Issue: December 2007/February 2008

First Word

In the frenetic debate over retirement-fund reform, there’s a basic assumption that’s false. It’s that there are competent trustees, and aspirant trustees, in abundance. Insufficient attention to this detail can affect the entire process. Read full article...

Local Government

So who are these guys wanting to consolidate the numerous municipal funds into a R90 billion centralised fund? The start that’s been made is embarrassing, particularly for the Minister and the Registrar. Read full article...

Curators' Fees

As if the “Ghavalas option” in the Lifecare rigmarole doesn’t sufficiently reek of scandal, there’s more. Check what the fund curators stand to earn at the expense of fund members. Read full article...

Cover Story

Ouch! The share market isn’t behaving in the way that has made fund trustees feel so comfortable over the past four years. What are they to do? Some top investment managers and consultants offer their advice.

Competition Penalty

Investors such as retirement funds will ultimately have to pay the R100 million fine levied against Tiger Brands for bread-price collusion. It isn’t right. So bring a class action against those responsible. Read full article...

Pensions Reform

Chile is touted as a great success from which South Africa can learn. But its experience must be examined warts and all. Rob Rusconi scrutinises the warts.

This & That

Trustees should spend 20 days a year on their fund duties, and be paid for it by their funds, says the National Association of Pension Funds in the UK. It offers sound reasons, also arguable here.


In 1996, government legislated for half of retirement funds’ boards to comprise trustees elected by fund members. In 2007, it started to look like turning out rather differently from government’s original participatory intention. Read full article...

Financial Sector Charter

Latest report from the Charter Council is as interesting for what it does say as for what it doesn’t. There’s not a word on shareholder activism, ostensibly because there’s nothing to report. Seems that Charter signatories don’t appreciate, or don’t want, the points they can get for it. Read full article...

Adjudicator Rulings 1

Back to the whole BEE debate. It’s peculiar that no companies or funds have yet taken the opportunity for black members of retirement funds to be recognised for purposes of the ownership scorecard. Such apathy is in the financial interests of neither companies’ shareholders nor funds’ members.

Adjudicator Rulings 2

What a pleasure. No longer do the spouses of divorced fund members have to wait for the member to retire before they can get their hands on the lolly. The clean-break principle overrides retrospectivity.

The Big Issue

The more fund managers use their muscle, the more the excesses of executive remuneration are brought under control. Research by Institutional Shareholder Services proves the point.


These days, trustees have a greater number of investment choices than ever before. Into the future, they can expect that different varieties of old and new products will increasingly converge.

Book Review

At last, a thorough analysis of socially responsible investment in corporate South Africa. “Staking Their Claims” cuts through the gloss and into the guts.

Fiduciary Duties

The PIC isn’t a government slush fund. Much of what’s been speculated about the proposed Koni bid for the Sunday Times proprietor is pure nonsense. But if there is to be a serious bid at R7 billion, let potential funders beware.


Rupert Murdoch can tell us a thing or two about press freedom.