BPOPF seeks ‘sweet spot’ in alternative investments

BG reporter
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
BPOPF CEO, Boitumelo Molefe BPOPF CEO, Boitumelo Molefe

Like many pension funds around the world, Botswana Public Officers Pensions Fund (BPOPF) is pulling out all the stops to invest in alternative investments. 

Traditionally pension funds held investments in listed equities, bonds and properties but there has since been a shift with many shifting to alternative investments.

Addressing journalists this week, BPOPF’s Chief Executive Officer Boitumelo Molefe said that in its “Investment Policy Statement BPOPF has an allocation to alternative investments.”

The beauty about these investments is that they give very high growth, around 25 to 30 percent, she said, adding that it was important for the company to have uncorrelated assets. 

Molefe said as a pension fund, BPOPF is leading the way in Botswana by going into the unlisted space. “We need a good mix of unlisted, alternative and listed equities and bonds because when we have periods of low growth in the listed space as we now do we experience growth in the unlisted space.”Investing in the local alternative space is therefore one of the strategic leverage areas of the Fund to further grow its assets and to achieve this an incubation programme has been launched to increase local private equity and infrastructure investments.

“This was done in recognition of the fact that Botswana does not have a proliferation of alternative asset managers as exists in the listed space,” she said. BPOPF is currently implementing the Incubation Programme Policy which was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2016 and is aimed at among others developing local talent, improving diversification and impacting the development of the industry meaningfully.Through the programme, BPOPF will fund start-up asset management companies owned by Batswana to the tune of P500 million as seed capital in a bid to see more citizens venture into the investment management business. Currently BPOPF is in the process of selecting incubatees. “At this stage the procurement process is not complete and the Board has yet to confirm appointments. The incubatees will be unveiled in the next quarter,” said Molefe. 

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