by Staff reporter

Committed to the client

Financial planning is all about fostering genuine relationships

Mark MacSymon.png

Private Client Holdings' Mark MacSymon joined the financial planning industry about eight years ago after completing an Honours in Financial Economics and a Master’s in Economics at the University of Stellenbosch. During those years he completed two dissertations; one on “The Economics of Happiness” and the other on “Optimal Asset Allocation”.

“I joined Liberty Life for a short stint during 2009 and 2010 and thereafter joined Private Client Holdings as a wealth manager,” says MacSymon. He became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional in 2011 after completing a post-graduate diploma in financial planning through the University of the Free State and in 2012 followed that up with an advanced post-graduate diploma in financial planning, choosing to focus on estate planning, asset types and investment instruments.

He explains that at Private Client Holdings, the investment philosophy is to be mindful of the people that they serve and is grounded in independent rational thinking, diversification and long-term value creation in order to help clients achieve their investment objectives. Private Client Portfolios, a division of Private Client Holdings, provide both direct share portfolio and multi-manager unit trust fund solutions.

What he enjoys most about being a financial planner, he says, is the genuine client relationships that arise. “It was a very deliberate decision that I made whilst I was studying and that was the choice between a career as an investment analyst or a financial planner. I chose the latter mostly because I believe in the value of long-term relationships and also because I believed I could make a difference to people’s lives using the financial planning profession as a platform for doing so. Secondly, I really enjoy the persistent and ongoing activity of understanding the technical, legislative and market-related components of the different aspects of financial planning.”

While fostering genuine client relationships is important to him, MacSymon explains that it can also be very challenging to share in and absorb some of the stress and emotion that your clients undergo when they experience various life events. “To be a good financial planner it is important to care. It sounds simple but in truth, the best financial planners are typically people who care deeply about the well-being of their clients. So much so that there are some businesses that will only employ financial planners who exhibit caring attributes.

Life happens and clients experience all kinds of transitions and life events, from death and divorce to retrenchment and business failure, and as a financial planner it is crucial to master the softer skills that serve to provide stability, certainty and rational thinking during particularly difficult times.” MacSymon was shortlisted as a finalist for the FPI Financial Planner of the Year Competition as he is one of three finalists who achieved the highest aggregate score of the first two rounds, which involves submitting a financial plan for an actual client and allowing various industry specialists to perform a due-diligence on the business. He says, however, that making the final three is more than just a scorecard achievement. “I think being shortlisted as a finalist for the Financial Planner of the Year Competition is testimony in part to the unique value proposition provided by Private Client Holdings and the professionalism of the team that supports its overarching vision—to take pleasure and pride in nurturing wealth for our private clients and their families. The financial planning experience that our clients receive is without doubt a world class service, administered by a team of professionals and like-minded people, whose mission to nurture the wealth of our private clients and their families is at the core of everything we do at Private Client Holdings.

This recognition by the Financial Planning Institute of South Africa is further evidence of our commitment to the financial well-being of the clients whom we serve.”

Mark MacSymon is a finalist in the FPI Financial Planner of the Year Competition.

Private Client Holdings' Mark MacSymon joined the financial planning industry about eight years ago after completing an Honours in Financial Economics and a Master’s in Economics at the University of Stellenbosch. During those years he completed two dissertations; one on “The Economics of Happiness” and the other on “Optimal Asset Allocation”.

“I joined Liberty Life for a short stint during 2009 and 2010 and thereafter joined Private Client Holdings as a wealth manager,” says MacSymon. He became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional in 2011 after completing a post-graduate diploma in financial planning through the University of the Free State and in 2012 followed that up with an advanced post-graduate diploma in financial planning, choosing to focus on estate planning, asset types and investment instruments.

He explains that at Private Client Holdings, the investment philosophy is to be mindful of the people that they serve and is grounded in independent rational thinking, diversification and long-term value creation in order to help clients achieve their investment objectives. Private Client Portfolios, a division of Private Client Holdings, provide both direct share portfolio and multi-manager unit trust fund solutions.

What he enjoys most about being a financial planner, he says, is the genuine client relationships that arise. “It was a very deliberate decision that I made whilst I was studying and that was the choice between a career as an investment analyst or a financial planner. I chose the latter mostly because I believe in the value of long-term relationships and also because I believed I could make a difference to people’s lives using the financial planning profession as a platform for doing so. Secondly, I really enjoy the persistent and ongoing activity of understanding the technical, legislative and market-related components of the different aspects of financial planning.”

While fostering genuine client relationships is important to him, MacSymon explains that it can also be very challenging to share in and absorb some of the stress and emotion that your clients undergo when they experience various life events. “To be a good financial planner it is important to care. It sounds simple but in truth, the best financial planners are typically people who care deeply about the well-being of their clients. So much so that there are some businesses that will only employ financial planners who exhibit caring attributes.

Life happens and clients experience all kinds of transitions and life events, from death and divorce to retrenchment and business failure, and as a financial planner it is crucial to master the softer skills that serve to provide stability, certainty and rational thinking during particularly difficult times.” MacSymon was shortlisted as a finalist for the FPI Financial Planner of the Year Competition as he is one of three finalists who achieved the highest aggregate score of the first two rounds, which involves submitting a financial plan for an actual client and allowing various industry specialists to perform a due-diligence on the business. He says, however, that making the final three is more than just a scorecard achievement. “I think being shortlisted as a finalist for the Financial Planner of the Year Competition is testimony in part to the unique value proposition provided by Private Client Holdings and the professionalism of the team that supports its overarching vision—to take pleasure and pride in nurturing wealth for our private clients and their families. The financial planning experience that our clients receive is without doubt a world class service, administered by a team of professionals and like-minded people, whose mission to nurture the wealth of our private clients and their families is at the core of everything we do at Private Client Holdings.

This recognition by the Financial Planning Institute of South Africa is further evidence of our commitment to the financial well-being of the clients whom we serve.”

Mark MacSymon is a finalist in the FPI Financial Planner of the Year Competition.

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