Monday, May 17, 2021

BIFM focusses on Unit Trusts business

Botswana Insurance Fund Management (BIFM) says there is need to do the right marketing and awareness creation on the Unit Trusts business. 

The business can grow as it has great potential, BIFM believes. 

Speaking during a media round table discussion, BIFM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Neo Bogatsu said, they were, however, aware that it would take a long time for that kind of business to grow. 

Bogatsu believes that the Unit Trusts business can have a meaningful contribution to the profitability of her company in the long term.

“Unit Trusts provide an avenue or platform for people to invest and or save in order to secure sound financial independence. It has some advantages of investing in,” said Bogatsu.

She further spoke of transparency in terms of fees charged, type of funds invested in and their risk profiles adding that the fact that one is able to choose a fund that best suit their risk profile. She it has liquidity of the funds. 

The CEO stated that generally uptake is low among retail investors, adding that they were confident that with the right marketing and awareness campaigns, the Unit Trusts can become a positive contributor to the business.

 “Batswana are a generally an educated nation and like any normal client, one wants to clearly understand a product and its benefits before buying it, hence the importance of education,” said Bogatsu.

She observed that elsewhere in the region, mainly South Africa and Namibia, Unit Trust investments are well known, understood and very popular and the businesses perform well. She added that it was a matter of time before they see a similar trend in Botswana.

“Our focus will remain and continue to be on our clients and finding ways to provide them value and convenience through excellent client focus and service,” she said.

BIFM Head of Clients Relations Thato Gaebepe said their Unit Trusts are regulated by Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA). He spoke of the BIFM Pula Money Market Fund whose trustees and custodians is the Stanbic Bank Botswana. 

Another fund is the BIFM Balanced Prudential Fund which he said is a medium to long term fund with medium risk.

“Local Equity Fund is high risk where one invests only by buying shares. People need to enjoy benefits of wise investment decisions,” said Gaebepe.

He further stated that the diversification within unit trusts allows the risk to be spread across a range of assets which will provide better protection than placing it all in one area of the financial market. 

He also emphasised that Unit Trusts can help increase an individual’s income, capital growth or both.

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