Carol Paton Writer at Large

The principal executive officer of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) Abel Sithole says the fund should invest more in unlisted companies as it is good for the economy and  the best way to diversify its portfolio. The suggestion comes amid recent controversy over unlisted investments by its biggest asset manager, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and allegations that unlisted investments have been influenced by favouritism and political considerations. The GEPF, which has assets of R1.8-trillion, is by far both the biggest pension fund in the country and the biggest single investor in the economy. It is a defined benefit fund and is therefore guaranteed by the taxpayer. A judicial commission of inquiry is underway into the PIC, which is expected to make recommendations on governance and, in particular, on decisions on unlisted investments. Sithole was speaking in Cape Town on Thursday at a briefing on the financial soundness and actuarial report of the fund. “Most of...

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