Orchestrating Your Wealth

Orchestrating Your Wealth

The art and science of investment

Maestro was established
at the turn of the millennium,
motivated to find a harmonious balance
between your investment needs and
our skill as master investment professionals.

We have a record of reputable performance
and a wide repertoire of investment solutions,
catering for the varying needs of both individuals
and institutions, in South Africa and abroad.

Your business will be conducted
with the utmost discretion and confidentiality
at all times at Maestro,
based on a personal relationship
and underwritten by our
substantial experience and expertise.

 

Why Maestro

You’ll interact with passionate investment professionals who are serious about their role in orchestrating your wealth and enjoy developing a rewarding relationship with you at Maestro. We pride ourselves in you having direct access to our investment decision makers.

You’ll experience a unique level of service and optimal investment performance as a result of our experience and skill, supported by our established core values, which include: passion for what we do, discretion and commitment to the utmost level of professionalism and integrity at all times.

We never lose sight of you, the client, and our responsibility to your assets. We take a holistic approach to your investment needs and take respective circumstances and unique risk profiles into account in order to deliver an excellent performance.

Whether you are an individual, or a charity or non-profit organisation, or a retirement fund, we seek to find a harmonious balance between your unique needs and our skills as investment professionals. We deliver our performance in a manner that is personal, simple and cost-effective for you. We are here to help you: your investment needs will determine the process and the eventual solution we compose for you.

We have passion for what we do, discretion,
and commitment to the utmost level of professionalism and integrity at all times.

What we do

Based on our many years of experience, Maestro has developed a wide repertoire of solutions to cater to your investment needs. We manage money in South Africa and abroad, across different types of assets. We are confident in our ability to find a solution for you, irrespective of whether you are part of a collective solution i.e. where your assets form part of a larger portfolio such as a unit trust or retirement annuity fund, or whether the assets are registered in your name, or your trust’s name, in its own, separate (segregated) portfolio.

We group our solutions into three separate categories, each of which have their own unique needs and characteristics.

With Maestro, you get individualised service from an expert team.

Dynamism and stability

 

How we do it

What sets us apart? Our solutions are less about what we offer and more about how we create unique compositions for your investments. Underscoring this is our ethos and the philosophy that directs our respect for, and approach to, you as a client.

As an investment manager, Maestro understands that it operates in an environment of uncertainty. The future is unpredictable. As such, our approach acknowledges that the outcome, represented by the solution we compile for and present to you, represents as much of an art as a science; the interplay between logic and flair, driven by our technical expertise and our creative ability. We seek to be dynamic in our approach and management of your assets whilst providing a degree of certainty within an environment of constant change.

We have developed an ethos within our business that informs the way we operate and think. It is based, first and foremost, on integrity, honesty, and respect for you, the client. We pride ourselves on being sincere and trustworthy; balancing professionalism with approachability. With Maestro, you can enjoy an individualised service based on effective teamwork that draws on multiple skill sets, as well as years of experience.

Just like an orchestra, beauty from complexity is only achieved when everyone plays their part. The end result is always greater than the sum of its parts. That is the way we conduct our affairs for your benefit; that is how we orchestrate your wealth.

The analogy of music and investment holds great lessons for all of us. Consider the following:

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The culmination of each person’s role results in a remarkable, memorable
performance.  Despite the fact that a hundred or more individuals are playing their own respective part in an orchestra, the outcome is harmonious. If played on its own, it would be virtually meaningless. Similarly, although investment analysts all have their respective areas of research or focus – be it specific companies, sectors, or economic or geographic regions – a successful investment outcome (return) is only achieved when the whole team combines their efforts and works together, led by an able leader.

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Both are uniquely individual experiences.  Just as a music performance can be enjoyed on many levels, the art of investment and the enjoyment of its benefits are not a result of how much money one has, but rather one’s individual experience of its performance. It is not dependant on the size of the sum of money to be invested, nor the extent of the client’s knowledge of investment. Maestro appreciates engaging with clients on all levels; the pleasure is derived from interaction and the resulting performance.

