CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
TO FILL THE VACUUM created at the helm of the pension regulatory commission following the sacking of director general Chinelo Anohu-amazu, acting president Yemi Osinbajo has picked Funso Doherty, a chartered accountant and former chief executive of ARM Pensions. Doherty led ARM Pensions from its inception in 2005 until 2011, when he left to set up an investment firm. A graduate in accounting from the University of Lagos, Doherty began his career at Arthur Andersen (now KPMG Nigeria) where he was part of the audit group, and later moved to the ARM Group at its founding in 1994. From ARM, he proceeded to business school at Harvard University and then to Goldman Sachs, where he took a position in the Investment management division. Thereafter, he joined PNC Capital Advisors, from where he was tapped to head the newly formed pension division of the ARM Group. Doherty’s tenure at ARM Pensions coincided with the take-off of the industry following the enactment of broad reforms by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. Doherty steered the company to second place in the industry, growing its total contributions to approximately N37bn by the time of his departure in 2011. However, his appointment at Pencom has not come without controversy, as it apparently violates a provision of the Pension Reform Law (2014), which states that in the event of a vacancy in the position of director general, the president must appoint a replacement from the same geographical area as the previous head. A civil society coalition has filed a lawsuit against the federal government contesting Doherty’s appointment and asking the court to set it aside. This is despite a separate stand-off between the presidency and the Senate that places Doherty’s confirmation in jeopardy. The Senate says it will not confirm certain presidential appointees until the appointment of Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission — which the Senate twice rejected — is withdrawn.
Director general (subject to the approval of the Senate), National Pension Commission (Pencom)