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Strategic investment with Wealtheon

13 February 2013, NederBelgisch Magazine

“Wealtheon is a fast-growing financial organisation specialising in international financial asset management for high-net-worth individuals and (semi-) institutional clients. We work together with international legal, fiduciary and fiscal service providers in order to be able to offer our clients the best service package possible”. The company presents itself on

Equity weighting

When CEO Victor Zwart introduces the organisation, independence is the first word that he uses to explain how Wealtheon stands out from other companies in the sector. “We invest on behalf of our clients without any external influence. You won’t find investment funds, inhouse funds or hedge funds with us. We only invest in equities, bonds, property, gold, oil and other commodities. It is essential that such investments can be sold on a daily basis. When the strategy changes, we want to be able to move in or out of equities as appropriate”, he states emphatically. “We don’t want to be held back because we would need to cut back our own inhouse fund or because we’d miss out on commissions from third parties. We quite simply receive no commissions from third parties”. Despite the current global crisis Victor Zwart sees some light at the end of the tunnel, particularly in a certain number of segments of the American economy and particularly in its critical housing sector. However, we are also observing a recovery in consumer confidence in the euro zone. “And although the crisis is not yet fully resolved, the measures taken in the interim by decision makers and central banks make it reasonable to suppose that the worst is behind us”, says Zwart. And even though we are also
anticipating a volatile market for equities in 2013, on the basis of our observations and the expectation that the long-term interest rate has passed its lowest point, we increased the equity weighting in the last quarter of 2012 to “overweighted”.

Investment policy

According to Zwart it is not just a question of developing the right vision, but also a matter of reacting and daring to take action. The CEO of Wealtheon emphasizes that all this takes place within a relationship of trust where the risks are discussed and calculated in advance. This is a matter of the utmost importance for Wealtheon. “In order to be able to react fast, our clients give us a discretionary freedom to invest in order to be
able to make sudden changes in portfolios in order to protect them against falling rates of return”. One of Wealtheon’s key principles is that for equities and bonds, the same policy is applied for all clients. Zwart gives an Example: “If we decided to sell, say, Inbev shares, then we do that immediately for all our clients. Using this strategy, since 1 January 2007 we have achieved for our clients a performance 52% ahead of the global stock market index. We also want investments to be managed centrally to protect a client being dependent on the expertise or commitment of one individual relationship manager. This strategy also guarantees continuity. Next to this we avoid the situation where a client of ten years’ standing might be on their seventh relationship manager. Therefore all clients are in direct contact with the management of Wealtheon. Various members of the board in fact also sit on the investment committee, so the board also remains fully involved in investment policy, its implementation in portfolios and relevant communication with the client. That is a vitally important element in maintaining a well-grounded relationship with our clients”.

Lastly, as CEO of Wealtheon Victor Zwart stresses that his organisation is absolutely not a bank. “Each client has an account with one of the banks which serves as a depositary for Wealtheon, including well-known names like Bank Degroof, Société Générale, ING and ABN Amro but also internet banks like Keytrade and Binck Bank. The client does not put any money into an account with us, so nothing can go wrong with the assets, should Wealtheon itself get into difficulty. An additional guarantee, over and above the fact that our organisation is supervised by, inter alia, the Dutch financial markets authority (AFM), the Belgian authority for financial services and markets (FSMA) and the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg”, concludes Zwart. “In the uncertain times of the last few years many investors have earned next to nothing. So they are looking for a solid alternative. Our approach and results mean that we are frequently approached by new clients. We are growing steadily as an organisation as a result, which shows that we are on the right track. In short, from our offices in Belgium and the Netherlands we can offer our clients an exclusive service, by combining full independence with a transparent working method”.

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