A Helicopter, Sports Cars And A Missing R900m — Everything You Need To Know About The VBS Bank Drama

VBS Mutual Bank is once again in the spotlight, this time over allegations that its shareholders plundered the institution’s finances to sponsor their extravagant lifestyles.

What’s now at stake is about R1.5-billion of taxpayer money deposited into the embattled bank by more than a dozen municipalities in various provinces. The Public Investment Corporation, which manages the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and is one of the bank’s largest shareholders, also stands to lose millions.

According to separate reports by Sunday Times and City Press over the weekend, this is what you need to know:

– At the centre of the allegations are bank shareholder (and Vhavenda king) Toni Mphephu Ramabulana; the bank’s former chairman and Vele Investments founder Tshifhiwa Matodzi; and Vele Investments CEO Robert Madzonga. Vele Investments is the bank’s largest shareholder.

– It is alleged the trio used hundreds of millions in depositors’ funds to pay for their lavish lifestyles, which includes a helicopter for the king, luxury apartments, designer clothing, and sports cars. This was reportedly done through a series of vehicle finance deals, mortgage bonds and complex intercompany loans between VBS, Vele Investments and its subsidiaries.

-About R900-million is said to be unaccounted for.

Proceed to Source : Huffington Post

Good governance key to health of pension funds

Good governance is key to the well-being of the retirement funds industry, says the Pension Funds Adjudicator, Muvhango Lukhaimane.

Addressing the winter conference of the Batseta Council of Retirement Funds for South Africa in Durban, Lukhaimane said in the light of recent reforms with much stronger regulation and supervision, compliance was not enough.

“The technocrats have put in place new rules of the game. However, it is no longer only about compliance.

“It is about the decision-making process and the implementation of those decisions. It is about governance,” she said.

Proceed to Source : FA News

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Cashing in now means less cash in retirement

Millennials need to preserve their retirement savings when they change jobs, to accumulate enough money by the time they retire.

Millennials have low levels of long-term savings, on average, because they change jobs often and tend not to preserve their savings with each job change, according to a recent Sanlam survey to supplement its annual Benchmark Survey of employee benefits.

Proceed to Source : IOL Personal Finance

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Growing your financial services business in the complex new regulatory environment

Two major factors will determine the survival, sustainability, and growth of the financial advisory and wealth management industry: a paradigm shift in regulation and, understanding contemporary client expectations. In the first of a two-part series, Craig Featherby looks at how regulations benefit asset and wealth managers as well as the clients.

Proceed to Source : BIZ News

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Liberty hack the ‘biggest breach yet’

Liberty Life is the latest SA firm to have its data breached and has potentially exposed the personal details of millions

Millions of South Africans woke up on Sunday not to the afterglow of another stunning come-from-behind victory by the revitalised Springboks but to the news that their personal data may have been hacked — again.

Liberty Life sent out text messages to its customers early on Sunday warning them that it had “been subjected to unauthorised access to its IT infrastructure, by an external party”.

That Liberty took two days to inform its customers of the breach suggests it doesn’t have a strong-enough focus on its IT systems — which might not have been secure enough, commentators say.

Proceed to Source : Business Live

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Your guide to alternative investments

The poor performance of the JSE this year has made the prospect of spreading investments over non-equity asset classes increasingly appealing.

Alternative investments in hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, infrastructure and non-listed property, among others, spread the risk and in some cases these asset classes have been outperforming equities.

Proceed to Source : Fin24

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Compound interest – What’s the big deal?

Albert Einstein is rumoured to have described compound interest as the 8th wonder of the world, the story goes that he went on to say, “He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it.” Whether this can be attributed to the great mathematician and physicist or not, the value of compound interest has been spoken about by experts in their fields. To understand the wonder of compound interest and how to make it work for you, see what a few experts say about it.

Proceed to Source : News24

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Gathering information or gathering storm?

It’s Journey-Man here again, the late-starter!

What a strange week this has been. Last week, as a late-starter, I decided to start thinking deeply about my financial life. I want to find out what the outlook is, in terms of savings and investments, for the late-starter. Little did I realise that this would be a scary, introspective, and revealing exercise.

Proceed to Source : WellSpent

Former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan trusts machines to manage all of his pension savings – here’s why

  • SA’s pioneer in machine-driven investing is NMRQL, which has an ardent backer in its shareholder and chair, former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan.
  • Jordaan has invested all of his pension fund and provident fund savings into the NMRQL unit trust.
  • NMRQL’s investment decisions are determined by crunching big data and formulating algorithms.
    It has been said that the stock market is driven by two emotions: fear and greed.

Both have caused ruin. Fearful investors sell when headlines are bad and other people are selling, and fear keeps them from investing in unpopular shares. Greed drives overconfident investors to buy when shares are already overcooked.

Removing an emotional bias from investing will keep you from doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. But how?

Enter the machines.

Or, to be more exact, heavy-duty computers, which crunch massive amounts of information and come up with algorithms to make investment decisions.

South Africa’s pioneer in this field is NMRQL (pronounced “numerical”), which was established in 2015 by Thomas Schlebusch, and has a large shareholder and backer in former First National Bank (FNB) CEO Michael Jordaan. In fact, Jordaan has invested “100% of his pension and provident fund savings” in the NMRQL unit trust, he tells Business Insider South Africa.

“My main reasons are that NMRQL doesn’t make decisions based on emotions, but on data only; in addition, the product’s management fee is low for an active fund,” Jordaan, who also chairs NMRQL, says.

“Also, I believe in [former trader, statistician and author] Nassim Taleb’s principle that fund managers and owners need to have skin in the game. It wouldn’t make sense for me to recommend an investment in NMRQL if I’m not invested in it myself.”

 

Proceed to Source : Business Insider

CAN CREDITORS AND THIRD PARTIES CLAIM YOUR PENSION BENEFITS?

The Pension Funds Act protects citizens not only against creditors but also from themselves in that it makes certain acts or agreements in relation to pension benefits invalid.

Section 37 of the Pension Funds Act prevents pension benefits from being ceded, pledged or hypothecated, or being subjected to execution under a judgment or court order. Where a member attempts to cede, pledge or hypothecate a benefit, the fund may withhold or suspend payment.

Proceed to Source : News 24

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