It is impossible to ignore the profound impact that the COVID-19 pandemic, post-pandemic effects and the war in Ukraine have had on our investments and the world as a whole. These events have brought unprecedented challenges, but they have also highlighted the resilience and adaptability of our team, and the strength of our diverse investment portfolio.
Despite the difficult conditions, our investment portfolio performed well in the past year. Our diversified approach and rigorous risk management strategies assisted to mitigate the effects of market volatility caused by the pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Our team has been able to identify and capitalise on new opportunities, while also carefully monitoring and adjusting our existing investments. Trustco had changed and the group adapted to move forward. I will lean on the wisdom of Sun Tzu’s Art of War to explain better:
“IN THE MIDST OF CHAOS, THERE IS ALSO OPPORTUNITY”
Trustco had a difference of opinion on the accounting treatment of transactions with its regulator, to such an extent that it was widely reported on in the media. Sometimes you can win the small battles but lose the war.
The act of a regulator instructing an independent board to restate its financials in a way that results in an increase in the company’s liability on its balance sheet by NAD 1.5 billion is unfair and unjust. No regulatory authority should have complete autonomy to make such decisions without proper checks and balances in place.
Rest assured that the board has the ability to change direction, to adapt strategy and remain focused on the goal, which is to act in the best interest of its shareholders’ investment value creation. The board has not forgotten nor abdicated its responsibility.
“GREAT RESULTS CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH SMALL FORCES”
I do not think there is anything that can dampen Trustco’s spirit. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the complexity and uncertainty, but by staying focused on the problem, and being solution seekers, we can make a positive impact. We must not lose sight of our goals and values, and we must and will remain committed to finding innovative and effective ways to overcome the obstacles that lie ahead. By remaining positive, focused and solution-oriented, the board and management were able to navigate the challenges Trustco faced and came out stronger on the other side of this reporting period.
“THE GREATEST VICTORY IS THAT WHICH REQUIRES NO BATTLE”
Despite the multiple fronts on which Trustco has battled during the year, the board’s belief in the company and its management never wavered, and this has been a key factor in the company’s ability to not only survive but thrive. The leadership team has always remained steadfast in their conviction that the company will ultimately prevail. This unwavering hope has enabled creative thinking and produced innovative solutions to the problems encountered. It’s this type of innovative thinking that has allowed the company to remain ahead of the curve and continue to grow and succeed in the face of adversity.
“OPPORTUNITIES MULTIPLY AS THEY ARE SEIZED”
Fortune favours the bold. Opportunities are created, but not all are created equal. Some are missed if you do not seize them when they present themselves. Trustco had to make difficult decisions regarding the opportunities in its sight and I believe time will be the judge on the ability of the board and the leadership to grasp these opportunities and to turn them into sustainable wealth.
“A LEADER LEADS BY EXAMPLE, NOT BY FORCE”
Trustco had to operate on two distinct levels during this year. On the one level, it was heads down, do the work, every day, consistently, and therefore I want to thank management and each and every employee. On another level, the team had to focus with resolute determination on achieving the deliverables and keep making sound investment decisions during raging media and publicity storms.
“IN DIFFICULT GROUND, PRESS ON”
I believe that the board of Trustco will be able to conquer and lead on the road to victory for Trustco to create significant and sustainable investment opportunities in the near future.
We would like to extend our gratitude to our stakeholders for their unwavering support and trust. We look forward to coinvesting with you in the future to achieve shared goals in the years to come. I can assure all of you, victory only belongs to the most persevering.
|ADV RAYMOND HEATHCOTE SC (59)
INDEPENDENT, NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR