There was a time when you couldn’t go to a conference without hearing a stump speech from the then Government Employees Pension Fund head of governance, John Oliphant. I worried he would turn up with his soapbox and start preaching when I visited my local Spur restaurant.

Oliphant’s aim was to persuade fund managers to subscribe to the local Code for Responsible Investing in SA. His friend, Dan Matjila, chief investment officer of the Public Investment Corp (PIC), must have been fast asleep every time Oliphant made the speech. Matjila’s governance track record, after all, was widely criticised by the Mpati Commission, set up to investigate corruption and incompetence at the PIC...

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