In a bid to further protect investors and deepen the capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced the commencement of implementation of 100% custody requirement in the Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) sub sector.
The Director General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda, who made the announcement recently at a forum in Abuja, said the Custody requirement covers all Funds and Portfolios being managed by registered Fund/ Portfolio Managers.
“All Client’s assets managed under discretionary and non-discretionary mandates are to be held under independent Custodial agreement and Custodial Banks. This is in addition to CIS (Mutual Funds) authorized for public offering,” Yuguda said.
He also noted that SEC is insisting on the compliance that has been in the books but have not been implemented before now although it is a natural operational requirement of CIS.
In his words; “A lot of these funds in the privately held fund management mandates are in our custody. The investment manager before now did not only have the investment management responsibility for the fund, but also kept the securities and cash as whole shares in this investment. The risk is that if the investment manager should go bust, then the investor loses and that is not acceptable in financial markets around the world.
“I think with the introduction of total custody in that sector, we are likely to see a massive uptake of these kinds of products. We have released some regulations recently in this area for the different types of fund managers, and I think this is an area that is now becoming increasingly attractive to investors and is also receiving the attention of the commission”.
He said with the SEC having 100% custody agreement in the Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) sector, any investor that invests in the capital market should be confident that their investments are secure adding that it is a good thing for the market and an area that can bring about a lot of growth in the market because it offers a very good opportunity to save.
“We have a fintech division in the commission that was set up purposely to understand these new types of investment structures and to collaborate with fintech firms that wish to register as capital market operators and offer services to the investing public. This is a developing area, and we intend to issue new regulations from time to time.