Welcome to the
GEPF Thought Leadership Conference 2023
Welcome to the 2023 GEPF Annual Thought Leadership Conference. It is my honour and privilege to host you as the Principal Executive Officer of the GEPF to this prestigious and exciting conference.
Since the inception of this conference, we have seen it grow significantly with stimulating dialogue, thought provoking and impactful discussions on the opportunities and challenges facing the global pension industry. We have also seen interest from industry peers across the globe to attend the conference and participate. Indeed, we are honoured by the interest and support received for this conference this far.
The GEPF Annual Thought Leadership Conference comes at a significant time, where the global community is still grappling with various challenges like low economic growth, high inflation, high oil prices, the war in Ukraine and numerous climate disasters across the globe. We believe that by bringing together knowledge, expertise, and experience from across the globe we will yield a unique combination of strengths and insights to meet the challenges that we face in the pension/retirement industry and prepare the industry for a better tomorrow.
Andile Khumalo is a seasoned entrepreneur and Chartered Accountant (SA) with over 20 years of finance & business experience. He is the Founder & CEO of KhumaloCo, an investment firm with interests in Technology, Media, Marketing, Hospitality & Property.
He serves as Chairman of portfolio companies Ince, Brave Group, Immersion Group, and Quizzical Pictures, as well as Co-Founder of the Sanlam Gauge, an annual research study of sectoral performance of the South African economy on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.
Andile is the Founder & Chairman of I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR, a skills development firm that manages Enterprise & Supplier Development (ESD) programmes on behalf of South African corporates and helps entrepreneurs build & grow their businesses.
Andile also serves as Non-Executive Director of JSE-listed Metrofile Holdings, Non-Executive Director of Airports Company South Africa SOC Limited; and a board member of NPO Mentor-A-Boy-Child.
He regularly writes and speaks on entrepreneurship, leadership and doing business in South Africa.
will start in:
Conference will highlight the following
Understanding a changing
global geopolitical landscape
and its implication
Outlook 2023-2033 Investment
management in a changing world
Markets in the Post
Disinvestment vs engagement in
meeting climate change targets
and Opportunities for Pension
Gender Lens Investing
The future of pension
Pension policy and
Risks and rewards for pension
funds in infrastructure investing
Markets in the Post
Reframing finance: new models for
long term investment management
and Opportunities for Pension
SOME OF OUR SPEAKERS
Musa Mabesa (ACCA) is the Principal Executive Officer (PEO) of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF). He is a seasoned finance professional with over 17 years’ experience, 10 of which is in the pension fund industry, specialising in financial management and reporting, governance and corporate services.
Prior to joining the GEPF, Mr Mabesa worked for various private and public sector institutions in various positions. In 2011 he joined the GEPF as a Finance Manager and was subsequently appointed as Head of Corporate Services in 2017. In 2020 Mr Mabesa became the Principal Executive Officer of the GEPF.
Mr Mabesa holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree from University of London and Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting Science (BCompt) from University of South Africa (UNISA). He is a Chartered Certified Accountant through the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and is a member of the Institute of Directors Southern Africa.
Abel Sithole is the Chief Executive Officer of South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Executive Director on the Board of Directors.
Previously Abel was the Principal Executive Officer (PEO) of the Government Employees Pension fund and a Senior Researcher and Deputy Director with the Institute for Futures Research at the University of Stellenbosch. He served two terms as Chairman of the Institute of Retirement Funds, served on the Boards of the Financial Planning Institute (FPI) and the Savings Institute of South Africa (SISA). He has served in the financial sector in roles of a principal, trustee, advisor, regulator and policy developer, and spent over 20 years in the insurance and retirement fund industries.
He was the chairperson of the Financial Services Board and the Commissioner of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). He has also served as a member of the Investment Committee of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund.
Abel holds an MA (International Relations) and MPhil (Futures Studies) (University of Stellenbosch) and an MBA (Wits Business School).
Shafeeq Abrahams is the Chief Executive and Principal Officer of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund, a defined benefit fund serving approximately 80,000 members and Assets Under Management of approximately R170 billion. Shafeeq is a non-executive director of Batseta Council of Retirement Funds in South Africa and serves on the advisory boards of the World Pension Summit and AssetTV. Shafeeq is a qualified Chartered Accountant.
Dondo Mogajane is the Chairperson of the GEPF & Chief Executive Officer of Moti Group.
Mr. Mogajane joined National Treasury in 1999 as a Deputy Director and has worked in various areas including among others, the Intergovernmental Relations, Provincial Budget Analysis and the International Economic Relations divisions. Between 2007 and 2010, he represented South Africa at the Executive Board of the World Bank as senior advisor for Africa Group 1 countries.
Between 2010 and May 2014, Mr. Mogajane was appointed as the Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Finance and later as the acting Chief Operating Officer from May 2014 until May 2015. He was later appointed Deputy Director-General responsible for the Public Finance division at National Treasury a position he occupied since June 2015.
Following a request by former DG Lungisa Fuzile to shorten his contract to end in May 2017 instead of May 2018, Mr. Mogajane was appointed as Director-General of the National Treasury in June 2017.
