The Chief Executive Officer, AXA Mansard Investments Limited, Deji Tunde-Anjous, in this interview with Nosa Alekhuogie affirms that the launch of AXA Mansard Money Market Fund and AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund is in line with the firm’s promise to deliver investment solutions built around clients’ needs. Excerpts:
Tell us about AXA Mansard Investments Ltd?
AXA Mansard Investments Ltd is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) licensed Fund/Portfolio Manager. We manage investments across traditional asset classes (which refer to Fixed Income, Money Market & Equities) as well as alternatives (representing Real Estate & Private Equity). Our clientele cuts across Institutional, Private and Retail clients. We are one of the 4 companies within AXA Mansard in Nigeria (with others including the Insurance, Health & Pension businesses).
AXA Mansard is a member of the AXA Group the worldwide leader in Insurance & asset management with over 166,000 employees based in 64 countries and serving more than 103 million customers. A core part of our vision is to empower people to live better lives. This cuts across all the areas of our business and you may say, is the reason why we exist.
Could you tell us about the Funds you recently launched?
As part of our commitment to deliver superior value to investors, we recently launched the AXA Mansard Money Market Fund and the AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund
The funds were created to cater to the savings and investment needs of individual and corporate clients, and give investors a platform for achieving their short to long term financial goals.
The AXA Mansard Money Market Fund is designed for investors with low risk appetite looking to maximise interest income in short-tenored securities. Conversely, the AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund is suitable for investors with higher risk appetite, seeking income and capital growth through a portfolio of attractively valued dividend paying stocks.
Given the current economic situation and the inseparable link between investment and risk, is this a good time to invest?
Absolutely; institutions and individuals in Nigeria are going through some of the most difficult economic times on record and more than ever need to create buffers to enable them weather the storm. Some of the quick actions to take include cutting excesses, reducing debt and saving more amongst a number of other useful measures.
Spending less and saving more is a simple step towards sustainability and preparing for the unexpected such as rising prices, job losses, or having to support more family members or others in need.
Also, asset prices during downturns and recessions tend to be much more compelling than during boom periods so those that have the discipline to save, end up making some of the best investments over time.
What are the driving force behind the mutual funds?
There is a perception that having an investment plan that reflects one’s circumstances and investing towards such a plan is the reserve of those that are wealthy because of the high entry requirements for accessing advisory and wealth management services. We however believe it is important, especially during these times, that the majority and not minority of people are able to create and invest in low cost plans, be it to own a home or car, or to cover the school fees amongst other objectives. Enabling this requires technology and an innovative approach to serving our clients.
To add, our two funds being launched are at opposite ends of the risk spectrum, that is, one has high expected return and risk while the other has low expected return and risk. With both of them, anyone can have a combination that reflects their investment objective and risk appetite. A young person with many years to go can invest in an aggressive portfolio while an individual in mid-cycle can have a balanced (50:50) combination. Also, a retiree for instance that may need the money before long for living and medical expenses can have a predominantly income (money market) portfolio. The great thing is that both funds also generate income in the form of dividends and interest, which are distributed to unit holders.
What is your unique value proposition to customers?
We have a 24hr liquidation cycle for our money market fund which in most cases, means our clients receive their funds on the same day they make a request. That is quite uncommon in Nigeria today.
Our people are also a unique proposition. We believe we have some of the best investment managers in the industry today. Due diligence through investment research is paramount to our investment approach including the consideration of global and domestic risk factors. We also have the ability to execute our views quickly towards adapting rapidly to the ever changing economic environment, and also to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.
Equally, we are constantly looking for ways to generate more value for our clients and reduce processing times for our redemption and subscription processes. This is why we are currently adopting bespoke IT solutions. We are very big on using digital channels as an avenue for reaching more people in a friendly and low cost manner.
How can the public access your funds?
Our Funds are easily accessible through digital and physical channels. Besides our welcome centers which are spread across the country, our funds can be bought online at online.axamansard.com and using *737*50*AMOUNT *292# on your mobile phone for those that have GTBank accounts or via direct transfers from any bank accounts to the fund account. Going forward, we will also be accessible using similar channels on Jumia, through additional banking platforms and through our Mobile App.
How does being part of AXA, one of the largest insurers/financial services firms globally impact the fund?
Being part of a much larger group allows us access to expertise and global best practice in the management of mutual funds. Our inclusion in the group enables us draw from a large resource and knowledge base, which will in no small way filter through to the management of the fund and for the benefit of unitholders.
Are there other parties involved in your Funds?
Yes, there are a number of other parties involved in ensuring that the Fund is optimally managed and administered to the benefit of all investors. For instance, beyond our regulator which is the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Fund has a Trustee, Custodian and Auditor, which are Investment One, FCMB Nominees and Horwarth Dafinone, respectively.