VIDEO: Investment banker turned gold broker makes home deliveries
Businessweek profiles investment banker turned gold broker Savneet Singh who at age 29 and at the height of the global financial crisis co-founded a concierge service for gold investors.
Singh’s business Gold Bullion International capitalized on the desire by many investors – not only gold bugs – to keep hard assets in the wake of the crisis.
GBI would “not only match buyers with sellers but pick up the gold, transport it in an armored truck, insure it, audit it, and park it on a shelf in a vault—with the customer’s name on it.”
Despite the dramatic slump in the gold price in April this year and amid $60 billion worth of outflows from gold-backed ETFs (where redemptions are paid out in cash not bullion), GIB is thriving.
According to Singh grew trading volumes 70% in 2013 compared to last year.
GBI makes money two ways. First, it charges a transaction fee on every buy or sell order. According to Singh, that’s typically between 0.4 percent and 1 percent for retail investors. For hedge funds it’s far lower. Then it charges a storage fee, which covers the cost of insurance and shelf space at a privately owned vault, like the one under Manhattan, whose owner did not want to be named. Singh wouldn’t divulge the fee but says it’s much less than individuals would pay to store gold in a vault on their own.
Clients can choose to skip the vault; for about $100, GBI will deliver the gold wherever they’d like. One of GBI’s wealthiest customers wanted it sent to his house outside New York, where he buried it in his massive yard. Singh won’t say who it is, but teases that “you’d know him.”