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Symposium looks at retirement options

Windhoek – Old Mutual last week hosted its inaugural Investment Symposium for corporates and employers concerned with retirement solutions for employees, group assurance, and performance-based returns on pension fund investments. This symposium, the first of its kind, showcased topline presenters Mike Schüssler, Fred van der Vyver, and Professor Joseph Diescho, with Hilda Basson-Namundjebo as the Master of Ceremonies. Mike Schüssler has been an economist for more than two decades and holds a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Johannesburg. He is also a successful entrepreneur and shared some very insightful economic predictions with the audience, including useful comparisons between South Africa and Namibia, clearly showing the greater growth potential of Namibia for 2014, albeit off a lower GDP base. Fred van der Vyver presented an in depth presentation on pre-retirement guaranteed investment portfolios.

He was appointed as head of Old Mutual Corporate’s range of Guaranteed Investment Portfolios in South Africa in March 2012. Van der Vyver is responsible for Old Mutual’s range of Smooth Bonus Portfolios and for the on-going management of these products with a total value of assets under management of approximately R80 billion. Van der Vyver obtained a B Comm (Hons) degree in Actuarial Science in 2005. He subsequently qualified as an actuary and is a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa (FASSA). In his presentation, he outlined the importance of relative returns in retirement planning in the context of pension fund offerings available to the market.  Both experts urged the over 100 member audience that included trustees and principal officers of various Namibian pension funds to actively investigate the value and benefits of the funds into which they decide to invest their members’ money year on year, within an up-to-date assessment of the macro-environment risk profile. Prof Diescho, who is the Executive Director for the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management, encouraged the audience to be mindful of the needs of the whole market in which they operate, and the diversity of needs in terms of financial literacy, financial planning and secure retirement.  Citing the Old Mutual Namibia Savings and Investment Monitor, Professor Diescho noted that 91% of Namibians believe that their children will look after them when they are old. “Cultural realities aside, the need to ensure that all Namibians are properly educated and enabled to manage their own finances, and equipped to engage properly with the many products and services available, was generally agreed as an urgent priority if the future of the Namibian child was to be secured” he remarked. After the symposium, Old Mutual said for nearly 90 years, it has been a leading Namibian financial services company offering customer-focused investment and savings solutions. These solutions comprise private wealth accumulation (including retirement savings and pension products, and risk protection: life, disability and health insurance) and asset management (including unit trusts and portfolio management).

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