Liberty Holdings Buys Stanbic Investment Management Services

alexAfrican asset manager, STANLIB, and its holding company, Liberty Holdings Limited, have acquired 100 per cent shareholding in Stanbic Investment Management Services (SIMS) Ghana.

The company will continue to be led by its CEO, Alex Asiedu, and his team of experienced, local investment professionals.

“The business is well-established and has a solid reputation in the market. We are confident that our team of experienced professionals can leverage the global capabilities of a leading investment management firm like Stanlib”, Alex Asiedu assured in a statement issued in Accra yesterday.

“SIMS Ghana will maintain its reputation for investment excellence and continue to build long-term relationships with customers. As we further build our presence across Africa, our goal remains to create innovative, locally relevant investment solutions, and to partner with customers to sustainably grow their investments. We want to be the chosen investment destination in Africa,” said STANLIB CEO, Seelan Gobalsamy.

The acquisition extends STANLIB’s footprint in Africa. The asset manager now has a physical presence in eight African countries outside South Africa.

Its Southern African reach spans Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland. In the East, it has offices in Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan; and Ghana now marks its first foray into West Africa.

The Ghanaian asset management industry displays strong growth potential driven by a strong economy and has been one of the fastest growing economies over the last five years, at over 8 per cent per annum. (forecast circa 5-7 per cent p.a.), and concurrent pension reform.

The country’s asset management market size is valued at approximately USD2bn. Pensions constitute approximately 70 per cent of the market, and this is expected to grow at 35 per cent per annum due to the new regulatory regime.

The acquisition means the Accra-based asset manager is able to tap into the vast experience that STANLIB Africa has built across the continent over the years (its history in Africa dates back to 1998) while STANLIB Africa also gains from the local firm’s solid reputation and strong institutional client base.

The statement said plans were underway to broaden its services and offer more tailored solutions specially designed for the Ghanaian market.

These the statement said would include direct property, infrastructure and private equity, where SIMS would leverage off STANLIB South Africa’s established Franchises who have strong networks across Africa.

Currently, SIMS traditional products including money market, fixed income (bonds), equities and multi-asset funds (pension and provident funds) to its predominantly institutional client base.

Under STANLIB’s helm, it said efforts would be made to increase its retail investor base, where there were significant untapped growth opportunities.

“Overall, Ghana displays compelling opportunities, and STANLIB is hoping to contribute to building a culture of saving and investing in the West African nation. Per capita GDP has nearly doubled from $900 to $1500 for the past 6 years up until the end of 2012, and is expected to more than double again by 2020,” it said.

The statement said in addition to an increasing disposable income, government was also transforming the investment landscape.

“New pension reform was implemented in 2010, which has seen a marked growth of private pension schemes; owing to compulsory pension contributions of 5 per cent and voluntary contributions of up to 16.5 per cent of payroll,” the statement said.

As a result, it said the local asset management industry had been growing at over 30 per cent per annum over the past five years.

By Times Reporter

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