Prior to his appointment at the National Treasury, Mr. Mogajane was a Student Housing Manager and part-time lecturer at Durban Westville University. He was also lecturer in Public Management at Technikon SA and ML Sultan Technikon and Deputy Director at Environmental and Development Agency Trust.
Mr. Mogajane has two honours degrees in Public Management and Human Resources and Industrial Relations obtained at the University of Durban Westville. He also completed a Master’s degree in Public Management at the University of Maryland (USA), a Management Advancement Programme at Wits Business School and a Programme in Budgeting and Public Financial Management at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Sifiso Sibiya is the Head of Investments at the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF).
Mr. Sibiya has 13 years of experience within financial services, specialising in investments, financial risk management and employee benefits. Prior to joining the GEPF; Mr. Sibiya worked at Alexander Forbes as an Investments Actuary and led the Actuarial Investments function. He also worked at Deloitte Financial Services Advisory as an Actuarial Manager.
He holds Honours degree in Mathematical Statistics and a degree in Actuarial Science from the University of the Witwatersrand and he is currently finalising his Master’s degree in Finance and Investments. Mr. Sibiya is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, a Charter Enterprise Risk Actuary and a CAIA Charterholder.
Leslie Ndawana is the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Executive Officer of the National Fund for Municipal Workers(NFMW), a retirement fund with approximately 55,000 members and R26 billion of assets under management. He has been in the South African retirement funds industry for well over a decade, mainly in advisory and fiduciary capacities. Mr Ndawana currently serves the retirement funds industry as a Director of Batseta Council of Retirement Funds. He is also a member, representing Batseta, of the Financial Sector Transformation Council’s Reporting Working Committee. He has presented and participated at various leadership & industry conferences, seminars and masterclasses on topical matters affecting financial , investments and pensions industries.
Mr Ndawana is a professional member of Batseta, with a Chartered Principal Executive Officer (CPEO) qualification and designation. In addition, he holds a Post Graduate Diploma in financial planning and an Advanced Post-Graduate Diploma in Investments, both obtained from University of the Free State. He also has a Master of Business Administration degree (passed with merit) from Henley Business School, which is the Business School of University of Reading in the United Kingdom. He is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Development Finance at the University of Stellenbosch in 2023.
As a responsible leader and a representative of an asset owner, Mr Ndawana was motivated to study development finance by his passion for economic development in Africa, impacting lives, impact investments, leadership & strategy development, sustainability, and being part of the architecture in resolving the current socio-economic challenges.
Marilyn Watson, Managing Director, is Head of the Global Fundamental Fixed Income Strategy Team, and Chief Investment Strategist for Fundamental Fixed Income, within BlackRock’s Global Fixed Income (GFI) group.
Miss Watson and her team are responsible for providing thought leadership, client solutions and developing the global fundamental fixed income platform. Based in the US, she regularly contributes her views on fixed income markets, central bank policies and economic developments in a variety of global media outlets. She also represents the firm as a speaker at industry-wide conferences and events around the world and is proactively involved in organising and speaking at I&D initiatives.
Miss Watson joined BlackRock in January 2011 from the Bank of England, where she worked as an economist and deputy agent in the Monetary Policy Division. Prior to the Bank of England, she spent two years as a global investment strategist and six years selling FX derivatives at JPMorgan Asset Management and JPMorgan Investment Bank respectively.
She has an MA degree in Economics, with honours, from Cambridge University.
Brian Karidza is the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) Head of benefits and actuarial. Brian is a qualified actuary with over 10 years of experience in pension fund valuations and employee benefits consulting. Brian holds a Bsc (Hons) degree in Actuarial Science from the University of the Wits Watersrand. He is a Fellow of both the Actuarial Society of South Africa and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Brian also holds a Certified Enterprise Risk Actuary qualification. He was awarded a certificate in Data Science by the University of Southampton (in collaboration with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries) as well as a Data Science certificate from the University of Cape Town.
CA(SA), MBA, Advanced Management Programme (Harvard).
Sipho Makhubele is the Chief Executive Officer of Harith. Sipho Makhubele joined Harith in 2007, he was the Head of PAIDF 1 and later transitioned into the role of MD: Investments.
Sipho is a seasoned investment professional with proven industry leadership. He had throughout his private equity career invested in and grown businesses across the continent, He has 20 years industry experience having worked in companies such as Coronation Capital, AMB and Investec.
Kgomotso Ramokala commenced his career at Alexander Forbes Financial Services as an Employee Benefits Consultant in 2008, his responsibilities as an employee benefits consultant included a portfolio of blue chip clients such as HP, Tiger Wheel and Tyre, Foskor Provident Fund and Sanofi Aventis etc. In 2011, he Joined Anglo American Platinum as the Principal Executive Officer of the Amplats Group Provident Fund with total asset size of R7 billion with +/-40 000 employees. In 2014 his role and responsibilities was increased to include all retirement Funds of Anglo American Platinum which led to the total funds under his responsibility to managing a total asset size of R13 billion with +/-50 000 employees. In 2016 he joined Telkom Retirement Fund as its Principal Executive Officer, the TRF has asset size of R38 billion and 9 000 active members and 15 000 pensioners. In July 2017 he was appointed as a Director of Batseta Council of Retirement Fund of South Africa.
