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VAM Funds creates new Africa distribution role


VAM Funds has appointed a business development manager for Africa.

Simon Smith joins VAM from emerging markets investment specialist Alquity Investment Management, where for five years he was business development director covering Africa and the Middle East.
The will allow the business to expand its distribution network in rapidly growing financial and investment advice markets on the African continent.
Nigel Watson, VAM sales director, says: “We are committed to establishing and building a more regular and quality distribution capability in Africa, where demand for high quality investment funds and products is increasing. We have seen significant growth in the number of advisory firms throughout the continent in the past year and we want to support that distribution channel with dedicated support.”
Smith will be responsible for fund distribution and relationship management across key African markets, excluding South Africa. His remit is a newly-created one within VAM, which has previously never had a business development role solely focused on African markets outside of South Africa.
Watson adds: “Investor appetite in Africa is increasing for more sophisticated investment products than are typically available domestically. We are finding that well-regulated funds, such as those we provide through our Luxembourg UCITS IV range, are increasingly being sought out.”                                          
Smith’s career in financial services spans more than 30 years, during which he has held management roles in Barclays Group, Alliance & Leicester Bank and National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia. In that time he has lived and worked in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the UK.

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