Q: In terms of the regulation on the financial sector, what’s your take?
A: Regulatory bodies are very consultative. There is open communication with them. Within a small economy there needs to be regulation, overregulation can become a prohibition but currently it is manageable.
Q: But what has been the impact of your Corporate Social Investment (CSI)?
A: The assumption that Namibia Financial Services Holdings (NFSH) is only for bursaries has enabled us to work extensively on other sectors such as training of workers and HIV/Awareness, without losing focus.
In fact, we do less for the bursaries than we do for training of our workers, which involves retraining and upscaling workers, education by providing bursaries and the HIV/AIDS awareness initiatives among our workers and community.
Q: How would you say NFSH has made a difference in Namibia?
A: NFSH, through its subsidiary, Nam-mic Financial Solutions (Pty) Ltd, an insurance-broking and financial services intermediary company, attempts to address the critical shortage of suitably skilled management and staff in the insurance, banking and consultancy sectors in Namibia in an innovative way.
It has the ability and technical support to play an important role in the transformation of financial services in the country.
NFSH is a truly broad-based black economic empowerment company with more than two-thirds of its shares owned by NUNW affiliated unions.
The Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia (33.9 percent), the Namibia Public Workers’ Union (19.6 percent) and the Namibia Food and Allied Workers’ Union (6.5 percent) hold their investments in NFSH through their respective investment holding companies...
The National Teachers’ Union of Namibia (5 percent), the Namibia Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (2.5 percent) and the Namibia Farm Workers’ Union (0.8 percent) are the other union shareholders, all holding their NFSH shares in their investment trusts.
All dividends declared by NFSH to union shareholders are paid to the respective investment trusts of the union shareholders. In terms of its objectives, each trust ploughs back the dividends to its beneficiaries.
This includes, amongst others, education through bursaries, training, community projects, housing and health programs for union members and their families.
The incorporation of the NFSH Group of Companies is an important milestone in the development of the Namibian financial services industry for the citizens of Namibia.
Q: What is your ambition for the next five years?
A: One of our dreams is that over the next five years one third of our union members will own their own property, have life cover and one savings instrument and for union members to be middle income earners. We want to make a difference.
At least 50 percent of our union members will be trained on financial and wealth management. We want to be able to maintain a 10 percent growth in profit return on investment.
Our aim will be a balance between the company growth but also developing our communities and constituencies.
Q: What would you say has been the biggest challenges for you, in terms of you being the custodian of these 93,000 members?
A: The misconception towards entitlement by members was a challenge but we have found a solution to it. Some members thought they could just walk in and make demands under the name, ‘shareholder’, without following proper channels. But through stakeholder engagement, we have sorted that out.
Q: How does your background play into the dedication that you have showed here at NFSH?
A: I think my background plays an important role in that. I appreciate where I come from, how I was groomed.
I am indebted to my parents because living in a corrugated house growing up in the ghettos you learn to set some targets for yourself not to go back from where you came from and to make a difference in the lives of others.
I think only then can we honestly say we have done our part. Also, coming from a human resources background has helped.
Human resource is my automate qualification and then I had an opportunity by being the executive HR for bank Windhoek and obviously with the broad based partnership with the unions, the bank asked me, because of my expertise and my relationship with the unions to go and lead the business to transform and here we stand.