Elias Masilela is the MD of Family Investment business, BuMa Investment Holdings. Chairman of DNA Economics, Sanlam, Capital Harvest as well as National Task Force on Impact Investing in South Africa. Convenor of Family Foundation, Number 43 Trelawney Park; kwaMagogo. Holds a BA Degree Social Science with the University of Swaziland, MSc in Economic Policy and Analysis with Addis Ababa University as well as several professional certificates with Harvard University.
Member of the boards of Multichoice Group, Multichoice SA, Alternative Prosperity Holdings, Strate, CA Sales as well as Global Steering Group (GSG) on Impact Investing.
Previously, Commissioner of the 1st & 2nd National Planning Commission, CEO of the PIC, Head of Policy Analysis at Sanlam, Act. Dep. Director General Economic Policy in the National Treasury, Director of Research, Central Bank of Swaziland. He was also a member of the Boards of the South African Reserve Bank, Government Employee Pension Fund, Airports Company SA as well as the UN Global Compact Board & Chairman of the (UNGC) SA Local Network. Previously, Chairman of Economic Research Southern Africa (ERSA), Chairman of Absa Asset Management and member of Future Planet Capital in London, Avior Capital Markets, Absa Financial Services, Eskom Pension and Provident Fund as well as the V&A Waterfront.
Tryphosa Ramano is a qualified and registered Chartered Accountant (CA) with extensive experience in the financial services and various other key economic sectors. Tryphosa boasts a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, a PostGraduate Diploma in Accounting from the University of Cape Town and a Harvard Business School Advanced Leadership Initiative candidate. She has made and continues to make a significant contribution in the public sector, banking and financial services, mining, manufacturing and aviation industries through the various leadership and management roles. Currently Tryphosa Ramano is self-employed as a consultant and serves as board member for Eskom, Public Invddtment Corporation (PIC), IWFSA and Solidarity Fund. During her tenure at PPC as CFO (2011-2019), Tryphosa played a critical role in the company’s expansion into the African Continent, specifically in Zimbabwe, Botswana, DR Congo, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. As an executive responsible for overall oversight and monitoring of the company’s financial performance and balance sheet, Tryphosa ensured that these investments did not have adverse impact on the financial performance and sustainability of the PPC Group. This was achieved through such measures as market capitalisation of the business. Prior to joining PPC, Tryphosa occupied senior executive positions and directorships in key strategic companies and South African government in National Treasury. Her previous executive positions are as follows; CFO for WIPHOLD and CFO for SAA. Her previous directorships are as follows; ACSA, Adcorp, Sasria, SAA, Landbank, DBSA, Board of Auditors at African Union, PPC Ltd, USB-ED, SA Express Ltd, PPC subsidiaries outside of South Africa, chairperson of Black Business Council as well as former President of Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals and African Women Chartered Accountants.
Himanshi Jain is a Senior Social Protection Specialist working in the Europe and Central Asia region. She was until recently part of the Pensions unit in the Global Social Protection & Jobs team, where she led work on the aging and longevity agenda, expanding social insurance coverage to the informal sector, and designing parental benefit policies. Over the years in the Bank, she has led pension policy dialogue and overseen pension modeling in over seventeen countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and South and East Asia. In her role in the global unit, she was able to leverage her experience working in different regions to identify synergies across topics and promote knowledge sharing. She also oversees lending projects where interventions are designed to strengthen social security institutions and support coverage expansion efforts. Before joining the Bank, she worked with Deloitte Consulting. Himanshi holds a master’s in public policy from Duke University and a master’s in quantitative economics from the Indian Statistical Institute. She is a member of professional actuarial societies in India and the U.S.
Tracey Davies is executive director of non-profit shareholder activism organisation Just Share, which advocates for corporate South Africa to use its financial and social power to drive urgent action to combat climate change and reduce inequality.
Tracey is a recognised expert on corporate governance, responsible investment and shareholder activism. She sits on a number of steering committees and advisory boards related to business and social justice, and the achievement of a just transition to a low-carbon economy, and is a columnist for the Financial Mail.
Tracey holds a BA LLB from UCT and an LLM from New York University. She is admitted as an attorney in South Africa and as a solicitor in England & Wales.
Bernard Murira is the Head of the Pension Investments team of the Pension and Endowments Department at the World Bank. The team manages about $40 billion of pension and other retirement benefit portfolios invested across various asset classes, including fixed income, public and private equity, real assets, private credit, and absolute return strategies.
Bernard has had a long-standing career at the World Bank, where he has worked for 25 years.
Before joining the World Bank, he worked at the European Corporate Treasury team at Price WaterhouseCoopers in London.
He holds a Master of Science in Finance degree from George Washington University (Washington, DC) and an MBA from Cranfield University School of Management (UK). He is also a CFA charter holder.
Joanne Baynham is a presenter for Asset TV South Africa and a Wealth manager at Sterling Private Wealth. Prior to joining Sterling, she was a director and Head of Investment strategy of MitonOptimal South Africa (Pty) Ltd (A discretionary fund manager).
