Sumac Microfinance enters big partnership with Sima LLC

By: Oliver Owuor

Sumac Microfinance Bank has announced a major partnership with US based Social Investment Managers & Advisors (SIMA) LLC to fund its growing loan inquires and other investment opportunities.

SIMA is globally known for successful funding ventures in the entire globe and has a presence in all continents across the world.

In this arrangement, SIMA will initially release funds to Sumac Microfinance Bank in the tune of USD2 million that will go into major financing activities for Sumac.

“We are delighted to announce this partnership at this juncture when Sumac is growing rapidly in Kenya,” says Sumac CEO John Njihia. “It is a welcome gesture indeed from SIMA to consider financing our activities as a bank, and we are excited to take the next step into greater efficiency as a bank.”

After months of negotiations over the funding, SIMA officials gave Sumac a clean bill of health, upon which this agreement was reached.

“We conducted due diligence when Sumac contacted us, and were satisfied eventually with the activities of the bank,” says Brian McConnell, who is a senior official in SIMA LLC. “We believe our partnership will not only help Sumac to continue on a path of efficiency and success, but will also be a significant opportunity to help reach out to many individuals and businesses around Africa who are in need of financial growth.”

Brian McConnell has overseen the entire process of vetting Sumac, and is delighted indeed to work with the bank. “The responses and the manner in which the entire process of crafting this agreement has instilled in us great confidence in Sumac Microfinance Bank, and we are delighted to foster a working relationship spanning many years to come.”

Sumac CEO Mr. John Njihia is optimistic about this agreement, and looks forward to breaking new ground in the country. “We have been growing rapidly, as I have stated. This agreement, however, gives us the opportunity to reach clients whom we couldn’t reach before owing to obvious financial constraints. We can promise Kenyans of our enduring commitment to helping them grow their businesses and their enterprises, because that is what we pride ourselves in as a bank.”

This comes on the backdrop of recent wins by Sumac in which the bank has been recognized as the 2nd Fastest Microfinance Bank in Kenya, at the 2018 Think Business Banking Awards.

Sumac has also recently welcomed on board a new partner in the name of Badoer Investments, a Dubai-based firm that has taken up about 15.6 per cent stake in the bank.

This gave Sumac Microfinance Bank new financial muscle as it was able to cast its wings wider in services provision, product development and customer catchment.

“At the moment, we are managing over Sh500 million customer deposits, from a mere Sh135 million three years ago,” stated Mr Njihia.

With this new partnership with SIMA LLC, it is worth noting that Sumac has been able to team up with other local and international partners for funding as well. These include RegmifA and Triple Jump, both from the Netherlands. Local Sumac partners include MESPT, Development Bank and Credit Bank.

Customer loans have grown, and currently Sumac is managing a Ksh1 Billon loan book and is operating a balance sheet of Ksh1.3 billion.

The bank now has a total of 45 members of staff operating from five service stations.  Two of Sumac’s branches are in Nairobi, one along Koinange Street and the other is at Park Road in Ngara, Mr Njihia said. Other branches are in Nakuru town and in Githunguri, Kiambu County respectively.

The target clientele are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and farmers. “We have to extend financial inclusion to the bottom of the pyramid,” he added.

Sumac is fully licensed and regulated by the CBK and is part of the 13 registered Microfinance banks in the country.


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