Lofty Corban to disrupt Kenya’s financial markets

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Kenya’s financial market is set for further disruption with the entry of a new player. Known as Lofty Corban Investments Limited, the firm has been licensed to offer fund management and investment advisory services to individual and corporate clients hungry for assets that will give them a sustainable return on their money.

The newly minted company says it has set its lens on the emerging SME sector, entrepreneurial Kenyans and youth across the country, many of whom belong to informal investment groups known as chamas, but have low knowledge of alternative asset classes.

Speaking during the company’s dedication service and launch event in Nairobi, Lofty Corban Investment’s Chairman George Wafula explained that the firm, established by a team that has a deep history in financial services, will focus on differentiating itself as an insight -driven advisor.

“We believe in the power of insights from across various sources and especially our customers themselves to design and build complete advisory solutions that meet their needs and aspirations,” said Wafula.

He said that the launch of the firm was timely due to the fact that Kenyans are increasingly searching for alternative investments that will grow their money safely and sustainably.

“We have learned that Kenyans are getting wary of putting their money in land all the time. As you are aware, there have been several cases of fraud in this area. Similarly, others have fallen into false get-rich-quick schemes where they have lost a lot of money. Indeed, we are at a point where while there are still challenges with growing the savings culture in the country, the practice has been growing marginally by between 9 and 13 per cent annually over the past decade,” explained Wafula, adding that an attractive home for investments that demonstrates social value for investors is key to driving savings rates in Kenya and ultimately building their desired wealth.

Echoing his sentiments, Capital Markets Authority CEO Wyckliffe Shamiah pointed out that the financial sector is one of the six priority sectors under the economic pillar of the Kenya Vision 2030 with this sector’s role being to create a vibrant and globally competitive financial sector that promotes high-levels of savings and financing for Kenya’s investment needs as the country moves towards occupying its pole position as the region’s premier financial services hub.

“In order to address the issue of low savings rates and aversion to the capital markets, the CMA is running a series of investor education programs including one-on- one business incubator and accelerator meetings, market intermediary-driven awareness sessions, one-stop-shop stakeholder activities, social media reach, diaspora on-boarding initiatives, edutainment programs, as well as using influencers,” said Shamiah.

He noted that the CMA’s mandate had been broadened to include driving the diversification and management of alternative investments classes including spot commodities for which the regulator is in the process of establishing a warehouse receipting system in partnership with agriculture sector players.

“We are also looking to bring on board minerals, metals and mining exchange(s) to further diversify the Kenyan economy,” he added, noting that the CMA was projecting Kenya’s million-dollar wealth band to expand by 80% to over 15,000 individuals over the next 10 years to create a larger pool of potential investors for the capital markets.

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