Thursday, May 23, 2024

Bifm looks to cement market leader position

Botswana Insurance Fund Management (Bifm) this year expects industry competition to intensify as its results may be impacted by strategic changes within one of its major clients. Accordingly, Bifm said it has begun to explore other avenues in order to diversify and grow its income. The company will also leverage on its position as a market leader to nurture its subsidiaries and ensure that they continue to produce the returns that both clients and shareholders have come to expect.

Bifm Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tiny Kgatlwane, said the company will remain committed to best practices in governance and compliance, especially given the changing regulatory environment it now operates in. She said Bifm’s financial performance in 2013 was particularly pleasing as the company continued to deliver superb customer service, despite operating in a saturated market.

“In last year’s annual report, we promised that Bifm was poised for delivery in 2013, and we are glad to say that we were not mistaken, as our assets under management jumped 25 percent to P27.1 billion,” said Kgatlwane.

She said this is a strong reflection of the support that they continue to receive from clients particularly in such a time of intensifying competition. She added that the sterling performance is also testimony to the competence and strong relationships that Bifm has built across its operating history, as well as the success of the Group strategy which has prioritised leveraging of its collective influence to defend the company’s footprint. Kgatlwane said Bifm contributed operating profits of P44 million towards BIHL’s performance during the period under review, an increase of more than 15 percent on 2012’s P37 million. Bifm’s subsidiaries reported a significant improvement in business operations, which further contributed to the strong performance.

“During 2013, we continued to deepen relationships with clients and stakeholders, ensuring that mandates were retained. We were able to rely on the strength in numbers of our staff and their dedication to achieve these results,” she stated.

She pointed out that the company extended its offerings to the retail market through the launch of the Unit Trust offering, which has since seen impressive uptake. Unit Trusts allow individual investors across all income brackets to invest in listed companies, share in the returns of the stock market, and ultimately to grow their wealth. Bifm expects that the product suite will continue to grow as more clients realise the advantages on offer. The company was particularly pleased by returns on its offshore investments, following a review of the business in 2012 and subsequent appointment of new Offshore Managers. Kgatlwane said during 2013, the new managers outperformed industry benchmarks and were critical to the good performance.

“Over the year, we spent time focusing on embedding our risk and compliance management framework to ensure overall improvement in risk and compliance management across the business,” she said.


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