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Marc Bandemer

Marc Bandemer on thinking beyond boundaries

By Marc Bandemer

Chairman of the Board, Integer Wealth Global

Marc Bandemer’s entrepreneurial journey is one that has transcended both geographical and conceptual boundaries. As a born German National, Marc grew up in a South African steel town giving him a technical qualification and a technological background while garnering entrepreneurial experience from creating company turnaround strategies and investment opportunities, Marc became an advisor of foreign investment to the South African government’s foreign investment cluster.

Developing a reputation for his investment advisory aptitude, Marc founded an investment company in 1996 and after several adjustments in branding, relocated the company to the UK in 2015.

Today, the investment arm of Integer Wealth Global has over 540 institutional investors and over 5000 investors globally in total, and the company has expanded into specific industry sector investment, professional financial services, its own property development company as also the group’s own IT company servicing member companies within the group, with Marc as Chairman of the group board of directors.

Marc is also a renowned author and respected leader in his field.

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You’ve just returned from Luxembourg; can you tell us about your work internationally?

We create boutique alternative investment vehicles and funds based on robust risk management principles in five different European jurisdictions: Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, and Gibraltar.

When Britain left the EU, our whole industry sector had no policy for how to operate going forward. When we needed to transfer money to funds in Europe, it was blocked. Everything went wrong, everything stopped.

We moved our head office from the University of Reading to Luxembourg, and I go to Luxembourg every three weeks for a week.

What are your observations of the UK economy and trade as we near one-year post-Brexit?

In the financial sector, many companies like ours have had to move, because legislation is still being thrashed out, and there are still things that we will have to comply with which we don't even know about yet.

I believe that the UK will be fine but it will take 15 years or more for that to happen. It’s a find-out-as-we-go-along approach: seeing what isn't working, identifying a need for change, and then negotiating until something gets done and eventually becomes policy and regulation.

Right now, all I can say and add is that I think it was a terrible mistake for us to leave. Most of the people that said they were pro-Brexit that I know in our industry sector have changed their minds.

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What lessons have you learned in your entrepreneurial journey?

I always say that if I had to write a book about myself, I’d mention all the failures; the failures are where all the wisdom comes from.

I think the biggest lessons are not academic. The biggest lesson is to be kind. The best policy is to be fair and follow a moral compass because you can’t have that fairness without a good moral code.

As a company, as you grow, take the people with you that help you to get there: your clients, service providers, team, and partners.

The more you give, the more you receive, especially in terms of loyalty. The people I have around me are quality people. I love them to bits and I am honoured and humbled to have them work together with me in building this company. The company belongs to all of us, we’re all in this together.

Can you tell us about your work as a writer?

Writing is something I picked up along the way in creating manuals, policies, and procedures for financial intuitions, international government departments, and corporates.

I started out putting ISO (International Organization for Standardization) companies together. It might be the German in me but the writing began with manuals and technical manuals. I think of myself more as a technical writer than an author. I’ve looked at different topics, and I’ve written articles for news, investor portals and magazines within the industry sector including Thomson Reuters and CNN.

I’m writing two other books at the moment. I was very honoured to be invited by the University of Geneva to complete a doctorate, and so I’m using one of those books as part of my thesis.

"I always say that if I had to write a book about myself, I’d mention all the failures; the failures are where all the wisdom comes from."

What’s the most enjoyable thing in life for you?

Riding my motorbikes and flying. I’ve been flying since I was 19 so I’ve been a pilot for most of my life. I’m a Christian and I’ve got a really good relationship with Father God.

I also really enjoy walking, I have an app on my phone and my wife and I go as many times as possible. We find trails in and around the countryside to do our walks. I love it. I love it, this is such a beautiful country.

If you could invite anyone as your guests for dinner, who would they be?

Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi would all be amazing. Not in their young years, when they are older, because that’s where their wisdom lies.

We need to make all the errors and have all the failures to be able to not repeat them later, and advise, direct, and help others learn not to make so many mistakes.

Do you have a proverb that resonates with you?

One of my favourite phrases that I have coined and I say is: prepare, prepare, prepare.

Abraham Lincoln said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” It’s all about preparation, whatever you do in life: prepare. And be good; be good to people.