Africa’s banking, investments and asset management industry is currently dominated by private institutional players and by government pension and insurance bodies. These players dominate capital flows in the financial markets. They drive liquidity and they set direction of overall investments and asset management climate. This is not sustainable and does not necessarily fully optimize available resources and strengths of our open society, at least not in the long-run. Enhancing retail investors’ savings, household assets, and individual wealth accumulation remain a vital force which would make Rwanda and Africa’s vision for sustainable wealth and legacy attainable.
Cumulative purchasing power, saving reserves, and liquidity flows amongst retail investors and individual family-offices would substantially surpass corporate players in most aspects, if not all. The issue here remains a lack of financial literacy inclusion for the retail niche as well as a lack of enough custom advisory and wealth management outlets to structure applicable investment vehicles and guide these usually non-sophisticated middle-income families.
Taking asset management as an example, the largest asset managers in the world remain the ones with core products and services focused on and accessible to individual retail clients; mostly with very low to no minimum starting balance. US names like Vanguard, Fidelity Investments, and BlackRock – with trillion of dollars in assets under management – lead their peer institutional asset managers and hedge funds by dozens of folds. In Rwanda, Banque Populaire has long been an ideal case study.
When we look at the success of
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