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20 Oct 2011

FOORD TURNS 30

This month Foord celebrates a major milestone – our thirty year anniversary.  The company was founded in October 1981 by a 28-year-old Dave Foord together with Liston Meintjes.  Both known for calling a spade a spade, they named the company simply Foord & Meintjes.

At the time, the investments industry was dominated by the large life offices, with few exceptions.  Dave and Liston had a dream to offer a premium investment management service to investors at a fair and transparent price.

A unit trust license at the time was inaccessible to investment managers outside of the banking groups.  Foord & Meintjes therefore opened for business by soliciting clients with personal portfolios of R20,000 and up (worth approximately R290,000 in the cost of money today).

Of course, Dave and Liston were not alone in the business.  The very first employee was Loretta Macleod at reception – a position she still holds today.  Loretta recalls walking into a small office devoid of any furniture in Market House in the Cape Town CBD.  Client #1 was Liston’s mother while Client #2 is still a Foord client to this day!

In January 1984 Foord won its first institutional mandate – a pension fund portfolio which kicked off a 27-year investment track record for Foord in the retirement fund space.  This performance track record remains unrivalled in South Africa for performance generated under the leadership of a single chief investment officer.

Other milestones during Foord’s history were the opening of Foord Asset Management (Guernsey) and the Foord International Trust after the relaxation of exchange controls in 1997 and establishment of Foord Unit Trusts in September 2002.

The past thirty years has had its share of ups and downs, setbacks and accomplishments.  The success of Foord Asset Management today is largely attributable to the dedicated efforts of its staff over the years and the loyal support of clients both old and recent.  On behalf of the directors of the firm, I extend a special vote of thanks to past and current staff and to all our many and varied clients.

Paul Cluer

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