Kevin Bhagmal belongs to the new breed of financial entrepreneurs in Mauritius. He is the co-founder of the management firm, FFG Mauritius. He expresses his views to Investor’s Mag on the future development of the Mauritius IFC.
Featured in Investor’s Mag, 23rd Edition, Dec 22 – March 23
Kevin Bhagmal, Co-Founder and Managing Director of FFG (Mauritius) Ltd: “My role as MD is to oversee the company’s business operations, liaise with stakeholders, drive strategic company growth, and am responsible for the overall performance of the business”.
FFG (Mauritius) Ltd is a management company (“MC”) incorporated in Mauritius and is duly licensed by the Financial Services Commission (FSC). It provides high-quality services to corporations, funds, trusts, and individuals since October 2019. FFG (Mauritius) Ltd is part of FFG Group of Companies and operates from its office address at 5th Floor, La Croisette, Grand Baie, Mauritius.
Kevin Bhagmal’s career in the global business sector began more than 14 years ago, when he worked for reputable Management Companies in Mauritius. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Mauritius and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of MANCOSA in South Africa.
Being enthusiastic about the Mauritius IFC, Kevin Bhagmal believes it is vital to the Mauritian economy. “The sector contributes nearly US$1 billion to GDP, or 8% of total, and US$180 million in tax revenues, or 8% of total, and provides over 11,000 jobs, or 4% of skilled labor,” he says. “Today, the IFC sector is divided into three pillars: cross-border investment, cross-border corporate banking, and private banking and wealth management,” Bhagmal continues.
He believes that Mauritius has one of the most stable and appealing business environments in Africa because of its stable political and economic system, attractive taxation, internationally compliant and enabling regulatory framework, strong legal and judicial framework, and availability of foreign currency with unrestricted capital flows.
Migration of the Labour
while the labor force in Mauritius is highly educated, reasonably priced, and multilingual, there aren’t enough people with the extreme specialization required for some IFC activities. “The main concerns are attracting foreign specialists, training local talent in the necessary skills, and retaining talented and experienced workers,” he says.
The MD of FFG Mauritius explains that labor migration must be addressed in order to support the IFC’s growth. “In the last two years, we’ve noticed that a lot of qualified people in the financial services sector are going to work in other IFCs like Luxembourg, Malta, and Cyprus. The reason is that they get better remuneration in terms of packages compared to Mauritius,” says Bhagmal.
Mauritius, which competes with Singapore, Dubai, and Luxembourg, lacks a distinct position as an expert in a specific product or area, such as hedge funds in Dublin or insurance in the Cayman Islands, he adds.
Bhagmal also emphasized the majority market dominance of three powerful multinational banks and two strong local banks in Mauritius. “A greater number of international banks, particularly large pan-African and Chinese banks, and international law firms are needed to broaden the breadth of financial services,” he suggests.
According to Bhagmal, the IFC will be less competitive in the coming years because Mauritius is no longer a low-cost jurisdiction, but the IFC will evolve with more innovative offerings to compete with other more sophisticated jurisdictions. The co-founder of FFG anticipates an increase in international firms, primarily legal and accounting firms, in Mauritius. Bhagmal believes that more regulations will be enacted to meet the new needs of clients in fields such as crypto, hedge funds, and AML / CFT in order to keep the IFC on the OECD’s white list.
He also anticipates more automation, “because there is already a scarcity of resources in Mauritius,” as well as the fulfillment of the aspirations of the new generation, such as Work From Home, more flexible working hours, and so on.
With more expatriates expected to work in the sector, the real challenge, according to Bhagmal, will be finding the right balance.
According to him, due to their growing geopolitical and economic influence, India and China will remain at the top of the list of Mauritius IFC’s most important markets. “Gulf countries, such as the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, will offer many opportunities due to less regulation,” he says, adding that “those investing in resources will find African-centered vehicles appealing in terms of returns.”
FFG Mauritius plans to grow to a mid-sized firm in the next five years
FFG (Mauritius) Ltd is a management company registered in Mauritius and licensed by the Financial Services Commission (FSC).
Futurum Financial Group (Pty) Ltd, a South African company founded on October 1, 1998, is its parent company. It offers seamless, tailored insurance and risk solutions to top South African public companies, thousands of privately owned businesses, and a large number of private individuals. As a leading independent financial services company, it provides a wide range of financial services and products, with a particular emphasis on Wealth Creation and Preservation, Asset Risk Management Insurance Solutions, and Employee Benefit Solutions.
“Sensing a growing demand from its clients for cross-border solutions, the Group made the wise decision to establish FFG (Mauritius) Ltd to meet the needs of its South African markets, and has since expanded to other Southern African countries such as Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, and Namibia. Its geographical expansion has recently included the Middle East and Asia,” explains Kevin Bhagmal, Co-founder and Managing Director of FFG Mauritius.
“Our active involvement in the management of a wide range of companies within the FFG Group provides ongoing significant experience and fertilising management knowledge, facilitating the required solution finding and recommendation. Our goal is to provide our clients with the same level of service and expertise that we would expect in similar situations,” he adds.
Company Formation Services, Advisory Services, Company Secretarial and Administrative Services, Corporate Trustee Services, Expatriate Support and Residency are among FFG’s core services.
Expats, High net worth individuals, Entrepreneurs, small to medium sized enterprises, owner managed businesses (OMBS) and entrepreneurs, multinational corporations, and large enterprises are among the management company’s clients.
With the help of its group and by expanding its footprint in regional markets where it has a competitive advantage, the new management company plans to grow to a mid-sized firm in the next five years.
FFG Mauritius will participate in road shows and use more modern means to reach out to potential clients in order to increase the company’s visibility.
FFG Mauritius also plans to recruit at least 20 regional intermediaries / independent financial advisors over the next five years, as well as expand its product offerings by including captive insurance, PCCs, Outsourcing, and CIS.
Sustainability is also high on the company’s priority list. “We want to prioritize green initiatives following COP 27, thus favoring players investing in green energy and the sustainability of the planet,” Bhagmal says.
He believes that in a decade, FFG Mauritius will be able to explore other untapped markets globally, expand its list of intermediaries to other jurisdictions, have a physical presence / office in two other jurisdictions, and reinforce its mid-sized status by expanding geographically and adding new client offerings such as family office, fintech, and so on.
The FFG Group
- 55 THOUSAND CLIENTS
- 5 bn ASSETS UNDER MANAGEMENT
- 50 ADVISORS
- 100 PRODUCT PROVIDERS
- 200 PRODUCT TYPES