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Cogence brings BlackRock to South Africa - A relationship that gives SA financial advisers access to the global investment universe

Press release -

Cogence brings BlackRock to South Africa - A relationship that gives SA financial advisers access to the global investment universe

Johannesburg 22 March 2023: Discovery Chief Executive Adrian Gore hosted BlackRock's EMEA Head, Stephen Cohen, in a virtual examination of the current state of markets, the importance of innovation and the principles underscoring the phenomenal growth of Discovery and BlackRock. The success of these organisations prefaced a discussion on how BlackRock’s expertise in global investment and Aladdin Wealth™, BlackRock’s risk management technology, is being made available to South African financial advisers and their clients, through Cogence.

Built through a powerful relationship with Discovery, BlackRock, and RisCura, “Cogence offers South African advisers atruly global discretionary fund manager (DFM), fully supported by BlackRock’s world-leading global research and strategic asset allocation ability, and uniquely augmented by Discovery’s understanding of behavioural risk,” said Gore.

While some local DFMs have a global footprint, none have previously had full global reach. Cogence achieves this by pairing BlackRock's deep global markets ability with BlackRock Solutions' Aladdin Wealth™ industry-leading investment and risk management technology platform.

BlackRock has approximately $8.6 trillion in assets under management and is known globally as a leading asset manager, both in terms of its technology and innovation as well as for providing its clients choice across the full suite of investment solutions.

Current market restlessness, including the recent run on some banks in the United States, “illustrates the value of BlackRock’s a deep global investment and risk capability in navigating opportunity in a complex global risk landscape,” observed Gore. More generally, what were considered the top five risks facing the global economy two years ago, are no longer the top five today. “Nothing is better proof of this than the war in Ukraine, COVID-19 and the geopolitical tensions between the West and China,” added Gore.

The deepening complexity of global markets along with the increasingly unpredictable nature of contemporary investment risk was the rationale behind the launch of Cogence.

“Clients are taking a step back and reassessing what is this macro geopolitical environment we find ourselves in and assessing what is it going to mean for portfolios,” said Stephen Cohen, Head of BlackRock EMEA. “It’s not just about incorporating new risks into that assessment but it’s also about looking for new opportunities. This search for new opportunities is a theme at the centre of BlackRock’s conversations with Discovery over the years and most recently as part of the launch of Cogence. This pairing of BlackRock’s global insights and risk technology with behavioural data is incredibly exciting and different.”

Since it is important to be close to your clients, especially during volatility, BlackRock’s Aladdin Wealth™ management platform plays a critical function, enabling deeper conversations between independent financial advisers and their clients. Also, as the only asset manager with access to Vitality’s behavioural data, “Cogence enjoys a unique ability to provide independent financial advisers the power to blend South African client asset, risk, and behavioural data in the creation of globally-optimised integrated, personalised investment solutions,” said Gore.

Furthermore, by partnering with RisCura, a leading multi-manager with extensive domestic manager reach, Cogence blends global best practice asset allocation supported by state-of-the-art personalised behavioural modelling with local best practice fund management.

The stand-alone construction of Cogence means that it can be deployed as an asset management solution in any context, either as an independent asset manager or as an offering on any other investment managers’ platform.

With everyone from intermediaries, independent financial advisers and even other asset managers able to deploy Cogence and its Aladdin Wealth™ investment and risk management technology, “Cogence is set to give South African advisers and their clients' world-class risk-managed access to the full global investment universe,” concluded Gore.



Discovery information


Cogence (Pty) Ltd - Registration 2009/011658/07. An authorised financial services provider. BlackRock® is a registered trademark of BlackRock, Inc. and its affiliates (“BlackRock”) and is used under license. BlackRock makes no representations or warranties regarding the advisability of investing in any product or the use of any service offered by Cogence (Pty) Ltd. BlackRock has no obligation or liability in connection with the operation, marketing, trading or sale of any product or service offered by Cogence (Pty) Ltd.

BlackRock’s Aladdin Wealth platform is designed for financial professional use only and is not intended for end investor use. Aladdin Wealth is a financial technology and risk analytics platform that is independent of Cogence. Cogence program users undertake sole responsibility and liability for investment or other decisions related to the technology’s calculations and for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The technology should not be viewed or construed by any Cogence program users, or their customers or clients, as providing investment advice or investment recommendations to any parties. This material should not be construed as a representation or guarantee that use of Aladdin Wealth technology will satisfy your legal or regulatory, or tax or accounting, obligations. BlackRock, as provider of the technology, does not assume any responsibility or liability for your compliance with applicable regulations or laws, or tax or accounting obligations. BlackRock may modify or discontinue any functionality or service component described herein at any time without prior advance notice to you.

Portfolios are managed and provided by Cogence and may utilise offshore (non-South African) financial instrument-level asset allocations and separately, allocations in connection to offshore (non-South African) and onshore (South African) asset classes provided by BlackRock. BlackRock has not provided any specific financial instrument-level based allocations in relation to onshore financial instruments and other third party asset-based allocations may have been utilised in respect of any financial instrument-level based allocations relating to onshore financial instruments. BlackRock does not provide any service or product to you and has not considered the suitability of its asset allocations against individual needs, objectives and risk tolerances for investors. As such, BlackRock’s asset allocations do not constitute investment advice or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. BlackRock’s asset allocations may be designed with an aim to outperform certain third-party benchmarks (or utilise a combination of weightings from these but these benchmarks are not used to define asset allocation and these asset allocations are provided with no guarantee that such benchmarks or combinations (as applicable) will be outperformed.

About Cogence

Cogence is a standalone entity within the Discovery Group, operating under a Category II Discretionary Financial Service Provider (FSP) license. Cogence is a discretionary fund manager (DFM) that is the first-of-its-kind given its global reach, underpinned by sophisticated technology, applied locally to the South African investor.

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About Discovery

Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, banking, savings and investment and wellness markets. Since inception in 1992, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-Value insurance model, active in over 35 markets with over 20 million members. The model is exported and scaled through the Global Vitality Network, an alliance of some of the largest insurers across key markets including AIA (Asia), Ping An (China), Generali (Europe), Sumitomo (Japan), John Hancock (US), Manulife (Canada) and Vitality Life & Health (UK, wholly owned). Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as DSY.

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Felicity Hudson

Felicity Hudson

Press contact Head of Reputation Management Discovery Group 0115294514
Nthabiseng Chapeshamano

Nthabiseng Chapeshamano

Press contact Senior Reputation Manager Invest, Cogence, Long & Short Term Insurance, and Sustainability