The Public Investment Corporation's chief executive, Dr Daniel Matjila. File picture: Dean Hutton
JOHANNESBURG - The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has been recognised as the best run state-owned company in Africa by the European Magazine in London.

The PIC, which is one of the continent's largest asset managers, also walked away with the Best Asset Management Firm of the Year in South Africa and for having the best corporate governance in the country.

PIC chief executive Daniel Matjila dedicated the awards to his colleagues for working tirelessly in delivering both financial and social returns for its clients.

“This recognition is a reminder to myself and the PIC that much more still needs to be done to grow assets under our management for the benefit of our clients.

“It is also a call for us to continue to drive corporate governance both at the corporate level and the companies in which we invest moreover, it is an encouragement for us to do our best among state-owned entities back at home and in the rest of the world,” Matjila said.

Stand out

The European Magazine award recognises organisations and individuals that stand out from the crowd, and are consequently moving their industries forward.

Good governance, innovation and know-how, and quality of service are all major considerations in the awarding of the awards.

Last year, Matjila was handed the African Institutional Investment Personality of the Year award at the 9th Annual Africa Investors (Ai) chief executive investment summit for his contributions to investment in Africa.

The PIC is wholly owned by the government and acts as the investment manager for the Government Employees Pension Fund, the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Compensation Commissioner. It has nearly R2trillion in assets under management.

The PIC was not the only South African firm recognised at the European Magazine awards.

South Africa’s latest stock exchange, 4 Africa Exchange, walked away with the best trading platform firm in the country, while its chief executive, Fariyal Mukaddam, won the Most Influential Chief Executive in South Africa award.

The PIC’s accolades come at a time when the company has faced a few tough months after Matjila came under intense pressure to relinquish his position amid alleged state capture attempts.

Matjila was recalled from an overseas trip by the board two months ago over allegations that he had used funds reserved for social spending to bankroll the business of someone close to him.

The PIC board, however, cleared Matjila of any wrongdoing after an internal audit found the allegations to be baseless.

Meanwhile, the Public Servants Association (PSA) said yesterday that it had served Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba with a formal letter of demand to force him to engage with labour about the running of PIC.

Tahir Maepa, the deputy general manager at PSA, said the union would not stop seeking transparent management of public servants’ investments by the PIC.

Membership

“Approximately 207000 of PSA membership belong to the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), so the PSA has a significant and direct interest on how the assets of the GEPF are invested and thus in the governance structures of the PIC.

“This is sufficient grounds to seek information that should, in any case, be public knowledge,” Maepa said.

The association also wants Gigaba to amend the Memorandum of Incorporation to include GEPF representation on the board, to fill three existing vacancies on the board with labour representatives, and that 80 percent of the PIC’s board comprised public servants.

- BUSINESS REPORT