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Both are based on time-honoured rules.  Some of the most memorable and iconic music is still enjoyed, played and actively engaged with today, despite being composed centuries ago. Similarly, the global economy is age-old and our investment methodologies are hardly new, yet they are as relevant today as they have ever been and are as capable now, as then, of changing people’s lives.

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Both are intrinsically communal, despite being individual experiences.  The activities and output of music and investment reach their full potential when they are based on teamwork, honesty and good communication in general and the art of listening to each other in particular.

Success is only achieved in the presence of truth, honesty and open communication between all parties – be it between the musicians themselves, the musicians and the conductor, or investment managers and their client(s). This is a fundamental principle and the result is success that leaves a lasting and indelible impression.

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Both are timeless in their potential to create a legacy that will outlast generations but be appreciated by all.  Listeners and performers alike are only custodians of music. Music reaches its zenith when it is shared and enjoyed. It cannot be ‘owned’. Investment reaches its greatest point, its point of maximum benefit, when owners of assets regard themselves as custodians of the assets. They enjoy the performance, but when assets are well managed, the full benefits can be passed on to their owners and subsequent generations. For that to happen, a custodial outlook needs to be fostered.

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Both are characterised by a combination of passion and skill.  Passion without skill, and vice versa, will result in poor performance suitable only for popular consumption and an audience with an inability to differentiate between the two and unable to appreciate quality and expertise.

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Successful musicians and investment managers develop and value impressive track records of performance established over periods of time.  The more time passes, the greater their experience and ability to master the same or changing circumstances. Experience combined with increasing skills result in greater creative output and enjoyment of the journey and process. It is a matter of record that many pianists improve with age and that established musicians revisit great musical works over many decades. This trait is very common amongst legendary artists. Similarly, established investment managers become masters of investment circumstances, using the wisdom of past experience to address contemporary challenges and seeing the threads of behaviour in global investment markets over time.

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Both benefit from skill and a proven track record.  A proven and successful track record provides security for the listener (investor) who can not only rest assured that the musician or artist (investment manager) is capable of playing and mastering the piece of music (investment climate), but can also relax and enjoy the process and performance (investment returns). The listener will appreciate that they are in capable hands i.e. the performer can not only play the work without mistakes but will also apply their considerable expertise to interpreting the work as they see fit. The same is true of a master investment manager – an investor can feel secure knowing that their assets are in good hands and can ‘sit back and enjoy the performance’.

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Each performance or artistic performance is unique.  No two performances of music are the same, even if it’s the same piece of music. A capable musician, maestro or investment manager can easily adapt to changing circumstances and conditions, applying his own interpretation to deliver and ensure a masterful and unique performance, predicated on skill (obtained through years of disciplined practice, study and research), experience, passion and creativity. In investment management, the performance is measured by above-average, long-term, risk-adjusted returns and satisfied clients.

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Nil sine labore – nothing without work.  Just as in the world of music, where no great thing is achieved without hours of hard work, disciplined practice and a pre-determined and well-thought-out approach, so too, in the investment world there is no substitute for hard work and a disciplined approach that has been tested again and again, and eventually refined to deliver the optimal results for when “the moment arrives”.

Maestro investment philosophy and approach

A combination of the art and science of investment underpins the Maestro
philosophy and approach, which is why the metaphor of music describes our
ethos so well. If you would like to read more about how the art and science
of music relate to investment management, you can do so by clicking here.

Classical music composition is based on time-honoured rules. If these rules are not honoured, the result is discordant. So too, our investment philosophy is founded on time-honoured rules that have been tested through centuries in different market conditions and promote stability. To ignore these rules would result in financial chaos.

We always draw clients’ attention to the fact that the art of investment is the outcome of a delicate balance between two critical components: risk and return. The two are inseparable.

