scrutiny and ongoing trade tensions, are poised for a recovery, according to Gerrit Smit, head of equity at international family office Stonehage Fleming.

Despite rallying 2.7% on Tuesday after US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said the central bank could cut rates, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite remained 7.8% down from its close on May 3.

Tech stocks — including JSE-heavyweight Naspers and its Chinese associate, Tencent — have been on the back foot for weeks amid trade disputes between the US and other major economies.

Tencent has slipped 14.6% since May 3, while Naspers has declined about 9%, propped up by the weaker rand and plans to list its international internet assets in Europe. Naspers’s decline has dented the JSE, given its hefty weighting in local indices.

The tech sell-off intensified on Monday after US authorities signaled their intention to curb the size and power of sector giants.

“The anti-trust probes will affect only some businesses to some extent, and it may take very long before that happens,” said Smit. “In those cases, valuations already reflect some of those risks.”

Read full article >>


Email Copy Link


Stonehage Fleming's flagship fund passes USD1 billion mark


Assets under Management (“AUM”) for the Stonehage Fleming Global Best Ideas Equity Fund (“the Fund”) have passed the USD1bn mark.

Since launching in August 2013, the USD1.03bn Fund has attracted assets from private, professional and institutional investors and has returned 66.7%* over the last five years, compared to the Global Equity peer group average of 30.0 %** and the comparative index return of 40.0%*** (US $ terms).

Fund Manager Gerrit Smit manages a concentrated, high conviction portfolio of 27 high quality businesses that are chosen for their sustainable growth potential, strong management team, strategic competitive edge and value.

Current investments include some of the world’s best-known companies such as Visa, PayPal, Alphabet, Nike, Amazon, Microsoft and Estée Lauder. Technology names now make up 25.5%**** of the Fund, a reflection of the manager’s view that the technology sector will remain a dominant feature of daily life and business in general. It also has a high health care exposure.

Gerrit Smit argues that: “The technology sectors’ contribution towards growing productivity, providing key information to businesses and individuals alike and creating new business opportunities seems to be ever increasing. Many technology businesses are currently benefiting from wide adoption, high business demand, general high profitability, strong cash flow generation and strong balance sheets. Some large technology businesses have become good growing dividend payers, which further supports capital growth. Investors can therefore also consider some of these businesses from an income perspective.”

Commenting on the current market environment, Smit adds: “The combination of stable and constructive leading US economic indicators, continuing moderate economic expansion and earnings growth, low inflation expectations, only moderate interest rate rises and fair valuations has created a proverbial ‘Goldilocks’ investment environment. This ‘dull but constructive’ environment leads to more certainty and lower economic volatility and is more attractive to more investors. Whilst expectations for the level of economic expansion have recently been tempered, the outlook for continuing earnings growth remains on course for quality businesses.”

The Fund had previously been available exclusively to clients of Stonehage Fleming, but has been open to outside investors since 2016. It is now available on eleven platforms across South Africa and the UK.

* Source: Stonehage Fleming Investment Management Ltd (SFIM), for period 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2019 (Class B).

**IA Global $, for period 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2019. Source: Financial Express.

***MSCI World All Country $ TR, for period 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2019. Source: Bloomberg, MSCI.

****Source: Stonehage Fleming Investment Management Ltd (SFIM), to 30 April 2019.


Email Copy Link


Should you invest in Uber?


Gerrit Smit, Head of Equity Management, believes it is worth comparing Uber’s financial fundamentals with those of some of the more established tech stocks.

Read the full Uber IPO >>


Email Copy Link


The first-gen wealth creators who struggle to talk to their kids about money


Every culture has its own version, but in Britain the saying goes: from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. The anecdote about how family money can easily disappear is particularly poignant for entrepreneurs trying to navigate whether, or how, to pass along their wealth to their children.

Compared to the institutionally wealthy, who may see themselves as custodians of family wealth, entrepreneurs or first-generation wealth creators can have a more difficult time talking to the next generation about money.

Read full article >>


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Stonehage Fleming appoints Business Development Officer

09 May 2019


Stonehage Fleming appoints Business Development Officer


Stonehage Fleming, one of the world’s leading independently owned family offices, announces the appointment of Julie Gauthier as Business Development Officer in Switzerland.

Julie will report to Johan Van Niekerk, Head of Family Office (Neuchatel) and will be a member of the Business Development team, working between all three of Stonehage Fleming’s Swiss offices. She will be responsible for the development and management of relationships with potential clients and introducers of business.

Julie’s role is newly created and effective immediately.

With ten years’ wealth planning and financial service experience, Julie joins Stonehage Fleming from Geneva Management Group (“GMG”), where she was Vice President of Business Development. At GMG she was responsible for client base expansion and new business acquisitions across the globe. During her previous role as Sales Manager, Julie also advised GMG clients on succession planning and asset protection through life insurance structures.

Commenting on the appointment, Johan Van Niekerk said: “We are very pleased to welcome Julie as our newly appointed Business Development Officer. Julie has an impressive career and extensive experience in the development of sales and new business acquisitions.” “Her appointment demonstrates our commitment to further growing and building the business as we continue to strive to lead the industry as a truly international family office.”

