9 Dec 2021

A note from Stuart Hendler, Managing Partner

Dear valued clients, staff, and colleagues

It’s time to reflect on another year past. After the shock and impact of COVID in 2020, many of us were optimistic that 2021 would be a completely different story, and life as we knew it would make a welcome return. The rollout of vaccines, the recovery of the financial markets and opening of international travel towards the end of 2020 were all the signs that we were on track to put the unprecedented crisis behind us.

Our hopes, however, were quickly crushed in early January 2021 with the start of the 2nd wave and we were back to level 3 and 4 lockdown restrictions. Our vaccine rollout came out of the starting blocks painfully slow, and just when we got it going, we were faced with the need for double vaccinations and booster shots. Our economy stuttered on with some false hope, until the 3rd wave in July and now the 4th wave in December 2021, right about the time when we were expecting a lifeline for, amongst others, the hospitality and restaurant industries. This is whilst having to live with Eskom’s continuing inability to keep our lights on. For the working class, every time we were looking forward to that holiday and time off to refresh and reset, another wave hit us. December 2021 is no different and we once again go into our year-end break with feelings of trepidation and mixed emotions.

It was Victor Frankl’s quote in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” who said that one important choice we as humans have is “to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Looking back on 2021, it’s clear that we at MGI Bass Gordon refused to put any brakes on our plans, continuing with the enormous progress made, and building on the platform created in the previous year. Once again, we chose opportunity over negativity.

Our most significant highlights are the launch of our new website and the introduction of our full-service offerings. Our new look and feel depicts the journey that we, as a firm, have been on for the last 5 years and particularly the last 20 months. Our message emphasises the changes we have made and the ability to adapt and innovate to always deliver on our clients ever changing needs. If we can innovate, we are able to save time and become more efficient. More efficiency then drives more innovation and so the cycle continues. Technology plays a key role in all of this, and we have made huge strides in becoming a full technology partner to our clients and staff.

This year we introduced Xero as our preferred accounting and financial package bringing our clients closer to us in the cloud, thereby always remaining current with them. We launched our internal “Efficiency Project” to fully take advantage of remote working and reduce the pressure in keeping our fees competitive. We opened a Communication Channel for our staff to alleviate personal stress and actively promote wellness and healthier living.

So where to from here? As you can see, we at MGI refused to take our foot off the accelerator and pushed forward at full pace in 2021. I remain confident that, while we still live in a state of flux, we need to keep the momentum going and continually hunt for new opportunities for our clients and for our staff. We remain committed to driving progress through change. With this approach I am cautiously optimistic and believe that the odds of a good outcome are very much in our favour.

Finally, on my reflection of the year, I need to mention the incredible sense of pride in watching how our staff have responded to the changes in our organisation and have responded to the challenges faced in their daily lives. I have witnessed them grow, push themselves out of their comfort zones, and deliver excellent service as a team. Despite not seeing our people in our office regularly and being unable to build those close personal relationships, I feel a tremendous sense of team solidarity and unity. We will continue to commit to our strong corporate culture and value system in our approach to all decisions.

To all our clients and staff – thank you for your support this year! We exist and can plan for our future because of you. Have an incredible break and festive season. I am committed to facing the challenges of 2022 and to continue our journey to a better outcome for all.

Regards

Stuart