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As part of plans to expand its business activities, First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB) has announced a three-level investment that will significantly strengthen the bank’s wealth and asset management businesses. Prominent among these arrangements, the bank disclosed, include the launching of a pan-African health fund in partnership with a leading international fund manager based in the United States.

This is also as the bank receives board’s approval for the acquisition of two of its sister companies CSL Stockbrokers Limited and City Securities Limited (Registrars).

FCMB’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ladi Balogun made the revelations while presenting the bank’s “Facts behind the Figures” for the third quarter of the 2007/2008 financial year, at the Nigerian Stock Exchange last week in Lagos.

He explained that the health fund managers would invest 50 percent of its funds in Africa while 40 percent goes to the Middle East. The first health products would be branded FCMB products.

“We will be launching a pan-African health fund with a leading international health manager based in the United States. It will invest 50 percent of its money in Africa and 40 percent in the Middle East and the first of its products will be branded FCMB’s products. We will be co- managing it with our partner and it will be a sizable fund for the region”. Ladi explained.

The FCMB boss also said the 100 percent acquisition of CSL stockbrokers and City Securities Limited (registrars) has already received board approval. The acquisition presents significant synergies with the bank’s wealth management activities, creating opportunities to cross sell mutual funds and education investment plans amongst other products to hundreds of thousands of retail brokerage clients.

Following the acquisition, CSL will still retain its independence in terms of name and management, but will share the same brand identity (love mark) with FCMB which is depicted by the two gold bars and black masthead.

FCMB has also received regulatory approval to acquire a 25 percent share in Legacy Pension Managers Limited, Nigeria’s seventh largest PFA. Through the acquisition, FCMB will gain access to an industry with N600 billion in assets presenting cross selling opportunities for the bank’s retail products, such as offering its savings account and loan products to PFA clients.