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Women excel in the retirement industry

 The Pensions Industry has historically been predominantly a male dominated sector in South Africa, but a few women have taken up the challenge and excelled. This Women’s month, we profile a few of them to highlight the fact that, despite the challenges-women can excel and rise up to leadership positions in any industry of their choice.

Dr. Renosi Mokate- GEPF / Executive Chairman at Concentric Alliance (Pty) Ltd

Dr. Renosi Mokate is a highly experienced economist and policy analyst of international repute, specialising in development economics and finance. Renosi gained her academic qualifications in the United States of America, where she was based during her early academic career. She returned to South Africa in the early 1990s, serving in the multi-party negotiations process and as Chief Executive of the Independent Electoral Commission in the run-up to South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994.

Dr. Renosi Mokate- GEPF / Executive Chairman at Concentric Alliance (Pty) Ltd

She became a key adviser on macro-economic and fiscal policy to the Government, and later Chief Executive of the Central Energy Fund (the South African Government’s State-owned energy exploration, production, refining, and investment group). She was Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank between 2005 and 2010, and a key member of the Monetary Policy Committee and the G20 Group of Nations Central Bank Forum.nosi left the Reserve Bank to become an Executive Director of the World Bank Group, based in New York, where she represented the interests of Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa at Board level. Since joining Concentric Alliance, Renosi has primarily been involved in strategy planning on behalf of clients, where her twenty years of experience at the highest levels of policy formulation in South Africa, and internationally, come into full play.

Q: Do you think there has been sufficient transformation in terms of gender within the retirement industry in South Africa?

A: “Progress has (been) made with respect to gender transformation, driven primarily by the country’s legal and policy frameworks on employment equity and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, which require companies to take into account gender equity when employing staff and appointing executive and non-executive directors on their Boards. In addition, the Independent Institute of Directors and other similar bodies have reinforced the message the companies that are gender diverse perform better than those that are not.

However, more needs to be done throughout all the facets of the industry, namely asset owners, institutional investors and the pension service industry. The extent of gender representation within the pension industry is impacted by the generally low representation of women in the financial sector, particularly at the decision-making level. This is also the case in the areas that are peculiar to the industry, such as investment analysis and actuarial sciences.

It is important that the pension industry develop focused strategies for building a pool of skilled professionals and non-executive directors, if progress is to be made. In doing so we must also keep in mind that transformation is not just about numbers; it is also about changing the culture of the organisations in the industry and ensuring that the services that we offer support gender transformation throughout our society”.

Mabatho Seeiso- Independent Professional Trustee

Mabatho joined the Financial Services Industry at the beginning of 2001 in private equity as an Assistant Portfolio Manager for Infrastructure Investments at Old Mutual Asset Management. In 2003 she joined Cadiz Asset Management and subsequently became a Director and Head of Institutional Business Development until March 2007.

Mabatho Seeiso- Independent Professional Trustee

Mabatho now serves as a professional and independent trustee on several Boards of Management of Pension Funds. She also serves as Chairperson in some of the Funds or their Investment Committees. During her 11 years as a trustee she has had an opportunity to serve on a variety of funds including umbrella funds, parastatal funds, union funds, an unclaimed benefits fund, a beneficiary Fund and a Government Fund. She is also an independent investment committee member of the Jobs Fund. She has a passion for ensuring that we do our best for members of funds. She is also passionate about advocating for impact investing as it benefits both members and the economy. She was recently appointed as the Chair of the Investment Committee of the Truck Stops Private Equity Fund.

Mabatho’s past work experience includes working in sales, industrial development and international trade. She has also worked as a New Business Development Manager for Total SA and in management consulting for five years. She also has experience serving as a Non Executive Director on Company Boards and is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Southern African Pension Fund Investment Forum.
For 10 years, Mabatho engaged in her passion which was to facilitate the true empowerment of individuals with specific focus on women. She has been involved in teaching and facilitating personal development and the acquisition of self-leadership skills for women since 2008. She began women in financial services dialogue sessions in 2008 that ran for two years. She has worked as a professional mentor and public speaker who was facilitating leadership circles for 10 years. Her qualifications include; Honours (Economics and Marketing) University of Wales, Aberystwyth College, Honours (Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management) University of Cape Town and an MBA from Hull University.

Q: Do you think there has been sufficient transformation in terms of gender within the retirement industry in South Africa?

A: “There is still significant work that still needs to be done in developing gender diversity in the retirement fund industry. We need more women decision makers”.

Q: What would you highlight as your greatest contribution to the retirement industry in South Africa?

“I honestly believe that my biggest contribution has been getting my boards to appreciate the impact of our decisions on our members. The ability to stand in someone else’ shoes and to have empathy has been important to staying focused on what is in the best interest of members. It does not mean we always get it right but I think that is an important basis from which to make decisions. It also means you have to show courage sometimes to say things that are unpopular. The fact that I have been serving on a variety of pension boards since 2008 means I bring a depth of knowledge and industry insight to decision making.

I have also now become an advocate of impact investing on boards as a result of listening to what many members are saying is important to them. They want to retire in an environment with good infrastructure which includes good health care and education facilities; in an economy that is robust and that will provide jobs for their children. This is part of their definition of having a meaningful retirement”.

Mantuka Maisela- Chairman of the Fund, Eskom Pension and Provident Fund ((Eppf)

Since 2017 Mantuka has been the Chairman of the Fund at Eskom Pension and Provident Fund where she is also a member of the Human Resources and Remuneration Committee as well as the Strategic Investment Committee.

Mantuka Maisela- Chairman of the Fund, Eskom Pension and Provident Fund ((Eppf)

Mantuka has also been a trustee and has sat in various committees and boards of the following organisations- PetroSA, South African National Parks, Air Traffic and Navigation Services, National Consumer Council, MERSETA, Motor industry bargaining council, GEPF, Motor industry fund, Medshield medical scheme, Deloitte Best Company to work for Committee, PetroSA Egypt,World Petroleum council, Murray & Roberts among others.

She has served as an Executive for various organizations, amongst them, Vice President at PetroSA Group Human Resources at Murray and Roberts Holding as well as RUC Holdings.

Maisela is also the CEO of Khomolema Consulting and her qualifications include a Masters degree in Management from Wits University, Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Wits, Production Management Diploma ( Kyushu, Japan), Masters in Management (Wits) and has also attended a Leadership development programme from Wharton business school, University of Pennsylvania.

Professionally she holds membership to the following bodies-Member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM,USA), Member of The Association of Training and Development (ATD, USA)and Fellow of The Institute of Directors of South Africa.
Mantuka has extensive experience and commands a lot of respect in both business and the pension fund industry.


Q: Do you think there has been sufficient transformation in terms of gender within the retirement industry in South Africa?

A: “The industry has attempted to provide opportunities to previously disadvantaged Asset Managers some of whom are women. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that gender representation is given special attention. The EPPF (has) established a Manager Development program to empower young Black Asset Manager(s) , some of which (were) women by allocating Assets to them and to grow their Businesses.

They (Asset managers) were provided the necessary assistance and (were) paid fees (to) enable them to buy the necessary equipment to operate their business as well as employ highly qualified Asset Managers that will grow the Businesses. We are continuously (..trying to) empower more women in the industry. The industry need(s) to consider imposing targets specifically for women empowerment in the industry”.

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