In late 2000 whilst a director in the Allan Gray investment firm, company founder Hilton Davies began to think about investing in physical gold for his own account, not as an alternative to shares but as a currency decision for cash.
Late in 2001 the Rand commenced a precipitous decline. Gold performed spectacularly in Rand, but it was Hilton’s opinion that the Rand collapse had caused gold to become an unattractive proposition. A recovery in the Rand was needed and this took a couple of years to accomplish.
Hilton meanwhile had moved on and was running asset management and unit trust businesses in the AMB and Foord groups.
By 2003 Hilton had become convinced of the benefits of holding cash denominated in gold and was by this time convinced that gold was in a generational bull trend. At the time though, his primary interest was in the local stock market as he was exceedingly bullish on shares and remained so for a few years more. (As recently as 3 December 2005 Hilton was quoted in the Financial Mail as saying “we are very bullish on equity. The market is not discounting the positive impact the economy’s strength and low inflation will have on earnings growth.”)
In March of 2003 Hilton had his first exploratory discussions with the executives of Rand Refinery Limited.
In 2005 SA Bullion Fund Mangement (Pty) Ltd was incorporated as an investment management business focused exclusively on providing gold bullion investment services to the investing public. The necessary license was procured from the Financial Services Board.
In 2007 pivotal agreements were concluded with Rand Refinery Limited and the South African Reserve Bank.
In 2008 SA Bullion Fund Management (Pty) Ltd took on its first clients.
Late in 2008 the company entered into a third-party arrangement with a new technology-driven firm that would perform marketing and administration targeting the high-volume Direct Client and Financial Advisor markets. Aurum Gold Investor Services (Pty) Ltd quickly proved itself as a high-quality client and financial advisor platform.
Following a six-month trial period, transacting approximately R10 million, the owner-managers of the two firms agreed the terms of a merger. In 2009 Aurum Gold Investor Services became SA Bullion Investor Services (Pty) Ltd, a group division dedicated to serving private client and financial advisor business. SA Bullion Management (Pty) Ltd dropped the word “Fund” from its name.
SA Bullion Management (Pty) Ltd performs a full-service for
institutional or “wholesale” business as well as the gold-investing
functions for all products offered in the SA Bullion Investor Services
division. SA Bullion Investor Services provides marketing and
administration to direct clients and financial advisors.