Sanlam Investments East Africa remained the pension industry top fund manager for the second year running even as the big three managers saw their assets shrink.
The firm managed Sh202 billion assets making up 20.6 percent of Kenyan pension sector assets as at December last year.
The top five fund managers, according to the latest data from the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA), were Sanlam, GENAFRICA Asset Managers, StanlibKenya — whose assets fell year-on-year — Old Mutual Investment Group, and British American Asset Managers. The latter two saw an asset increase.
They managed schemes assets totalling Sh683.47 billion or 69.74 percent of the entire assets under fund management.
Industry data shows an eight percent year-on-year increase to Sh1.165 trillion in the total assets under management by fund managers and approved issuers in Kenya.
According to the data, 16 fund managers and 15 approved issuers, submitted 1,236 scheme reports with a total fund value of Sh980 billion, representing an eight percent increase compared to the December 2017 values.
Total assets managed by fund managers amounted to Sh813 billion while the approved issuers managed Sh167 billion at the end of December 2018.
Pension schemes have in the meantime grown their holdings of government securities by Sh65.49 billion in the past one year as they continue to migrate from the poorly-performing equities market.
The RBA data shows that the funds held Sh459.68 billion as of December 2018 in the government securities compared to Sh394.19 billion a year earlier, a 16.61 per cent increase.
Analysts say the bear run in the equities market that persisted over the past two years has informed the shift towards the government securities from equities.
According to the RBA report, the securities still accounted for the biggest share of the industry assets at 39.4 percent, followed by immovable property at 19.7 percent, investments in quoted equities at 17.3 percent and investments in guaranteed funds at 14.4 percent.
Investment in private equity and venture capital increased to Sh864 million in December 2018 to account for 0.07 percent of the total pension sector assets, while investments in Commercial Paper and non-listed bonds decreased by 297 percent to Sh60 million.
The RBA report projects the retirement benefits sector to grow this year “given the relatively stable political environment and the gradual recovery of the stock market”.
Sanlam Investments East Africa chief executive Jonathan Stichbury said expansion would happen despite challenges associated with the delayed long rains.