Time to shift focus from savings and loans - Martin ofori

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Martin Ofori, Chief Executive Officer of Crystal Capital and Investments
Martin Ofori, Chief Executive Officer of Crystal Capital and Investments

Chief Executive Officer of Crystal Capital and Investments Martin Ofori has called for a comprehensive financial sector strategy that will focus more on the capital market and investment banking.

He said the country’s economic development strategy along the supply-leading finance path since independence had continued to evolve along the same philosophy, which is savings and loans.

Mr Ofori, speaking in an interview with the Graphic Business on the sidelines of the company’s press soiree, said this status quo in the financial system did not have the capacity to drive the growth agenda that was required and, therefore, the need to now shift the focus to the capital market and investment banking.

“We believe something else has to happen and the capital market and the investment banking space is really the next big thing that requires the right focus to be able to drive the growth agenda,” he stated.

District industrialisation programme

Mr Ofori also pointed out that the current financial landscape did not support the government’s planned district industrialisation programme.

He said transitioning into a more buoyant private sector-led growth economy require substantial amount of investment that creates a stronger financial interrelation.

"The district level industrialisation programme to support the needed growth over the medium-term will require a more significant growth in investment and consequently from private sources of capital on a much larger scale than previously,” he said.

He said it was, therefore, time to develop specific initiatives that would promote sustainable investment into viable cutting-edge projects such as the district industrialisation programme which would in turn propel growth.

He said the capital market and the general investment banking space was the next “big thing” that could bring about a significant transformation if specific initiatives drawn from international best practice are allowed to create appropriate investment vehicles to harness long-term investment domestically and potentially attract “matching” funds to propel indigenous growth.

Crystal’s contribution

The CEO stated that as part of the company’s contribution to redirecting the focus of the financial sector, it had launched two new products which were still at the Initial Public Offering (IPO) stage.

The two products are the Crystal Wealth Fund (W-Fund) and the Entrepreneur Fund (eFund) which are both collective investment schemes that pool resources of the general public and manage them on their behalf.