She is a Chartered Accountant and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation. She started in the industry in 1997 with Appleton Asset Management as an analyst, where she was mentored by Adrian Clayton (now CEO of NorthStar Asset Management). Based in Cape Town, she now manages private client money, whilst keep abreast of macro-economic events, asset allocation trends and manager research on both local and offshore funds.
She has been fortunate enough to have been in the financial industry for over 20 years and has experienced both bull and bear market cycles. Joanne was a regular host on Fine Music radio business and has since moved to the newly launched Strictly business podcasts, hosted by Lindsay Williams.
Over 20 years’ experience on radio and interviewing fund managers has enabled the transition to the Anchor role at Asset TV to be quite seamless. She also chairs panels at Investment forum related events, probing and digging into the views of well know South African fund managers
Runa Alam is the co-founder and CEO of Development Partners International (“DPI”). DPI is a leading private equity firm investing throughout Africa, and manages $2 billion in three funds, African Development Partners I (“ADP I”), ADP II and ADP III. ADP I and ADP II are Cambridge benchmarked top quartile Africa funds. The ADP funds have won numerous awards and been commended both for delivering top returns to investors while delivering top levels of ES&G and impact work. DPI is a gender balanced firm and seeks to focus its impact work on three buckets: Gender Balance, Climate Change, and Job Creation and Enhancement. ADP III also been chosen as the first “2X Challenge Gender Balance Showcase fund” by the OECD country development institutions.
Runa has more than 35 years of private equity, emerging market management and investment banking experience. She has invested in Africa for 22 years. She serves on the Boards of many African companies. She has contributed to the development of private equity in Africa as a former Chair of AVCA (the African Private Equity Association), Chair of the AVCA Sustainability Committee, and a Vice Chair and Africa Council Member of EMPEA (the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association). Ms. Alam is also on the board of CARE, and on a Future Challenge Committee of the World Economic Forum on “Investing with the UN SDGs.”
Ms. Alam has contributed to efforts in education and development through her written and pro bono work. She sat on the advisory committees at Princeton and Yale Universities and was formerly an Advisory Council member of MIDA (Mobilizing Institutional Investors to Develop Africa’s Infrastructure), NASP-USAID Investment Partnership, and USAID’s Private Sector Partners Committee.
Ms. Alam started her career on Wall Street working for Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. She is a development economist and is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School. She is a Harry S. Truman Congressional Scholar.
John Chilman is the Chief Executive of Railpen, a UK business which provides administration, investment management and advice to the UK railways pensions funds. These are multi-employer pension funds with over 350,000 members and c.£35bn in assets. Railpen also provides administration for c.150,000 members of third-party client funds.
After graduating with a degree in Geography from St. Anne’s College, Oxford University, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse. Following finance, change and M&A roles in South West Electricity and Shell, he moved into pensions, reward and leadership roles with FirstGroup (Transport), HBOS (Finance Services) and National Grid (Utilities).
John is currently Chairperson of the Pension and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) Policy Board, the industry body which represents UK pension funds and lobbies for policy change, where he is also a member of the main PLSA Board. John is also a Trustee (Director) of the Pensions Policy Institute, and independent charity which provides unbiased research to inform the pension policy debate.
He is also an experienced pension scheme trustee, both in the UK and North America, and is an Independent Trustee Director of the Nestlé UK Pension Fund, where he chairs the DB Investment and DB Funding committees.
Kenneth Robertson is Head of Client Portfolio Management Sustainable Investing at Robeco, covering Robeco’s offering in the areas of sustainable investing. Previously, he worked within Robeco’s Active Ownership team. He started his career at Robeco in 2014.
Kenneth holds a Master’s in Sustainable Business and Innovation from Utrecht University and a Bachelor’s in Sustainable Development from the University of St. Andrews.
Avishal Seeth started his working life at Deloitte as a Trainee Accountant. He then joined Alexforbes in 2010 before moving to Simeka Consultants and Actuaries as Branch Head in 2014 before eventually becoming a Director of the business.
Avishal has been Head of Sanlam Umbrella Solutions since June 2020 where he led a team responsible for developing innovative solutions to strengthen partnerships and enable financial resilience. In the 2 years that he has led the Umbrella Solutions business, he has contributed to the implementation of member focused offerings that alleviate the burden on employers to build a compelling employee value proposition and pioneered the integration of healthcare and employee assistance programs into the umbrella fund value proposition.
In June of 2022, Avishal moved back to Alexforbes as the Head: Retirements. After 8 years at Sanlam Corporate in various leadership roles in both advisory and product, he decided to return to an advice led business to ensure that he is able to have the necessary impact on the members that rely on the industry for guidance and advice.
Avishal has a passion for driving change in the industry to live out his personal vision which is to ‘improve members lives, now, and into retirement.
Sasha Cook is a chartered account, having qualified in the UK with BDO Stoy Hayward. She moved into investment banking in 2008 with the Royal Bank of Scotland (London) until 2011, when she returned to South Africa and joined Standard Bank’s Leverage Finance and later Corporate Financing Solutions team.
