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Eustacia Acquires Axa Mansard Pensions

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By Sola Alabadan

Eustacia Limited, a company controlled by Verod Capital Management  Limited, has completed the acquisition of 100% of AXA Mansard Pensions Limited’s equity.

Subsequently, the name of AXA Mansard Pensions Limited has been changed to Tangerine Pensions Limited, receiving of all necessary approvals from the National Pension Commission (PenCom).

Verod is a West African private equity firm, focused on creating economic value across Africa. The firm is active across various sectors, including, life and general insurance, other financial services, light manufacturing, consumer goods, business services, agriculture, education, and healthcare.
Verod is backed by foreign and local institutional investors, including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, asset management firms, fund of funds, family offices and development finance institutions.

AXA Mansard Pensions was incorporated as Penman Pensions Limited in 2006 and AXA Mansard Insurance Plc became the majority shareholder of the company from 2014 until 2020. This is therefore not the first time that the organisation has undergone a rebranding and name change process.

Speaking on the rebrand, Dapo Akinsanya, CEO, Tangerine Pensions Limited said: “The conclusion of this acquisition after receiving all regulatory approvals has put the company in a position to build an even more successful organisation, with our future growth anchored on delivering impeccable customer service and driven by best practices.

“Our change of ownership and rebranding give us an opportunity to do so much more for our customers, whilst focusing on being the premier pension provider, availing customers multi-channel access to superior retirement solutions. We are committed now, more than ever, to building life-long financial partnerships with our clients, giving them access to an assured future,” he stated.
Tangerine Pensions Limited is a Pension Fund Administrator managing a number of approved employee schemes including the traditional RSA and Retiree portfolios. The company’s team serves over 89,000 customers with Assets under Management of over ₦74 billion.

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Expert Tasks Insurance, Pension Operators On Products That Meet People’s Needs

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COO PenOp, Aguda Oguche (left); Director, Corporate Communications, PenCom, Peter Aghahowa; Mrs Folashade Onanuga, former DG Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Feyisayo Soyewo, Chairman/CEO, Prestige Insurance Brokers (the Chairman of the occasion), Representative of the Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas.
By Sola Alabadan
Former Director General of Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, has charged insurance and pension operators on creativity and innovation in their products development and service delivery by focusing on meeting the needs of the people for enhanced financial capacity.
Mrs. Onanuga made this call while delivering the theme paper of the 2021 national conference of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) titled “COVID-19 Impact On Financial Inclusion: Opportunities For Insurance & Pension Sectors” in Lagos today.
She also enjoined the operators to leverage the opportunities thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic to grow the sectors and contribute to the National economy.
While affirming that the pandemic has caused severe disruptions, she pointed out that opportunities have also been created to grow customer base on account of the obvious fact that there is no real social security arrangement by government in the event of sudden and unexpected events and so citizens need to make plans by themselves for wellness both in business and family life.
According to her, “Economic shocks like sudden loss of job, illness or death can send people living just above the poverty line into abject poverty.  So whether one is in the formal or informal sector, there is the need to have a safety net.  The sudden and unforeseen calamities created by the pandemic has highlighted the need to plan for unforeseen circumstances and even early retirement.
To take advantage of these opportunities, she said, the pensions and insurance industries must remain committed to the inclusive growth of the Nigerian economy, creating opportunities for lower income groups to be part of the broader financial system.
She noted that, “Financial inclusion is achieved when adult Nigerians have access to affordable financial products and services that meet their needs. Financial inclusion can only be achieved when financial transaction processes and documentations are transparent, simplified and seen as meeting needs of the people and at the same time being beneficial to the financial services sector.”
“Speaking of insurance, opportunities exist to increase insurance penetration and the customer base, both in the retail and corporate segments of the market if the right moves are made. Insurance penetration has remained at an average of 0.4% of GDP driven largely by a general lack of understanding and awareness of the benefits of insurance products, specifically amongst low-income Nigerians.  We need to build trust. The Banking Sector has managed to bridge this gap to an extent.
“Attempts have been made to improve the performance of the insurance industry through regulation and legislation – new capitalization requirements have been announced and reviews of several key laws are being discussed to bring them up to current realities,” Mrs Onanuga added.
In improving access to insurance and making products and services more inclusive, we are discovering that there is a role for all stakeholders to play.
For pension sector, according to the former LASPEC boss, “inclusive growth in pensions must recognize the peculiarity of the population segment being addressed, adding that This recognition must have an impact on how products are designed and how lower income segments of the population interact with pension funds. If you consider what happens in developed economies, there are different kinds of plans to meet different needs.”
For the trust gap to be bridged, Mrs. Onanuga called on the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to take more advantage of digitization in pension operations to make transactions easier and more accessible by taking example of what the banks have done to provide banking services to lower-income population groups by ensuring that structures are put in place before the release of pension laws to ensure that all aspects of the law are implementable.

