Making a positive impact

Blue Chip speaks to Nonhlanhla Nxele, CFP®, founder and CEO of Esteemed Financial Solutions, who has participated in a business development and growth support programme run by the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA).

Nonhlanhla Nxele, CFP®, Founder and CEO, Esteemed Financial Solutions
Nonhlanhla Nxele, CFP®, Founder and CEO, Esteemed Financial Solutions

Please provide a brief career history to this point.

After finishing my degree, I secured a permanent position at Investec Private Bank. Subsequently, I ventured into a financial advisor role at Liberty to accumulate experience. Later, I joined Investec Asset Management, now known as Ninety-One, and then returned to Liberty as an employee financial advisor. Eventually, I transitioned to entrepreneurship and established my own business.

What inspired you to become a financial planner?

My journey into financial planning began at a young age when I played the role of the minister of finance within my family. My mother entrusted me with overseeing her savings and sought my advice on various financial matters. This early responsibility sparked my interest in understanding and navigating the details of managing money. Witnessing the impact of informed financial decisions on my family’s well-being inspired me to pursue a career as a financial planner. I am motivated by the opportunity to help others achieve financial security and make informed choices to shape their financial futures positively.

What prompts clients to come to you? Do you have a niche or distinctive value offering?

Clients are drawn to our services for several reasons. Firstly, the appeal lies in the convenience of having all their financial needs addressed in one place. Our one-stop solution eliminates the need for clients to navigate through multiple service providers. This streamlined approach saves them time and effort.

Secondly, clients seek us for the peace of mind that comes with knowing their entire portfolio is managed cohesively. Our comprehensive financial planning ensures that every aspect of their financial situation is considered, reducing the stress of managing various financial components separately.

How would you describe your ideal client?

Our ideal clients value a personalised and strategic approach to financial planning, irrespective of their life stage or financial situation. I aim to assist them in achieving their unique goals, whether it be accumulating wealth, preparing for retirement, managing a business or securing their family’s financial future.

How do you charge for your services?

Consultation and implementation fees.

What role does technology play in your practice?

Technology plays a vital role in our practice, serving as a cornerstone for our processes and contributing significantly to their seamless execution. Our reliance on advanced tools and technologies enables us to stay ahead in our industry, providing efficient solutions and maintaining a high standard of service for our clients.

What do you enjoy most about being a financial planner?

The opportunity to make a positive impact on individuals’ lives. I enjoy working closely with clients to understand their unique financial goals and challenges. Crafting personalised financial plans that align with their aspirations and witnessing tangible improvements in their financial well-being brings me great satisfaction. Building strong relationships with clients and being a trusted partner on their financial journey is another aspect of the job I value.

What is the biggest change you have seen in financial planning during your career?

The technological transformation has improved the speed and accuracy of financial planning and enhanced accessibility for clients. Online portals and mobile apps now empower individuals to monitor their financial portfolios in real time, fostering a more collaborative and transparent advisor-client relationship. While the human element remains crucial in understanding the aspects of individual financial situations, the incorporation of technology has undeniably reshaped and elevated the financial planning profession.

What advice would you give a young graduate considering entering the profession?

This profession can be rewarding therefore it requires dedication, continuous learning and effective communication skills. You need to grow or have a strong professional network that will be the foundation of building your career.

What’s your wish for the future of the FP profession?

The industry needs to start creating case studies or content that speak to the black community so they can relate to this financial planning process we keep telling them about.

ASISA IFA Practice Management Programme

You have completed the ASISA IFA Practice Management Programme. How did you benefit from the programme?

The programme has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to streamline our practice management, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness. The support provided by experienced coaches has been invaluable in guiding us through these practices. I have learned to leverage various tools and strategies to optimise day-to-day operations, ultimately contributing to the success of our business.

What advice would you give to other financial planners considering this programme?

They must embrace this opportunity to enhance their proficiency in practice management, as it forms the foundation for a thriving business. The programme offers valuable insights into client relationship management, compliance, governance and operational efficiency. Take advantage of networking opportunities provided by the programme. Building connections with peers, mentors and industry experts can significantly contribute to your growth as a financial planner or business owner. It is a valuable investment in your professional development. 

The ASISA IFA Programme is designed to invest in the strategic growth and development of selected black-owned IFAs in order to equip their businesses with practical practice management toolkits, skills and knowledge. The main programme sponsors are: Coronation Asset Managers, M&G Investments, Allan Gray and Ninety One.

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