EFG Hermes prides itself on being a regional financial services powerhouse able to weather the most unexpected of circumstances. The events of the year, which saw slumps in global economic activity and adverse market conditions across the world, put our resilience as an institution and ability to navigate challenging conditions to the test. Yet, in spite of dwindling investor appetite for emerging markets and the instability onset by the year, EFG Hermes continued to outperform its regional benchmarks and peer institutions, generating positive results while adding value to its stakeholders. The year further saw our divisions capitalize on opportunities in the market, introduce new products, and contribute to total Group revenues.

During 2020, the asset management division’s total revenues amounted to EGP 413 million, increasing by 28% y-o-y. Additionally, the division’s local and regional assets under management (AUMs) both witnessed considerable increase, with Egypt AUMs increasing by 17.2% to EGP 19.1 billion and regional AUMs increasing 40% to USD 2.1 billion. The division has also embarked on creating the framework to launch new investment products in anticipation of renewed interest in the region and demand in the emerging market asset class in the wake of market recovery later in the year.

Our renewable energy platform Vortex Energy witnessed strong results during the year, with the divestment of its solar platform (Vortex III) for a total of c. GBP 500 million following the divestment of Vortex Wind in 2019. The platform has also laid the groundwork in order to launch Vortex IV, which will see it begin to invest in a variety of renewable assets ranging from solar and wind to storages, distribution and other asset classes across the entire transition themes. This will see us poised to position ourselves at the helm of renewables investments, given the ever-growing interest in sustainable energy investments and responsible investment strategies.

Building on the strides made in the pharmaceuticals sector following the acquisition of United Pharma in 2019, Rx Healthcare Management continued to expand on its investments through the company. During 2020, we were able to enhance our offering, adding over 30 new products to our portfolio while exploring potential opportunities for exports across the region. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company additionally experienced increased demand for medical solutions in the face of heavy hospital traffic and will see the company continue to expand on its offering in order to meet that demand.

On the education front, EFG Hermes continued to leverage its partnership with GEMS Education in order to broaden its offering of leading educational solutions across the country. The closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the company adapting its offering in order to continue to benefit its students, becoming the first in Egypt to launch online schooling while supporting other institutions in their transition to e-learning. The company is also currently in the process of establishing a K-12 school in the Rehab district of Greater Cairo, marking the fifth institution in its portfolio. Additionally, the company has paved the way for a new venture through its acquisition of a majority stake in Option Travel, a transportation solutions provider as it seeks to introduce specialized school buses with child safety at the core of its design.

In spite of the challenges posed by the year resulting from market slumps, declined economic activity, and global closures and uncertainty, our division was able to overcome them and capitalize on new market opportunities in an innovative manner. This has allowed EFG Hermes not only to provide its shareholders with gains but also to instigate positive impact that will benefit local communities at large. As mass vaccination rolls out and markets stabilize, we expect to see the recovery initiated at the end of the year continue into 2021. The milestones we have achieved during the year will leave us well poised to capitalize on new opportunities, further our investments offerings and create increased value for our stakeholders, which will cement our position as the leading financial services group in the region, generating investment opportunities that are equally lucrative and sustainable.

Karim Moussa,
Co-Chief Executive Officer, EFG Hermes Investment Bank