In 2017, Damian Gawlowski, a South Africa insurance contractor based in the City of London, uncovered the hidden impact of intermediary fees with the more risk an investor took on
DAVOS, Switzerland, January 25, 2019/ — In the Financial Times’ (www.FT.com) report on Innovation in South Africa today, Aziza Coin (www.Aziza.io) simulates how to beat high fees and shows why “excessive profits in UK fund management industry handicap growth on the African continent.”
In 2017, Damian Gawlowski, a South Africa insurance contractor based in the City of London, uncovered the hidden impact of intermediary fees with the more risk an investor took on. Up to 78% of returns from private equity are consumed by intermediary fees. Gawlowski investigated and found that while this was the case, the underlying equity and bond returns were over 4% rather than the 1% he actually received. Undisclosed fees added, he calculated, made intermediaries consume over three-quarters of the underlying returns generated by the bond portfolio that was ultimately invested in. Gawlowski considered putting his pension into higher risk investments such as private equity funds and as the mutual fund returns resulted in real depreciation of his pension by 1.3% per year after fees. He modelled a dummy private equity portfolio where he calculated that the portfolio would need to make 140% over a typical seven-year period simply to cover the fees and to keep up with inflation. This meant that an (annualised) internal rate of return of 13.3% would be required to simply retain his 2017 buying power by achieving UK inflation of 2.7%. *
The Financial Conduct Authority has expressed concern about the level of fund management profits when it was quoted as saying in a report lambasting the statutorily-protected revenues of the United Kingdom’s £6.9 trillion fund management industry’s’ profit margin of 36%. It found that “firms do not typically compete on price with their retail active funds in the UK [and that] there is some evidence of a negative relationship between net returns and charges.” **
These fees, which the FCA regards as excessive, have real societal costs. As Einstein is alleged to have said, compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe. A pension that appreciates by 13.3% per annum (ie gross returns without the 78% intermediary fees will return 140% in seven years time, whereas with the fees added, an annual return of 2.7% will only appreciate by 20%. These fees have already broken the defined benefit company pensions system and has the potential to cause real poverty in the Western world, where their effect is not well understood by the general population. The fact that the UK financial services PR industry is worth £2 billion per year does not help. Furthermore, if the fund management industry is taking three-quarters of returns, with 40% of funds disappearing upfront, it becomes distinctly more risk averse, as any loss of retail investor capital will invite scrutiny and therefore shed light on the level of their fees.
This risk aversion is manifested in the fact that 0.02% of assets under management or only 8 billion Euros were allocated to startups in 2016. This matters since start-ups create more jobs than the rest of the economy combined. Pre-ICO, Damian invested in the Aziza Project, which seeks to use distributed ledger technology to automate and disintermediate the layers of fund management costs. The Project was careful to avoid the usual pitfalls that have beset other cryptocurrencies:
- From the outset, it avoided the argument as to where it was a security or a utility, by registering under Reg D exemption in the United States as a security token.
- Every buyer and seller of coins has been vetted and subject to the level of KYC required to open a high street bank account as well as being checked as being recorded as a taxpayer.
- It became the first cryptocurrency in the world to integrate its reporting systems with a tax authority when it became a third party data provider to South African Revenue Services (SARS), ensuring that investor gains were reported and taxed as capital gains. 4. It is asset-backed by seven oil and gas concessions in Southern Africa. Aziza Coin offers something Damian could not find anywhere else – low transparent fees where investor fees are limited to 10% upfront with no further fees. Its Ethereum-based smart contract automates the annual fund management function with a mere 800 lines of code. So if the underlying exploration projects deliver the same underlying returns as Damian’s fictitious portfolio – 140% in seven years, his returns after fees will increase from 20% using traditional fund management fee structures to 126% — over six times times the returns.
