As an investor I, like many others, seek out businesses that with funding and guidance can disrupt sectors with new products and ways of doing things. Recently, this has included Bank of Nevis International Ltd (BONI), a wealth and portfolio management business, that is taking advantage of shifts in the demographics of global high net worth individuals (HNWIs) towards growing numbers of younger clients. Since acquisition, we have also quickly adapted to changes in priorities following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic towards experiences and better work life balance in addition to the hunt for yield.

But not only that, I prioritise investments that have the potential to create positive development impact, including enhancing prospects, safeguarding livelihoods and strengthening enterprises that can create positive change.

I have worked in various emerging markets to bolster businesses that I feel serve the dual purpose of disrupting markets and delivering positive impact. There is value in opportunity and when an opportunity arises, I want to understand how and what I can bring in terms of tangible expertise and capabilities.

Real capital is always beneficial to any venture but without a robust arsenal of tools to accompany an investment, there is no long-term plan being put in place. Earlier this year, BONI, of which I am President, acquired a 24.08% stake in Investrust Bank Plc. — a banking group in Zambia. As the second largest shareholder of the bank, we were able to bring a package of benefits to Investrust that would secure its future and enable it to better service consumers across Zambia.

As a stable polity, flourishing democracy and resource-rich powerhouse, Zambia is perfectly positioned to be the continent’s next take-off story. In recent years, the nation’s financial struggles have been heard worldwide but with the ascension of a new president, there is now the chance to change the narrative. The opportunity with Investrust was clear — BONI could cultivate and embody the cultural and historical links between Africa and the Caribbean in a meaningful way, while also building capacity into Investrust’s business model through BONI’s experience and network of partners and clients.

While this isn’t my first time investing in organisations overseas, it is an exciting opportunity for BONI as the business’s first international acquisition outside of its homeland territory in the Caribbean. Expanding our geographic scope beyond our borders not only enables us to better serve clients and partners from around the globe, but it gives us greater depth to our understanding of how financial services support individuals at a national level.

BONI’s investment secures the future of Investrust by diversifying its product and service range to a growing population that requires a strong financial services industry. Increasing volumes of consumers across Africa are ‘underbanked’ but by bringing them into a system which serves them correctly, we advance economic development and enhance people’s ability to contribute to their national economies in a more sustainable way.

I sincerely believe that knowledge-transfer and collaboration is a tenet to successful long-term growth. Investrust has been a vital cog in Zambia’s banking sector for decades but investment which helps the bank realise its own potential will be fundamental to its success. The acquisition BONI has made revitalises the bank in a way which encourages creativity and innovation in the interests of the people of Zambia. This is only one instance but as an international banking partner, we are committed to seeking out opportunities to share our experience with others.

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