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CAPE TOWN – The Professional Provident Society (PPS), a financial services company focused on solutions for graduate professionals, grew assets under management by 10percent to R31.4 billion in spite of last year’s challenging market conditions. 

The growth in assets was mainly due to good new investment inflows, chief executive Izak Smit said in a statement yesterday. 

The life insurance business also recorded “healthy” profit, he said. Investment markets proved difficult in 2018, but the medium-term objective of outperforming inflation for members by a good margin was met by investing in a well-diversified portfolio that contained a sizeable portion of growth assets such as equities and property. 

“Our asset managers and investment strategy succeeded in protecting our members from the worst the market had to offer, but the returns of the members’ profit-share accounts were in slight negative territory at the end of the year,” he said. 

Nevertheless, PPS allocated R634.6million to members’ profit-share accounts, irrespective of whether or not they claimed. 

“For most of our members, the positive effect of operating profit was more than adequate to compensate for the negative market return impact,” he said. Some R3.2bn in claims and benefits was paid to members in 2018. Subsidiary PPS Investment signed 46percent more business than in the previous year. 

“New and expanded financial offerings will deliver additional value to our members in 2019 and beyond,” said Smit. 

Short-Term Insurance became a wholly owned subsidiary of the PPS Group. A new professional indemnity solution aiming to provide “much-needed” cover for members in the medical professions was launched earlier this year, he said. 

BUSINESS REPORT