Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed
Eight local pension schemes are among investors who have committed Sh3 billion to a new fund operated by private equity firm Fanisi Capital.
The schemes from Kenya Power, Barclays, Co-operative Bank, Kenya Railways, Alexander Forbes, Kenya Ports Authority and Laptrust have agreed to put the money into the Fanisi Capital Fund II.
This is a 10-year fund that aims to raise between Sh7.5 billion and Sh10 billion in the next one year.
Fanisi Capital Chief Executive Ayisi Makatiani said yesterday that the money would be invested in ‘safe’ ventures in the health, education and retail sectors where returns are guaranteed.
“We have seen growth in the markets we have moved into so far and we are looking to capitalise on what we have gained and build even stronger businesses. We are in this business to invest in enterprises where we can develop together by growing value chains across the key sectors we have identified,” he said.
Fanisi’s investment portfolio includes retail pharmacy chain Haltons, which has outposts in Nairobi and other locations in Kenya; agroprocessing outfit Kijenge Animal Products based in Arusha, Tanzania; and private education provider Hillcrest International Schools based in Nairobi.
Retirements Benefits Authority (RBA) Acting Chief Executive Nzomo Mutuku said the regulator changed its framework to allow pension funds to invest with private equity firms. The schemes can currently invest up to 10 per cent of their members’ funds with PEs.
“It is a good thing the eight funds have used alternative assets in form of PEs to invest. But again, if the option fails we will go tough on the fund managers when members don’t get their returns,” said Mr Mutuku.
Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said most pension fund managers are only comfortable with investing in Treasury bills.
“While putting money in Government bills is a safe option, we have a big housing problem as a country. I think to help the Government with this problem, fund managers should invest more in real estate where I am sure returns are also safe,” he said.
Fanisi Capital closed its first fund, Fanisi Venture Capital Fund I, in 2015 with Sh5 billion.