…Warn Against Unregulated Financial Institutions
Stakeholders in the Nigerian Capital market, Asset Management and Banking Industries have called for a rethink of the nation’s Economic philosophy and a reset of the financial market architecture. This was part of the major takeaways from the “Zimvest Economy Conversations”, a thought-leadership series of Digital Private Wealth and Investment Management Firm, Zimvest (Zedcrest Investment Managers) held on Saturday, June 20, 2020.
Giving the opening remark during the virtual event, Business Head of Zimvest, Gbenga Adigun, noted that investors are gravely concerned with investment returns in light of the current low yield environment while financial institutions are thinking of how their product development and service delivery should evolve with the changing needs of investors.
Bola Onadele Koko, CEO of FMDQ Group while delivering the keynote speech on the event theme “The Economic Landscape and Investor Preferences in Post-pandemic Africa”, talked about the toll the growing pandemic has had on African markets. He laid emphasis on the slow down in key segments of the economy including the financial markets, tourism, remittances and foreign direct investments. He called for a rethink of Nigeria’s economic philosophy with clarity from the fiscal policymakers which will be critical for gaining investors’ confidence.
According to him, “Now is the time to develop new and ingenious ways to develop and drive the Nigerian financial market and in the continent at large. Private capital will especially be more essential as recent shocks have shown the limits of Governments’ abilities particularly in developing countries”, he said.
The capital market leader also stated that FX reforms will be critical for the Nigerian economy at this point; noting that trading activity in the Nigerian Fixed-Income and Interbank Currencies market is down by 55% due to economic slowdown linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.
All panelists in this first episode of the thought-leadership series pointed out that most investors were affected by the pandemic and are looking for further ways to diversify their portfolios that may end the year on a negative real return.
Speaking during the panel session, Abiola Adekoya, Wealth Expert and Ex-CEO at RMB Securities, stated that one of the key things that investors are concerned about in this era is the need for diversification, more liquidity and higher investment returns.
In her words: “A lot of investors have been focused on one product and this pandemic has shown that that is not enough. The nascent interest in alternative assets have shown that there is strong liquidity in the overlooked retail space and Investment managers should pay keen attention and develop alternative assets products, and reduce the reliance on the traditional Fixed income, Money markets and Equities offerings.”
Buttressing Abiola’s position on alternative assets, Esiri Agbeyi, Partner and Head Private Wealth Services, PwC Nigeria, emphasized the need for investors to take keen interest in private equity and other alternative assets investments. She shared a PWC survey on Family Offices. The survey revealed that 63% of family businesses leaned towards private equity as an investment portfolio. Local pools of private capital are important to drive economic development
Onome Komolafe, Divisional Head of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), stated the need for improved product development and differentiation, clear market segmentation and smart communication as tools that financial services firms can deploy in evolving with the changing consumer behaviour. She also pointed to premium service delivery and technological innovation as crucial to democratization of investment opportunities in Africa.
The Group Executive, Treasury & Financial Institutions at First Bank, Ini Ebong, pointed out the present opportunity available for investors, regulators, institutions, market practitioners to reset Nigerian financial market architecture. He noted that this opportunity presents itself mostly around periods of crisis.
According to him, as markets develop, the investing public becomes more able to embrace risk and go for higher return instruments outside traditional bank-based deposits.
“If you want high returns on investment, you must be willing to take on more risky investment products”, said Adetoun Dosunmu, Treasurer at FBN Merchant Bank. “Giving the highly specialized nature of investing, working with a regulated fund manager will be most beneficial to the investor in the long run and would protect against fraud and sharp practices from the teeming number of platforms offering untested investment opportunities”.
During his closing remark, the Founder of the Zedcrest Group and the Chief Host of the event, Saheed Adedayo Amzat, CFA, called on the Nigerian capital market stakeholders to unite to further capital formation in the country. He sounded a note of warning to Nigerians on suspicious wealth generation platforms.
“Many unsuspecting investors over the last three decades have lost their funds to unregulated institutions that promised unbelievable returns. All stakeholders in the sector need to speak up and inform the unsuspecting public about investment platforms. Our regulators need to do more with the support of all players in the Investment management space”, he opined.
The much-anticipated event lived up to its billings as over 1,150 participants engaged the speakers on investment challenges and opportunities they can tap into post-COVID.
