Thursday 31st October 2013 saw retirement fund trustees, asset management firms, custodian banks, financial markets regulators and other key industry players for this year’s Botswana Pensions Society (BPS) annual conference. Stanbic Bank Botswana proudly served as a platinum sponsor for the prestigious event which was primarily focused on exploring and discussing the current state and the future of retirement funds. The conference was held at Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC).
“The retirement landscape in Botswana is an ever evolving and complex space that we as an industry need to work together to better understand and serve,” commented Stanbic Bank Botswana Manager of Market Risk, Mr. Joel Ramaphoi. “Stanbic Bank’s participation in such a forum is not simply as a sponsor, but as a promoter of growth and development in this space.
Through exhibition at this year’s conference as well as presenting to our fellow colleagues and indeed hearing from them on the insights of the retirement landscape, we are keen to grasp a stronger understanding of how we can continue to grow our businesses in this space.”
The conference encouraged attendees to share insights and ideas on what shapes the industry as well as the current trends and patterns observed affecting retirement and pension funds on the back of the NBFIRA pension fund strategy. This year’s theme, Retirement Funds – what can the industry expect over the next 5-10 years? was discussed before an audience of up to 200 key stakeholders, trustees and captains of industries. Amongst the key issues under discussion were the investor landscape for Batswana, set against other countries within the region; investor profile and opportunity; the hazardous and challenging terrain within the retirement landscape.
This is the first year Stanbic Bank has sponsored the annual industry conference, with key discussions led by Mr. Ramaphoi as well as Standard Bank Head of Institutional Sales Africa, Mr. Mark Kalil.
Amongst the key learnings emerging from the conference were a greater understanding of the increasing total asset base of retirement funds and the contributing factors in the current economic climate. Emphasis was made by all delegates on the need for increased education of public retirement fund participants on the concept of long-term savings for retirement needs. Safe and cautious management of contractual savings within the existing retirement fund system, moreover, was noted to be of national importance.
This is particularly the case given the key role retirement funds have to play in the future development of Botswana and the increased drive to invest funds locally to help in infrastructure development, reduce the costs of financial services and improve the robustness of the nation’s financial system.
“This is the third year that we have held such a forum and it has proven to be an enlightening platform for those in the industry. BPS aims to promote member awareness and education, creating a forum for interaction between service providers, retirement funds and plan members. We are wholly funded through membership subscriptions and event sponsorship and are grateful, therefore, for the increasing support of attendees across the board, from platinum sponsors Stanbic Bank Botswana to key local players in the industry ranging from Botswana Life and Bifm to VPB,” concluded Ms. Lesedi Moakufhi, Chairperson of Botswana Pensions Society.