Carrick Wealth Management, the Cape Town, South Africa advisory firm headed by Craig Featherby, has opened an office in Blantyre, Malawi, bringing to five the number of countries in which it operates.
The office is being headed up by Gomez Kumwenda, managing director of Malawi for Carrick Wealth (pictured, below left).
In addition to South Africa and Malawi, Carrick Wealth currently has offices in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mauritius, and is planning to expand into Kenya next, as part of the company’s “Africa 2020” expansion strategy, unveiled last year. As reported, the company has also said it has its sights set on offices in Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique, and the Ivory Coast.
In a statement announcing the opening of the new Malawi outpost, Carrick Wealth founder and chief executive Featherby said it represented an “opportunity” not just for Carrick but also for the potential clients in the land-locked country of around 19 million people, which he noted has been moving in a positive direction in terms of its governance and economy in recent years.
“We believe that the long-term growth projections for Africa, and especially those we have targeted, such as Malawi, are positive,” he added.
“All of [these countries] have shown an increase in GDP over the last five to seven years. And combined with the political stability in Malawi over the last 20 years, we believe this growth bodes well for our new office.”
Blantyre is Malawi’s centre of finance and commerce, and its second-largest city, behind Lilongwe, the capital.
Since 1993, Malawi has held five presidential and parliamentary elections and, according to a recent World Bank report, Malawi’s GDP growth in 2017 will be more than 4.5% – a 2% increase over last year, Carrick Wealth notes. In addition, inflation between 2016 and 2017 dropped by 13.5%, to 9.3%.
Perhaps more importantly, Featherby noted, Malawi is becoming increasingly urbanised, with an estimated 16% of its population now living in cities – which, he says, also now represent “the economic core of the national economy”, and generate around a third of the country’s GDP.
“Africa’s rapid urbanisation, its young population, and its growing labour force makes it – and Malawi – a highly valuable asset in our plan to realise the potential of the continent’s economies,” he added.