Muhammad Azmat Shaheen
PACRA Maintains Asset Manager Rating of Lakson Investments Limited
A strong ownership and governance profile of Lakson Investments Limited (the "Company") provides support to the assigned rating. The Company has a well-defined organizational structure, strong risk management framework, seasoned management team, innovative products and a structured investment process. The business strategy of Lakson Investments caters to the investment needs of institutional and high net worth investors. The Company has a diversified product slate comprising Private Equity Fund, Venture Capital Fund, Separately Managed Accounts and Open-Ended Funds, which distinguish it from other Asset Managers. The fund mix is tilted towards money market categories in-line with the peer universe. Lakson Investments is the only asset manager in Pakistan, which offers both domestic and internationally focused funds. The investor concentration at AMC level clocked in at 43% at end-Jun'23. The AUMs in terms of CIS witnessed a growth of 22.5% to stand at PKR 31.0bln at end-Jun'23 (Jun'22: PKR 25.3bln). However, the market share stood at 1.9% at end-Jun'23 (Jun'22: 2.0%). To augment its revenue stream, the Company is offering specialized investment products which includes Separately Managed Accounts with AUMs of PKR 87.45mln at end Jun'23 (Jun'22: PKR 9.46mln). The influx in SMAs is attributable to a new advisory account. The Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) Funds are 100% drawdown and have a combined size of PKR 7.0bln out of which PKR 3.71bln pertains to PE and PKR 3.31bln to VC. The overall performance of the mutual funds remained competitive and exceeded the industry averages with top three ranking in the equity, money market and asset allocation categories. The Company remained profitable during the review period and has a well capitalized equity base. The rating also incorporates the Company's association with Lakson Group, a leading business conglomerate in Pakistan having investments in multiple sectors.
The rating is dependent on the Company’s ability to strengthen its market position in terms of AUMs, sustaining superior fund performance and upholding robust investment framework. Meanwhile, diluting investor concentration and successful materialization of strategic investments is crucial.
Lakson Investments Limited was incorporated as an unlisted public company in 2008. The Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lakson Group, through its holding company SIZA Services (Private) Limited. Lakson Group was established in 1954 and is owned by the Lakhani family. It is among the leading business conglomerates in Pakistan and has interests in multiple sectors, including agri-business, consumer non-durables, fast food, information technology, financial services, media, paper and board manufacturing, printing and packaging, surgical instruments and travel. The CEO, Mr. Babar Ali Lakhani, possesses research and portfolio management experience with domestic and international institutions. Mr. Kashif Mustafa, Executive Director has more than a decade's experience of capital markets with local and international brokerage houses and leading asset management companies.
The control of the Company vests in Board of Directors, chaired by Mr. Iqbal Ali Lakhani, who is also the chairman of the Lakson Group. The Company’s fund slate is composed of seven open-end funds belonging to all major categories which includes asset allocation, equity, income, Shariah Compliant asset allocation and money market. The total assets under management stand at PKR 125bln at end Jun'23.