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PPS reviewing eligibility criteria

Adri Vermeulen, Chief Executive Officer of PPS Namibia

Adri Vermeulen, Chief Executive Officer of PPS Namibia

In a recent interview with the Economist, Adri Vermeulen, Chief Executive Officer of Professional Provident Society (PPS Namibia), spoke about the direction in which the provident fund would be steered in future.
Said Vermeulen, “We have softened the criteria especially for Namibia. We are looking at our local market. We are a Namibian company and therefore we look at our local market and requirements of our local market, and that is the reason why we have embarked on this route.”
“Historically, if we look at the business, our guesstimate is that there are about 7,000 people qualifying for PPS, of which we have roughly 5,000 on book, so in that sense there is a risk for expanding business, but that’s the big reason why we have decided to expand eligibility in Namibia, meaning that a four-year degree in the near future at UNAM or a B.Tech from Polytech will qualify for PPS membership, so that creates a huge base going forward for us,” Vermeulen added.
According to him, plans to localise the business have been place for the past four years, and much of this was concentrated towards localising the eligibility of criteria. The qualifying criteria was a four-year degree as well as an additional qualification.
PPS Namibia had in the last year paid out in excess of N$140 million to its members. Vermeulen attributed this to having a good business model. “I think, first of all you have to have a sound strategic plan and, based on that, I think if the customers are at ease with the product, it’s basically a no-brainer that you will achieve growth and further the PPS module. The ethos, the mutuality and a sound business plan have helped,” he added.
Vermeulen voiced a positive outlook for PPS Namibia with regard to its growth prospects and said, “We basically have a niche market. If you look at the niche of the PPS professional clients, they all do earn a good income. I think the prospect for this year is very good. Its a specialised business. For that reason, going forward has a huge potential for the business, thus the base of the business is quite sound.”
He further added, “I think if we look at sourthern Africa, the insurance industry as well as the investment market is quite competitve. In a sense we are world leaders, due to the systems, the support base and so forth. We are quite advanced as well as the determinants of specific rate groups. It’s a specialised business. For that reason, going forward has a huge potential for the business.”
PPS Namibia was registered as a seperate company in Namibia in 2003 and has been in operation since 1941. In 2013, the total assets stood at just under NS750 million.

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