Sunday , July 25 2021

The PIC investigation puts investment processes at the center of attention

PIC Executive Investment Roy Reidhard said it was inevitable that some deals would go wrong.

First witness Wilna Louw, who is an id. secretary of the PIC, holds the stand on January 21, 2019. Photo: Kgomotso Modise / EWN

PRETORIA – The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Investigation Commission spent its first day looking at the processes that are being followed in investing.

The Commission investigates allegations of irregularity in respect of various investments and is headed by former President of the Supreme Court of Appeal Lex Mpati.

Three PIC employees have testified in the Pretoria case on Monday.

Asked by former reserve manager Gill Marcus, what measures PIC uses in the valuation process, the executive director of the investment proposal, Roy Reidhard, said it was inevitable that some deals would go wrong.

"And then what happens in these cases is that we will set up what we call a training team that will include members from different teams and external service providers who can help in overturning."

PIC was criticized for bad solutions such as Ayo's investment, whose share price dropped by more than 90% in less than two years.

Rajdhar says they have introduced a special team to improve investment processes.

When all three witnesses, including William Liu and Sholto Dolamo, were asked if they knew of any unlawful conduct in their divisions – they all answered no.

As the first witness of the investigation, Luw has given details of how people are assigned to the PIC.

Luw told the committee that although it is not a law, the Deputy Minister of Finance to be appointed Chairman of the PIC, there is a strategic logical reason for that.

"The appointment of a deputy minister as chairman of the board of PIC is based on the fact that the civil servants' pension fund is our largest client and represents approximately 88% of PIC funds under management."

She said the nomination of board members was open to the public before the list narrowed.

"If we get the 500s, for example, we'll hand it to us and we'll review it and build our list of qualifications and skills required for the board."

Luw says the final decision on the appointment of board members is in the cabinet despite the names that were presented by the board.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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