Aziza Coin offers something that excites Damian more than reducing the fees. He has starting working on Acqumine, which has had discussions with the South African Revenue to internalise commodities taxation into a smart contract and eventually a pan-African commodities exchange that will enable host countries and local communities in the developing world to receive royalties due to them, while giving end customers piece of mind as to the true source of the minerals that make up consumer goods they buy.
Learn more about Aziza Coin at: www.Aziza.io
Based on IFA trail commissions of 3% upfront plus 0.5% per year, pension fund fees of 1.o% per year, fund of fund fees of 1% per annum and 10% profits and private equity fees of 2% per annum and 20% of profits on exit. Based on a dummy portfolio of five investments delivering an average of 140% over a seven year period.
Asset Management Market Study – Final Report Market Study – MS15/2.3-June 2017 recommendations 1.9 1.10 and 1.11 page 4 https://bit.ly/2tnjKVw
Note: Aziza Coin is not available for sale.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Financial Times Africa Representative.
KnowBe4 Africa goes continental with Cyber Security Africa
KnowBe4 Africa aims to make access to its cybersecurity awareness training platform easier for African businesses through CS Africa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 21, 2019- KnowBe4 Africa is proud to announce that we are partnering with Cyber Security Africa as our African distributor. KnowBe4 Africa aims to make access to its cybersecurity awareness training platform easier for African businesses through CS Africa and offer a necessary solution to the threat of cybercrime in growing economies.
At the recent World Economic Forum in Cape Town, African business owners flagged cybersecurity as the biggest threat to a successful operation, with 94% of companies in Africa and the Middle East experiencing a cyberattack in the past year.
The distribution agreement between KnowBe4 Africa and Cyber Security Africa will allow for relationship building as well as provide local support on the ground for channel partners and end users. Considering the rapid rate of digital transformation in African countries, it’s vital that employees develop a security culture that will benefit them both personally and professionally.
Cyber Security Africa was the top choice as a continental distributor and has quickly established itself as an industry-leading Value-Added Distributor with a single-minded focus – the mitigation of information security risk for their clients. They focus their attention on niche, generally complex and certainly relevant security solutions that can utilized by organisations of all sizes and sectors. Lead by Martin Britz, Cyber Security Africa prides itself on being small enough to remain agile and large enough to apply a dedicated approach to each client experience.
For this new venture, Martin is assisting in the North and Central African regions. Gayle Britz will serve as the KnowBe4 champion and care for the SADC region. She guides a highly experienced team that includes Femi Ibine in West Africa, Susan Ndungu and Gladys in East Africa along with Andrew Ajuchi in Nigeria. Together, the Cyber Security Africa team will be able to provide support to business in close to 20 countries across the continent.
Cyber Security Africa founder, Martin Britz, believes great things are on the horizon for the fledgling partnership. “What sets us apart from our competitors is our keen understanding of this ever-evolving cybersecurity industry, with all its technologies, innovations, threats and solutions, positions us as “future-proof” to clients, while maintaining availability to attend to their more immediate needs. The offering from KnowBe4 Africa is unique and it’s exciting to be able to offer local training content that will have big benefits for African businesses.”
Transforming security culture
At the heart of this partnership is an authentic desire to empower and protect the greatest assets of any business: its people. Both KnowBe4 Africa and Cyber Security Africa focus on minimizing cyber risk for clients by educating their employees on how to spot threats like phishing, social engineering and training them with general information security practices. This fortifies the clients’ cybersecurity posture, saving them time and money while also drastically reducing the risk of falling prey to a cyberattack.
Anna Collard, managing director of KnowBe4 Africa firmly believes in securing a human firewall and creating a culture of security awareness in the digital age. “The human factor has become very important to the security of the organisation. People need to understand that if they use technology, they have to be cognisant of the risks. Organisations can support this understanding by investing in training that’s relevant, targeted and memorable. Training that can sustainably transform the company’s security culture.”
Whether it’s an SME, a healthcare institution or even a manufacturing business, there’s no doubt that all organisations will come to understand the importance of security awareness training. We certainly know that Africa is ready to make smarter security decisions, every day.
