Britam Asset Managers tilts focus on the mass market


There is a growing number of Kenyans who would go for an investment which attracts little amounts, then as trust develops, they top up all big amounts they want on either daily basis, weekly or every month.

You could be on maternity leave and thinking of ways to generate passive income, or on a poorly paying day job that makes it tricky to get involved on something which can generate some income on the side. But now things are changing, so it seems, with most financial institutions turning to the long forgotten low–income lot with competitive investment products.

Money managers are now aggressively targeting the bottom of the market with an aim of profiting from those who are able to save the little they have, even if it is money made from gambling. Britam Asset Managers, which is the Asset Management subsidiary of Britam Holdings Ltd is the latest to lower its money market fund investment amount to Sh1, 000 in a bid to encourage Kenyans to save more, giving an impression that businesses should ignore the bottom of the pyramid at their own peril.

Previously, investors had to start off with a minimum of Sh10, 000 to get into the Britam Money Market Fund, with top ups of Sh5, 000. The entry level for the investment is now slashed to Sh1, 000 with subsequent top ups of an equal amount of Sh1, 000, offering affordable alternatives to Kenyans who seek to invest in low risk, but high interest earning instruments.

At a time when investors are looking for alternative investment platforms outside the stock market, the fund invests in quality interest bearing securities and other short-term money market instruments and ensures risks are managed, while preserving the initial capital. In addition, the fund offers not only convenience and flexibility, but also accessibility through mobile phone platforms.

According to the World Bank 2016 Kenya country report, Kenya is lagging behind in savings compared to other economies in the region, which are economically less endowed like Uganda and Tanzania. That is why people abreast with the investment sector say that the unveiling of this fund comes at a good time, when overall savings by Kenyans has been on the decline. This is where those who wait for month end, and usually face the challenge of chucking out huge amounts of money especially on a meager pay, would get guaranteed returns.

“Many Kenyans have been locked out from saving and investing their money because of the big initial capital amounts needed in the money market. This fund has therefore been designed to address the needs of the small saver,” said Kenneth Kaniu, Britam Asset Managers’ CEO.

Mr Kaniu said that the fund offers savers alternatives to access credit especially to meet their short term and long-term goals, while enjoying higher returns on their investment by outperforming bank deposit rates, which has been affected by unfavourable business environment especially after the interest rates capping law was passed last year.

He said that Britam Asset Managers has rolled out a marketing campaign dubbed “You Deserve Extra” to create awareness on the need for Kenyans to save more towards their goals. The company offers quality fund management and investment advisory services to individuals and institutional investors.