Sri Lanka’s Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has sanctioned First Class International Funds (Pvt) Ltd owned by 27 year-old Dhammika Herath as a fund manager three weeks ago, officials said.
"We were granted a fund management license by the SEC and we hope to start operations by mid next month," Dhammika Herath, Chairman First Class International Funds (Pvt) Ltd told the Business Times. He said that now they are empowered to handle and manage funds of any scale both locally or internationally.
Elaborating on his background, Mr. Herath said that he was a retailer who entered the market some nine years ago. “I was 18 at the time and really interested in trading and was also quite successful at it. Then some of my closest friends wanted me to manage their funds and I made money for them. When the number (of friends) rose (in 2009) then the SEC wanted to regulate my operations and I had to apply for a license,” he explained. Mr. Herath added that he doesn’t possess fancy qualifications and attributed his success to his insight, experience and interest in the Colombo share market. “I made all my monies through trading shares. I managed to enter into other businesses also through the money I made through share trading,” he added.
He said that First Class International Funds has eight staff including two qualified fund managers. "The fund managers need to be qualified as per the SEC requirements. We will expand within the next two months as we foresee many clients and businesses approaching us," he noted. Mr. Herath added that he has already negotiated with about six high networth clients and also an equal number of foreign funds.
He noted that First Class International Funds’ will be investing in companies with a ‘future’.