Sasha has held various leadership positions within Standard Bank. In 2017 she was appointed as Head of the Corporate Financing Solutions, SA business based in Johannesburg. In 2019, Sasha moved back to Cape Town and held responsibilities as Head of Investment Banking for the Western Cape until 2023 when she was appointed as Head of Sustainable Finance.
She is passionate about sustainability and working with stakeholders in the bank to drive and deliver the bank’s SEE impact strategy and embed sustainability into the bank’s DNA as well as working with clients to understand their ESG strategies and provide innovative solutions to support their sustainability journey.
Ngatia Kirungie is the Founder and Managing Director of Spearhead Africa a Nairobi based infrastructure and alternative investment advisory business, and the head of the Kenya Pension Fund Investment Consortium (KEPFIC) Secretariat.
KEPFIC is a consortium of Kenyan pension funds with approximately USD 5.25 billion in assets who have come together to jointly assess and invest in infrastructure opportunities in the East African region.
Ngatia has extensive experience from large financial institutions in New York, London and Nairobi and prior to founding Spearhead Africa, Ngatia was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs in London where he led the firm’s Africa fixed income sales and credit coverage, and was responsible for leading financing and public market investment transactions valued at over USD 5 billion.
Ngatia is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where he received his MBA (Finance and Investment specialization). He received a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration (Honors) from the United States International University in Nairobi and is a 2019 Obama Foundation Africa Leader
Helena Conradie is a seasoned business leader and former CEO of Satrix, the leading index-tracking business in South Africa.
Since 2000, Helena has led the indexation business from a small quantitative team managing the first Exchange Traded Fund in South Africa, to a diversified business offering ETFs, unit trusts and segregated portfolios across the retail and institutional space. At the time of her departure, end of 2021, Satrix had R160bn of assets under management.
Helena’s strong global network and significant role in establishing the South African passive investment industry has earned her recognition as a pioneer and thought leader in the field. Her innovative approach to democratizing investments and promoting financial inclusion has seen key initiatives such as SatrixNOW (partnering with EasyEquities) and IndexMore (partnering with BlackRock) being launched. This was also recognised by Harvard Business School in a case study about Satrix in 2020.
Helena co-founded TenFour Partners in 2022, an independent, woman-owned business consultancy. With her deep understanding of the link between purpose and profit, the business consultancy’s focus is to inspire and collaborate with others to impact society at large by prioritising social responsibility and sustainability in business.
Helena is a CFA charterholder and holds a M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch. She serves on the Council of the University of Stellenbosch, and the boards of Satrix and Strate. She is also a member of the FTSE/JSE Advisory Committee and JSE Buy Side Council. She serves on the Women in ETF Board for the EMEA region, is a member of the Responsible Leaders Network of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt and an active member of the Inner Development Goals (IDG) Network Community.
Dr. Rajiv Sharma
Dr. Rajiv Sharma is a Research Director at the Stanford Research Initiative on Long Term Investing (SLTI) at the Center for Sustainable Development & Global Competitiveness, in the Stanford Engineering School. Rajiv has over 15 years of experience working as an advisor and academic in the field of institutional investment.
He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and with international organisations such as the World Bank, OECD and United Nations. His latest book Reframing Finance: New models of long-term investment management, which defines a new model of investing into alternative assets, has been adopted by large institutional investors around the world including US public pension fund, CalSTRS and Indian sovereign wealth fund, NIIF. His research interests are on the design and governance of innovative institutional investment models, and technology solutions for better alternative asset investment decision making.
He is also an advisor to the US Department of the Treasury and works in the investment technology space in Silicon Valley. He received his Doctorate from Oxford University in the field of Pensions, Sovereign Wealth Funds and Infrastructure Investment and a Bachelor of Engineering and Commerce first class honours degree from Auckland University.
Mr. Fernando Vinzons is the current Chief Investment Officer of the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF). CTPF is an $12 billion public pension plan that serves more than 92,000 public/charter/contract school teachers, administrators, certified personnel, and CTPF staff members.
Mr. Vinzons has over 18 years of investment and financial market expertise, with four years as Director of Investments and 10 years as a senior member of the Cook County (Chicago, Illinois) Pension Fund investment team. He was responsible for the growth of an under-funded pension portfolio (from $5.2 to $14.0 billion) and improved peer ranking (from 65th to 28th percentile). He is well‐versed in all investable asset classes, including private equity, real estate, and hedge fund alternative strategies. Prior to working in the pension industry, Mr. Vinzons was a buyside analyst for Driehaus Capital Management covering the Consumer Staples, Consumer Discretionary, Healthcare and Industrial sectors. He also has start-up experience working in a Michael Milken-funded online MBA education company. He first entered the finance industry as an investment banking analyst with Paine Webber & Company in New York.
Mr. Vinzons received a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, with a focus on Analytical Finance and Accounting.
In his free time, Mr. Vinzons enjoys the company of his beautiful little 13-month old baby girl.
Raazia Ganie is currently the Executive Head of Investments within NMG Benefits. She has extensive experience both locally and abroad dealing with institutional funds of different complexities ranging from retirement funds, medical aids, beneficiary funds and trusts amongst others.
