The “Black Sanlam” National
Investment Initiative (Natvest) aims to facilitate the establishment of a major
black owned financial institution as a vehicle for Broad-Based Black Economic
Empowerment, Growth, Investment and Transformation.
The initiative has been developed
since 1995 and has been discussed with a number of
key stakeholders including Mbhazima
Shilowa as General Secretary of Cosatu in 1995, Cyril Ramaphosa Chairperson of
the Black Economic Empowerment Commission in 2000, the Black Business Council
Summit in 2002, Nafcoc in 2003, as well as with members of Nactu, Fedusa,
Government and other stakeholders. The proposals have been welcomed in
principle and now require coordinated action by stakeholders further
development and implementation.
Funds are owned by their members and are under
the control in principle of Trustees. In practice, the majority
of these Funds are managed, controlled and invested by the large financial
institutions, in various assets including mainly listed and unlisted
shares and strategic investments as well as property and government stock. The financial institutions thus
control the majority of the wealth of the country, using and profiting from
retirement funds owned by members!
The Proposed “Black
Sanlam” would transform the financial services industry
by placing Union Funds under the effective control of their members and
Trustees in a new black-owned and controlled national financial institution, with
the necessary expertise and support structures, ensuring full
accountability and fiduciary custodianship. The required structures could be
established in a short time framework, with the necessary consultation and
mandates from stakeholders. The
Proposal is aligned with and builds on the Presidential Growth and
Development Summit (GDS), the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and
initiatives by the Public Investment Commission (PIC).
1st Floor Everite House 20 de Korte Street
Braamfontein South Africa;
PO Box 890695 Lyndhurst 2106; Tel: 27 11 403-5483/4/5; Fax: 27
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Web: www.natgrowth.co.za
Coordinators: Eric Stillerman B SocSc BAHons MA
CA(SA) CEO, Desmond Golding MA LLM Lon SA Res Bank, Chris Hart BCom HDE ABSA,
Given Kakambi BSc MBA, Elaine Maroos CTH, Princess Mavundla MBM, Cynthia Dladla
CIT, Michael Masalesa NDA, Lisanias Mupambireyi AMD Zim, Artie Phatlane NDE.
Non-exec: Dr Colin Lawrence UK, Themba Kirro Kinana Office of the Presidency;
In assoc with London School of Business SA
5. Expertise and
expertise and support structures are available, to be engaged by the proposed Investment Company eg. on an
outsourcing or strategic alliance basis, in parallel with the necessary skills
transfer mechanisms, including education and training programmes. The key
functions would include investment management, corporate governance,
administration and insurance underwriting.
Companies and BEE structures have generally
been limited in their scope to specific investments which require Special
Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and debt funding. With the decline in share prices,
many of these investments and structures have been significantly diminished or
discontinued. In addition, the size of investments has not always allowed for
majority black ownership and management of strategic investments. The proposed
Black Sanlam would significantly increase the size of investments,
control and management participation, as well as reducing or eliminating
the need for SPVs and debt.
The process requires a coordinated plan
of action by stakeholders on the full range of issues and alternative
structures, in the best interests of members of retirement funds as owners and
beneficiaries. It is proposed that a task team be set up to take the process
forward, in cooperation with other related initiatives.
8. Strategic Issues
include defining the Vision, Aims, Structure, Membership,
Strategies, Investment Policies, relationships to existing structures, legal
requirements and mandates.
9. Structural issues
include formation of a mutual fund or company; the critical mass of participation
required; the relationship to Unions, Retirement Funds, Boards of Trustees and
10. Operational issues
include strategic alliances, outsourcing, skills transfers, training and
other mechanisms to ensure the necessary levels of corporate governance,
executive management, asset management, risk management, underwriting and
11. Natgrowth offers its services on a professional basis to
facilitate the process, contributing its proposals and expertise, as initiators
of the process. Natgrowth is an independent professional initiative facilitating Integrated
Sustainable Development, Growth, Investment and Employment at all levels.
Natgrowth made submissions to the GDS and WSSD and serves as a strategic
resource to government and stakeholders (See www.natgrowth.co.za).
The Black Sanlam is a major national initiative whose time has now come. The
Proposals are available for further discussion with stakeholders
towards the setting up of a task team to take the process forward. Please contact the writer to discuss the
initiative and proposals further.
Chief Executive Officer