Citigroup, Barclays, UBS lead race to manage Dangote's wealth

By The Citizen

Barclays Plc is joining Citigroup Incorporated and UBS AG in targeting millionaire clients in Africa as the continent's fastest-growing economies swell a rich list topped by billionaires Aliko Dangote and Johann Rupert.

Barclays Africa Group Limited, in which the London-based bank will hold a 62.3 per cent stake, is seeking to build on experience managing wealth in South Africa after acquiring eight African operations previously run by its parent.

Reuters reported that the expansion depends on regulators in countries including Kenya, Ghana and Mauritius, said Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos.

'It's potentially a very exciting opportunity,' Ramos said in an interview in Johannesburg on July 30.

The number of Africans with at least $1m of investable assets climbed by 9.9 per cent to 140,000 in 2012, according to a report published on June 18 by Cap Gemini SA and Royal Bank of Canada.

That was the fastest rate of increase outside North America as the economies of countries such as Nigeria and Ghana grew at more than five per cent last year.

'It's a great time for private banking, wealth management and asset management in Africa,' Mark Mobius, who oversees $53bn as executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, said in an interview on June 28.

About 42 per cent of the millionaires in Africa and the Middle East are prioritizing wealth accumulation, a higher proportion than in North America, Europe or Asia, the Cap Gemini report showed.

UBS, the world's biggest wealth manager, said in May it will expand its operations in Africa as economic growth rates boost demand.