REGULATION

CMA admits Acorn to regulatory sandbox

Acorn Investment Management Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acorn Holdings Limited

In Summary
  • The licensed Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) manager has been admitted to the sandbox on account of its investment platform called ‘Vuka’.
  • The platform aggregates retail investors into asset-backed financial products such as real estate through a regulated and transparent structure.
Capital Markets Authority CEO Wyckliffe Shamiah.
Capital Markets Authority CEO Wyckliffe Shamiah.
Image: COURTESY

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has admitted Acorn Investment Management Limited to the regulatory sandbox for one year.

The licensed Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) manager has been admitted to the sandbox on account of its investment platform called ‘Vuka’ which aggregates retail investors into asset-backed financial products such as real estate.

The Authority is cognisant of Acorn’s commitment to support capital markets development and growth. The innovation further supports Kenya’s Big 4 agenda on affordable housing,” said CMA Chief Executive Wyckliffe Shamiah.

The innovation targets qualified retail investors such as investment clubs (chamas), saccos and other medium-to-long term retail investors.

Acorn Investment Management Limited (AIML) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acorn Holdings Limited (AHL).

It is currently the REIT Manager for Acorn student accommodation Development REIT (Acorn D-REIT) and the Acorn student accommodation Income REIT (Acorn I-REIT) on the Unquoted Securities Platform of the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

Sandbox participants are required to comply with minimum regulatory requirements prescribed by the Regulatory Sandbox Policy Guidance Note such as submission of test plans, which outline key test objectives, testing metrics, performance indicators, safeguards and remedial measures for test clients.

Upon exit from the Sandbox, participants could be granted a license or approval to operate in Kenya subject to compliance with existing legal and regulatory requirements.

Acorn, known for their purpose-built students hostel brands Qwetu and Qejani, currently runs four completed projects under the Qwetu brand in Ruaraka, Parklands, Jogoo Road and Madaraka, with a combined capacity of 1,570 rooms.