Zimvest, the newly launched Investment Management subsidiary of Zedcrest, plans to be at the nexus of a continuing conversation series around Investment management and economic policy landscapes. The second edition of the series is to be announced soon.
A poll conducted during the event also shows that over 60% of participants prioritized “Capital Preservation” when choosing an investment option. Over 72% were concerned about inflation and exchange rate fluctuations and over 81% were concerned about Proven Track Record, Regulatory Compliance and Transparency when choosing an investment management partner. The session ended at exactly 1pm on the day.
For more information, please email [email protected]
A replay of this session can be watched via:
Zedcrest Investment Managers (ZIMVEST) is a member of the Zedcrest Group and is duly licensed by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) as a Funds/Portfolio Manager. The company is committed to growing wealth for its esteemed clients. Products are designed to offer inflation and currency protection, risk management and sustainable growth.
You can also join our waitlist by visiting our website www.zimvest.com.ng
Adamawa receives N200 million, 3 ambulances from BUA Foundation
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri eulogized BUA Foundation for the surprising donation.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Nigeria, Adamawa state today, became the beneficiary of three ambulances and 200million Naira from BUA Foundation to support the states fight against COVID-19. This was as the Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, expressed his appreciation to the Chairman of the BUA Foundation, Abdul Samad Rabiu for fulfilling a pledge to support the state in its fight against COVID-19.
The representatives of BUA Foundation – Aliyu Idi Hong, Director, Government Relations of BUA Group and Yusuf Binji, Managing Director of BUA Cement whilst presenting the three ambulances and 200million Naira cash donation, said the donation to Adamawa state is in line with BUA’s promise to work with Nigeria and support Nigerians in fighting the pandemic. They further added that BUA remains committed to its social obligations everywhere it operates and will continue to assist various efforts across Nigeria and Africa. According to them, “BUA Foundation through its Chairman Abdul Samad Rabiu has committed in excess of N7 billion in cash, foodstuff, and medical supplies amongst other things across Nigeria – from the Federal level to states, to agencies and various initiatives.
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“In continuation of the support to alleviate the impact of the pandemic, BUA decided to donate the sum of N200million to Adamawa state and 3 ambulances to help the state towards identifying, moving and managing patients of COVID-19 in the state,” he added
On his part, the Adamawa State Governor, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri eulogized BUA Foundation for the surprising donation and urged well-meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies to keep assisting the government in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I wish to show my deep appreciation for this wonderful gesture which was provided by a patriotic Nigerian and the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu. He made his pledge and fulfilled it a day after. I assure you we will make a very good use of the ambulances and the money given to the state’s COVID-19 response. We will put the ambulances and the money to good use in fighting the pandemic,” Gov. Fintiri added.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a sponsored content.
First City Monument Bank announces the FCMB Agritech EPIC Pitch 2020, in partnership with Passion Incubator
Committed to “Redefining and repositioning Agricultural value chains during and post the COVID-19 era”
The agriculture sector in Nigeria and the larger African continent faces a number of challenges including climate and weather, rural-urban migration, lack of expertise and limited access to funding. While solutions to address these challenges have increased year on year with great success, more still has to be done before Africa can fulfil its potential of being the “food basket for the world”.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB), one of the biggest financial players in the development of Nigeria’s agriculture sector, has announced the 2020 edition of the FCMB Agritech Epic Pitch, through which it plans to sustain funding for early to growth-stage entrepreneurs to grow and scale their Agritech businesses.
In its 3rd Year, the FCMB Agritech Epic Pitch 2020 will be implemented through Hub One (the Bank’s tech Hub located in Lagos, Nigeria) in partnership with Passion Incubator, a Lagos-based early-stage tech incubator, and accelerator. For this edition, FCMB will be providing grant funding of NGN1.5million to 2 tech start-ups in the agriculture sector to support their business growth as well as access to free word-class workspace, steady market and a robust network that stimulates innovation, collaboration and business growth.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FCMB Agritech Epic Pitch 2020 is the first virtual edition of the initiative, but is positioned to deliver the same value to participants, as demonstrated in previous editions. According to Rolayo Akhigbe, Divisional Head, Transaction Banking, FCMB “We are passionate about supporting Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and this initiative is one of the ways through which we are building and accelerating the growth of the Agritech Startups in Nigeria, as well as the larger African continent…”
Also according to Kudzai Gumunyu, Divisional Head, Agric Business “This initiative plays an important role in helping young and driven Nigerian entrepreneurs grow their Agric-focused business. This mission would eventually build investible, sustainable and scalable AgriTech businesses that can contribute to the nation’s employment rate as well as the growth of the nation’s GDP”.
