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SSC appoints investment managers … plans to invest funds offshore

by Kelvin Chiringa

The Social Security Commission (SSC) board of commission has approved the appointment of four independent investment management firms to manage the commission’s external portfolio totaling an estimated N$2.5 billion worth of assets.

“The process to appoint independent investment managers was a vigorous evaluation process which included various criteria. The entire process of adjudication and evaluation was handled by the investment committee with the assistance of an independent investment consultant, Selekane Asset Consultants,” said chief executive officer Milka Mungunda.

The four asset managers are Allan Gray Namibia, Investec Asset Management, Prudential Investment Managers and Namibia Asset Management.

“These therefore eliminate excess of majority Namibian owned investment management firms from managing Namibian assets across the country and industries as they do not meet the afore-said minimum criteria,” she pointed out.

Mungunda said these were selected on the basis of their investment staff depths, consistency of investment philosophy and long term performance track record among other criteria. 

“Early 2016, the board went through an extensive investment policy statement review exercise. The new investment policy which was approved by the line minister, balances the commission’s desire to preserve the investable assets in an uncertain investment universe, which presents potential group opportunities,” said Mungunda. 

To this end, a broader asset and geographic potfolio allocation approach was adopted and is now to be implemented by the appointed investment managers under new mandates, Mungunda said.

She said this should imply that social security funds will be invested offshore, outside Namibia and South Africa for the first time in the history of SSC since inception. 

Mungunda also said SSC has developed a Namibian asset manger incubation policy to ensure market access and to assist managers to transition from incubation to full investment manager status.

“The policy that was developed in this regard aims to uphold the SSC investment objectives of maintaining an investment program that has a greater probability of growing its assets within controlled risks of capital loss prevention,” said the SSC boss.