Our business was established in 1996 as a direct response to requests from law firm clients who wanted truly independent and transparent advice to guide them in making investment and assurance decisions. The local industry at that time lacked regulations enforcing best practice and full cost disclosure.
We began by examining the rules and regulations applicable to independent financial advisors in developed countries and modelled our business on these, recognising that similar laws would eventually come to South Africa. The essence of these rules is that clients should be placed in a position where they: –
* are offered a choice of solutions [not simply a particular company’s “flavour of the month” from its own stable];
* can make informed decisions [understand the risks and product features]; and
* know what costs, fees, charges or commissions are payable by and to whom.
We realised that independence was the key factor in maintaining the high levels of integrity required to properly respond to client needs.
The directors of Venn Nemeth & Hart Inc, attorneys of Pietermaritzburg, founded the business in 1996 in order to add value and breadth to the range of legal services already offered by them to their clients. While Finlaw remains associated with its founding law firm, it is today independent and separately owned under a management buyout concluded some years ago. This has further advanced the independence of our business where a client’s existing relationships with other legal service providers are fully respected and maintained.
We recognise and value the contributions made to our business over the years since our inception by both clients and staff members alike, without whom we would not be where we are today.