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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Managing Director AIICO Pension Managers Limited Eguarekhide Longe, today emerged the Chairman of the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp).
He was elected into the position at the association’s annual general meeting in Lagos. He is taken over the mantle of leadership from the Managing Director of Legacy Pension Limited, Misbahu Yola, who had been at the helm of affairs of the association for the past two years.
Longe has over 20 years’ experience working in the Capital Market, spanning Stock broking, Asset Management and Investment Banking. He has hands-on and senior management experience in setting up processes, developing operations/systems, strategy and business and product development.
Prior to his appointment as Managing Director of AIICO Pension Managers Limited, Eguarekhide worked at Diamond Capital & Financial Markets Limited (subsidiary of Diamond Bank PLC) as the Head of the Asset Management division. He was also for three years the MD/CEO of Kakawa Asset Management Limited from 2005-2008.
He has held senior management positions in leading Dealing member firms of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and worked in Pension Management and Venture Capital environments at Shell Trustees Nigeria Limited (now Shell Closed Pension Fund Administrators) and First Funds Limited, respectively.
Eguarekhide holds a B.Sc. in Political Science “University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1986) and an MBA ” IESE Business School ” University of Navarra, Barcelona, Spain (2002). He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers of Nigeria. He was appointed Managing Director/CEO of AIICO Pension Managers in November 2011.
Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) is an independent, non-governmental, non-political and non-profit making body established to promote the operations of the pension industry, provide for self-regulation and ensure that international best practices relating to the industry are observed by the operators registered in Nigeria.
Its role internally, is to add value to its members across all levels; information, education, visibility, networking etc. externally its role is to increase the awareness and visibility of the pension industry and enable external stakeholders understand and participate in the development of this financial sub-sector wherever and whenever possible.
Its positioning, is to be the influencer externally and the ‘mother to all’ internally, while managing the perception of the segment through the propagation of its brand values.
The entire pension landscape is privately managed by a group of licensed companies which fall into one of the following, according to their role, structure and mode of operation.
Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs)
The new pension scheme requires pension funds to be privately managed by licensed Pension Fund Administrators. Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have been duly licensed to open Retirement Savings Accounts for employees, invest and manage the pension funds in a manner as the Commission may from time to time prescribe, maintain books of accounts on all transactions relating to the pension funds managed by it, provide regular information to the employees or beneficiaries and pay retirement benefits to employees in accordance with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004.
Before it is issued with an operating licence, the PFA must be a limited liability company whose sole object is the management of pension funds. To discourage frivolous applications and to ensure credibility, such company must have a paid up share capital of N150, 000,000 and demonstrate professional capacity to mange pension funds and administer retirement benefits.
Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs)
Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs) will be responsible for the warehousing of the pension fund assets. The PFAs shall not be allowed to hold the pension funds assets. The employer sends the contributions directly to the Custodian, who notifies the PFA of the receipt of the contribution and the PFA subsequently credits the retirement savings account of the employee.
The Custodian will execute transactions and undertake activities relating to the administration of pension fund investments upon instructions by the PFA. The custodian shall hold pension fund assets on trust for its clients. For the same reason adduced in the case of the PFA, a stakeholder of the Custodian must be a licensed financial institution and have a minimum net worth of N5,000, 000, 000 and a total balance sheet of not below N125, 000,000,000. The shareholders of a Custodian must guarantee the pension fund assets held by it.
Closed Pension Fund Administrators (CPFAs)
Closed Pension Fund Administrators (CPFAs) are a category of Pension Fund Operators Licensed by PENCOM under provisions of the PRA 2014. The CPFA License was granted in accordance with the provisions of Section 51 of the Act, to qualifying owner-managed Pension schemes that existed prior to the Pension Reform in 2004. Even though they CPFAs are regulated by PENCOM, CPFA membership is only open to employees of companies that they represent and not for the general public. Notwithstanding the foregoing, CPFAs are subject to provisions of the PRA and rules of their Approved Existing Schemes, and other guidelines as specified by PENCOM from time