The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has clarified that funds invested in FBN Holdings Plc by Leadway Pensure Ltd belong to Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders.
In a statement yesterday, PenCom said further that contrary to reports in sections of the media, Leadway Pensure Ltd did not break any laws by investing in FBNH.
However, the pension regulator said the equity investments in FBN Holdings made by Leadway Pensure Ltd on behalf of the pension funds under its management “are in the name of the pension fund and belong to the RSA” and “cannot be appropriated or classified as shareholdings of any related party to the PFA.”
This may put to rest claims that the Chairman of Leadway Insurance, Tunde Hassan-Odukale and related entities own 5.36% stake in FBNH, which would have made him the single largest shareholder.
After billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola acquired 5.07% stake in FBNH, Seye Kosoko, the company secretary, had written to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) attributing Leadway Pensure PFA’s entire 2.11% stake to Hassan-Odukale.
Kosoko also listed 1.36% of “ZPC/Leadway Assurance Prem & Inv Coll Acct” investment in favour of Hassan-Odukale.
With PenCom’s clarification, the shareholding attributed to Hassan-Odukale is likely to be whittled down to less than 4%. Otedola’s stake of stake of 5.07% may now make him the largest single shareholder of FBNH.
‘Investments Don’t Belong to Third Party’
In its statement last night, PenCom said: “The Commission’s attention has been drawn to several publications in the media alleging breach of its regulation on investment of pension fund assets by Leadway Pensure Ltd, a licensed Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), in the equities of FBN Holdings Plc.
“The Commission categorically states that the allegations are not correct and must have been made based on the lack of understanding of the investment regulation issued by the Commission.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission wishes to clarify as follows: The equity investments in FBN Holdings made by Leadway Pensure Ltd on behalf of the pension funds under its management are in the name of the pension fund and belong to the RSA.
“Therefore, the equity investments in FBN Holdings Plc as stated in (1) above, cannot be appropriated or classified as shareholdings of any related party to the PFA.
“Records which can be confirmed from the Securities and Exchange Commission show that the equity investments in FBN Holdings Plc are in the name of the Pension Fund on behalf of the RSA holders.”
“The Commission restates its commitment to fulfilling its regulatory and supervisory functions as well as ensuring the safety of pension assets and the soundness of the Pension Industry.”