Although Old Mutual Namibia became the first company within the non-banking financial sector to cede to locals and localise its operations in 2006, Namibians with unit trust investments still have to be referred to South Africa upon enquiry, The Villager has found out.
The issue raises questions on whether the company that has 14% shareholding and the biggest holder of Government bonds with N$2b of the total N$9b has been localising its operations or merely window dressing.
While different enquiries are often made about unit trusts directly in Namibia, in most cases, clients await correspondence from South Africa.
The company - arguably the largest asset manager in Namibia with just over N$22b worth of assets under its management - has its unit trusts being managed locally by a qualified team of 22, comprising three CFA charter holders and three chartered accountants amongst other qualifications.
Meanwhile, OMN business unit marketing consultant, Sanja van der Berg neither confirms nor denies that there are instances when people applying for unit trusts have been referred to South Africa saying, “The Old Mutual Namibia Unit Trust, which resides in the Old Mutual Namibia Investment Group, makes up just over N$5b of the total asset-base under management in the Old Mutual Namibia Investment Group. N$3.6m thereof are invested in the Old Mutual Namibia Corporate Fund and the Old Mutual Namibia Money Market Fund. Both of these funds are managed locally by Mr Tyrone van Wyk and his team.”
She added that Old Mutual Namibia Unit Trust has eight different funds on offer to the public, “The available product range offers investment options for a wide variety of investor needs, be they a conservative investor, an aggressive investor or an ‘anything-in-between’ investor. Our funds are as such positioned that they can be matched to a client’s risk profile and investment term.” Van der Berg also argued that service is rendered through OMN’s 19 branches nationwide, where clients can invest, disinvest or switch from one Unit Trust to another with the help of an Old Mutual Namibia advisor.
“We make transactions with Old Mutual Namibia Unit Trust as easy and convenient as possible for our clients, to ensure that service delivery is met at all times, irrespective of our clients’ locations. Our Unit Trust Fund offering and service model make this a convenient and highly accessible investment option, that not only offers clients accessibility to their funds but also competitive returns,” she notes.