Jonathan Stichbury – Recipient of the Paul Sigsworth Award

Jonathan Stichbury was brought up and educated in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was subsequently was selected to attend and ultimately graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was then commissioned as a second lieutenant and served as an infantry officer in Germany, the UK (and briefly in Kenya) and also on two operational tours in Northern Ireland, before retiring as a Captain in 1991. Jonathan then embarked on a second career in investment management. He spent 5 years as an equity analyst and latterly as a Portfolio Manager at Martin Currie Investment Management, where he had responsibilities at different times for US and European markets. During this time, he undertook his professional examinations, firstly those for the London Stock Exchange and then over 2 and a half years those of the UK Society of Investment Professionals (which is now part of the CFA Institute). In doing so, Jonathan received a post-graduate qualification in Investment Analysis from the University of Stirling.

 

Whilst on holiday in South Africa in 1995, which was shortly after South African independence, Jonathan met the head of Old Mutual Asset Managers in Cape Town who encouraged him to apply for a job, as after years of apartheid, the firm was looking for investment professionals with international experience. One thing led to another and Jonathan joined Old Mutual in 1996 in Cape Town, initially as a Portfolio manager, but was later promoted to Senior PM. Whilst there, as well as managing South African equity portfolios, he was given responsibility for helping build Old Mutual’s new business in Botswana and he was partly responsible for winning their first sizeable pension fund mandates in that country.

Jonathan’s experiences in Botswana wetted his appetite for Africa, so in 1997, following the gazetting of the Kenya Pensions Act, Jonathan was quick to volunteer his services when Old Mutual decided to establish an asset management subsidiary in Nairobi.

 

So it was that in May 1998, immediately after his honeymoon, Jonathan moved to Kenya and became the first CEO of Old Mutual Asset Managers (Kenya) where he stayed for over 2 years. However shortly after Jonathan’s arrival, AIG established a rival asset management business under the somewhat wordy brand “AIG Global Investment Company East Africa Ltd” to which Jonathan moved as CEO in 2000. Thereafter, the rest is history … Jonathan has run the same business for over 18 years now, albeit with two shareholder and name changes along the way. Firstly in 2010 to “PineBridge Investments East Africa Ltd” and then to “Sanlam Investments East Africa Ltd” in 2017. Starting with 1 client and Ksh 1 billion in assets under management, Sanlam Investments East Africa has grown to become one of the market leaders (along with GenAfrica!) in both Kenya and Uganda with assets under management above Ksh 250 billion.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story: Jonathan was a founding council member and Vice Chairman of the FMA for 5 years and remains a director and a committed promoter of the investment profession and trust in the industry. He was also a council member of the Association of Retirement Benefits Schemes and sat on NSE committees and innumerable regulatory groupings to help try to ensure that regulations were fit for purpose. More recently, he has received the ICIFA ‘Financial Analyst’ designation.

 

Since his earliest days in Kenya, Jonathan has advocated high ethical standards and when the FMA was formed he advocated that all members must agree to adopt CFA standards and indeed this was written into the FMA’s constitutional documents. He has also been at the forefront of promoting research and over the years he has helped develop many young investment analysts and professionals, many of whom are now leading industry figures (including 2 current CEO’s of FMA firms!) And I know that he is proud that so many members of his and other FMA firms have either become CFA charter holders or are undertaking these important exams.

 

In addition to raising local capital, Jonathan has been a strong proponent of the investment opportunities that exist in Africa and in 2004, he helped established a business in Uganda, which is now substantial in its own right. Then in 2008, he oversaw the set-up of a Sub Saharan African Equity Fund which subsequently has attracted institutional capital from US, Europe, the Middle East and South African investors. Jonathan has personally visited or invested in 18 African countries and more recently in 2014, he initiated and oversaw the opening of a PineBridge office in South Africa.

 

Away from work, Jonathan is married to Rowena and they have 5 children – all who were born in Kenya. Jonathan regards Kenya as his home and is proud to have become a Kenyan citizen in 2015. Whilst he tends to keep a low profile in private, I have learned that Jonathan was treasurer of the British Legion Kenya for many years, which raises and distributes funds to former military askaris in need and that in his earlier days, Jonathan skied competitively and captained the British Army ski team. Since arriving in Kenya, he has become a keen equestrian and is a past chairman of Nairobi Polo Club and was a long-term council member of the Kenya Polo Association.