Staff Writer

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has announced the appointment of two new United Kingdom based investment consultants.

According the fund, Lane Clark & Peacock LLP will consult on investments, while BFinance UK Limited, will consult on the selection/search of asset managers.

“Lane Clark & Peacock LLP will consult on investments, while BFinance UK Limited, will consult on the selection/search of Asset Managers. Both entities are domiciled in the United Kingdom and both bring a wealth of financial and investment expertise to the Fund. The selection process, which was advertised late last year, was guided by, and in full adherence of the Fund’s Procurement policy,” GIPF CEO and Principal Officer, David Nuyoma said.

“The Fund looks forward to building a successful and strong business relationship with the new consultants, which will aid in the Fund’s mandate to safeguard and grow the Fund for the benefit of its members.”

The consultants replace RisCura Consulting (Namibia) which was appointed as the Funds’ investment advisor since 2009.

“The contractual term for the investment consulting is on a three-year basis. RisCura was re-appointed on two occasions and hence the longer period of their tenure at the GIPF. The current contract will be opened to the public in three years’ time and we shall go through a formal evaluation of such submissions. There is, therefore, no guarantee that any investment consultant will be re-appointed and the appointing of any investment consultant is at the discretion of the Board of Trustees,” Nuyoma said.

Quizzed if the appointment of the UK based consultants does not impact the development of local companies’ capacity to carry out the role, Nuyoma said, “The Fund has pioneered an incubation programme for locally owned asset managers which has opened up the opportunity for Namibian asset managers to manage both Namibian and regional mandates. In addition to this, GIPF has since its inception advocated for the Namibianisation of the asset management industry and its auxiliary services and we remain committed to continue supporting locally based asset managers. Our wish is for all locally based managers to not only provide administrative services in Namibia, but also to manage global mandates from Namibia for the global clientele.”

He said the new appointment will not impact the GIPF’s ability to invest in local unlisted projects, while the Fund will still have a say on the appointment of asset managers.

“The appointment of foreign based consultants will not compromise the GIPF’s ability to invest in local unlisted projects as the Unlisted Investment Managers (UIM) are locally based and all activities in that space are limited to Namibia in terms of Regulation 13. It is important to mention that the GIPF is a global investor with assets all over the world hence the need to have a consultant who understand both local and international markets,” he said.

“The process of appointing asset managers does not solely lie with the asset consultant, but it is a collective decision between the asset consultant and the GIPF.”

Asked if the GIPF had given a conditional offer to the UK companies for them to set up local offices so that fees paid can benefit locals in terms of taxes, job creation and skills development, Nuyoma said, “The setting up of local offices is not a pre-requisite by the GIPF. The Fund has other foreign-based international service providers such as the global asset managers. The new consultants have shown keen interest and willingness to set up local offices to serve not only the GIPF but other regional clients.”

The GIPF currently has assets worth in excess of N$120 billion.