Managing humans, not assets

Humans Under Management South Africa was held as a virtual event for the first time on Tuesday 8 September 2020. Here are some nuggets from the talks by practising advisors.


Hello, I’m Carrie Bendall. I’m one of the organisers of HUMSA along with Rob Macdonald of Fundhouse, Pierre Taljaard of Simple Wealth Financial Planning and HUM founder, practising UK Financial Advisor and Financial Advisor Coach, Andy Hart.

The HUM event is all about turning a money business into a people business, helping clients behave their way to wealth, keeping them disciplined, staying the course and making their dreams a reality. It’s about managing humans, not assets.

Held as a virtual event for the first time on Tuesday 8 September 2020, the agenda was full of short punchy talks delivered by a mix of practising financial advisors and experts. Here are some nuggets from the talks by practising advisors.

“It’s about managing humans, not assets.”

Doing less to achieve wildly more

Andy Hart opened to reveal “The Hidden Magic” of the behavioural financial advisor. Essentially this is “doing less to achieve wildly more”. Investing becomes an exercise of removing the unimportant – research, ratings, predictions, forecasts, annual performance, seeking top-performing funds. Important becomes investing in things which have always worked – a passive global equities fund, and then a long-term perspective replacing headlines with history, nudging up your contributions through all weathers, an informed definition of the real risks, not outliving your money and continually updating your financial plan.

Important includes relieving clients from the stress of watching the N-E-W-S day in day out. An acronym that stands for “negative events world service”. Andy finished on the note, “The financial dark forces peddle the unimportant, we remove it.”

Life planning and its business benefits

Kim Potgieter told the story of how her firm, Chartered Wealth Solutions, built its Financial Planning business around life planning by making it central to their process. Kim emphasised that their role was to help clients get the most life from their money and that Chartered Wealth Solutions did this by having different kinds of conversations with clients.

The first thing they do with every single client is a personality profile to give the advisor an understanding of how clients see the world and then they explore:

  • Where they have come from (history)
  • How they have got here today (values)
  • What they are going through (transitions)
  • Where they are going to (goals and dreams)
  • Relationship with money (what could be stopping them)
Focus on the person, not the problem

Recognising that great client conversations don’t always come naturally to even the best financial advisor, practitioner Warren Ingram, Galileo Capital, was interviewed by Rob Macdonald to explore how developing a coaching way of being is essential for opening up deeper, more fluid conversations with clients.

Warren talked about the importance of listening even when it becomes uncomfortable to keep quiet. He also suggested how easy it can be to start asking different questions; to keep it simple without it seeming like a major shift in style.

IQ + EQ = Real financial planning

Practitioner Scott Frank from Stone Steps Financial in California talked about how he went about creating a simple equation where IQ is the enormous technical knowledge needed to be a financial advisor and EQ is the emotional intelligence needed to bring inspiration and energy to clients to inform their why rather than their what.

Scott shared how he uses the Kinder Institute EVOKE process and when in this process he can use Kinder’s three great questions to achieve a deeper understanding of clients, their lives and their dreams.

Building a black-owned financial planning business

Kagisho Mahura shared the story and evolution of his award-winning firm, Gradidge-Mahura Investments, founded in 2008.

It’s a powerful and moving story of two friends who shared a dream to create a leading private wealth management firm serving the needs of an emerging market of black professionals. Challenges became opportunities and thinking “outside the box” was crucial to achieving the funding they needed.

Putting tech in its place

Tech enthusiast Louis van der Merwe demonstrated how putting tech in its place can be a key driver of a creating and implementing a client’s financial plan. He uses the tool Asset Map collaboratively at a first planning meeting to help bring a client on board faster. It’s a way of demonstrating immediate value as a guide that helps the client build their full financial picture in a simple format. It also leads to clients wanting to keep on adding to their picture as their circumstances change.

Andy Hart, Founder, Humans Under Management

All were great inspirational talks about how to see beyond the money to the human need.

The event was supported by six sponsors who support the independent ethos of the conference as “by advisors, for advisors”. The sponsors were: Allan Gray, Old Mutual Wealth, Prudential Investment Managers, Coreshares, Coronation and Ninety One. 

If you couldn’t attend the event live and would like to purchase access to a recording of all the conference presentations, please send an email to