NIGERIA – The Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has partnered with the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) to empower local investors and develop private equity (PE) as an asset class in Nigeria.
Speaking about the partnership, PenOp Chief Executive, Oguche Agudah, said pension funds operators have realised that they need to diversify into alternative investments. He said they view private equity as one of such opportunities.
He maintained that domestic capital plays a vital role in accelerating economic growth in Nigeria and across the continent, adding that over the past five to ten years, the value of Nigerian pension funds has grown remarkably to peak at over US$25 billion in December 2020, of which 0.03 per cent has been allocated to private equity.
He said the partnership between PenOp and AVCA, would focus on training and networking, including an introduction to development finance institutions (DFIs), fund managers and other stakeholders within the global private equity ecosystem, to ensure the growth of private equity in Nigeria, especially for pension operators.
He stated that as part of the collaboration, PenOp would also support AVCA’s research and advocacy by providing insight into pension fund investments in PE and their impact.
He said during the African Institutional Investor Roundtable hosted at AVCA’s annual conference in April, there was a discussion about ways to encourage pension funds in the continent, in order to increase their allocations to private equity.
“The event was attended by several Nigerian pension funds and international DFIs. It was enlightening and engaging, and the outcomes from the event will be reviewed by all associations involved, with a view to working on removing the identified roadblocks.”
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Abi Mustapha- Maduakor, said AVCA is on a mission to facilitate more private investment into Africa.
He said part of the work involves unlocking domestic capital by demystifying the asset class.
“We know that African institutional investors are increasingly looking at Private Equity to diversify their portfolios, so this collaboration with PenOp will enable us to equip Nigerian pension funds with the tools and resources they need to achieve superior returns by investing in the continent’s growing businesses,” he added.
AVCA plays a significant role as a champion and effective change agent for the industry, educating, equipping and connecting members and stakeholders with independent industry research, best practice training programs, and exceptional networking opportunities.