Rwanda's financial services sector is set to experience increased activity as a top Mauritian financial services firm has expressed interest to enter the local market.
The firm, JurisTax, is set to enter the market in the coming months following an exploratory visit by firm's top officials in the country last week
The delegation was led by Chief Executive Officer, Nishi Kichenin.
Who is JurisTax?
The firm is involved in a range of financial servicing such as, structuring, set-up and administration of various corporate vehicles including; trusts, investment funds, foundations and special purpose vehicles.
The firm works with high net worth individuals, small and medium enterprises as well as organisations.
"In Mauritius, JurisTax is a financial services firm, licensed by financial services commission to provide structuring, administration, secretarial, accounting, tax services, and other corporate services relating to the life of a company from its birth," Kichenin, the CEO, explained.
Having developed and grown in the Mauritian market, the firm is in the process of diversifying into other African countries, with Rwanda among target markets.
"We are considered to be one of the best firms not because of the amount of clients we have or assets under administration but because of the level of clients we provide to our clients. To be able to provide this fine level of services to our clients, it means we have recruited the best skills in the market in terms of accountants, secretaries, lawyers and trained them to the requisite level" she added.
Among other markets they operate in on the continent include, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire.
Among the factors leading the firm to enter the local market is the country's goals to become a financial services hub.
Though the country has severally expressed goals to become a regional services hub, the market has lacked enough players within the financial services especially targeting emerging firms.
"We want to create a service base to offer to Rwandan people. Having a company here to help Rwandans who have businesses or who want to start businesses. It's fairly easy to open a business in Rwanda, we however want to make it possible to efficiently run a business with international level of services. These services not presently available and when they are, they are quite expensive," Varounen Goinden, the Chief Operations Officer, added.
The firm says that their entry approach into the market will, among other things, feature raising awareness among potential services on the need for professional services.
The firm aims at training local professionals who will work with the firm in rolling out their services.
Samioullah Golamgouss, a fund manager at Providentia, an asset management firm which works closely with JurisTax, said that the rapid developments in the financial sector is a further incentive to join the local market.
"Rwanda is quite unique. If you look at the economy now, it is very different from what it was five years ago and what it is likely to be in the next five years. Rwanda can and will be a financial hub for the region. This is where we can enable private and government sectors to boost activity towards becoming a financial services hub. We will bring in modern ways of doing things," Golamgouss said.
Aware that asset and fund management is not very common in the country, the firm hopes to work with emerging firms to create demand.
Kichenin added that Rwanda's position presented an opportunity to become a financial hub providing such services to neighbouring countries.
"If you look at the neighbours of Rwanda, if there are companies that provide a good level of services, instead of sending the admin, human resources or payroll tasks to be done in other high cost jurisdiction, it can be done here," Kichenin said.
Despite the existence of a few top financial services players in Rwanda, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst and Young, the new entrant hopes to have an edge over the competition by services such as structuring asset management, accounting, administrative solutions and business advisory.
"This is about taking on someone who has a dream of a business and turning that dream into a reality. We cannot find any other firm that offers the services, we found that there is a gap that requires to be filled. We want Rwandans to find healthy and sustainable success in their ventures," Goinden added.
Goinden, the Chief Operations Officer, said that that with some of the services, being new to the Rwandan market, they hope to enter the market by creating demand through raising awareness.
"There are players who may need our services in the market but our idea is to create the demand. When coming in, the idea is to create the education on the need of the professional services thus creating the demand. We need to create an understanding of the concept of professional services," Goinden said.
The firm on Friday evening, in partnership with Flo'e, an events management firm, hosted an introductory presentation to members of the local private sector at the Kigali Marriot Hotel.