Q: Kindly briefly tell us about yourself?
A: I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences (Sociology and Public Administration) from the University of Botswana and a Certificate of Proficiency in Retirement Funds from the Insurance Institute of South Africa. I am a trained professional in Social Security Protection – programme formulation, implementation and governance (ITC, ILO).
I have worked for the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund for 15 years holding different roles, Regional Manager and Director Fund Administration, inter alia. I have also completed a number of professional development courses in fund administration, risk management and leadership.
Q: Would you please introduce NMG Administrators Botswana – when was it formed and for what purpose?
A: NMG Administrators Botswana is a subsidiary of the NMG Group, a global advisory and intermediary firm. NMG Administrators Botswana was formed on 19 May 2020 with the purpose of providing specialised Retirement Fund Administration services in Botswana.
Q: Who are the shareholders of NMG?
A: NMG Administrators Botswana is majority-owned by the BPOPF’s Lecha Administration (Pty) Ltd. The other shareholder is the NMG Group.
Q: What services does NMG offer and how are those services important to the Botswana market?
A: NMG offers comprehensive retirement fund administration services that are tailored to the needs of the Fund, the employer and members. We are big enough to compete with the larger administrators but small enough to deliver personal service. From an administration perspective, we offer collection of member contributions and management, capturing, updating and maintaining member records, managing investments towards retirement for members, updating financial records, handling member communications about benefits (depending on the preference of the employer), as well as pensioner payroll management.
We also do fund reporting to both employers and members and enable employers and members to access real-time information. We run a friendly and helpful contact centre and a user-friendly, integrated accounting system.
NMG’s presence brings diversity, choice and growth to the Botswana pension administration sector.
Q: What exactly will NMG be doing at BPOPF?
A: NMG will be fully responsible for administration of the Fund. This includes collecting member pension contributions, maintaining member records and accounts, claims processing, member education, enquiries, statements, pensioner payroll management and many day-to-day tasks on behalf of BPOPF. BPOPF as a pension fund remains accountable to its members in accordance with provisions of the Retirement Funds Act. It is simply the administration of the Fund that has been outsourced.
Q: How significant is the role of fund administration in any pension fund?
A: Fund administration provides assurance to the regulator that all matters relating to the Fund are managed in line with the necessary legislation. It also ensures greater efficiency and assurance to the Fund and its members.
Q: How does fund administration benefit pensioners?
A: The effect of the move on BPOPF’s 156 000 members will be minimal. NMG has taken leases on BPOPF’s existing offices in Gaborone, Francistown, Jwaneng and Maun and all services and pay points will remain exactly the same as before. If anything, they will benefit from improved efficiencies and service levels.
Q: There are several companies that offer fund administration services. What makes NMG stand out?
A: The Fund considered a range of proposals before selecting NMG for its specialist skills in fund administration and NMG’s ability to work effectively as a strategic partner. The NMG Group has extensive experience in providing employee benefit services, with strong strategic acumen and excellent service to back it up.
Q: We only recently got to know about NMG after its engagement by BPOPF. Does NMG have any other clients in Botswana?
A: Not at this stage. The aim is to embed ourselves in the Botswana market, become known as a valued service provider and to grow as a business by delivering specialised expertise in administration services.
Q: Does NMG offer any services to individual clients or it only specialises in fund administration for pension funds?
A: NMG is a brand new business in Botswana that specialises exclusively in administration services in line with our licence from the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA).
Q: How many employees does NMG have in Botswana?
A: We have 105 employees based across our head office in Gaborone and our regional offices in Francistown, Gaborone, Maun and Jwaneng, 90 percent of whom are Batswana.