The Africa Digital Entrepreneurship Event Live in Johannesburg
The main challenge entrepreneurs are facing in Africa is not the lack of great ideas but the fear of turning ideas into reality. With unemployment in South Africa at an all time high, more and more people are trying to make their own way in the economy.
The Africa Digital Entrepreneurship events are about turning dreams into action. The series of events aims to enable digital entrepreneurship and the upcoming ‘Bitcoin Nights’ meet-up in Johannesburg on Thursday, 24 October at The Business Exchange Morningside, 150 Rivonia Road is a must-attend event for anyone interested in the digital assets space.
Business networking is the fast track to success and event sponsors such as Zcoin and OVEX believe that entrepreneurship is the way forward for South Africans. Jonathan Ovadia, Co-Founder and CEO at OVEX, a company helping to create an open, trustless and more efficient financial system says “the vision is to break down the barriers that prevent people from entering the traditional financial system. We believe that wealth-creating investment opportunities shouldn’t only be accessible to the wealthy, but should be available to all.”
The event is facilitated by the United Africa Blockchain Association (UABA), a non-profit leading blockchain education and adoption in sub-Saharan Africa. With the help of sponsors, The Africa Digital Entrepreneurship Series’ goal is to provide relevant content on business and technology that helps people learn and grow professionally and personally.
The meet-ups provide a conducive environment for networking and ideas exchange, and attendees can look forward to free drinks, giveaways and prizes. Other sponsors include Divi, which makes it possible for anyone to participate in securing blockchains through their one-click masternodes, challenging the notion that you need technical expertise to participate in the blockchain ecosystem.
Centbee, a digital wallet company that believes in the power of people to create an abundant future and æternity, a new blockchain technology, designed to deliver efficiency, transparent governance and global scalability are also part of the sponsors who see huge potential in Africa and are actively championing the digital asset revolution.
The theme of the Johannesburg event focuses on the Digital Asset Economy and anyone interested in tech is welcome to attend FREE of charge and benefit from the networking opportunity and inspiring discussions. Speakers will include Adi Kaimowitz, President and CEO of Virtual Actuary, Maushami Chetty of Novate Legal; Mpho Dagada – Commisioner, 4th Industrial Revolution at the SA Presidency; and Yaliwe Soko, Chairperson at UABA.
The event aims to inspire participants to increase their appetite for entrepreneurship and get more knowledgeable about the growing trend in digital assets. Africa is a market ready to adopt new technology but lack of emphasis on digital entrepreneurship opportunities in Africa might result in missed economic opportunities for the next generation. “It’s important to encourage the youth to explore the option of entrepreneurship as a career path instead of waiting for employment opportunities which may never be available to them.
Initiatives such as the Africa Digital Entrepreneurship Series focus on creating awareness and demystifying what it means to run a digital enterprise,” said Heath Muchena, Founder of Proudly Associated, a company working with companies developing blockchain-powered technologies that have use cases focusing on emerging economy development to gain adoption across the continent.
Whether you’re a student, professional or fledgling entrepreneur, this event will provide valuable insights and an opportunity to learn, grow, network and be inspired all in one. The meet-up will be a relaxed, no-suits-or-ties sort of event so expect to learn and be entertained.
“The Africa Digital Entrepreneurship Series connects up-and-coming entrepreneurs in all fields. It’s a fantastic way for those interested in tech and online businesses to build a solid support network,” said Grey Jabesi, host of the Grey Ave Podcast, Africa’s top rated podcast which focuses on survival skills for the 21st century.
By attending this FREE event, attendees will:
- Learn about new frontiers in digital innovation
- Find out how to leverage technology to broaden participation in the global digital economy
- Boost digital asset knowledge including digital asset acquisition and management
- Learn how to build a fully remote business
- Discover mentorship opportunities
- Interact with other entrepreneurs and build business networks
- Meet like-minded innovators and go-getters
- Be empowered!
