Kenanga Investors Berhad (Kenanga Investors) walked away with three awards at the 2019 Best of the Best Awards by Hong Kong-based Asia Asset Management held in Singapore recently. The fund house was awarded Malaysia Best Equity Manager, Malaysia Best Wealth Management Platform and Malaysia Best Investor Education.
Ismitz Matthew De Alwis, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director said that Kenanga Investors was able to produce returns and stay ahead of its peers due to its bottom-up stock-picking strategy that identifies quality stocks generally undervalued relative to their intrinsic value.
The Malaysia Best Equity Manager is in recognition of the success of the fund house’s equity products within Malaysia’s domestic market given the challenging trading conditions and its abilities in capturing potential growth opportunities.
The Malaysia Best Investor Education recognises the fund house’s role in raising awareness about financial planning in order to enhance retirement savings, initiatives taken and channels deployed, use of technology as well as the significance of these efforts at the country level.
The Malaysia Best Wealth Management Platform recognises the fund house due to it making a difference in the local market by providing a holistic financial approach to wealth management.
“Despite experiencing a relatively bearish environment in 2018, we were able to deliver consistent, risk-adjusted returns; it goes to show that outperformance during market uptrends is just as important as protecting our downside when the opposite occurs,” added De Alwis.
The fund house’s investment strategy is supported by solid risk management policies which ensure that it identifies, assesses and controls risks inherent in products, activities, and systems.
Commenting on some of the challenges faced with regards to investor education in Malaysia, De Alwis said that investors falsely believed they would be able to survive on their EPF savings when they reach retirement age while others lacked interest in learning more about the financial market which leaves them susceptible to scams or choose the wrong investment vehicle.
“To combat this, we work continuously with media partners, regulators and educational institutions so that we can reach out to the public on a wider scale, especially tertiary and secondary students.”
According to him, the root of the challenge was education. He opines that there is a lack of financial literacy within the local education system. By starting the process when an individual is young is a crucial part in tackling the issue at its core.
The fund house received the green light from the Securities Commission Malaysia to proceed with the offering of financial planning services in January of 2018. The platform operates on an open architecture model which includes services such as education planning, investment planning, insurance planning, estate planning, retirement planning, succession planning and tax planning, all of which are supported by over 25 trusted insurance, wills and trust, and asset management firms.
“We look forward to offering more innovative and tailored solutions. Currently, we are in the midst of expanding our product range to include more alternative products such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with equity and fixed income wrappers, as well as private equity opportunities for our clients” noted De Alwis.