• Cross Kgosidiile appointed BPOPF CEO
• All asset managers are South African owned
• Consultants want BPOPF to have in-house asset managers
Upcoming investment management firm, Afena Capital and investment giant – African Alliance are the new comers into the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) asset management portfolio. This follows a decision by BPOPF board over the weekend in Maun.
African Alliance Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Don Gaetsaloe confirmed that his investment company has been awarded funds by the BPOPF to manage, but he would not reveal the details due to client confidentiality agreement. However, this publication learned that Gaetsaloe’s firm emerged the biggest winner after BPOPF awarded them P4 billion in management funds. Previously, African Alliance managed P4 billion BPOPF portfolio before the contract was unceremoniously terminated in 2008 – a move largely viewed then to have been more personal. African Alliance is a unit of the African Alliance Group.
Afena Capital was set up barely five years back and has eclipsed big industry players. Afena has walked away with a P1 billion in funds to manage on behalf of the BPOPF. At the time of going to press, the company’s Managing Director Bakang Seretse was unavailable for comment.
Afena Capital is 55 percent owned by three citizens Bakang Seretse (Managing Director), Alphonse Ndzinge (chief investment officer) and Sharifa Noor (chief operations officer), the remaining shares are held by Afena Capital (Pty) Ltd in South Africa, a beneficiary of South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policy.
The appointment of these asset managers comes a few days after BPOPF decided to terminate P9 billion in value of assets contracted to Botswana Insurance Fund Management (Bifm). Bifm according to those in the know managed at least P11 billion on behalf of BPOPF, P9 billion was invested offshore, while only P2 billion was invested in Botswana. Currently Bifm remains with only P2 billion under management. But the latest addition to BPOPF’s asset managers finds the already existing managers in Fleming Asset Managers, Stanlib Investment and Investec Asset Management. There is an argument that all the asset managers at BPOPF are foreign owned, which leads to BPOPF paying P400 million annually which does not benefit Batswana. This motivated the public pensioner ‘s current strategy of aligning itself to local companies or at least asset managers with local shareholding. Last year, the fund launched P800 million equity fund; the first tranche of which was awarded to Capital Management Africa (CMA) in a P500 million tender. The board is however still indecisive as to which company to award the remaining P300 million. The money is to be invested locally.
Botswana however does not have 100 percent owned asset managing companies with the ability to manage BPOPF P48 billion in assets. A report compiled by one company consulting for BPOPF recommended that the fund should consider employing in-house asset managers with experience and skills to handle BPOPF’s P48 billion at lower costs annually. It remains to be seen whether this could happen anytime soon. Meanwhile, Cross Kgosidiile, currently CEO of the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund has been shortlisted for the appointment of the CEO position, which will see Lesedi Moakofhi, who has been acting CEO for two years now going back to Marketing and Communications. Kgosidiile is expected to go through a vetting process where Office of the President (OP) and the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) are supposed to clear him for final appointment.