About Robson Savage | Robson Savage

About Robson Savage

Who and what are we?

We are a retirement fund servicing company formed in April 2000.  We are registered with the Financial Services Board as a retirement fund administrator in terms of the Pension Funds Act, and under the Financial Advisors and Intermediary Services Act.  There are no links between Robson Savage and any other company or entity – all shares are owned by the staff and directors.

Our clients are corporate in nature, usually retirement funds, trustees or companies, or combinations of these.  Our offices are in Richmond, Johannesburg from where we service a range of clients across the whole of South Africa.

What do we do?

Professional fund services are threefold:

  • Fully comprehensive administration of retirement funds.
  • Advice/consulting on all aspects of retirement, death and disability benefits for groups of employed staff, including advice on investments and reinsurances.
  • Actuarial services allied to or arising from the above.

We administer a large number of funds.  Our experience ranges from the smallest of arrangements, with only a couple of members in an umbrella fund, up to independent funds with many thousands of members.  As an additional service arising from our fund work, we are able to provide professional financial planning advice to individual members as and when this is appropriate.

What don't we do?

By choice, services not provided include:

  • Asset management.
  • Underwriting of group life assurance, disability insurance, or any other insurances or risk benefits...

...because it is part of our service to give solid and truly impartial advice and do thorough market testing to assist trustees/clients in the optimum placement of each of these features amongst the universe of providers of such services.

What about experience in the team?

The existing staff complement of over 60 people includes two actuaries, a number of actuarial students and several Financial Planning Institute qualifications in addition to the expected tertiary education qualifications and a wealth of experience.

A variety of external companies provide us with support services in the running of our business, with almost all non-core activities successfully outsourced.

What makes us successful?

Key success factors include:

  • A clear understanding of what it is that the retirement fund customer really wants, and how far short of this most providers in the market are falling.  We subscribe to simple, well thought out processes and methods, designed and run by people who have the experience and ability to get the job done.
  • Total independence. The company is 100% owned by management and staff. Objective advice and service are therefore quite unfettered by shareholder or other pressures.
  • Above-average quality of staff, the depth and strength of skills and experience.  We aim to recruit high-calibre staff who are capable of assuming full responsibility for the delivery of services to their customers.
  • Where appropriate, the principle of unbundling all the components of the benefits programme, optimising value for each one in isolation and reassembling the components into a cohesive whole for easy and cost-effective consumption by employers, trustees and members. (Off-the-shelf packages from a single overall provider are extremely unlikely to deliver best available value for money!)
  • The quality, extent and flexibility of the systems in use (in-house developed), capable of simply and efficiently managing every need that can be imagined for any benefits structure.
  • The absence of any hidden costs and expenses (no "secret profits"!). We practice total disclosure of charging structure components, giving clients confidence in dealing with us
  • Low overhead costs in a lean, efficient organisation.
  • Competitive fees in relation to the top quality professional services provided.

Robson Savage has put itself on the map at a time when many providers are failing to give service at anywhere near the levels needed by customers, and yet are charging ever-greater fees.  We believe the trend to packaged umbrella offerings is a backward step with clients losing sight of their money and the charges they are ultimately incurring.

Our systems

We have state-of-the-art systems, fully owned by the company, developed by highly-talented in-house IT staff in conjunction with the users.  This gives us:

  • A user friendly system that administrators understand and trust.
  • A system that can make fast electronic payments to members.
  • A system that can receive and process data in any format that suits the client.

Directors

  • Neil Savage, Managing Director.  Qualified actuary, with over 30 years’ experience in the industry.  Formerly a senior executive of African Life, executive director of Fulford Brothers Benefit Consultants, and also worked at Swiss Reinsurance and Liberty Life.
  • Paul Robson, Non-executive Director.  Over 35 years’ experience in the industry.  Previous employment includes lengthy periods with Alexander Forbes and Old Mutual both in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
  • John Farrant, Non-executive Director. John is a director of companies, trustee of trusts, and private financial adviser to individuals of high net worth. He is a former partner of Ernst & Young.
  • Richard Schuilenburg, Executive Director. Over 26 years of experience in the industry working on all types of funds. Richard is a Certified Financial Planner® and Fellow of the Financial Planning Institute. 
  • Skye Hartog, Executive Director. Skye has a BSc in Actuarial Science and over 18 years experience in the industry. He currently heads up the retirement fund and company accounting teams.
  • Roxanne Buys, Executive Director. Over 12 years of experience in the industry. Roxy has a BSc in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics and heads the employee benefit consulting team at Robson Savage.