One month after the initial easing in foreign exchange controls in South Africa in June 1997, David Bamber launched Investing Abroad in London, UK as a service to provide information on foreign markets and asset classes for the South African IFA industry.
The main aim was not to encourage South Africans to take their money out of the country but rather to provide information to those that wanted to take advantage of the new dispensation in order to spread the risk of their savings in international terms.
In the beginning it was a “free for all” without many local regulations to protect local foreign investors.
By the end of 1998, the Financial Services Board in South Africa had introduced sweeping regulations in order to put the local offshore industry on a sounder footing.
In February 1999, the London operation was moved to Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa under the company name Offshore News Corporation (Pty) Ltd but retained the trading name, Investing Abroad.
As a natural extension to its operations, Investing Abroad entered into a joint relationship with Andre Fouche who had wide experience working in the financial service industry and running of money shows in Hong Kong and Brussels in order to launch the Investing Abroad Convention in 2001.
Initially, this Convention took place only in Johannesburg. Following representations from asset managers to include Cape Town, the Convention alternated for a number of years between the two cities.
In 2007, the asset management industry requested that the Convention be hosted in both centres in the same week every year, which has been happening ever since.