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PenCom Decries Pension Fraud, Strategises To Eradicate It

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5th from right: Mr. Boss Mustapha (Secretary to the Government of the Federation), 6th from right: Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa (Executive Chairman, Economic & Financial Crimes Commission), 2nd from right: Mr. Clement Oyedele Akintola (Commissioner Inspectorate, National Pension Commission Representing the DG, National Pension Commission), 4th from right: Senator Michael Ama Nnachi (Representing Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption), 1st from left: Comrade Ayuba P. Wabba ( President, Nigeria Labour Congress), 2nd from left: IGP Sulaiman Abba Rtd (Chairman, Nigeria Police Force Pensions Limited), 3rd from left: Mrs. Nneka Obi-Amalu (Acting Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD), 4th from left: Prof. ACB Agbazuere (Representing Executive Governor of Abia State, 1st from right: Commodore Saburi Lawal (Chairman, Military Pensions Board).

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has lamented that “retrogressive elements continued to exploit procedural gaps in the operations of pension practitioners in both the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS) to the detriment of unsuspecting public”.

Due to this, PenCom’s Director General, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar said “new issues and challenges continue to emerge, which place special responsibility on the regulators, the operators and other stakeholders to constantly review their operating environment with a view to finding solutions to address the problems”.The PenCom boss, who was represented by Mr. Clement Oyedele Akintola, Commissioner Inspectorate, at a two-day sensitisation workshop on the “Eradication of Pension Fraud in Nigeria” on Tuesday in Abuja

The pension industry regulator expressed pleasure at partnering with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in this awareness creation initiative, which essentially seeks to examine the incidences of fraud in the pension sector in Nigeria and ways of eradicating the menace in a proactive manner.

She added that the development would create the synergy needed to boost the efforts of the two organisations in the discharge of their respective statutory mandates relating to the theme of the workshop.

Going down memory lane, she recalled that the problems of fraud and mismanagement in the pension sector in the country, were amongst the reasons that necessitated the pension reform of 2004 by the Federal Government. The Pension Act 2004, which was later reviewed and re-enacted in 2014, introduced legal and institutional frameworks aimed at addressing the rot that characterised the administration of pensions in the pre-reform era.

As the pension reform in the country has substantially restored credibility and confidence in nation’s pension systems, the PenCom boss disclosed that the industry has accumulated pension assets in excess of N13 trillion, invested in various aspects of the economy and still growing.

Pursuant to its statutory mandate under Section 23(f) of the PRA 2014, PenCom has consistently undertaken public education, enlightenment and awareness campaigns on the CPS and other pension matters. It has also developed and established structures, systems and procedures that ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency in the administration of pension in Nigeria. These systems and procedures have become reference points for other African countries, many of whom have undertaken study visits to the Commission, she stressed.

She emphasised that “the PRA 2014 had strengthened Nigeria’s pension institutions in both the Contributory and Defined Benefits Schemes, and imbued them with the capacity to rise above emerging challenges. Thus, while these institutions explore their respective duties, the continued collaboration with the EFCC would certainly serve as catalyst for reducing the menace of fraud in the pension industry to the barest minimum.”

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PTAD Receives £26.5 Million Repatriated Pension Funds From UK

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The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has received the sum of £26,505,862.97 repatriated from the United Kingdom.

These pension funds had hitherto been under investment with Crown Agents Investment Management Limited, United Kingdom.

According to the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, the repatriation of this fund was made possible by the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari and series of meetings between PTAD Management, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Crown Agents Investment Management Limited, United Kingdom

The ES said the funds will be used to settle part of the accrued arrears owed to its pensioners worth over N120 Billion.

She added that this development is indeed a welcome development for our senior citizens and it represents another demonstration of the importance that the Buhari led Federal Government places on the welfare of pensioners.

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