Julie Gauthier said: “I am thrilled to join Stonehage Fleming’s Business Development team at such an exciting time in the Group’s development. I look forward to further expanding the Group’s business and client base to widen their integrated expertise further across the globe.”


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Balancing investment return with social responsibility

06 May 2019


Balancing investment return with social responsibility


The results of the latest research report compiled by international family office Stonehage Fleming have revealed a gap between the mind-set and implementation of responsible investing. The Four Pillars of Capital Report: The Next Chapter showed that while over 75% of ultra-high net worth families acknowledged a preference for responsible investment, only 21% are actively incorporating a values-based approach in investment portfolios.

This contrast is likely attributed to a confusion about the wide range of SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) products on offer by asset managers, says Reyneke Van Wyk, Head of Stonehage Flemings’ Investment Division in South Africa. While respondents demonstrated an increasing interest in SRI, which aims to generate specific social or environmental benefits in addition to financial returns, they also confessed that on a practical level it was not as easy in the traditional investment world to do ‘good’ while also generating benchmark-beating returns for investors.

“Historically, investors have primarily been concerned with the end rather than the means, putting portfolio performance as the primary focus,” said Van Wyk. “However, as was highlighted in our Four Pillars of Capital report, this attitude is changing. For many families and private investors, the gap between investor and investment is closing.”

Considering the variety of socially responsible investing philosophies open to todays’ investors, Stonehage Fleming believes that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing marries well with a traditional investment management approach and with the long-term investing approach of UHNW* families.

Read full article >>


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The families giving away their children's inheritance to charity

03 May 2019


The families giving away their children's inheritance to charity



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PBI Germany Awards winners announced

03 May 2019


PBI Germany Awards winners announced


Private Banker International’s Germany Awards were announced on Tuesday at a ceremony in Frankfurt. Stonehage Fleming were delighted to win Outstanding Family Office Proposition in Germany.

These awards are an extension of the well established Private Banker International Global Awards that took place in Singapore last year. These awards are designed to identify leading institutions that are setting new standards in private banking and wealth management in Germany. The shortlist of finalists underwent a rigorous selection process and our independent judging panel chose the awards winners.


Email Copy Link


Stonehage Fleming appoints Business Development Officer


Stonehage Fleming, one of the world’s leading independently owned family offices, announces the appointment of Julie Gauthier as Business Development Officer in Switzerland.

Julie will report to Johan Van Niekerk, Head of Family Office (Neuchatel) and will be a member of the Business Development team, working between all three of Stonehage Fleming’s Swiss offices. She will be responsible for the development and management of relationships with potential clients and introducers of business.

Julie’s role is newly created and effective immediately.

With ten years’ wealth planning and financial service experience, Julie joins Stonehage Fleming from Geneva Management Group (“GMG”), where she was Vice President of Business Development. At GMG she was responsible for client base expansion and new business acquisitions across the globe. During her previous role as Sales Manager, Julie also advised GMG clients on succession planning and asset protection through life insurance structures.

Commenting on the appointment, Johan Van Niekerk said: “We are very pleased to welcome Julie as our newly appointed Business Development Officer. Julie has an impressive career and extensive experience in the development of sales and new business acquisitions.” “Her appointment demonstrates our commitment to further growing and building the business as we continue to strive to lead the industry as a truly international family office.”

Julie Gauthier said: “I am thrilled to join Stonehage Fleming’s Business Development team at such an exciting time in the Group’s development. I look forward to further expanding the Group’s business and client base to widen their integrated expertise further across the globe.”


Email Copy Link


Balancing investment return with social responsibility


The results of the latest research report compiled by international family office Stonehage Fleming have revealed a gap between the mind-set and implementation of responsible investing. The Four Pillars of Capital Report: The Next Chapter showed that while over 75% of ultra-high net worth families acknowledged a preference for responsible investment, only 21% are actively incorporating a values-based approach in investment portfolios.

This contrast is likely attributed to a confusion about the wide range of SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) products on offer by asset managers, says Reyneke Van Wyk, Head of Stonehage Flemings’ Investment Division in South Africa. While respondents demonstrated an increasing interest in SRI, which aims to generate specific social or environmental benefits in addition to financial returns, they also confessed that on a practical level it was not as easy in the traditional investment world to do ‘good’ while also generating benchmark-beating returns for investors.

“Historically, investors have primarily been concerned with the end rather than the means, putting portfolio performance as the primary focus,” said Van Wyk. “However, as was highlighted in our Four Pillars of Capital report, this attitude is changing. For many families and private investors, the gap between investor and investment is closing.”

Considering the variety of socially responsible investing philosophies open to todays’ investors, Stonehage Fleming believes that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing marries well with a traditional investment management approach and with the long-term investing approach of UHNW* families.

Read full article >>


Email Copy Link


The families giving away their children's inheritance to charity



Email Copy Link


PBI Germany Awards winners announced


Private Banker International’s Germany Awards were announced on Tuesday at a ceremony in Frankfurt. Stonehage Fleming were delighted to win Outstanding Family Office Proposition in Germany.

These awards are an extension of the well established Private Banker International Global Awards that took place in Singapore last year. These awards are designed to identify leading institutions that are setting new standards in private banking and wealth management in Germany. The shortlist of finalists underwent a rigorous selection process and our independent judging panel chose the awards winners.


Email Copy Link


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