Consequently, we have built our investment philosophy on the following pillars, which have stood the test of time and which accommodate the enigmatic combination of art and science; of risk and return:

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The importance of The Big Picture.  It is easy to miss the wood for the trees in this age of information overabundance. At our Quarterly Investment meetings we identify our Big Picture Themes. These then form the basis of our investment views and guide us in our thinking. We also continually challenge them to ensure they are still relevant, remembering that the only constant variable in the investment management process is that of change.

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The importance of the global economy.  The global economy remains the primary determinant of, and catalyst for, change in the South African economy. For this reason we focus on global events and trends in assessing the prognosis for the local economy and identifying local investment opportunities. Managing money in global markets ensures that we remain keenly aware of the relevance of sector benchmarks, particularly when assessing South African companies, and trying to identify those that have what it takes to transform into global champions. The likes of Aspen, Billiton, Naspers and SABMiller are prime examples of this kind of thinking. These companies have successfully migrated from being great South African companies to global champions in their own right.

Ultimately, our investment approach begins with the careful consideration of the global macro-economic environment.

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Our investment approach.  This is an area which investment managers like to complicate. Simply: Maestro takes a classical approach – we are inherently conservative in all we do. We adopt a long-term time horizon – for that is the best time frame with which to approach investment markets – and we do not trade actively in the portfolios in our care. With the exception of our institutional and retirement fund mandates, all of the segregated portfolios in our care i.e. portfolios registered in the client’s name and not in a collective investment such as a unit trust, are tax-constrained.

We have a decent spread of large, mid and small-cap (sized) companies in our portfolios (most high-level equity indices are biased in favour of very large companies). The South African equity portfolios in our care have a bias in favour of financial and industrial companies. By adopting this approach we have achieved above-average returns over time for our clients and, more importantly, have achieved these returns having assumed less risk than that which is inherent in the market itself.

We aim to invest your assets in companies whose share prices will rise substantially over the long-term; and we do so in a manner that is consistent with your risk profile
and appetite.

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Keep it simple.  The global investment industry can be bewildering; investment managers frequently “get it wrong”. We keep it simple, finding uncomplicated investment solutions that inspire growth and overall successful performance. We take time to explain the potential and performance of your assets to you – whether you’re a first-time investor or an old hand.

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Risk management.  The activity of investment management has as much to do with risk management as it does with maximising returns. We never lose sight of this goal. We seek to properly identify and quantify the risk of adopting a particular position, both in terms of actual and opportunity cost, before committing any of your assets to a particular investment.

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There is merit in humility.  In the investment world there is no place for arrogance – the market is the ultimate leveler. The investment environment is characterised by change and uncertainty, based on future events and forecasts. We’re open to admitting that sometimes the wrong investment decisions are made. However, at Maestro, we’ve devoted our energy and efforts to learning – from both achievements and mistakes.

We are saddened, at times, to see the arrogance that prevails in our profession. In all its efforts Maestro strives to restore honour and integrity to the investment management profession. We would not exist without our clients. For that reason, your needs are of utmost importance. That doesn’t mean we don’t have strong views and opinions though. We are totally committed to being honest with you at all times.

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Is it all in the price?  In the investment world there are two seemingly opposing schools of thought. The traditional view puts a premium on fundamental analysis. The other, more dynamic outlook sees fundamental analysis of economies and companies as non-essential, as all public and private information is already factored into the price of a security. The latter view is often referred to as the “efficient market hypothesis” and followers of this school of thought eschew fundamental analysis in favour of studying the movements of security (share) prices. At Maestro, in line with our philosophy of logic and flair, we tend to employ a synthesis of these two disciplines – the classic and the dynamic – when appraising investment opportunities, resulting in perfectly balanced evaluations.

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Our conflict of interest policy.  Maestro has adopted a specific policy which clearly spells out our behaviour in situations where a possible conflict of interest occurs between you and either Maestro as a company or one of its staff members. Our conflict of interest policy can be viewed by clicking here.

