Regulatory approval pending for Ashburton
Ashburton Investments is set to enter the local asset management space, pending its application for an operating license with the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority. the Economist can confirm.
Speaking to FNB Namibia Group Manager for Corporate Communications, Mrs Victoria Muranda recently, she said that Ashburton was revving to go.
“Ashburton Investments is the asset management franchise in the FirstRand group. FNB Namibia Holdings, as a subsidiary of the FirstRand group, intends to apply for an operating license to register as an asset manager and establish Ashburton Investments in Namibia subject to all regulatory approvals,” she said.
“Currently the FNB Namibia group does not include an asset manager and bringing Ashburton into the group will build out the financial services offering to retail, corporate and institutional investors. Ashburton prides itself in being a new generation asset manager that offers investors access to more asset classes and options for investing contractual and discretionary savings,” Muranda stated.
The Economist first noticed Ashburton in 2015 and drew coy responses from then Manager for Strategic Marketing and Communications, Dixon Norval who could not confirm or deny that there was interest from FNB Namibia to welcome Ashburton into the country.
The Economist also contacted the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority to enquire on the status of Ashburton’s application for regulatory approval but did not get a response by the time of going to press.
Currently, FNB Namibia dabbles in the investment space through FNB Namibia Unit Trusts, with all of its funds currently under the management of Momentum. Once Ashburton is granted regulatory approval, FNB Namibia’s relationship with Momentum is bound to come to an end, Muranda explained.
“Momentum was disposed of six years ago and currently Momentum provides certain asset management and life insurance services to the FNB Namibia group. Swabou was acquired by FNB Namibia in 2003 and fully integrated into the FNB Namibia group.
“FNB Namibia Unit Trusts is a company in the FNB Namibia Holdings stable.
Based on a client’s risk appetite and investment time frame, FNB Unit Trusts offers a full range of Unit Trust funds, which cater for the individual and the Institutions alike. The assets invested into these funds are currently managed by Momentum Asset Managers. The intention is to move the management of these funds to Ashburton, once regulatory approval is granted and the company has been established in Namibia,” Muranda said.
Ashburton’s launch came about following the unbundling of Momentum in 2009 which saw the First Rand Group disposing of its only asset management unit in the group.
Launched in 2013, the fairly new kid on the block managed assets of over N$110 billion at launch, the combined assets from BJM Funds, Ashburton International, RMB Private Bank Portfolios and RMB Global Market Funds Solutions.