Carrick Wealth issues call for advisers as it maps out pan-Africa expansion

Carrick Wealth, a Cape Town, South Africa-based, expat-focused advisory firm founded in 2014 by four already-Africa-based financial advisers, has launched a recruitment drive, as it prepares to expand to as many as 12 more countries on the continent by 2020.

Company executives cite the predicted rapid urbanisation of around a dozen African countries in particular for their determination to push ahead into new markets, many of which aren’t thought to even be on the radar screens of the world’s major multi-national banks and other potential rivals.

By the end of this year, Carrick Wealth development and brand director Kieron McRae says, the company is looking to have hired an additional 30 advisers, bringing the total of its advisory team to around 90 – although he notes that with the planned expansion, “there are no specific limitations on these numbers, and if more were to apply, there are ample opportunities for them within the group”.

“The demographics speak for themselves: Africa’s rapid urbanisation, its young population and its growing labour force makes it a highly-valuable asset in an ageing world,” Carrick’s Zimbabwe-born founder Craig Featherby, pictured above,  told his staff – who now number around 168 in total – at the company’s annual conference in May.

“Half of the continent’s largest economies….have shown a decline in GDP, and thus [have] dragged down the average [recently]. But the other half – which includes Botwswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania and Zimbabwe – have shown an increase in their GDP.

“These countries will experience the fastest urbanisation of any region in the world.

“Now is the time for Carrick…to grasp the potential that lies within reach on our massive continent.”

Featherby ended his speech with a reference to his growth plans for the company as the “Carrick vision for 2020”.

Six offices now

From a single office in Cape Town with just seven employees, including Featherby and his co-founders, Carrick Wealth has grown to six outposts across Africa, three of which are in South Africa.

In addition to the Cape Town headquarters, these include Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa; Harare, Zimbabwe; Port Louis, Mauritius; and Gaborone, Botswana.

A seventh office is planned to open before the end of the year, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Next on the drawing board, according to McRae, is probably Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi.

The company also has regulatory approvals “in the pipeline” to expand into Uganda and the UK, Featherby said, in his address back in May.

Like many other entrepreneurs in the expatriate advisory space, Featherby began his career with the deVere Group, having joined it in 2004 and initially working for it in Japan, before returning to his homeland – Southern Africa – in 2008 to head up its African operations.

In fewer than six years he had helped to grow the business to 14 offices and increase its staff to 220, he has said.

Today Carrick has US$220m in assets under management outside of Africa, and another US150m in AUM in South Africa itself, according to Featherby, who says the company’s selling point to its clients is its transparency, “unbiased” advice and customer-centric approach.

Among Carrick Wealth’s fund-raising causes are such charities as The Lunchbox Fund, Operation Smile South Africa and Signature of Hope Trust, which resulted in its being the title sponsor of what was said to be the first-ever “solo, unassisted transatlantic crossing on a stand-up paddle board” last year, by an athlete named Chris Bertish — a fact which receives some coverage on the company’s website and corporate marketing materials. Bertish began his journey on 6 December 2016 in Morocco, and ended up in Antigua 93 days later.

To read Craig Featherby’s explanation, in his own words, why Carrick “sees a future in the ‘Lions of Africa’”, click here.

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