Composing financial solutions to
resonate through generations.

 

Our performance track record

Every client’s circumstances are different. For this reason it is meaningless to list an overall return for all clients. Instead, we list the returns on the equity component of each of their portfolios. In most cases we have full discretion over the portfolios and equity exposure represents, by far, the largest component of the assets in our care. The returns we have achieved on our clients’ equity investments are a fair reflection of our ability to manage local equities. All returns below are shown net of fees i.e. after fees have been taken into account. Although this runs counter to the manner in which institutional returns are presented, we think it is appropriate to reflect the net returns because this is what matters most to the client.   (read more) (read more)The returns we have achieved on the cash in our care have been in line with conventional cash benchmarks; cash does not represent a large portion of our client portfolios. Each of the returns on the different funds we manage can be found under the respective fund summaries under Funds.

We do not regard investment performance as the “be-all and end-all” of our service offering, although we understand it is vital over the long-term in order to develop sound, rewarding and sustainable relationships. Other important components of our overall service include: across-the-board expertise, competitive and reasonable fees, convenience, accessibility, and the opportunity to develop a close working relationship with the investment decision-makers that will be in charge of your assets.

As you will see from our Investment Philosophy and approach we believe our returns have been achieved with much less risk and volatility than the overall share market. (read less) (read less)

Table 1: South African equity returns for periods ended 30 September 2017 (%)

SA equity returns
Maestro Long-term Equity Portfolios JSE All Share Index
6 months* 1.0% 8.5%
1 year -2.2% 10.2%
3 years 4.0% 7.2%
5 years 10.8% 12.5%
7 years 12.3% 12.8%
10 years 8.9% 9.6%

* 6-month returns are un-annualised

Since 2004 Maestro has been managing an offshore unit trust, the Central Park Global Balanced Fund. The largest part of this Fund is invested across global equity markets. Consequently, as an accurate reflection of our ability to manage global equity portfolios, we list below the returns we have achieved on the equity component of the Fund.

Table 2: Global equity returns for periods ended 30 September 2017 (%) - in US dollars

Global equity returns
Central Park Equity Portfolio MSCI World Index
6 months* 22.9% 7.9%
1 year 30.3% 15.9%
3 years 11.5% 5.6%
5 years 11.3% 8.8%
7 years 9.6% 7.8%
10 years 3.2% 2.0%

* 6-month returns are un-annualised

The art and science of investment

 

The Maestro Team

André Joubert

André founded Maestro in 2000, when he saw the need for better client service after years of experience in the South African investment community. André is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer.  André started his profession at Syfrets Trust in 1985, before moving to Fairheads Asset Managers in 1988 as an analyst and later portfolio manager and director. In 1993 he moved to Investec Asset Management and helped build the company from its early beginnings. He was appointed as Senior Portfolio Manager, and was actively involved in the establishment of the company as a leader in the South African asset management industry. He managed the Investec Equity Fund into one of the top performing general equity unit trusts during that time, and was involved in the management of life assurance funds, pension and provident funds and other institutional assets.

He moved on to help establish the South African presence of the Franklin Templeton Group in 1998. During that time he established and managed four unit trusts, and was appointed Chief Investment Officer before joining BoE Asset Management as Senior Portfolio Manager in February 1999. There he managed the two flagship unit trusts, the BoE Growth and BoE Managed Funds, as well as other institutional and retirement funds. He was also involved in the determination of their investment strategy and was an active member of their research team.

