Sunday World

Akani disrupts monopoly of whites

R26bn assets under its management

- By Kabelo Khumalo kabelo@sundayworl­

Zamani Letjane has come a long way from working in the human resources office of constructi­on group Murray and Roberts in the 1980s, to running the country’s only sizeable black-owned retirement funds administra­tor, Akani.

Akani’s operations include property management, investment administra­tion and beneficiar­y fund management, among other services.

Akani Retirement Fund Administra­tors is now the country’s largest black-owned and managed retirement fund administra­tor with R26-billion assets under its management.

Letjane said it has been his lifework to disrupt the white-dominated industry.

“I am proud that we have managed to create a billion rand every year for the past 20 years in wealth for our clients. This is wealth in black hands. This is still a predominan­tly white-dominated industry. Other black firms who tried to play in this space did not survive for long,” he said.

Akani was initially set up in 2001 as a black economic empowermen­t initiative to take advantage of opportunit­ies at the time.

However, the business has evolved into a fully fledged financial services business with a track record and experience that rivals larger players.

“We feel emboldened and ready to compete with large players,” added Letjane.

The pension funds industry underwent significan­t changes in March with the introducti­on of a new regulatory regime.

Chief among the changes is retirement reforms that came into effect at the beginning of March, which require provident fund members to purchase an annuity at retirement, as well as proposed amendments to Regulation 28, which governs the allocation of assets by retirement funds and enable higher investment by pension funds in infrastruc­ture.

Letjane said: “These industry changes present exciting opportunit­ies for agile players with foresight, and we believe we are well poised for the dynamic changes and the future they represent.”

In a historic win for the chemical workers in the retirement fund industry, judge J Vally of the Joburg High Court in August last year dismissed with costs the NBC Holdings applicatio­n to hold on to the lucrative R6-billion Chemical Industries National Provident Fund – which it has administer­ed for the past 21 years – paving the way for Akani to take over the administra­tion of the fund.

Last week, Akani Properties said it will invest more than R600-million in new shopping mall developmen­ts and refurbishm­ents in anticipati­on of a post-covid-19 economic recovery in the next 12 to 18 months.

Letjane said the company has borne fruit in investing in smaller shopping complexes.

 ??  ?? Akani’s operations include property management investment administra­tion.
Akani’s operations include property management investment administra­tion.
 ??  ?? The company has borne fruit in investing in smaller shopping complexes. /Supplied
The company has borne fruit in investing in smaller shopping complexes. /Supplied
 ??  ?? Zamani Letjane
Zamani Letjane

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