Sigma Pensions’ Sharia funds to drive private equity investments
Sigma Pensions has commenced plans to boost investments in private equity through Ethical Funds otherwise known as Sharia Funds as part of efforts to increase the number of sources of capitals for borrowers.
The Chairman, Board of Directors, Sigma Pensions, Mark Collier, stated this in a conference hosted by the firm recently in Lagos, to discuss the challenges of investing in private equities and to eliminate the macro risk that the country is facing as a build up to the election.
According to Collier, there is huge interest in Sharia Funds, and Sigma is interested in providing greater choices for its investors and contributors according to the guidance of the regulators.
He said: “In the northern part of the country, we have a very big interest in the potentials for Sharia Funds and that is a very important element to the things which we think can serve the savers with products which will meet their needs.
“It would enable greater engagements by those savers to understand where their contributions are, how they were invested, how they performed against the market and to know what their pension would look like in the coming years when they have a retirement decision to make.
“In sharia funds, you have to exclude certain investment categories and that is a very powerful thing for a lot of people in Nigeria, and it’s an important thing to actually provide choice.
“Our philosophy is to meet the need of our savers and to ensure that they have as much choice and to make most of their hard earned savings over a period of the time those funds will be with us.”
Also, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sigma Pensions, David Uduanu, said it was vital to discuss and articulate ways the to increase the penetration of pension funds in private equity.
“We have started a conversation between the pension funds and the private equity industry that would lead to more investments of pension funds in private equity and more investment of private equities in SME’s and growing companies in Nigeria.
“Sharia compliance funds are funds that are set up to be invested along Islamic investment principles. They are not invested in alcohol, tobacco and some interest bearing instruments but alongside principles that are enshrined in Islamic finance. It’s not a religious fund; it’s just an ethical way of investing.
“This is one of the fasted growing branches of finance in the world and most of the investors in this fund are even Christians.
“The reason why we are bringing it up is because quite a number of our contributing population in the industry and reside in the north and they have asked for this product. So it is something that we are really at the fore front of making sure that it happens,” he said.