André has two Honours degrees – in Economics and Investment Management – both of which he obtained from the University of South Africa. For many years he served on the Association of Unit Trust's Fund Management Standing Committee, in which capacity he played a key role in the establishment of the current system whereby the South African unit trust industry is classified. He has presented widely to the investment community and has received numerous awards in this regard. He has been a member of the Investment Analyst Society for 11 years.

andre@maestroinvestment.co.za

   To achieve great things two things are needed;
                                                       a plan, and not quite enough time. Leonard Bernstein

Sue Joubert

Sue is currently an Executive Director for Maestro and has overall responsibility for the company’s financial management function, including the accounting function, liaising with the relevant regulatory authorities and dealing with human resource matters that arise in the course of business.  Sue was born in Zimbabwe and completed her O levels there. She emigrated to South Africa in 1980 and matriculated at Alexander Road High School in Port Elizabeth in 1982. She entered the medical field obtaining a Diploma in Diagnostic Radiography. She began working in Port Elizabeth but moved to Cape Town in 1987 where she continued her work at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. She then moved to the Groote Schuur Hospital during which time she studied towards a Degree in Nuclear Medicine Radiography, which she completed in 1992.

Sue then moved into the commercial field, working at Mercantile and General Reinsurance Company as a Disability and Life Assessor.

sue@maestroinvestment.co.za

Anthony Coombe

Anthony serves as a Non-Executive Director of Maestro, having been appointed in
March 2011.  Anthony had a long and distinguished business career with Price Waterhouse (later PricewaterhouseCoopers). He was an audit partner for 26 years, the last 10 of which he served in the capacity of Managing Partner of the Cape Town office. He also served for 10 years on the firm’s national policy board. He retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2000.

To date, he has largely spent his retirement 'career' in corporate governance. He holds the position of chairperson of the Audit Committees of the City of Cape Town, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Robben Island Museum, the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), the Khayelitsha Community Trust, CIPRO (the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office), SAMAF (the SA Microfinance Apex Fund), GVI Oncology Trust, Oxygen Medical Scheme and Bankmed Medical Scheme. He is also a member of the Risk Management committees of NEF and Bankmed and is actively involved in the Institute of Director’s Audit Committee Forum.

Anthony is currently a Trustee of the Khayelitsha Community Trust as well as certain private trusts and is a past Director of three black empowerment groups. He is currently also involved with the Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary in McGregor, the Community Chest and Capricorn Link.

He is a past President of the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce and a past Chairperson of Wesgro, St Cyprian’s School Council and the Constantia Tennis Club.

anthony@maestroinvestment.co.za

David Pfaff

David joined Maestro in March 2007 and is currently responsible for Maestro’s Retirement Solutions and Maestro Private Client offerings.  David grew up in Wilderness on the Garden Route and matriculated in 1995 from York High School, where he served as a senior year prefect. He surfed for South Africa from 1992 to 1995 before turning pro. He competed in the world qualifying series surfing tour from 1996 through to 1998 and during this time visited over 20 countries, competing against surfers from all over the world.

David enrolled at the University of Cape Town in 1999 to study towards a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He completed the degree at the end of 2001, majoring in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. During 2002 he completed an Honours degree in Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management. He also holds diplomas to act as a Compliance Officer and Securities Trader in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

David took advantage of the property boom from 2002 to 2005 by acting as a part-time agent and developer, partnering with key individuals to build a property portfolio over the period. At the beginning of 2006 David contracted with JP Morgan Chase to document their business processes for existing and new clients and map them onto IT systems.

Apart from surfing, David’s passion lies in equity markets and financial instruments.

david@maestroinvestment.co.za

Melody Nowai

Melody joined Maestro in June 2011 and is currently responsible for all the investment administration that lies behind our reporting and service.  Melody arrived in South Africa In 2010 to join her husband Rylance, having stayed in the UK to finish her MSc. in Accounting with Finance at the London South Bank University. Prior to that she completed her BSc. (Hons) in Accounting from the University of Buea in Cameroon where she also began her Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification before finishing it in London in 2006. Melody completed a BSc. in Applied Accounting at the Oxford Brookes University in 2007.

