With four months to the April 2022 recapitalisation deadline given to all Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to recapitalise, 11 PFAs are still battling to upgrade to the new requirement, LEADERSHIP checks have shown.
However, pension operators are optimistic that all 22 PFAs currently operating in the country will scale through the process, even as the remaining are seriously considering mergers and acquisitions as a way to beat the deadline.
Speaking in an exclusive phone interview with LEADERSHIP yesterday, the president, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), Wale Odutola, said though the regulator gave operators one year to recapitalise, he sees no reason to push for an extension as most PFAs have either recapitalised from the previous N1 billion to the new minimum capital benchmark of N5 billion, or are at an advanced stage of the recapitalisation process.
Odutola, who is also the managing director/CEO of ARM Pension, noted that the exercise will further create a strong pension industry, make the balance sheet of PFAs robust and ensure that operators provide quality and superior customer service delivery.
Stating that some of his colleagues had adopted mergers and acquisitions to recapitalise, he said some had equally approached their existing shareholders to increase their stake in their respective PFAs.
By April 2022, he expects all the pension fund administrators to have met the new capital threshold that will equally be a blessing to the new pension scheme.
According to him, though about 50 per cent of PFAs had upgraded their capital base to the new threshold of N5 billion, the remaining PFAs would have concluded their recapitalisation exercise by February 2022.
Speaking earlier at a media parley in Lagos, the head of surveillance at PenCom, Ehimeme Ohioma, disclosed that about 10 or 11 PFAs had raised their minimum capital base to N5 billion.
To her, the objective of the recapitalisation exercise was to improve the financial stability and operational efficiency in the industry.
She said, “This is the second recapitalisation exercise in the industry within the current CPS (contributory pension scheme). It is because the industry has grown and the assets have grown, hence, there is need for this.
“They (PFAs) need to retain the real skilled workers. We need to attract talent. There is need for digitalisation. This will cost money too and ensure efficiency, especially with Covid-19. So, the exercise is ripe and we are looking at having big players in the industry.”
LEADERSHIP had earlier reported that no fewer than 11 PFAs had upgraded their shareholders’ fund from N1billion to N5 billion.
PenCom had earlier mandated all the 22 PFAs in the country to raise additional N4 billion capital on the existing minimum capital of N1billion, such that, by April 2022, each of them would have a minimum shareholders’ fund of N5billion.
Findings show that Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, ARM Pension Managers Ltd, NPF Pension Ltd, First Guarantee Pension Ltd, Leadway Pensure Ltd, Premium Pension Ltd, among others, had so far recapitalised to the new threshold.
Similarly, four PFAs may go into mergers and acquisitions ahead of the April 2022 deadline.
Findings show that PenCom had granted a “no objection” approval to Guaranty Trust Holding Company to acquire 100 per cent shareholding of Investment One Pension Managers Ltd.
Similarly, the commission was said to have also granted a “no objection” approval to FCMB Pensions Ltd for the next phase of acquiring 60 per cent shareholding of AIICO Pension Managers Ltd.
Meanwhile, AXA Mansard Pensions Ltd has re-branded and changed its name to Tangerine Pensions Ltd following the completion of the acquisition of 100 per cent shareholding of AXA Mansard Pensions Ltd by Verod Capital Management Ltd.
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