The third Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF) Transformation Breakfast was successfully hosted at Summer Place in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, on 13 June 2019.
The regular breakfasts are part of the EPPF’s continued commitment to drive transformation in the financial services sector, showcasing the Fund’s revised broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) policy for its investments.
These events seek to review the Fund’s progress with regard to achieving its transformation agenda to date, and to encourage other players to help bring about meaningful change in the industry.
Speakers at the event – which was attended by regulators, industry experts, stockbrokers and private equity fund managers – included EPPF chairperson Mantuka Maisela, who gave an overview of the Fund as well as its governance structures.
EPPF acting chief executive Shafeeq Abrahams discussed the background to the Fund’s transformation policy and called for synchronised collective action among asset owners and industry players, to achieve the necessary transformational objectives at an industry level as well at the macro level. “Until the transformation agenda is actively promoted by asset owners … we think there will be some slack in the progress,” he said.
The last speaker, EPPF chief investment officer Ndabezinhle Mkhize, touched on the success of the Fund’s asset manager incubation programme and the consistent efforts of the Fund to drive greater transformation in the investment industry as a whole. He also shared the Fund’s plans to expand the programme into the real assets (infrastructure and direct property) and private equity sub-asset classes. To ensure the sustained success of this critical initiative, Mkhize announced the appointment of Thuso Incubation Partners as the programme’s manager.
One of the highlights of the breakfast was the announcement of the intended growth of the Fund’s emerging manager programme into the international market. This will harness the knowledge gained by the Fund over the last few years in the domestic market to help advance diversity and transformation in its offshore asset allocation. “The Fund will crowd-in other pension funds as well as asset consultants. Diversity and transformation in the global mandates will not be attainable if we are the only asset owners pushing for it in the global markets,” Mkhize added.
EPPF’s investment committee chairperson Elias Masilela made some important closing remarks and reiterated that the progress of EPPF existing transformation initiatives has been phenomenal, but more needs to be done. He further stated that transformation should not be a “nice to have” – it’s imperative.
Lastly, and most importantly, there was a clarion call for all pension funds and asset owners to work together towards sustained transformation, and the prioritisation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, as well as developmental impact, all while driving superior long-term investment returns.
To view the presentations from the event, click on the links below: