The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has commenced implementation of 100 per cent custody requirement in the Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) sector to protect investors.
The Director-General of the SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, made this known in a statement issued on Sunday, September 19, in Lagos.
Yuguda noted that the custody requirement covered all Funds and Portfolios being managed by registered Fund/Portfolio Managers.
He explained that all clients’ assets managed under discretionary and non discretionary mandates were to be held under independent custodial agreement and custodial banks.
According to Yuguda, this was in addition to CIS, Mutual Funds, authorised for public offering.
Yuguda said that although it was a natural operational requirement of CIS, the SEC was having some new enforcement and insistence on the compliance that has been in the books, but have not been implemented before now.
The statement read: “For example, we have the collective business sector where you have the fund managers. We have a dichotomy between public funds, which are funds that are publicly traded, and you can see the unique values on the stock exchange and in newspapers daily.
“There are also private, which are investment agreements between fund managers and specific investors. 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”.
According to Yuguda, with the SEC having 100 per cent custody agreement in the CIS sector, any investor in the capital market should be confident that their investments were secure.
He added that it was a good thing for the market and an area that can bring about a lot of growth in the market because it offered a very good opportunity to save.
The SEC D-G also said that the commission was also looking at the market to see how it could formulate regulations that would help investors protect their investments.
He said: “We have a Fintech division in the commission that was set up purposefully 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.”