Admission: FREE (Limited space so make sure you get there early.)
Date: Thursday, 24 October, 2019
Location: The Business Exchange,Block 4, 150 Rivonia Road, Morningside, Sandton, 2057 Johannesburg.
If you want to sponsor this event or for more information, contact:
Internet of Things (IoT): Kaspersky detects more than 100 million attacks on smart devices in H1 2019
Dan Demeter – Kaspersky (Image: Kaspersky)
This figure is around nine times more than the number found in H1 2018, when only around 12 million attacks were spotted originating from 69,000 IP addresses
LAGOS, Nigeria, October 16, 2019- Kaspersky honeypots networks of virtual copies of various internet connected devices and applications have detected 105 million attacks on IoT devices coming from 276,000 unique IP addresses in the first six months of the year. This figure is around nine times more than the number found in H1 2018, when only around 12 million attacks were spotted originating from 69,000 IP addresses. Capitalising on weak security of IoT products, cybercriminals are intensifying their attempts to create and monetise IoT botnets. This and other findings are a part of the ‘IoT: a malware story’ report on honeypot activity in H1 2019.
Cyberattacks on IoT devices are booming, as even though more and more people and organisations are purchasing ‘smart’ (network-connected and interactive) devices, such as routers or DVR security cameras, not everybody considers them worth protecting. Cybercriminals, however, are seeing more and more financial opportunities in exploiting such gadgets. They use networks of infected smart devices to conduct DDoS attacks or as a proxy for other types of malicious actions. To learn more about how such attacks work and how to prevent them, Kaspersky experts set up honeypots – decoy devices used to attract the attention of cybercriminals and analyse their activities.
Based on data analysis collected from honeypots, attacks on IoT devices are usually not sophisticated, but stealth-like, as users might not even notice their devices are being exploited. The malware family behind 39% of attacks – Mirai – is capable of using exploits, meaning that these botnets can slip through old, unpatched vulnerabilities to the device and control it. Another technique is password brute-forcing, which is the chosen method of the second most widespread malware family in the list – Nyadrop. Nyadrop was seen in 38.57% of attacks and often serves as a Mirai downloader. This family has been trending as one of the most active threats for a couple of years now. The third most common botnet threatening smart devices – Gafgyt with 2.12% – also uses brute-forcing.
In addition, the researchers were able to locate the regions that became sources of infection most often in H1 2019. These are China, with 30% of all attacks taking place in this country, Brazil saw 19% and this is followed by Egypt (12%). A year ago, in H1 2018 the situation was different, with Brazil leading with 28%, China being second with 14% and Japan following with 11%.
“As people become more and more surrounded by smart devices, we are witnessing how IoT attacks are intensifying. Judging by the enlarged number of attacks and criminals’ persistency, we can say that IoT is a fruitful area for attackers that use even the most primitive methods, like guessing password and login combinations. This is much easier than most people think: the most common combinations by far are usually “support/support”, followed by “admin/admin”, “default/default”. It’s quite easy to change the default password, so we urge everyone to take this simple step towards securing your smart devices” – said Dan Demeter, security researcher at Kaspersky.
To keep your devices safe, Kaspersky recommends users:
- Install updates for the firmware you use as soon as possible. Once a vulnerability is found, it can be fixed through patches within updates.
- Always change preinstalled passwords. Use complicated passwords that include both capital and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols if it’s possible.
- Reboot a device as soon as you think it’s acting strangely. It might help get rid of existing malware, but this doesn’t reduce the risk of getting another infection.
- Keep access to IoT devices restricted by a local VPN, allowing you to access them from your “home” network, instead of publicly exposing them on the internet.
Kaspersky recommends companies to take the following measures:
- Use threat data feeds to block network connections originating from malicious network addresses detected by security researchers.
- Make sure all devices software is up to date. Unpatched devices should be kept in a separate network inaccessible by unauthorised users.
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