PIC to name new CEO ‘shortly’ … chief executive, chief investment officer roles to be separated
CAPE TOWN – The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on Friday said that it would “shortly” make an announcement regarding the appointment of a new chief executive officer of Africa’s largest asset manager.
The PIC’s board chairperson, Dr Reuel Khoza, said in a statement that the process of filling the CEO’s position, and other vacant positions at the PIC, would be expedited to stabilise the leadership of the organisation.
Khoza said the board had also introduced measures to strengthen corporate governance processes and accountability, including separating the posts of chief executive and the chief investment officer (CIO).
“The new posts of chief risk officer, chief technology officer and chief operating officer have been created. The fund investment panels have been done away with and all investment decisions will be made by the investment committee. The risk and audit committees have been separated and will be chaired by different board members,” he said.
Khoza also said that over the next few weeks, the board would embark on a roadshow to meet key stakeholders - including staff, clients, key asset managers in the industry - to discuss and listen to the feedback on the measures the PIC was taking to implement the Mpati-led PIC Commission of Inquiry report’s findings and recommendations.
“We share the country’s concerns that things went off track in the PIC over the past few years but we want to give the assurance that the board is doing everything in its power to address the systemic causes of the problems that have been uncovered while being fully conscious of the fact that this will not be an overnight project.
“The board will need the time and space to do its work diligently to ensure that all the actions taken are legally compliant and we will ensure that the implementation process is transparent,” he said.
Khoza also stated that the PIC remained one of the best public asset managers in the country, managing the hard-earned pensions of public servants. “Our responsibility [is] to ensure that these assets are managed ethically, professionally and in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
“We will give regular progress reports to ensure that everyone is informed about the progress we are making in strengthening corporate governance procedures, systems and in implementing the recommendations of the Mpati Commission,” he said.
In January, the PIC interim board quashed allegations made by a whistle-blower from within the organisation, that it had flouted governance processes in the recruitment of the new CEO.
“The Interim Board and the PIC Management are committed to entrenching a culture of accountability and proper governance that is to be expected of a reputable asset management company.
“To preserve the integrity of this board, it is necessary to confront these allegations with facts … these allegations are irrational. The PIC Board and its executive management team are appointed, and are legally mandated, specifically to be in ‘control’ of the PIC and to manage the institution responsibly,” the PIC said in a statement on January 20.
Khoza said on Friday that the board met in Pretoria on Thursday morning to discuss the Mpati Commission Report, and the board had welcomed and accepted both the findings and recommendations of the commission without any reservations.
He said the board was in the process of developing and finalising a plan to implement the recommendations of the Mpati Commission, which would include instituting disciplinary action against all those implicated in the report.
The board would also liaise with the requisite law enforcement authorities, including the National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks, to ensure that all implicated parties were prosecuted, and lost monies were recovered.