PAN Africa Asset Management, the investment management arm of the Pan Africa Insurance Holdings Group, is banking on growing popularity of mobile money services to attract more customers to its newly launched Unit Trust scheme.
The company eyes increased competition in small loan market now controlled by Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA’s), M-shwari, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB’s) M-benki and Co-operative Bank’s M-co-op cash.
The company said it will offer a money market fund, a dividend fund and balanced fund with a minimum initial contribution of Sh2, 500 and an emergency loan to lure more youth into taking its products targeted at general audience, chama’s and real estate sector.
Pan Africa asset management chief executive officer, Kennedy Muriithi, said provisions for savings and access to emergency loans through the e-commerce platforms would significantly increase number of active accounts and boost returns for users.
“Uptake of unit trusts remains very low, despite on average the relatively higher returns historically compared to substitute investment alternatives,” said Muriithi.
Total number of participants measured by number of active accounts is still below 100,000 with total value of assets under management as at early this year averaged Sh 35.3 billion.
The firm’s scheme recently licensed by Capital markets Authority (CMA) makes total number of such schemes in the market 15.
“In ball pack numbers, our entire unit trust industry would hardly compare to an emergent Tier 2 bank in our market,” said Muriithi.
The company joins Old Mutual that is also leveraging on growth in the mobile industry to grow number of unit trust accounts-having invested in a mobile based platform dubbed, i-INVEST.