Retirement Fund Managing Assets Worth N$14,5 Billion

RETIREMENT Fund Solutions now administers assets of N$14,5 billion on behalf of 35 000 members.

The company turned 15 years last week and managing director, Tilman Friedrich said the company was the first administrator to adopt an entirely Namibian mandate.

The company was established in September 1999 by Friedrich and Mark Gustafsson, who left the company just over a year ago to pursue other interests.

Friedrich said when the company celebrated its fifth anniversary with 8 000 members and N$1,3 billion under administration. At that stage, the company had a staff complement of 15.

In 2009, when it celebrated its 10th anniversary, the company had a staff of 41 to administer N$6 billion on behalf of 21 000 members.

On the topic of the Benchmark Retirement Fund, which was established by RFS to administer pension investments on behalf of individuals and smaller entities, Friedrich said the fund has grown apace, and administers investments of N$1,5 billion for 8 000 members.

Friedrich attributed the growth of the company to its emphasis on governance and compliance to give trustees peace of mind.

He said Namibian pension funds want the assurance that due care and skill is applied to the management of their business, and that strict compliance with Namibian laws and regulations is observed, while the administration of their fund’s business is conducted in a manner which is responsive to the needs of the fund and its members.

He said Retirement Fund has made a significant investment in technology with the acquisition of a disaster recovery site that will further strengthen its governance and offer peace of mind to its clients to a level typically only offered by large companies. He said the fact that the company’s IT infrastructure is not tied into a foreign parent network, or dependent on foreign expertise or support gives the company the ability to be responsive to local requirements in terms of governance and compliance.

Talking about the future of pension funds administration, he noted that Namfisa, the regulator of pension funds in Namibia, is implementing new regulations at a rapid rate. These changes, he said, have require pension fund practitioners to consider not only compliance to the letter of the law, but also the needs of funds and their members.

Responsive regulation, he said, will grow the financial sector by requiring administrators to expand their range of services.

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Source : The Namibian