• Project letlhabile behind schedule
The Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) has failed to submit to the Regulator for consideration, a corrective plan of action to address deficiencies in overall management systems and processes uncovered by a forensic investigation instituted last year.Although the Non Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) had set a deadline for submission of a corrective plan of action for March 2015, outgoing CEO Lesedi Moakofhi only presented a draft in her management report to the board of trustees at a meeting last month (04-05 June 2015).
When asked if BPOPF has complied NBFIRA Public Relations Manager Tapologo Kwapa declined to comment saying the findings and recommendations of the investigation are internal operational issues and cannot be discusses with the media. However within NBFIRA, the regulator has assembled a team to specifically focus on the findings of the investigation as well as to ensure that the corrective plan of action is executed. The team will be meeting with the BPOPF secretariat monthly to assess progress in rectifying the numerous issues raised. The strict deadlines were set up due to the sensitivity of the fund and assets under management. "NBFIRA will have another independent investigation to be conducted after twelve months, by December 2015 to independently assess the extent to which corrective action has been taken," said Abisha Ndoro, Director- Retirement Funds and Investment Institutions, in a correspondence to BPOPF management.
Meanwhile the fund's ambitious restructuring plan is said to be running behind schedule. The strategic and corporate advisory project consultancy, otherwise known as Project Letlhabile, commenced in April 2014. BPOPF expects to have fully insourced the services by October 2015. Last month Moakofhi reported that overall the project is at 45 per cent completion and is progressing well (by June 2015). Benefits of the New Business Model include improved turnaround times for service delivery and more cost efficiency in service delivery. KPMG are the lead consultants providing overall technical management of the project, while Deloitte Consultants have been engaged to develop the Human Resource strategy for the fund and job evaluation consultancy. Procurement of the Administration system and the Investment system has begun in earnest and Fundamental Software Solutions (Pty) and Southern X (Pty) haved been appointed to implement the investment management and fund administration systems respectively.
In their report to the board of trustees last month (in June 2015) the Finance and Investment committee recommended that AIIM/Flemming partnership to be appointed for the infrastructure investment mandate. The infrastructure mandate initial commitment was P800 million. The committee recommended that Vantage Capital be allocated the five per cent allocation to international alternatives for With Profit Pensioner Portfolio.
Earlier at the board sitting of January 26 2015 the board of trustees approved 30 per cent of the Botswana equity allocation be awarded to African alliance and Allan Gray, and 10 per cent of the Botswana equity allocation to remaining asset managers being Flemming Asset Management, BIFM, Investec Asset Management, Afena Capital.
Local equities as at March 2015 were allocated as:
BIFM P1, 012 billion
Afena P1, 045 billion
Fleming P1, 077 billion
Investec P1, 087 billion
African Alliance P2, 955 billion
Allan Gray P3, 586 billion
The committee recommended that the entire With Profit Pensioner Portfolio equity portion of approximately P800 million be awarded to Afena Capital.
Meanwhile the ministry of Finance and Development Planning is expected to announce the commencement date for the new Retirement Act, which will replace the Pension and Provident Funds Act. The new Act will bring changes like setting out the minimum and maximum number a board can have, reducing the time for submission of audited financial statements and allowing for deductions from pension for purposes of maitenance of minor children and including pension benefits for division during divorce proceedings of spouses.