Raazia also has experience in both the advisory business as well as asset management and private wealth. She is focused on ensuring clients receive high quality advice, while also maintaining good governanieance and improving member outcomes in the process.
Raazia holds a B. Com from the University of Cape Town and is also a CFA Charter-holder. Raazia has 25 years of investment experience which spans both the South African as well as UK industries. She has previously worked for large local and international investment consultants and gained invaluable experience at an asset manager in the UK. Raazia currently serves as a board member on the CFA Society of South Africa.
Jonathan Mort is a director of Jonathan Mort Inc, a specialist pension law firm, which he established in 2009. His legal practice covers all aspects of the law relating to pension funds, and he advises clients (mainly large pension funds) throughout South Africa and other Southern African countries. His specific area of interest is in governance and investment issues relating to pension funds. He is a director of a life company, a unit trust company and is an experienced pension fund trustee. He has also acted as an inspector of financial institutions, investigating the treatment of unclaimed benefits in a number of large financial institutions.
Jonathan was previously President of the Pension Lawyers Association and currently sits on the IRFA Legal & Technical Committee, the Actuarial Society of SA Governance Board and the Advisory Committee of the SA Pension Fund Investment Forum. He has also been on the executive of the International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association (IPEBLA), is the past editor of IPEBLA’s journal “The International Pension Lawyer” and is currently the directing editor of “A Comparative Survey of Pension Law Issues” published by IPEBLA. Jonathan has presented papers at, and participated in, a number of local and international pension related conferences.
Sarah Whitten is the Regional Finance and Implementation Manager at the U.S. Trade & Development Agency (USTDA), the United States government’s project preparation agency. In her role, Ms. Whitten supports the fundraising process for infrastructure project developers across sub-Saharan Africa.
Prior to joining the U.S. government, she was an Executive Director and Global Account Manager with Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) South Africa’s regional office, managing a c. $1 billion portfolio of multinational corporates, providing and structuring various financing and risk management solutions.
In addition to these roles, Ms. Whitten serves on the Global D&I Committee at USTDA and on the steering committee of 100 Women in Finance in South Africa. She previously served as chairwoman for SCB South Africa’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Council, as well as on the steering committee of the 30% Club South Africa.
Prior to her roles in South Africa, Ms. Whitten was with SCB New York’s Debt Capital Markets team, covering origination for North American corporates focused on global bond issuances, and before that she with Merrill Lynch Chicago in Private Banking supporting investment decisions and the management of the portfolios of high-net-worth individuals. Ms. Whitten holds a BSc from Northwestern University in Illinois.
Sebastien Betermier is the Executive Director of the International Centre for Pension Management, and an Associate Professor of Finance at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. His research focuses on risk and return, portfolio management and asset pricing, pension funds and retirement systems, household finance, and sustainable finance. His work appears in top finance journals and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and Bloomberg among others.
Professor Betermier teaches Applied Investments and Pension Funds and Retirement Systems at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has been recognized repeatedly through nominations for teaching excellence which includes receiving the Desautels Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016 and 2020 and coaching the winning team of the PRMIA international risk management challenge in 2016, 2017, and 2019. He was named one of the World’s Best 40 under 40 Business School Professors by Poets and Quants in 2017.
Professor Betermier holds a PhD in Finance from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He also serves as Faculty Director of the McGill International Portfolio Challenge and is a member of the Research Policy Network on Household Finance at the Center for Economic Policy Research. He was born in France and grew up in Paris and San Francisco.
Thembeka Stemela Dagbo
Thembeka Stemela Dagbo is a South African national who joined M&G in July 2018 as an investment analyst for M&G Positive Impact Fund. Thembeka manages the M&G (Lux) Diversity & Inclusion Fund and the Diversity & Inclusion Fineco Asset Management Fund.
She was appointed Deputy Fund Manager of M&G Positive Impact Fund in June 2019. She was previously a Vice President (VP) in the Equity Research Department at Credit Suisse International, where she joined as part of the Graduate Programme in 2012. She served as a primary analyst for the UK and Nordic non-life insurers.
Thembeka has a Bachelor of Business Science Honours Degree from the University of Cape Town (UCT), specialising in Economics. She also holds the Certificate in Impact Measurement from the Said Business School at Oxford University.
Chief Investment Officer
Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System
Rodney June has served LACERS since 1998 and has served as its CIO since 2012. Prior to being named CIO, he was CIO for the State of Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System (HIERS) from 2008 to 2012. Recent LACERS initiatives include expansion of its Private Equity and Private Credit Programs, enhancements to its Emerging Investment Manager Program, and implementation of an ESG Program that includes becoming a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment in 2019 and subsequent adoptions of a Responsible Investment Policy and ESG Risk Framework. Other key initiatives include adoption of a market-sensitive asset allocation rebalancing approach and an opportunistic investment streamlined approval process.
Prior to joining LACERS, Rod worked in a variety of positions to include retail banking, management consulting, and public real estate finance with the City of Los Angeles, where he managed the City’s affordable housing grant funding operations, and later joined the City’s housing production team to develop multi-family housing for low and moderate income families.
