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Billion dollar milestones

Valued in billions. Tilman Friedrich (left) and Marthinuz Fabianus (right) of Retirement Fund Solutions receive the PMR Gold Award. The company recently announced that it administers N$11 billion in pension funds.

Valued in billions. Tilman Friedrich (left) and Marthinuz Fabianus (right) of Retirement Fund Solutions receive the PMR Gold Award. The company recently announced that it administers N$11 billion in pension funds.

Tilman Friedrich, Managing Director of Retirement Fund Solutions (RFS), recently announced that the company reached the N$ 10 billion mark for assets under administration. In addition, the Benchmark Retirement Fund, administered by RFS, reached the N$ 1 billion mark for assets under administration, lifting total assets under administration to N$ 11 billion.
Speaking on the milestones, Tilman Friedrich said, “We believe that these are milestones for the local financial industry as well. In the past, most financial services were sourced from South Africa. In reaching these marks, and taking stock of our local clients, we believe that we have shown that locally established, owned and managed entities, without cross border agendas, can compete.”
Discussing the growth of the firm, Friedrich said, “We opened for business 14 years ago, expecting to be a niche player. We based our model on a high degree of accountability and service, and we have continued growing ever since. The challenge has been to measure our growth in terms of our ability to develop employees through training and  fostering our internal values and work ethic. We see ourselves and our clients as interdependent, so if we sacrifice capacity in the pursuit of growth, we place ourselves and our clients at risk. This is why we have taken the path of managed growth.” Talking about development of the Namibian financial industry, he said, “We expect to see more localisation. We recognise that South Africa holds excellent opportunities for investment, but the industry has to recognize and react to local interests and legislation.”
“We understand that some may feel threatened by change, which to a large extent is introduced by NAMFISA. We have adopted a policy of advocacy and active engagement. We appreciate and make use of the doors that are opened to us, and we believe that this approach is constructive to the development of the local industry,” he continued.
Talking about skills development, Friedrich said, “We have an active and continuous internal training process that ensures that our staff is up to date with the latest administrative requirements, legislation and associated regulations. We also encourage our staff to develop their skills in the field of finance, and give them opportunities to put knowledge to work within the parameters of our services.”
He noted that three staff members recently obtained Post Graduate Diplomas in Financial Planning. “This adds to our capacity and is to the benefit of our clients.”
Talking on the challenges of building trust in a Namibian entity, Friedrich said, “We were recently recognised by PMR Africa, and received a Diamond Arrow, with a rating of 4,36. What we appreciate about this award is that it represents the opinion of industry peers and business leaders. We see the award as something we have earned, but also as a mark of trust.”
“We believe that their recognition is an acknowledgment of the high standard we set for ourselves,” Friedrich concluded.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.