CMA admits Acorn to Regulatory Sandbox

25th Aug 2021

This press release was issued on 25th August 2021 by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of Kenya.


Nairobi, 25 August 2021: 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 developed an investment platform called ‘Vuka’ to aggregate retail investors into asset-backed financial products such as real estate through a regulated and transparent structure.

CMA Chief Executive Mr. Wyckliffe Shamiah noted, 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. We are hopeful of a successful testing and eventual roll out of the innovation to the mass market.”

Vuka is a cross-over from illiquid and opaque forms of real estate plagued by land disputes and pyramid schemes to predictable and stable returns generated by assets with high demand. Its value proposition is enabling the public to accumulate wealth and achieve financial freedom by investing in a diversified portfolio of income generating rental housing such as the Acorn Income REIT. The innovation will target 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) quoted on the Unquoted Securities Platform of the Nairobi Securities Exchange.


Background information on the Capital Markets Authority

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) was set up in 1989 as a statutory agency under the Capital Markets Act Cap 485A. It is charged with the prime responsibility of both regulating and developing an orderly, fair and efficient capital markets in Kenya with the view to promoting market integrity and investor confidence. The regulatory functions of the Authority as provided by the Act and the regulations include; Licensing and supervising all the capital market intermediaries; Ensuring compliance with the legal and regulatory framework by all market participants; Regulating public offers of securities, such as equities and bonds & the issuance of other capital market products such as collective investment schemes; Promoting market development through research on new products and services; Reviewing the legal framework to respond to market dynamics; Promoting investor education and public awareness; and Protecting investors’ interests.

For more information, please contact: Antony Mwangi, Head of Corporate Communications on

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