SEC stresses shared responsibility in investment decision making

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has re-emphasised the need for all stakeholders in the asset management and investment landscape – regulators, market operators, and the investing public – to be alive to their shared responsibility when it comes to investment decision making.

According to the Director-General of the Commission, Reverend Daniel Ogbamey Tetteh, the critical nature of the investment ecosystem to individuals and the economic prosperity of societies makes these responsibilities take on added responsibilities.

He made this known during a keynote address when Investment Advisor and Fund Manager, Tesah Capital unveiled a trio of products – the Tesah Future Fund, Tesah Treasury Trust, and Tesah Mobile app.

Rev. Ogbamey-Tetteh  said ‘We need to understand that when it comes to investments, the must be a certain sense of responsibility across the board. Many times, people think it is the responsibility of only one player. I want to emphasise that it is a shared responsibility. There are at least three different entities when it comes to investments that must be responsible. I am stressing this because people are quick to speak of the responsibility of the regulator and market operator.

All must live up to respective responsibilities,” and said his outfit, as the regulator is responsible for ensuring the right regulations are put in place to guide the operations of various players.

This, he said, can be seen with recently-issued investment guidelines, which he said are being backed by rigorous compliance measures, especially at a corporate governance level.

He added that the Commission will continue to serve as the industry watchdog, by ensuring licensure is granted with the emphasis on having fit and proper persons operating in the industry coupled with sustained investor education.

The SEC’s Director-General, who stated that the Commission has signaled to market operators that it wants collective investment schemes to be the default vehicle for the average investor and is duly putting resources towards this, called on market operators to live up to their fiduciary responsibilities as they handle other people’s money (OPM).

He also tasked them to demonstrate professionalism in client engagement, ensure compliance and provide adequate disclosure of relevant market information.

“We saw a lot of instances where clients did not know where their money was being invested,” he said of the recent industry clean-up.

The watchdog head honcho added that historical precedents and recent happenings have shown members of the investing public unduly neglect their due diligence responsibilities.

He stated that they must seek to understand the products they are purchasing and not rely solely on the promise of returns or supposed goodwill, adding that the presence of a representative from the regulator at a product event does not translate into tacit approval or recommendation.

“Please do not say that my brother or sister says it is good so I am also investing.  Do you understand what they are doing to be able to promise you those returns? If you fail to, you are shirking your responsibilities,” he said.

The President of the Ghana Securities Industry Association (GSIA), Winston Nelson said his outfit is hoping to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure the proposed levy on electronic transactions (e-levy) does not become a disincentive to the growth of capital markets.

Managing Director, Eugenia Basheer, said the introduction of the products marks another step forward in Tesah’s quest to make investing and the process easy and accessible to everyone and heralded collective investment schemes (CISs) as the ideal tool in that regard.

“Investment should not be the preserve of an affluent few, everyone needs to be able to invest part of their savings and collective investment schemes are the key vehicle for driving this,” she said.

She explained that the Tesah Future Fund, formerly known as the kiddiFUND, is an open-end balanced mutual, which will allow investors to take advantage of the potential growth from equities, whilst finding safety in fixed income products and is ideal for investors with a medium to long-term wealth growing objectives.

Despite the expansion of the Fund from its initial target of children to all classes of investors, it has still maintained elements of its roots, she added.

“One key feature that has been maintained is that it encourages and allows children to be involved in the investing process so as to inculcate the habit at an early age.”

The product also has an optional insurance component, which pays an assured sum, if the investor is unable to invest or reach a set target due to incapacitation or death.

The Treasury Trust, on the other hand, is a money market unit trust that will invest in government and quasi-government debt securities, offering investors a ‘risk-free’ gateway to investing.

Tesah Capital, Mrs. Basheer added, is demonstrating its commitment to the digitalisation agenda with the launch of its mobile app, in addition to an enhanced web portal and a USSD code to open investment accounts, make deposits and withdrawals as well provide a real-time view of customer portfolios.

This comes as the nation’s net asset value of its CISs has grown from 0.3 percent as a component of GDP in 2011 to 4.4 percent in 2020. Despite this growth, it lags behind the continental average of 11 percent.


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