The cash-rich Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) has awarded a P3 billion tender to Vunani Fund Managers for management and investment in local equities, The Business Weekly & Review has established. BPOPF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Moemedi Malindah has confirmed that Tender Number BPOPF/IM/2020/005 for management of Botswana equities was awarded to Vunani Fund Managers. “The Board of Trustees resolved on this at its sitting of 27th May 2021,” Malindah said in an interview. JSE financial services group, Vunani Limited, owns 60 percent of Vunani Fund Managers Botswana, with the remaining 40 percent held by management and strategic equity partners.
Vunani Fund Managers Botswana is a multi-specialist asset manager which had around P5 billion in assets under (AUM) management before this latest award by the BPOPF. The P3 billion award takes Vunani’s Assets AUM to well around P8 billion. The company manages four retail unit trusts, namely Vunani Money Market Fund, Vunani Income Fund, Vunani Managed Prudential Fund and Vunani Equity Fund. It also manages equity, fixed interest and global assets on behalf of institutional clients.
The Managing Director of Vunani Fund Managers, Thabo Moipolai, did not comment on the matter because at the time of going to press he had not received any correspondence from the BPOPF regarding the award. Vunani’s P3billion catch follows another recent award made to two other fund managers by BPOPF in less than a year.
On 25 June 2020, Tender Number BPOPF/IM/2020/001 for management of Botswana equities was awarded to Morula Capital Partners, also valued at P3 billion. Morula also bagged Tender Number BPOPF/IM/2020/002 for management of Botswana fixed income at the same time. Further to that, Tender Number BPOPF/IM/2020/003 for management of Botswana cash was awarded to Ipro Botswana in June 2020. The above tenders were issued in January 2020 but the award was done on 25 June 2020. “These mandates were subject to both technical and legal due diligence,” Malindah said.
Morula Capital Partners, which is an upcoming fund manager, arguably got the largest slice of the cake. The company is under the stewardship of Boikanyo Mogami, the Managing Partner. Mogami is one of the four founders of Morula. Prior to Morula, he spent 10 years at Botswana Insurance Fund Management (BIFM), Botswana’s largest fund manager by assets, where he was the Chief Investment Officer. Another shareholder is Zoumana Kone, who is also a portfolio Manager. He is responsible for fixed income strategies. Prior to Morula, Kone spent 10 years at BIFM as a Fixed Income Strategist.
Another founder and shareholder is Kagiso Sedimo, who is responsible for Botswana and global equities. He was previously a strategy leader at Investec Asset Management. Wenyu Machacha is the fourth founding partner at Morula. She is a portfolio manager responsible for Botswana and global equities. Prior to Morula she was a portfolio manager at BIFM.
Morula was formed only a few years ago after the BPOPF announced that it would award a P1.5 billion incubation fund, meant to empower Botswana owned fund managers. Ipro Botswana is a subsidiary of Ipro Investment, a Mauritius-based company.