The managing director of IEI-Anchor Pension Managers, Solomon Okoli, has assured shareholders that the company has overcome its teething problems and is now positioned for sustainable growth and profitability.
Consequently, Okoli told the shareholders at the company’s first annual general meeting in Abuja last week that at the moment, the company had extended operations to 30 states of the federation, servicing over 75,000 customers and managing a couple of states’ staff pension.
Already, shareholders of the company have voted to increase the company’s share capital from N2.222 billion to N3 billion in a move to accommodate increasing strategic partners’ interests that could help expand the business further.
The company, within eight years, grew shareholders’ funds more than eight folds from N150 million in 2005 to N1.240 billion in 2013, stressing that expansion efforts so far have repositioned the company for better performance even as the half-year results have shown.
The chief executive said the long-term plan of the company is to be among first tier PFAs in Nigeria with the threshold of a minimum of N100 billion of assets under management, explaining that the cost of expansion had eaten into the company’s revenue and consequently, profit, and was confident of the company’s outlook.
“Our expansion may not be profitable immediately, but as we scale up over time, we will get through this and we are already seeing this in 2014. We are already seeing a lot of improvements.
“We are seeing some of the locations that we opened last year being more profitable now. We are expanding our customer base, and the contribution level is beginning to yield and adding to the bottom line,” Okoli said.
According to him, part of the expansion strategies is to raise the company’s share capital to N3 billion to be positioned for possible acquisition moves.
“People outside are beginning to see the opportunities out there and they are getting interested in what we are doing and want to come in to be part of us. If we do not increase our share capital, cannot accommodate such people to be part of the company. So, we want to have the flexibility and use the capital to expand the business,” he said of the company’s new share capital.
Silas Jonathan Zwingina, chairman of the company, said despite decline in revenue in 2013, a modest profit after tax of N12.8 million was recorded, however, lower than the N54 million in 2012, assuring that the company was on track for third consecutive year of profitability.
Asset under management, he disclosed rose by 30.27 percent in 2012 to N26.2 billion from 2011 records and also 23.22 percent in 2013 to N32.3 billion.
The company’s customer base also increased to 63,574 in 2013 from 53,161 in 2012 and 45,136 in 2011.
“We continue to deliver above industry average return on investment for our account holders and providing a good environment for our employees to advance their careers. We are committed to profitable growth without losing sight of our responsibility to our customers,” Zwingina said.
Zwingina assured that the company’s board remains “reasonably optimistic” about the prospects for the company and the Nigeria’s pension industry and is determined to take bold steps to realise the aspirations of stakeholders in the coming years.
Despite prospects, the chairman however observed that the lingering security challenges, especially in the North Eastern region, limited access to that market, as cost of regulatory compliance continued to rise, limiting options for investments.