Rod has spent many years working with local schools and colleges in southern California that promote academic, scholarship and career advancement by serving on non-profit boards and as founder of a non-profit organization he established to assist local college students with leadership development, professional mentoring, and financial assistance. He currently leads LACERS’ diversity efforts at the collegiate level by partnering with Girls Who Invest, Rock the Street Wall Street, and LACERS’ Investment Management Fellowship Program.
Rod holds a B.S. in Business/Finance from California State University, Long Beach, where he was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society, and an M.B.A. from the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University.
Thabo Letlaka currently holds the position of Deputy Chief Investment Officer at the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF).
Delphine Govender CA(SA) CFA
Chief Investment Officer, Perpetua Investment Managers
Delphine is an active and seasoned investment and financial services sector professional with over 28 years’ experience. Delphine is co-founder and chief investment officer of Perpetua Investment Managers. Delphine founded Perpetua in 2012 after having spent close to 11 years at Allan Gray Limited, where she held positions of portfolio manager from 2005 and director from 2006, until her departure in 2012. At Perpetua, Delphine is responsible for managing assets across all listed asset classes, including domestic and global equities, domestic and global multi-asset class and fixed income. She also champions the firm’s responsible investing approach and activities.
Delphine plays an active role in the financial industry through direct contribution in developments around regulatory improvements; collaborative investor engagement; societal impact of the industry; responsible investing and stewardship; diversity advancement and inclusion; gender mainstreaming; mentorships and investment thought leadership. Delphine has served as Deputy President for ABSIP (Association of Black Securities & Investment Professionals) and was awarded the ABSIP Women of Significance award. Delphine is Past Chapter Chair of YPO Cape Town, after having served for several years on the Chapter’s Exco.
In addition, Delphine serves as board member for CFA Society South Africa where she chairs the Women in Investment Management & Diversity sub-committee, as well as chairing the ESG & Responsible Investing project team for CFA South Africa. Delphine championed the high impact CFA South Africa Day of Girl Job Shadow initiative which is the largest job shadow and investment career awareness programme aimed at exposing Grade 10/11 schoolgirls to the investment industry across employers in the country, and the initiative was awarded the CFA Institute’s Impact and Innovation award for the EMEA Region. Delphine is also a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
In her role as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Emerging Manager Strategy, Taffi Ayodele drives the strategy within the Bureau of Asset Management (BAM) to expand engagement with and increase allocations to Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises and emerging investment managers. She also has oversight of the Minority, Women and Disabled Veteran – Owned Broker Program and coordinates BAM’s annual Emerging and Diverse Manager Conference.
Ms. Ayodele is a seasoned executive with experience in the financial services, technology and real estate sectors. Prior to joining the Comptroller’s office, Ms. Ayodele most recently served as a Principal with Harpia Asset Management, a mission-driven real estate investment and development company and co-founded Thando Holdings, a global fashion and technology company focused on creating a global platform for African artists and their fashion products. In 2015, Forbes named her one of the 10 Emerging Women Entrepreneurs to Watch in Africa. Prior to founding Thando Holdings, she served as a Principal of TW Advisory, a boutique small business advisory practice.
Ms. Ayodele began her career at Blaylock Van, LLC, (BRV), Wall Street’s longest continuously operated African American investment banking and financial services company. She previously served as Director of the Office of Executive Initiatives at the New York State Dormitory Authority (DASNY), New York State’s public finance and construction authority.
She currently serves on the board of the Toigo Foundation, the NYU Global Libraries and is a Trustee Emeritus of New York University (2015-2021), The Guyana Economic Development Trust (2018-2021), and New Jersey SEEDS (2017-2019).
Ms. Ayodele earned a BA in Economics from New York University and an MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
Jan Mahlangu is a Retirement Funds Coordinator of and Acting Policy Unit Head of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) his among others includes coordinating work of the federation’s, policies, monitoring the implementation and compliance with all relevant legislations including the Pension Funds Act, of 1956 as amended and other statutes with more than 35 years of experience.
As a representative of Organized Labour in NEDLAC he participated and contributed to many policy engagements which led to the current draft Two-Pot Retirement System, amendments to Pension Fund Second Amendment Act, 2001, democratization of elections/appointments to Worker representatives on Board of Funds against those who thought and believed that retirement funds are part of employers accounts, participated to Define Contribution Funds as we know them today including establishing some funds in different sectors. He was part of Annuitization and Preservation campaigns led by COSATU. Further contributed to the Department of Social Development paper on Comprehensive Social Security & Retirement reform.
He is Board member of few funds, represent COSATU in NEDLAC, FSTC, International Labour Organization forums and other entities with other social partners.
Engage policy makers/relevant government departments on policy formulations which are members friendly. Coordinate assistance to retirement funds members with policy challenges at both fund and affiliate level.
Coordinate the work of affiliates, trustee training through Retirement Funds Committee, represent the federation at different institutions be it government, non-governmental and affiliate level including international work .
He is staunch believer that retirement funds are deferred wages of workers and real assets owner.
