Uniquely po­si­tioned to steer a volatile and mis­un­der­stood in­dus­try fac­ing new leg­is­la­tion

Pretoria News - - FEATURE -

The Institute of Re­tire­ment Funds Africa (IRFA), its pres­i­dent as­sures, is geared to steer mem­bers and the sec­tor through a volatile pe­riod that in­cludes im­pend­ing leg­is­la­tion to ad­dress pre­scribed as­sets, low re­turns and strong calls for so­ci­etal up­lift­ment and de­vel­op­ment.

Enos Ngut­shane, elab­o­rates, “As a sec­tor, we need to con­sult, en­gage and share knowl­edge for the ben­e­fit of mem­bers and pen­sion­ers. We also need to ed­u­cate the pub­lic on how to achieve bet­ter re­tire­ment out­comes. I be­lieve the in­dus­try is of­ten mis­un­der­stood and if we work to­gether as bod­ies to achieve a uni­fied un­der­stand­ing we will make a real so­cial and eco­nomic difference.”

Talks are al­ready un­der­way with, among others, BATSETA, a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion fo­cus­ing on the in­ter­ests of prin­ci­pal of­fi­cers, trustees and fund fidu­cia­ries, as well as the Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning Institute, Na­tional Trea­sury, the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Con­duct Au­thor­ity and the Char­tered Fi­nan­cial An­a­lyst Institute.

IRFA, Ngut­shane as­sures, is uniquely po­si­tioned to lead this di­a­logue and is work­ing to­wards achiev­ing a meet­ing of minds among stake­hold­ers while fos­ter­ing sound re­la­tion­ships with reg­u­la­tors and opin­ion mak­ers. The fo­cus will be to con­sult, en­gage and share knowl­edge.

Prin­ci­pal Of­fi­cer, An­thony Wil­liams, says, “One of the prime chal­lenges is to put mem­bers and pen­sion­ers at ease. So in­com­ing leg­is­la­tion needs to be com­mu­ni­cated and ex­plained in a man­ner that in­forms and de­fuses panic across so­ci­ety. The sec­tor must main­tain sta­bil­ity while in­vest­ment mar­kets are in flux, con­tinue to im­prove the lives of mem­bers and pen­sion­ers and en­sure that as­sets are well guarded. As such IRFA will con­tinue to play a prom­i­nent role. We will cer­tainly fo­cus on strength­en­ing the bonds be­tween all role play­ers in the sec­tor, both in South

Africa and north of our bor­ders as we trans­form the African re­tire­ment world into a re­tire­ment vil­lage.”

Elab­o­rat­ing on the con­ti­nen­tal re­tire­ment land­scape, Ngut­shane adds, “IRFA can cer­tainly fa­cil­i­tate the dis­course on re­tire­ment out­comes. We are cur­rently net­work­ing and bench­mark­ing with in­dus­try col­leagues from neigh­bour­ing states and hope to con­trib­ute to so­cial se­cu­rity. While a re­cent Pen­sions SA bench­mark­ing study yielded in­valu­able in­sights into how the African re­tire­ment sec­tor per­ceives the role of an in­dus­try body such as IRFA as well as the re­quired sup­port ser­vices. Ad­vo­cacy and lob­by­ing top the list with ed­u­ca­tion and knowl­edge trans­fer be­tween all coun­tries.”

Wil­liams says, as IRFA draws to­gether all stake­hold­ers for the ul­ti­mate ben­e­fit of the mem­bers of funds, its pri­mary role is a co­he­sive one.

Both con­sider it im­por­tant to en­cour­age so­ci­ety to in­vest in the fu­ture and to per­son­ally pay for­ward with their ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence.

As Ngut­shane con­cludes, “It is im­por­tant to con­trib­ute, as there is lim­ited knowl­edge about the re­tire­ment in­dus­try.”

An au­thor­ity in cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, lo­cal gov­ern­ment, rail safety, oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety, he has worked for in­sti­tu­tions and in in­dus­tries such as, Gaut­eng Gov­ern­ment as Deputy Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Wits Busi­ness School as lec­turer, and as CEO for the South African Foun­da­tion for Pub­lic. He also chaired the PRASA Prov­i­dent Funds.

His mile­stone achieve­ments in­clude the es­tab­lish­ment of the Pub­lic and De­vel­op­ment Man­age­ment Pro­gramme Fac­ulty at Wits Univer­sity, strate­gic busi­ness re-en­gi­neer­ing, hu­man cap­i­tal de­vel­op­ment, large scale change and trans­for­ma­tion, pol­icy de­vel­op­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion, pub­lic trans­port man­age­ment, pen­sion fund in­vest­ments and cor­po­rate gov­er­nance.

His ex­pe­ri­ence cuts across hous­ing and lo­cal gov­ern­ment, con­flict res­o­lu­tion, rail safety, en­ter­prise risk man­age­ment, cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, new busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and con­tracts man­age­ment, as­set man­age­ment.

With a Masters De­gree in Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion from the Univer­sity of Liver­pool in the United King­dom, he has un­der­taken ex­ec­u­tive de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes in Botswana, Zam­bia, In­dia, Malaysia and the Univer­sity of Cape Town. He serves as the ex­ter­nal ex­am­iner at the Pub­lic and De­vel­op­ment Man­age­ment Pro­gramme at the Wits Fac­ulty of Law and Com­merce.

Wil­liams is the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive and Prin­ci­pal Of­fi­cer of the SABC fen­sion Fund and its med­i­cal scheme), a po­si­tion he has held for 18 years. He has 31 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the re­tire­ment fund in­dus­try, and was In­vest­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion Man­ager at the Eskom Pen­sion and Prov­i­dent Fund. A Char­tered Accountant with an in­her­ent love for com­mu­ni­ca­tion, as well as for serv­ing the mem­bers and golden-agers of the Broad­cast­ing com­mu­nity.

He was ac­tively in­volved in the re­search over­sight and plan­ning com­mit­tee into the best prac­tices in­dus­try study com­mis­sioned by the IRFA into lo­cal and global best prac­tices. Un­der his ten­ure, the SABC Pen­sion Fund has been the re­cip­i­ent of 15 lo­cal and 16 In­ter­na­tional Best Prac­tices awards.

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