Britam Holdings has launched an asset management company in Uganda to exploit a growing number of people and business entities who may need help in managing and investing their money.
Britam Asset Managers Uganda will offer investment management and advisory services to pension funds, insurance companies, corporates, government owned entities and retail investors in Uganda.
Benson Wairegi, the Britam Group Managing Director said during the recent launch, apart from Kenya, Uganda was the first country in the region where the Group had started such a business. Britam Holdings was previously known by as British-American Investments Company, but shareholders decided to rename the company in mid-2015. Britam is a diversified financial services group and is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
“Britam Uganda is already among the top three financial services company offering life and health insurance, retirement planning, asset management, property and banking. Uganda is the second country with Kenya where Britam asset managers is being introduced. We chose Uganda because of its resilience even in hard times.” Wairegi said.
Wairegi said the setting up the new unit marks an important step in the company’s strategic plan to widen its scope of investment products in the Ugandans market. He said Uganda has a fully liberalized economy, good market access, a strong natural resource base and the government has shown its commitment to the private sector.
“Despite global economic challenges, the Ugandan economy has demonstrated resilience and upside traction to economic growth, lifted by investment in infrastructure, increased agriculture production and a growing real estate sector. We are hopeful that our new company will thrive,” Wairegi said.
Ronald Kasolo, the newly appointed General Manager said, “The company has received the requisite regulatory approvals from the Capital Markets Authority (Uganda) and the Uganda Retirement Benefits Authority and will leverage on the success and expertise of Britam asset managers ( Kenya) to grow its share market in Uganda,”
Eng. Dr Ajedra Gabriel Aridru, the Minister of state for General Duties who represented the Minister of Finance, asked Britam to take advantage of a gap in financial services by developing long term capitals product.
“Currently commercial banks are lending at 20% to 23% and yet the central bank reduced its lending rents to 10%. This gap is due to absence of long term capital. We hope you can help bring that on the market and bring the lending rates by commercial banks down. We are counting on the private sector for infrastructure development and investments to save our economy so you are very welcome to Uganda,” he said.
The CEO capital markets Uganda, Keith Kalyegira, said Britam is compliant with the regulations and he hoped it will contribute a lot to the capital market sector in Uganda. “We are ready to support you and we ask Ugandans to do the same, because capital markets are the future of finance. We hope that this addition will deepen the pool of financial saving and investments and generate good returns for Ugandans,” Kalyegira said.