Global investment banks, as well as multinational corporations and high net-worth individuals, have their eyes fixed on sub-Saharan Africa essentially because of one main reason: growth.
The collective GDP of Africa is projected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2020 (5 per cent of global GDP), compared to 2.4 per cent in 2010, and the IMF has estimated that seven of the world’s top-10 fastest-growing economies over the next few years will be in Africa.
Nigeria’s Central Bank has striven to ensure better governance and greater liquidity and transparency in the country’s banks to strengthen its investment banking sector.
“It has also focused on ensuring that the appropriate amount of capital is supporting different types of businesses,” says Sola David-Borha, CEO of Stanbic IBTC Bank. “As a result, you then have a much stronger banking sector that has better risk management and is well-poised for growth.”
Stanbic IBTC Bank is part of one of the most recognised banking brands on the continent: the Standard Bank Group, whose history dates back to 1862 and is Africa’s largest bank by assets and earnings.
Through its wholly owned stockbroking and asset management subsidiary, IBTC Asset Management Ltd, Stanbic IBTC Bank has several excellent mutual funds on offer, such as the IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund, which is Nigeria’s largest mutual fund. It is also the only bank with a direct subsidiary that is a pension fund administrator, through the market-leading IBTC Pension Managers Ltd (IPML).
“We are a full service financial services institution; we have a very strong investment and corporate banking business, and we also have a growing retail business and a business bank,” says Mrs David-Borha.
“We also have a wealth business, which comprises pensions fund management and non-pensions fund management, as well as our trustees business. So our revenue base is diversified. “We have the largest investor services business. Investors need a custodian to keep their funds: we are the largest, with over 70 per cent market share in the custody business. Also, we have a presence in every single state, and over a million retirement savings accounts spread across the country. “As we are part of the Standard Bank Group, we comply with all of the group’s policies and risk framework, etc. So you have the comfort of international banking standards, plus you get a full service offering locally, and that is what makes us unique.”