The latest annual report of the Public Investment Corp (PIC) creates the impression of SA’s largest asset manager doing a mighty fine job. But revelations before the commission of inquiry into PIC irregularities reflect precisely the opposite. They cannot both be right. Whatever the findings that will ultimately be produced by the commission — chaired by retired judge Lex Mpati — things can never be the same again; neither for the PIC itself nor for its major client, the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF). The PIC directly manages almost 90% of the GEPF’s R2-trillion investment portfolio. Together, the PIC and GEPF have been presented as the manager-client model for SA retirement funds to emulate. Clearly, the model is flawed. When the alleged shenanigans at the PIC took place, where was its board, to whom the CEO reported? And where was the GEPF board to ensure that the PIC complied with its mandated responsibilities? The PIC directors resigned en masse, ostensibly because th...

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