Seriani Asset Managers Limited (SAML) an asset management firm has been launched in Kenya aiming to offer international best practices to the money and capital markets in Kenya and the East African region, by providing leading professional advisory and investment management services to its clients.
Victor Odendo, General Manager SAML said they will be targeting the retailers, companies, SMEs, Non-Governmental Organisations anchored on four pillars: Customers, professionalism, innovative channels anchored on controls and procedures.
“We pursue an open architecture approach that ensures that we satisfy our client’s needs without compromising their investments,” said Odendo.
Ken Ndura, Chair of the board said the firm will start by offering unit trusts and preparation of investment policy statements into the market.
It shall also diversify into other businesses among them Pension Fund Management, Financial Planning, Portfolio Management, Wealth and Estate Planning. The company has already received approval from the regulator to offer Money Market Fund, Balanced Fund and Equity Fund to the market.
He noted that unit trusts in the region have a compounding Annual Growth approximately 25 percent over the last 5 years and pensions as of June 2017 had hit Ksh 1Tn.
“More and more people are looking at investing for the long term and in a bid to ensure that our products are affordable to many people we have fixed the minimum investment into the unit trusts at KShs 5,000 which is competitive. An investor will thereafter be free to top-up their investment at their discretion with a minimum of KShs 1,000” said Odendo.
A Pwc report ‘Africa Asset Management 2020’ notes that Africa presents an exciting opportunity: as wealth continues to increase, more domestic investors emerge, while improvements in regulatory frameworks are enticing foreign investment and distribution.
The report identifies, Demographic dividend, Growing middle class, Increased use of Technology, Urbanisation, and Infrastructure as key game changers in the sector.
In Kenya, investment funds are known as Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) and the most common type are Unit Trusts.
PWC predicts Assets under management (AUM) to reach Ksh 85.3bn by 2020.
It cites Kenya’s ambitious plans in the fund industry of the East African region. The recent proposal for developing an alternative market with REITs and PE funds, as well as the ongoing plans to establish Islamic Sukuks and Sharia compliant mutual funds will further deepen the financial market.
“With wealth distribution highly unequal, the fund market relies almost entirely on institutional investors. Oil discoveries will drive economic growth which will bring more of Kenya’s citizens into the middle class. This will give quite a boost to the fund industry,” they observe.