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MAY 2017

Dear stakeholder

It was with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to our Chairman Thabo Dloti at the end of May. As a result of his departure from Liberty Holdings, Thabo unfortunately had to stand down as a member of the ASISA Board and, by implication, as Chairman. This is because ASISA members can only be represented on the ASISA Board by their most senior representative.

On behalf of ASISA and our Board of Directors I would like to express deep gratitude to Thabo for his strategic vision and skilled leadership that guided ASISA for almost two years.

Thabo took on the role as chairman of ASISA during a period of mounting challenges for our country as well as our industry. His strategic thinking and measured approach became invaluable during this period and will be sorely missed. We wish him well in his future endeavours.

Rob Dower, deputy Chairman of ASISA, will assume the role of Acting Chairman until a new Chair is elected at the next ASISA Board meeting.

New ASISA Directors

The ASISA Board is welcoming two new Directors in June. David Munro, recently appointed as CEO of Liberty Holdings, is replacing Thabo Dloti as a Director.

Peter Moyo has replaced Ralph Mupita as Chief Executive at Old Mutual Emerging Markets, and therefore joins the ASISA Board as a Director.

Regulation 28 draft exemption for debt instruments

In response to a request from ASISA, the Financial Services Board (FSB) has published a draft exemption under Regulation 28 regarding debt instruments issued or guaranteed by South African banks.

The Regulation 28 investment limits placed on these instruments were set according to the market capitalisation of each bank, despite the fact that the controlling company and not the bank itself is listed. The draft exemption states that limitations will apply according to the market capitalisation of the listed controlling companies. ASISA members have no objections to the draft exemption.

Request for information from SARS

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) requested from ASISA the names and contact details of all its members, as well as registration details and their nature of business.

SARS explained that this information is needed to enforce compliance by Reporting Financial Institutions (RFI) with Section 26 of the Tax Administration Act and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Common Reporting Standards. As a member of the OECD, South Africa is part of intergovernmental agreements that allow for the sharing of tax information on foreign account holders between various revenue authorities.

As a third party with relevant information on classes of taxpayers, ASISA is legally obliged to provide the information requested.

We urge members who are RFIs to submit information on foreign account holders to SARS timeously and in the prescribed manner.

Taxation Laws Amendment Bill

National Treasury requested input from ASISA members for the first draft of the 2017 Taxation Laws Amendment Bill that will impact life insurers. ASISA therefore submitted detailed feedback on 26 May 2017 that addressed:

  • The adjusted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) value definition for assessing the fair value of assets and liabilities
  • Deferred Acquisition Costs (DAC)
  • Deferred Revenue Liabilities (DRL)
  • The risk that Risk Policy Funds may have taxable income
  • The Bill’s phasing-in provisions and effective commencement date

 

ASISA Foundation Update

With the aim of fostering economic inclusion amongst South Africa’s most vulnerable groups, the Foundation introduced its flagship initiative, the Saver Waya Waya Financial Literacy and Micro Enterprise (FLAME) Programme, last year.  With FLAME the Foundation has been able to leverage its existing financial literacy programmes and address additional financial wellness pillars such as generating an income and job creation.

The first two phases of the FLAME programme delivered interactive financial literacy workshops and micro enterprise bootcamps to low-income earners from Hammanskraal, Soshanguve, Garankuwa and Rustenberg. In addition to financial literacy, participants were also taught basic business skills needed to start up or grow a micro business.

The micro enterprise bootcamps concluded in April and graduates were hosted at graduation ceremonies in Soshanguve and Hammanskraal in May. ASISA representatives who attended the ceremonies reported an outpouring of gratitude from FLAME participants, who insisted that the Foundation had changed their lives through the FLAME programme.

The third phase of the FLAME programme will commence in June with selected micro entrepreneurs at grass roots entering the incubation phase, which will provide them with limited seed funding, personalised business support and mentoring.

The Foundation has also been very successful in rolling out the Saver Waya Waya WageWise programme for economically vulnerable workers across all sectors. To date more than 4 000 workers in Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal who earn less than R15 000 a month have benefitted from this programme. There is a huge demand for this programme, which the Foundation will not be able to meet without securing additional funding. Please contact Ruth Benjamin-Swales, CEO of the ASISA Foundation, if you are interested in supporting this programme.

Academy Newsflash

The Academy delivered its popular UCT-endorsed Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) short course to a full-house of 16 candidates in Johannesburg. The next course is scheduled to start on 16 August 2017 in Cape Town.

The Academy has also reported strong demand for its bespoke in-house learning programmes. In May three such programmes were hosted for member companies: the Equity Analysts’ Bootcamp at Investec Asset Management, the Compliance Monitoring and Reporting Blitzcamp at Ashburton Investments and the Sanlam Investment Induction Blitzcamp for Sanlam Investment Management.

IFA practices participating in the Academy’s second Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) internship programme were invited to meet and share their experiences of hosting interns, an engagement that proved hugely positive. There are currently 16 IFA practices across Cape Town and Johannesburg hosting 21 interns.

Finally, 13 students from the Tertiary School in Business Administration participating in the Academy’s Investment Management Administration and Client Servicing programme (IMACS@TSiBA) have just written their mid-year exams. If successful, these students will commence five-month internships at sponsoring ASISA member companies towards the completion of their Bachelor of Business Administration degrees.

The Academy is currently in the process of finalising the new intake of IMACS@TSiBA students who will join in July.

In conclusion

I would like to wish a bon voyage to Ruth Benjamin-Swales, the CEO of the ASISA Foundation, and Janete Nel, ASISA point person for the Consumer Financial Education Standing Committee, who will be representing ASISA at the 2017 Global Investor Education Conference in Rio next week. The conference is hosted by the International Forum for Investor Education together with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). Ruth and Janete will be sharing with delegates the many learnings from the Foundation’s financial literacy programmes.

 
Leon and Peter
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