Italian asset manager Azimut is fully acquiring the Egyptian manager Rasmala Egypt AM in a move designed to enter the asset management industry in the Northern African country.
Following the transaction, Rasmala Egypt will be renamed Azimut Egypt Asset Management.
Rasmala Egypt, founded in 1997, focuses on conventional and Shariah compliant portfolio management in Egypt with AuM of EGP8.46bn ($474m) as of November 2018, with a strong expertise in equity strategies (85% of total AuM).
The company has a high quality team of portfolio managers and analysts, headed by Ahmed Abou El Saad out of Cairo, with 10 investment professionals managing a range of strategies embedded in public funds and mandates for local sovereign institutions, international sovereign wealth funds, pension plans, public banks and HNWI.
Azimut considers Egypt will be a significant opportunity for global asset management companies due to fast growing demographics (60% of the population below 30 years old); its relatively low level of urbanisation (45% of population living in cities) and a relatively low market capitalisation of the economy (in 2017 equity market representing almost for 25% of GDP vs. 30% in Turkey, 48% in Brazil).
The mutual funds industry currently accounts for a 1% of total GDP with more than 90% of total AuM invested in money market / fixed income strategies.
Pietro Giuliani, chairman of Azimut Holding, said: "The investment in Egypt confirms our commitment in expanding our MENA and Turkey regional footprint which will see Azimut as the first global asset manager with investment teams on the ground in Dubai, Cairo and Istanbul. This investment will also enable Azimut to capitalise on its integrated financial advisory model in a sizeable retail market carrying exciting prospects in the medium term. It marks the first move of the Group in Africa, a vast region offering unique untapped opportunities for product management and distribution expansion".