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New lifeline for Smartvest

SMARTVEST Wealth Managers, formerly AfrAsia Capital Managers (ACM), predicts a six-fold increase in funds under their management to US$30 million by year-end driven by sweeping operational changes, coupled with a rebranding exercise that is seen boosting customer confidence.

Staff Writer

Smartvest managing director Peter Kadzere said the business is currently managing US$4 million.

“We have sufficient capital to keep us going. We have lost market position because of what happened at the bank; right now we are open to business. We see ourselves coming back very fast,” he predicted.

Smartvest sees itself managing US$50 million by end of 2017 before doubling to US$100 million by 2020.

At its peak the financial services company used to manage US$58 million before being decimated to new lows.

The company said it expects to pay a dividend to shareholders by 2018. The asset management, which was established in 1995 was wholly-owned by the defunct ABZL, is now totally divorced from the failed bank after the scheme of arrangement.

The firm was put under judicial management on March 18 2015 before being placed under liquidation on April 29 2015 after the collapse of its parent company AfrAsia.

A creditors meeting held on July 31 last year proposed a scheme of arrangement which culminated into a new shareholder structure whereby investee creditors now hold 90% shareholding in the company with the staff having the remaining 10%.

Subsequently, a new interim board led by Andrew Mugandiwa was put in place in November last year to turn around the firm’s fortunes. Other board members are William Moore, Hayel Roland Heathcote, George Chikava and Kadzere. Smartvest received the certificate name change sanctioned by Registrar of companies and transformed from Afrasia Capital Management to Smartvest Wealth Managers on December 15 last year. PricewaterhouseCoopers is currently undertaking an audit at the firm with findings expected to be tabled at the board meeting next month. Smartvest has already rationalised salaries as part of a broader cost cutting strategy aimed at keeping the business afloat.

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