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Boosting investor confidence

Hari Chaitanya

Regulators are increasingly seeking risk-based oversight in the market to deal with changes in technology, consumer needs

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | What is the best way to support businesses to survive during and after a tough economic environment?

This is the big question that most people in investment circles have been asking themselves and attempting to answer in relation to economic disruptions during and in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the current geo-political changes – causing widespread uncertainty around the world.

“Cients are more reliant than ever, on good advice to safeguard and grow their assets,” said Andrew Omiel, the head, investor services and financial institutions at Stanbic Bank.

He was recently speaking at the Investor Services (IS) Uganda, a Stanbic Bank specialised unit, that hosted a client event under the theme Emerging Trends in the Investor Services Business —Standard/Stanbic Bank Response.

Omiel said, the event was organised for participants to reflect, interact and network with regulators and highly experienced industry practitioners on the changes impacting the business and discuss workable interventions.

It was attended by regulators from the Capital Markets Authority, Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority, Bank of Uganda, asset managers and various partners in the entire business value chain.

Hari Chaitanya, the head, investor services product management–custody services at Standard Bank Group, highlighted the components of the investor services business and the importance of knowing the relevant linkages in a client’s investment value-chain.

He described the emerging themes in the investment business as access to multiple markets, appetite for new securities such as digital assets and value for money service differentiation.

He said, “Due to rapid changes and trends, regulators were increasingly seeking risk-based oversight in the market. Standard Group’s interventions involved information technology changes to improve operational efficiency, deliver product innovations and manage better clients’ exposure to different markets.”

Tunde Thorpe, head, transactional products & services (TPS) at Stanbic said, the inaugural Stanbic Bank Investor Services (IS) client event was a golden opportunity to shape thought leadership in the market and IS business in particular.

“…this was particularly so given the current geo-political and economic changes taking place in the world, disruptions arising from Covid-19 pandemic, technological advancements and the ever changing consumer behaviour among other things,” Thorpe said.

However, Tunde said amidst all these changes, “Standard Bank/Stanbic Bank Uganda have remained committed to supporting our clients and the market with expert knowledge and robust, tailor-made solutions which speak to the needs of the market.”

Services range from cash and liquidity management, working capital, forex trading, long- term debt and investor services.

“We remain open to continuous engagement with all our partners to bring positive change driven by the bank’s purpose, Uganda is our Home, We drive her Growth,” he said.

Johan De’ Bruyn, Standard Bank Head of Fund Services described the bank’s offerings of solutions in investment administration, accounting, risk and compliance monitoring.

All these services are aimed at freeing the client and investment managers to focus on their core roles in the value-chain.

Miriam Musaali, the Capital Markets Authority Director – legal and board affairs said, the current regulatory environment supports the operations of the investor services business in Uganda.

She said, the regulations are aligned to global standards and promised continued support in reviewing and updating them to meet the changing needs of the market.

She also said, CMA would resolve any bottlenecks hindering the ease of doing business in the capital markets space including harmonising the operations of different sector regulators to reduce the cost of compliance and allow the players in the industry to concentrate on their core businesses.

Alan Lwetabe, the investment director at the Deposit Protection Fund spoke on the role of a custodian in the investment value, supporting trading and settlement, confirmation of the existence of the investments picked and collection of entitlement– that is, bringing in operational efficiency to managing an investment portfolio.

Martin Nsubuga, the chief executive officer of Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA) urged industry players to innovate and align regulations in tandem with the changes in the market.

Nsubuga also cited more openness and closer partnership with the bank and other sector players to grow the market with new products and expose it to global opportunities.

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