Dear Clients, Partners and Friends
As we approach our 25th anniversary in business, I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on what has been achieved by some superb people over this period of time. It has always been a belief of the AMA group to focus on the future and the positive developments that the next month, year or decade will bring, but at this time, it is difficult not to look back and enjoy the achievements of the company over the past 25 years.
Joint founder, Austen Hempstead, and I had no intentions of building a global business. We simply wanted to take on clients who were interested in their own finances and had some control over their investments, clients who had a real interest in building their wealth and security with a company that put their interests first.
Austen Morris Associates Global opened its first office in the World Trade Centre in Dubai. The year was 1994 and there were just 3 of us: Austen, Austen’s wife Janet, one of the most motivated and driven ladies I have ever met, and me. Over the next 5 years we recruited some fantastic consultants and we conducted business in Tehran, Azerbaijan, Doha and of course within the Emirates.
In 1996 Austen Morris Associates Global expanded its operations to Asia with a presence in Singapore and Thailand. In 1998 Austen suggested that China was the “sleeping giant”, so we opened our first office in Shanghai. Over the following 8 years, 4 further offices were opened across China in Beijing, Shenzhen, Pudong and Suzhou with representation in Ningbo, Hangzhou and Hong Kong. During this time we also expanded our reach into Southeast Asia, opening offices in Vietnam and the Philippines.
Austen Morris Associates Africa opened in 2013 with key people moving from other countries and regions to head up and build the foundations of the business that is there today.
As a company we now manage over 7,000 clients spread over 52 countries. The company is headed up by 1 Associate Partner, 2 Partners, 3 Senior partners and Mr. James Colclough, the Managing Senior Partner. There is also a raft of key people that have been with the company for well over a decade that allows Austen Morris Associates Global to function at the highest level and give the advice and service that all our clients have become accustomed to and deserve.
2018 was a very interesting year for Austen Morris Associates Global with our Shanghai office moving to new modern premises after being located in the Guangdong Development Bank Tower for 18 years. This move has allowed the office to take advantage of a fully updated and modern work environment, whilst utilizing the latest technology and equipment in order to serve our clients further.
As you would expect with an office that has been established for nearly two decades, Shanghai has had a record-breaking year, which has been driven mainly by Senior Partners Mr. Jon Holand and Mr. William Coppin, with support from their fantastic direct teams.
Our Manila office has also been relocated to new premises where we are now fully focusing on our healthcare business and expanding its coverage across Asia. The healthcare division has been in existence for more than a decade, servicing countless clients that require this very important aspect of security and family planning. Due to the political issues in this region it has become very apparent that expatriates are simply not taking postings there anymore, that many have left over the past 24 months or are leaving imminently. It is difficult to envisage when this situation will change due to the current political structures in place. With this in mind, we will continue to service our client base in the Philippines to the highest standards and will continue to focus on the insurance and healthcare business.
Over the past 24 months Austen Morris Associates Africa, have been focusing huge resources on building its offices and further strengthening its infrastructure. The office is headed up by Director, Mr. Philip Morris and Partner, Mr. Ian Edwards, who manages a fully qualified support team, where there is now more than 50 staff members with 15 qualified professional financial consultants.
Also 4 years ago Austen Morris Associates Africa purchased a healthcare company and were lucky enough to retain the services of its owner, Mr. Westley Van Rooijen. This department of Austen Morris Associates Africa has gone from strength to strength under the guidance of Westley. We are pleased to announce that a further large corporate company employee benefits scheme of approximately 3000 people has moved over to Austen Morris Associates Africa. Westley designed a specific benefits employee package that undercut the average market price, whilst also giving further benefits than what had existed before. This department is a key part of Austen Morris Associates Africa and we are very proud that we were able to bring this product to market to benefit thousands of local people.
As I have written many times before, Austen Morris Associates Global only focuses on recruiting the top 20% of the people within the financial services sector. Apart from the many recruits that have been recruited across the global company through our Global Recruitment Manager, Ms. Anu Aggarwal, we were exceptionally pleased to welcome Associate Partner Mr. David Morgan, along with Jayson Smal, Leith Anticevich, Chad Goddard and a seasoned Manager, Mr. Jonathan Nelson, who have brought a wealth of experience with them into the Austen Morris Associates Africa offices.
As with any company, it is always a challenge to stay ahead of the ever-changing systems and technology that are constantly being introduced into the market. Managing this process is complicated, and a very hands-on position. Special thanks must go to Kelly Olver, who has been with us for over 12 years and diligently heads up this department.
I am very proud to announce that by the end of the first quarter we will be licensed to conduct business in the United States and Europe, where it is our intention to bring a level of service and return to clients that has not been seen in these regions for a long time. We will be focusing on reviewing the tens of thousands of pension investment clients that would like a fresh approach to their portfolio management, utilizing a fully licensed company with a 25 year pedigree, that has qualified consultants to guide then toward the best retirement provisions they could possibly have.
2018 was the most productive and profitable year that Austen Morris Global has seen for the past 4 years, and I thank not just all the people mentioned in this New Year Message, but each and every person that has contributed to the success of the company over the years.
2019 is already shaping up to be a very interesting year, taking into account the market conditions, well needed new financial regulations, and above all else, I believe, the reduction of off-shore financial services companies with mergers and buy-outs instigated by the larger players. All in all, a very exciting year lies ahead for the industry as a whole.
Finally, as always, a huge thank you to all of our clients that continue to support Austen Morris Associates Global year after year and trust us with their financial investments and portfolio guidance. I personally look forward to meeting many of you at the different global “Private Client Dinners” and events that we will hold in 2019 and beyond.