Wednesday, October 21, 2020

African Life Financial Services aims to grow position in Zambia

African Life Financial Services (Z) Ltd (Aflife) says its main priority is to maintain and grow the organisation’s dominant market position by exceeding customer expectations and providing exceptional service in Zambian market.
AfLife Chief Executive Officer, Muna Hantuba told Sunday Standard that as the market leader in administering and managing private sector pension funds in Zambia it strives to lead by example.
He pointed out that one of the strategic initiatives Aflife has undertaken recently is to research globally how pension fund administration and fund management services are offered by leading companies.  He stated that they have concluded that there are not any countries that have enforced legislation to ensure that the services are not offered as a composite offering, which Aflife has been doing.
“Initially we were running a composite business of two offering assert management and pension fund administration. Beyond 2012 we had to split the business according to the two mandates,” said Hantuba.
He revealed that Aflife with the permission of the Zambian regulators, decided to separate these two services and offer them through two independent companies.
Hantuba said Aflife also did the process of migrating to the business model, which it was fully implemented in early 2013. He added that both companies have also obtained regulatory approval, the corresponding licenses and the changes are in the process of being operationalized.
“On the pension side of the business we obviously had start up challenges in the sense that our operations started before the regulator was accepted,” he said.
He said along the way they experienced challenges such that the Zambian law makers decided to put some restrictions on companies that managing pensions funds. He it came through as a specific directive that all companies that run pension funds shareholding on the listed companies must be major of Zambian owned company and should be restructured.
“We had no option and we had to re-enter the shareholder agreement between BIFM and Meneo Management Services. That resulted in Bifm taking down 21 percent of its shareholding to go to 49 percent thereby allowing the local company to have 51 percent,” said Hantuba.
BIHL Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gaffar Hassam echoed Hantuba’s words and pointed out that the group continues to build its achievements and focus on the key strategies of growth and profitability despite the uncertainty in the market that have been affecting the results.
“All our businesses are different. Our job is to help evaluate and make sure there is no risk to the sustainability of the company and ensure continued profitability,” he explained.
He emphasised that they continue to leverage their position as market leader and a pioneer in the financial services space. He added that Strength in numbers, customer retention and delivery to our shareholders are important. He expressed satisfactory about Aflife performance in the Zambian market.

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