Apart from having a keen interest in knowing more about the markets, Melody is also very passionate about music and is currently learning how to play the acoustic guitar.

melody@maestroinvestment.co.za

Haidee Wheatley

Haidee joined Maestro in July 2014 and is currently assisting Melody in all the investment administration that lies behind our reporting and service.  Haidee matriculated from Wittebome Senior Secondary School in Cape Town. Prior to arriving at Maestro, Haidee worked in various administrative positions for the past 14 years, her most recent position being at Habitat for Humanity. Although she found it highly rewarding, she felt it was time for a change, new challenges and personal growth. It is this need for continuous development that sees her still furthering her studies as an undergraduate in Business Administration at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. In addition to which, she also holds diplomas in Project Management and Accountancy and Computer Practice.

haidee@maestroinvestment.co.za

Japie de Klerk

Japie de Klerk joined Maestro in April 2015 in the capacity of a Trainee Investment Analyst.  Japie grew up in Ashton and matriculated from Stellenbosch High School in 2010. He is passionate about sport and in 2010 became the South African under eighteen tennis champion. He represented South Africa in the Davis Cup tennis tournament against Russia in 2013.

Japie was awarded a tennis scholarship at the University of Tulsa in the US, where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree (Finance) in 2014.

japie@maestroinvestment.co.za

Vicki Sabor

Vicki grew up in Namibia but went to boarding school during her high school years, matriculating from Rhenish Girls High School in Stellenbosch.  After completing a legal secretarial course she spent 2 years at Edward Nathan Sonnenberg before relocating to West Palm Beach, Florida where she lived with her husband, David for 14 years. During those years she worked for Merrill Lynch and Citibank, obtaining her Diplomas for U.S. Securities trading as well as completing the Investment Manager Advisor examinations. She then went on to study for her CFP through Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Upon returning to South Africa with her family in 2007 she began working for André and Maestro until her departure in February 2010 to help her husband in their family business and to spend more time with her 2 children.

Vicki has decided to rejoin the Maestro team assisting André and Sue in an administrative capacity.

vicki@maestroinvestment.co.za

Logic and flair

 

Publications

Intermezzo

Maestro communicates with its clients in a number of ways. In addition to monthly statements accompanied by letters noting salient market events, we publish an investment briefing called Intermezzo, which you can sign up to and receive on a monthly basis.  The objective of our monthly investment briefing, Intermezzo, is to communicate our investment thinking, as well as the reasons for any changes that might manifest in our outlook. Its secondary purpose is to provide our clients and readers with relevant, up-to-date information about investment markets and how they function. We believe it is vital that clients have all the tools and information at their disposal so they are able to approach finance and investment with confidence.

Like our investments, Intermezzo’s value increases over time. The more issues you invest time in reading, the more understanding you will gain about the financial service industry and the part we play in it.

Intermezzo is not a shopping list of which shares to buy. This is where Maestro’s professionals come in: we give precise investment recommendations and compose unique solutions for fee-paying clients.

Intermezzo is an integral part of the manner in which Maestro goes about its business. Its content is tailored to speak directly to our clients, who we assist in attaining an exemplary level of investment market literacy via this monthly briefing, which includes monthly statements and Quarterly Reports. Consequently, we request that should you wish to use extracts from Intermezzo, you request permission to do so and simultaneously acknowledge the source as Maestro.

In music terminology, an Intermezzo is a short instrumental piece played between two opera scenes. There are times in the crazy, sometimes bewildering world of investment markets when there is merit to pause and reflect; a time to refocus on the big picture. This is what inspires the publication of Intermezzo.

The Market Commentary

In addition to Intermezzo, we publish a Quarterly Market Commentary for clients, which accompanies our Quarterly Reports. You can also receive it on a quarterly basis. Sign up to the Market Commentary by clicking here.  The Maestro Quarterly Market Commentary provides a summary of the salient developments and events that occurred during the most recent quarter.

Fund Summaries and Quarterly Reports

We publish Fund Summaries on all our investment funds as well as Quarterly Reports. You can subscribe to any or all of these by clicking here.

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