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Natal Joint Municipal Pension Fund - Management Team of the Year

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Company: Natal Joint Municipal Pension Fund, KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Company Description: The NJMPF's mission is to serve the best interests of the members by ensuring a high standard of retirement services to provide financial security. This mission is accomplished through the Funds responsibilities, which include pension administration; the collection, reconciliation and sound investment of contributions through prudent investment risk parameters.
Nomination Category: Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Management Team of the Year

Nomination Title: Transformation

Tell the story about what this nominated management team achieved (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

The Natal Joint Municipal Pension/Provident Funds (NJMPF) is nominating its transformation strategy, which is guided by the vision, mission and values of the NJMPF. The NJMPF is a South African retirement fund that administers retirement savings for municipal employees throughout KwaZulu-Natal. Transformation creates value through synergies and collaboration. The need to update and transform methods of conducting business is inevitable. Transformational planning and organizational change at the NJMPF starts with the Committee of Management who create and approve policy to drive change. It then filters down to management and staff who action the policy within the parameters of timelines and budget.

In the South African context, with its history and politics background, transformation can mean different things to different groups and different things to each individual. It is a matter of human rights, of socio-economic upliftment and not only a business transformation model put into practice. It is because of all these factors that our story means so much to all of us at the NJMPF. During the past 10 years, the NJMPF has been addressing issues of transformation – not all at once – but rather as the landscape allowed it. In the past 5 years there has been a noticeable change in the intensity which can be attributed to the drive of the Principal Officer and the Board in ‘making things happen’ and in the last 18 months some significant changes have been implemented. The NJMPF has 42 staff members and 23 trustees.

The NJMPF has identified the requirements of the Employment Equity Act as an opportunity for constructively and realistically providing growth and development opportunities to specific groups of employees. Over the years, an Employment Equity Plan was adopted.

The NJMPF have committed to transforming the way their Trustee Development is conducted. In 1986, most of the Trustees were predominantly white males with no black (or non-white members) and very few female representatives. The Board of Trustees is now represented by a good number of females and black representatives. Over the years the NJMPF has created and approved a Trustee Training policy (revised during 2017) and is currently working with the industry regulator on a pilot project to train and professionally accredit Trustees. The NJMPF is leading the industry in this regard.

The anticipated outcome in the transformation process is for the NJMPF to see the modified policies, procedures, and processes moving the organization from an "as is" state to a "to be" state and more return on investment for members.

-Bringing about a change in a social system in terms of communicating with members by making it more efficient.
-Modifying individuals’ perspective from old behaviour patterns in favour of the new behaviours,
-Change in attitude, values, skills and perceptions,

The Fund will continue on the transformation path until we can say we are ‘fully transformed’!

SA has gone through numerous changes politically and economically. The South African retirement system is also undergoing a reform. The two most significant challenges faced in SA is to solve the desperate levels of poverty and massive inequality. That is why Broad Base Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) and transformation are such pivotal conversations to have.

The interventions were not forced, neither were they performed in a tick box fashion. Instead, each project has been planned and executed appropriately. For example, when it came to the staff profiling, a long-term project was put in place to replace exiting staff members with well qualified black males and females. Further, the NJMPF has promoted a balance between experienced and young personnel which creates a good environment and business culture which advances the implementation of mandates.

The transformation process is an ongoing process at the NJMPF, which is done for the betterment of member outcomes and a better working environment for staff.

Provide a brief (up to 125 words) biography about the leader of the nominated management team:

-Black Owned Asset Manager appointed. (Mazi Capital)
-Introduced interactive website and mobile application, advancing information technology.
-Educating stakeholders on financial literacy in all regions in KZN, with the National Credit.
-Transformation of the Staff Complement –appointed a black male in the role of Deputy CEO/Principal Officer in 2018 – a milestone for the Fund.
-Designed state of the art Disaster Recovery system, which is up and running at an off-site facility within 4 hours.
-Innovative electronic voting/ barcoding system for the election of the Trustees, where elections can take place via email/fax/web/mobile/post.
-Designed a Member Benefit Statement in English/Zulu including explanations of values and NRR.
-Increased contribution rates for members.
-Ongoing research to understand the configuration and needs of stakeholders