JMMB Fund Managers Limited (JMMBFM) says it now holds the third position in the market, with over $41.2 billion in funds under management over the past five years. This represents a growth of over 500 per cent.
The JMMB subsidiary also said it outpaced NCB Capital Markets Ltd. and Barita Unit Trusts Management Ltd.
CEO of JMMB Fund Managers Christopher Walker attributed the growth to the client partnership approach taken by JMMB to help clients achieve their goals amid the changing investment environment.
“A major driving force for the significant growth in our funds has been our client partnership approach which is underpinned by goal attainment, through client education. Client goals and how to meet their unique needs, such as wealth creation, remain a centrepiece of our client engagement process,” Walker said.
CEO of JMMB Fund Managers Christopher Walker.
Over the five years, Jamaica’s collective investment schemes (CIS) market, which consists of unit trusts and mutual funds, has nearly doubled its funds under management, moving from approximately $146.6 billion in March 2016 to $307 billion in funds under management as of August of this year.
During this period, there has also been a significant uptick in the number of players and offerings, from a mere five players managing 12 unit trusts, to now 11 fund managers, offering over 72 collective investment schemes.
Wallace noted that the overall growth in the collective investment schemes (CIS) market was fuelled, in part by the regulatory changes made in 2015 by the Financial Services Commission (FSC).
The regulatory shift resulted in a contraction of the repurchase (repo) market and set the stage for growth in the collective investment scheme market as investors sought risk-adjusted returns on their investment.
One such alternative is unit trusts, which are considered relatively safe investments because the risk is pooled and invested in a diverse range of assets
The JMMB Fund Manager exec also attributed the longstanding and solid foundation built by JMMB in the unit trust market as another key pillar for the fund’s growth.
“We offer value to our clients, backed by consistent performance and a solid research-based process that places clients’ best interest at the forefront when selecting assets to include in our unit trust suite,” Walker said.
Moreover, the changing investment environment has also allowed investors to become savvier in seeking opportunities for greater return on their investment over the long term, Walker noted.
“With a low-interest-rate environment, collective investment schemes, like unit trust, have become more attractive in delivering value. Unit trusts have proven to provide above-average returns when compared to other assets of similar risk. Using the typical money market fund, which is a more conservative fund, investors saw more than 2.5 per cent annualized returns, on average, over the last three years, compared to a savings account that offered individuals less than one per cent over a similar period.”
In addition, even with nominal capital, this investment allows small and large investors, alike, access to a wider range of assets.
JMMB Fund Managers’ current suite of offerings includes eight unit trusts, which are denominated in US and Jamaica dollars. These funds are largely focused on real estate, equities, bonds and other fixed-income instruments.
Walker revealed that the subsidiary is also looking to increase its suite of offerings during this financial year to offer clients increased diversity in their portfolio and exposure to a wider mix of assets.