Operating during lockdown

Practical tips and information

We have implemented various measures to protect our employees and clients. This infographic was developed to share information to assist you, your clients and your practice in these uncertain times.

Implications of the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown

Allan Gray Proprietary Limited has been designated as performing “essential services” and therefore is required to operate during the lockdown. As a result, we will remain operational throughout this period, and you will continue to be able to manage and service your clients’ needs.

We are committed to supporting you during this period

We recognise the importance of being deemed an essential business service and of being available to you, and your clients over this time. We have made significant changes to the way we work to ensure the safety of our staff, clients and the community and to work towards the crucial goal of flattening the curve of the spread of the infection. Most of our staff members are working remotely and only designated staff performing critical functions that cannot be completed remotely for specific reasons, will be working from our offices intermittently.

We encourage you to use digital channels as your first point of contact. Your secure Allan Gray Online account gives you the ability to download various client lists and investment reviews, to generate investment overviews and access your fee statements. Use the digital authorisation functionality, available on your secure adviser site, to submit and track instructions to your clients for digital approval. Our call and email services remain available if you require anything urgent and operations teams will continue to process instructions. As we settle into the changes described, the speed at which we are able to respond to your queries and requests may be impacted. We will be doing regular virtual events such as webinars, or other digital meeting formats to provide you with relevant and important information. This should enable you to remain informed and continue to meet your CPD requirements. We will be in contact regarding the details of these engagements in due course.

Regulatory guidance

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (“FSCA”) has indicated that advisers are not regarded as essential services in terms of requiring exemption from lockdown (exceptions to this are those dealing with critical claims, payment and premium support on behalf of insurers). However, our understanding is that your businesses should remain open to assist customers of financial services in this time of great uncertainty and should be done remotely where possible. For more information, please contact the FSCA.

In addition, in the FSCA Communication 9 of 2020, the following important updates were shared:

The period for submission of certain financial statements in respect of the FAIS Act will be extended by four months.

  • The period for submission of certain financial statements in respect of the FAIS Act will be extended by four months.
  • The submission of the Conduct of Business Returns due by 30 April 2020 will be extended by one month and will now be due by 31 May 2020.The submission of the annual returns, in terms of the Pension Funds Act, for the section 13B Administrators will be extended by three months.
  • All Regulatory Examinations with a deadline for 2020 will be extended to a deadline of 15 December 2020.
  • Class of Business (COB) training deadlines that were due for completion in 2020 will be extended toa deadline of 15 December 2020.
  • The 2019/2020 CPD cycle has been extended by three months to 31 August 2020.
  • The 2020/2021 CPD cycle will be adjusted accordingly and will start on 1 September 2020 and end on 31 May 2021.

Tools to help you stay connected

Here are some ideas to help you interact safely with clients during this time:

Servicing channels

The Allan Gray Digital Authorisation process will facilitate compliant, paperless and secure transacting using an OTP for your client to securely approve the transaction. 87% of transactions submitted are approved within one day, while 30% are approved within 10 minutes. All you need is your Allan Gray secure online account, a valid email address and mobile number for your client. A 5-minute demonstration is available below.

You can submit the following instructions:

  • Additional contributions
  • Scheduled transactions (debit orders and regular withdrawals)
  • Switches
  • Withdrawals
  • Offshore transactions

Meeting solution options

Zoom is an online tool to meet with clients via video

  • A free account gives you unlimited one-on-one meetings and a time limit of 40 minutes for meetings with three or more people
  • Only the host needs a Zoom account
  • Paid account versions are available giving you additional functionality

Sign up for Zoom in 3 easy steps by visiting the Zoom website.

Compliant electronic signature solutions

Where you need a signature in your practice, some of the solutions listed below can facilitate this.

SuiteBox, a company backed by Moonstone Compliance, gives you the ability to meet with clients digitally and sign documents in a fully compliant way. You can request a demo or access this service through the Allan Gray Adviser Services service provider catalogue at R350 per month (ex VAT).

  • SuiteBox is already integrated with the Xplan software, so if you are using the tool, contact Iress for more information.

QuicklySign is a digital signature platform that allows your clients to sign documents anywhere at any time. You can access the service for R385 per month through the Allan Gray Adviser Services service provider catalogue.

Safeguarding your practice from cybercrime

With fewer face-to-face interactions and more communication happening over email and other electronic methods, cybercriminals will be looking to take advantage.

Protect your business by:

  • Verbally confirming any withdrawal requests with your clients, and where possible establish a unique verbal ‘password’ with each client
  • Ensuring that you have the latest anti-virus and firewall software installed, to protect against ransomware and other malware attacks
  • Educating your staff on best practices, like not clicking on suspicious links and websites
  • Using unique passwords across your accounts with different service providers
  • Upgrading your professional indemnity cover to include comprehensive cyber cover
  • Using electronic collection as a preferred payment method, and Allan Gray pre-approved beneficiary banking details when making EFT payments

The financial services, products or investments referred to on this website are not available to persons resident in jurisdictions where their availability or distribution would contravene local laws or regulations and the information on this website is not intended for use by these persons. This website is for information only and does not in any way constitute a solicitation or offer by Allan Gray Proprietary Limited or any of its associates or subsidiaries (collectively “Allan Gray”) to buy or sell any financial instruments or to provide any investment advice or service.

By selecting one of the countries below I confirm that I have read and understood the above and that:

(a) I am not a South African citizen; or 
(b) I do not reside in the Republic of South Africa; or 
(c) I am not otherwise a person to whom the communication of the information contained in this website is prohibited by the laws of my home jurisdiction; and 
(d) I am not acting for the benefit of any such persons mentioned in (a),(b) and (c) and 
(e) I confirm that any investment with Allan Gray is based on my own initiative and not due to any offer or solicitation by Allan Gray.


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