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Royal Fidelity Returnee Praises 'Exponential Growth' On Return

A third-time RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank and Trust executive says its business has "grown exponentially" since he was last there, as the institution celebrates its 20th anniversary.

David Slatter, assistant vice-president with responsibility for Royal Fidelity's investment management services, said: "This is my third time with Royal Fidelity. The first time was in 1998 as a securities trader. I rejoined the team in the early 2000s as investment manager of corporate finance, and this time - after ten years of experience in other areas of finance and operations - I am glad to say I have really found my niche.

"It's good to be back in my investment management role with my expanded skill set and experience... Since my return, I see lots of changes including the size of the business; it's grown exponentially. The number of clients has increased, and the assets we have under management have grown from approximately $200m to $700m with assets under administration of over $2bn."

Technology has played a role in Royal Fidelity's strong growth, as clients appreciate being able to check stock prices daily on the website and review their trading portfolios and investment statements online explained the investment banker.

Mr Slatter said the opportunity to invest in international securities was particularly important to Bahamian investors given the extremely low bank deposit rates and the limited other investment opportunities locally.

"I take each client through the various investment options so they can see the investment returns compared to their regular bank savings," he added. "We discuss their goals and objectives and, based on their age and risk tolerance level, I can give them an investment plan which outlines their path toward reaching their goals and objectives.

"A good start is mutual funds or a personal pension plan. Some people are fortunate enough to be in a company pension plan and can look forward to a lump sum at retirement but, even so, it's unlikely it will be enough. So it doesn't hurt to start your own. The beauty of a lump sum at retirement is its further investment options. I can put that money to work earning returns on the principal for someone whilst also setting them up with a monthly income stream."

Mr Slatter added: "RoyalFidelity has been managing international securities portfolios since the early 2000s, and we believe that adding international investments into the standard Bahamian dollar portfolios improves diversification and overall performance.

"So we were particularly excited by the Central Bank's decision to reduce the cost of purchasing investment dollars from 12.5 percent to five percent, and effectively making it easier for a number of investors to take advantage of international investment opportunities.

"To assist our investment management clients in adding international investments into their portfolios we're expanding our services to include Global Invest - through which our clients will gain access to RoyalFidelity's international broker/dealer relationship, including Morgan Stanley, and their highly professional international portfolio management expertise.

"RoyalFidelity will work with the international brokers, and assist investors to make their investment decisions, recognising their various risk return requirements. Through Global Invest, we will make international investing more accessible to Bahamian investors, including providing a seamless Central Bank approval process."

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