B.Com (Hons), M.Sc, MBA, AMP
Vuyo was appointed Co-Managing Director in August 2020. Vuyo has more than two decades of investment experience and has been involved in private infrastructure investing in Africa since 2003.
Prior to moving into the Co-Managing Director role, Vuyo was the Co-Portfolio Manager of the IDEAS Managed Fund, which primarily focuses on infrastructure investment and development assets in the SADC region, where he was primarily responsible for the post-acquisition management of the fund’s more than 30 investments, in addition to overall fund management.
Vuyo, who joined AIIM in 2003, was initially involved in the build-up of the South Africa Infrastructure Fund’s (“SAIF”) holdings in South African toll roads, including additional stakes in TRAC, N3TC and Bakwena. In addition, Vuyo was involved in the early refinancing of these toll road assets. Vuyo also played a leading role in AIIM’s pioneer investment outside South Africa, the Lekki Concession Company. More recently, Vuyo led the investment of AIIM Fund’s into Cenpower IPP power project Tema Ghana and Albatros Energy Mali power station, the first IPP in Mali.
Vuyo holds several directorships, including positions on the boards of some of AIIM’s portfolio companies. He is also a Trustee of the Africa Infrastructure Developers Association (AFiDA).Vuyo is a Director on the AIIM Board and is a member of the Executive Committee, while also serving as a member of the Investment Committees of all AIIM’s managed funds.
Prior to joining AIIM, Vuyo was an investment analyst and strategist in the Research and Investment Management team at ipac South Africa, an investment management and consulting company that was then within the Brait Group.
Vuyo holds a B.Com Honours degree from the University of Cape Town, an M.Sc from the University of Oxford and MBA from IESE Business School. He has also completed
Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program and is part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network
As the Head of Real Estate in the Bureau of Asset Management for the Office of the NYC Comptroller, John directs such investment activities on behalf of the five New York City retirement systems.
He is responsible for the design, implementation, and oversight of this investment program which today, is approximately $19.7 billion invested. The program is comprised of investments that are well diversified in terms of strategy, geography, property type and investment structure.
Prior to BAM, Mr. Gluszak served as a Director at RBC Capital Markets where he was the head of the U.S. commercial mortgage loan trading desk and managed a pipeline of over $4 billion in commercial mortgage loans. His responsibilities included pricing, hedging, structuring, and selling the bank’s U.S. commercial mortgage loans using a combination of public and private offerings.
Mr. Gluszak received both his B.S in Accounting and MBA in Finance from St. John’s University and has over 30 years’ experience in the commercial real estate industry. Additionally, he has served as an expert witness for lending institutions and has been published in a textbook on strategic planning.
Zareena Camroodien is the Head of Department: Fund Governance and Trustee Conduct in the Retirement Funds Supervision Division (RFSD) responsible for fund governance and trustee training, which includes the Trustee Training Toolkit. She is also responsible for providing legal support to the Retirement Funds Supervision Division. She further provided and provides input in respect of various pieces of legislation, inter alia, the Conduct of Financial Institutions Bill (COFI) and the consequential amendments to the Pension Funds Act and in respect of regulatory instruments.
She further provided and provides input on various policies of National Treasury including but not limited to, the Two-Pot system, Auto Enrolment and governance of funds. She represents the RFSD at various fora including the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) and Africa Pension Supervisors Forum (APSF). She is an admitted Advocate with a diverse range of legal experience for over 20 years.
She completed her pupillage and practised as an Advocate at the Johannesburg Bar. She further worked at the Office of the Pension Funds Adjudicator as a Senior Assistant Adjudicator. She also has corporate experience having worked at Momentum as Head of Legal: Industrial Funds. She joined the FSCA in October 2019. She holds BA LLB degrees from the University of Cape Town. She is passionate about social justice.
Mr. Aymeric Saha is the CEO of MiDA Advisors. He leads all key strategic and senior-level engagements on behalf of MiDA Advisors. More recently, he was the Managing Director of the NASP-USAID Investment Partnership for Mobilizing Institutional Investors to Develop Africa’s Infrastructure or “MiDA.” He led the transition from the MiDA initiative to MiDA Advisors, a global advisory firm in 2019.
He has supported the mobilization of $1.8 billion in investments in Africa and other emerging markets. He previously spent fourteen years at the World Bank and led the quantitative risk finance function responsible for overseeing market and credit risks for $200 billion in banking operations in over 100 countries, and an investment portfolio of over $100 billion invested across developed and emerging markets. In 2013, Mr. Saha was appointed Financial Policy Director in the United States Congress for the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions to oversee the implementation of banking and capital markets reforms in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Cumulatively, he directed initiatives to boost U.S.-Africa trade and investments, particularly within the Power Africa initiative.
In 2005, Mr. Saha co-founded NewBridge Development/1438 Street LLC, a boutique real estate and retail investment firm that developed and managed commercial and residential properties in the Washington, DC region. Mr. Saha holds two M.A. degrees in Finance and Business Management from Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School and his B.A. degree in Finance and Economics from McGill University. He previously lived abroad in Africa, Europe, and Canada, and is fluent in French.