Bard Santner opens office in New York

Bard Santner opened its New York office last week on the 85th floor of One World Trade Center. It has banking relationships with J.P. Morgan and Citibank.

Financial intermediary firm Bard Santner Inc has opened an office in New York as it seeks tap into huge capital, investment and transaction opportunities on the world’s biggest financial hub.

Bard Santner opened its New York office last week on the 85th floor of One World Trade Center. It has banking relationships with J.P. Morgan and Citibank.

The opening of an office in New York comes barely a year after the local financial services firm scored a first by becoming the first financial institution to register and set-up in the Victoria Falls Offshore Centre as it seeks to tap into the growth potential of the market.

Bard Santner banking relationships with J.P. Morgan and Citibank.

The networks, it said, not only provide financial benefits to Bard Santner, but also strategic advantages for its New York operations, especially on facilitating investment and financial transactions. Through these linkages, Bard Santner gains deeper access to investment opportunities and innovative financial tools, further supporting its offshore expansion drive.

Speaking after meeting investors at the company’s new offices at One World Trade Center, Bard Santner Inc. chief Senziwani Sikhosana said:

“We decided to come here because our economies in SADC have significant growth opportunities for global capital. Given that reality, our view is that we must have a presence in the financial hubs of global capital, which includes New York, Shanghai, London, and so on. Of course, in the region we are already in Johannesburg.

“This is an exciting time for us, especially considering that the US has the world's largest venture capital market. Naturally, we are eager to tap into this vast potential. The ultimate goal is to become the preferred partner for companies and other organisations operating in the dynamic and rapidly evolving Sadc marketplace.”

Sikhosana said Bard Santner is well-placed in the region and overseas to offer channels for capital movements and investment.

“As we move to offer capital inflows into the region through new channels, we are cognisant of the gaps that exist in local capital markets in Africa, especially in the southern African.

“Most of the big deals are structured and closed outside the continent; with majority if not all them done in the US, Europe or China. This is not by chance though. Structuring such big investment transactions for different companies, big, small or start-ups, operating in different and multiple countries requires an interplay of advanced finance and legal expertise, and an understanding of the relevant macro-economic environments, as well as mature capital markets that facilitate efficient execution of the deals and flow of funds.”

He said capital markets in most Africa countries are  at their nascent stages of growth, explaining why most big investment deals are negotiated, structured and closed outside the continent.

In addition, the financial services sector in most countries in Africa is not sufficiently capitalised to take on large investment deals locally. As a result, there has been syndication of deals with global partners.

Bard Santner has interests in asset management, wealth management, corporate finance, remittances, and commodity trading.

It plans to venture into commodity trading from Asian countries and also provide advisory services from the New York office. The advisory will focus on helping businesses in the Sadc region to raise capital and facilitate investment.

Bard Santner is chaired by Mauritian-based Vino Bussawah, with four local Zimbabwean directors. The firm currently has a presence in Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mauritius. With its deep understanding of local markets and expertise in financial management, Bard Santner has positioned itself well to offer customised solutions to businesses looking to expand and attract investors into the region. By leveraging its extensive networks and partnerships, Bard Santner effectively taps into emerging markets, consistently staying ahead of the competition curve.

In April 2023, Bard Santner mobilised Zimbabwean capital market players and executives of Victoria Falls Stock Exchange-listed companies to an investors’ conference in London.

“We are very encouraged by the support and feedback from our corporate clients, both local and regional. This makes us confident that our venture into New York will help us unlock value for our clients, investors and economies at large, while presenting a fresh portfolio of assets to the world,” Sikhosana said.

Working with partners in the region, Bard Santner also advises its clients and investors on risk management to ensure companies and investors overall business strategies are sound.

It helps enterprises mitigate the impact of uncertainty on business performance by tailoring reports to focus on specific issues for a country or region.

While there are challenges in the region, including in Zimbabwe, the tide is turning in Africa through the establishment of international financial centres in strategic cities across the continent.

Among the leading financial centres in Africa, there is Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa, Port Louis in Mauritius, Casablanca in Morocco, Nairobi in Kenya, Lagos in Nigeria and Kigali in Rwanda, as well as the nascent Victoria Falls financial services centre.

The strategic location of these financial centres covers the southern, northern, eastern and western regions of the continent.

“We pay close attention to activities in these financial centres making us well-placed and ready to handle deals, investments and transactions. The addition of our New York office to the firm’s global networks makes management of portfolios much easier,” Sikhosana said.

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