Application for the program is currently open. Entrepreneurs in the Agritech space should apply by visiting https://on.fcmb.com/AEP. The deadline for application is July 24, 2020.
The program will also feature a virtual conference with the theme “Redefining and repositioning Agricultural value chains during and post the COVID-19 era”, which will bring together some global experts to discuss and share some insights on the Agricultural value chains.
For more information about Hub One, as well as other FCMB initiatives in support of the tech ecosystem, visit https://www.fcmb.com/hub-one/
Velmie launches mobile banking platform tailored for Africa
Velmie builds digital banking products, peer-to-peer lending and microfinance solutions.
Digital transformation could be a game-changer for the African continent, and FinTech is currently one of the main drivers of this technology revolution. The tremendous opportunity for digitally-driven financial services companies lies in the high proportion of unbanked citizens, the immense size and favorable demographics of the African population and the relatively limited state of technology.
Mobile payment solutions allow hundreds of millions of unbanked consumers to benefit from transacting online within their local context. Neobanking systems are designed to give financial companies access to automation, digitalization, and robust security, giving them ample opportunities to grow and innovate.
Addressing the industry demands, Velmie saw the opportunity to establish itself as a strategic technology partner to companies that want to take advantage of the disruption opportunities presented by open banking in Africa. We saw it as a market offering great potential, given the significant proportion of the population who don’t have access to affordable and secure payment services.
“There is a unique opportunity for Africa to become a world leader in FinTech, getting the most out of emerging technologies while greatly contributing to financial inclusion and innovation,” – Paul Shumsky, Head of Product.
We developed a white-label mobile banking solution that supports secure and straightforward ways of initiating payments. It also makes it possible for businesses of all kinds to create their financial ecosystems, establishing trust and closer relationships with their customers.
The main features of the Velmie mobile wallet platform, built on micro-services architecture, include:
- Secure two-factor authorization
- Interactive identity verification
- Advanced tiered KYC offers a built-in identity verification process supports multiple countries and clients
- Airtime purchases in unique digital currency specific to Africa
- Bill payments
- Peer-to-peer transfers with QR codes, address book and payment link transactions
- International remittances with multi-wallet and multi-currency features, augmented with instant currency conversion
- Branded payment cards
- Real-time money transfers and currency conversion
- Multiple currency support
- Real-time QR code payments
- Fast and convenient cash agent onboarding
- Online onboarding of merchants to support both online and in-store transactions
The platform integrates with a variety of payment platforms, including:
- African Payment Gateway
Velmie has been one of the first fintech innovators to introduce enterprise blockchain technology in the financial services industry. It has also successfully developed payment solutions for its clients. Recent projects include a nationwide payment system in North Africa, and clearance and custody solutions for banks.
These projects have given the company extensive experience in working with African digital financial service providers. As such, it has gained valuable regional-specific knowledge of the services most in-demand and the integration capabilities required for white-label mobile wallet platforms that cater to the African market.
Velmie builds digital banking products, peer-to-peer lending and microfinance solutions. In addition to these leading-edge software solutions, we give our clients access to a dedicated team of experts who can adapt and customize solutions, as well as integrate additional capabilities where needed.
The service level agreement (SLA) support we supply is comprehensive, with quick response and resolution turnaround times. Thus clients do not need to hire local support or engineering teams.
Velmie can deal with all conceivable kinds of customizations and custom development projects, whether it is a simple branding project or building in new platform features, we are ready to deploy dedicated teams to handle the tasks for our clients.
We have the necessary experience and expertise to enable your business to take full advantage of the immense potential offered in Africa. You can start with a white-label mobile wallet solution and build your digital bank from there.
The advantage of using white-label solutions to develop your FinTech offering is that you get immediate access to a cloud-based digital banking system, with all the functions you need to build an advanced and scalable solution. The technology platform we offer is highly scalable, secure, provides unlimited scope for customization, and offers end-to-end delivery.