Innovative Wealth Management

Blue Chip interviews Nevathee Moodley, Director of STK Advisory Connect, a female- and black-owned business that provides a support service to financial planning businesses primarily around the use of technology.

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What inspired you to leave the corporate world to start your own business?

Forty years ago, I started my career in financial planning and realised that the idea of starting my own business would be a captivating concept and would leave a legacy for my family. That’s when I decided it was time for me to leave the corporate world and pursue my passion, by offering support to the financial industry. The journey of building my own business four years later has left me with no regrets in leaving the comfort of the corporate world.

My sincere appreciation and gratitude to my husband Ravi, and children Surushka, Tisha and Keagan, for my inspiration to allow me to follow my dreams and who had believed in me; the mere fact that I have been able to turn my passion into a successful career is greatly down to their continuous encouragement. I get to decide the measures of my success. Whatever limits that exist is my creation.

What is unique about your business and the service you offer? 

STK Advisory Connect came together to build an innovative wealth management company to offer a distinctive business, one built on values and understanding a code of ethics with a focus on people’s needs, innovation and creating meaningful impact.

Our mission is to employ graduates who intend to enter the financial services industry or are considering it as a career, so that they can become accustomed to this environment.

Our belief is that if you get the culture right most of the other aspects such as superior customer service or building a long-term brand or empowering passionate employees and clients will form on its own. We drive efficiencies, manage risk and compliance and achieve client outcomes to enable profitability and reduce costs.

Our mission is to employ graduates who intend to enter the financial services industry or are considering it as a career, so that they can become accustomed to this environment. This forms a platform to apply and extend their knowledge base from tertiary level to that of the real world.

Our vision is sustainable financial strength for all South Africans because in this industry we choose to stand up rather than stand by; deep roots, strong mindset, clear vision and empowering positive growth.

What are the challenges currently facing independent financial planning businesses?

Financial advisors have a myriad challenges facing them in their practices. I believe their biggest challenge is probably moving from commission to fee-based business. In addition,
the other key drivers for improvement are compliance and regulatory requirements. Advanced technology will therefore be a significant enabler.

Businesses need to evolve and to be relevant with the rest of the world in order to be successful.

What is the biggest challenge in providing support to financial planners?

Streamline operations and automation. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in how we work. The biggest challenge to support financial planners, wealth and portfolio managers would be that time is money. Another is the mindset of moving away from spreadsheets and manual processes, to embracing the benefits of improved technology.

Other challenges include:

  • Data management
  • Legacy systems
  • Streamline operations and automation
What has been your biggest challenge as a black-owned business?

The industry that we support has primarily been a male-dominated world. I am assured that we can take our rightful place alongside our male counterparts, understanding fully that we need collaboration and respect for each other. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown once again how countries governed by women have had the lowest statistics, managed in a strategic and proactive way.

Our vision is sustainable financial strength for all South Africans because in this industry we choose to stand up rather than stand by; deep roots, strong mindset, clear vision and empowering positive growth.

Bias, stereotypical thinking and gender inequality are all limitations and have no place if we want to empower, grow, become people of integrity and set the path as role models; become worthy examples for the younger generation.

How do you think technology is going to influence the role of financial planning going forward? 

Technology and innovation will play a key role in the industry, which is rapidly changing. Digital transformation brings a whole new world of opportunities. We have to embrace this age of technology and use it to our fullest advantage especially in terms of understanding trends and competing with global markets.

Technology will have major ramifications on accessibility, information sharing and communication, and we need to continuously use media and technology to become innovative in our applications.

Please share an inspiring message for Women’s Month.

In this month dedicated to women, we as a female-owned and managed enterprise would like to offer these words to encourage you to follow your dreams and aspirations to reach those heights.

Nevathee Moodley, STK Advisory Connect

Know that the challenges that you face can only serve to build you and make you even stronger. Face them with grace and determination. Keep your inner sense of value and integrity close to all decision-making in a “somewhat ruthless and cold” world.

There are many opportunities which await the eager and fearless, if you allow them to be just that – opportunities. See opportunities in everything. Never ever allow anyone to take away your passion, energy and drive or to dim your light.

Shine in all that you endeavour to achieve, without compromise, malice or greed – the very vices which plague our world today.

Always give back, realising that we are all but part of a big puzzle and that the spirit of Ubuntu has to be central in all our greatest achievements.