GIPF says investments safe

17 September 2020 | Economics

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) said that it is aware of the de-registration of the Baobab Capital (Pty) Ltd (the fund manager) and Baobab Growth Fund (Pty) Ltd (referred to as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)) by the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA).
In a media statement, the Fund said that it would like to re-assure stakeholders and members that the underlying companies and investments (portfolio companies/portfolio investments) in which the SPV has invested on behalf of the GIPF, remains safe.
“The GIPF would like to assure the portfolio companies under the SPV that it is working speedily to replace the directors of the SPV who have resigned,” the Fund said.
GIPF committed N$140 million in October 2016 to the only SPV, which has a venture capital mandate to invest in start-up companies. Hence this SPV has the smallest committed capital. The monies are committed over a 10-year period.
“As of July 2020, an amount of N$87 million has been drawn down by the SPV and is currently invested in various portfolio companies, which are still on track to fulfilling their mandates,” said David Nuyoma, GIPF’s CEO and Principal Officer said.

Irregularities
GIPF is cognizant of the reasons why the fund manager and SPV licenses were terminated by NAMFISA.
Last year, GIPF discovered some irregularities through the SPV’s auditors. The SPV board, on recommendation of the GIPF, commissioned an independent investigation by APEX Fund Services to identify issues flagged by the auditors.
GIPF requested the directors of the SPV to take drastic remedial actions. Consequently, most of the issues found by the investigations were attended to and were being rectified by the fund manager and SPV until the directors of SPV resigned on 8 September 2020.
Both the fund manager and the SPV are regulated by NAMFISA. Therefore, NAMFISA also conducted its own inspection into the affairs of the two companies. NAMFISA considered its own findings as well as the findings of the investigations by APEX Fund Services and decided to de-register the fund manager and the SPV.
GIPF is cognisant of the pivotal role it plays in the Namibian economy and the colossal impact it has on the members, and its other stakeholders. It is on this premise that the Fund will continue to work closely with NAMFISA to ensure that the portfolio investments held via the SPV remain safe. GIPF further remains committed to safeguard and grow the Fund for the benefit of its members.

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