Nuyoma exits GIPF, recruitment process to start soon

 David Nuyoma (59) is retiring from the country's biggest pension fund, a satisfied man. 

For 10 years, he led the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) with distinction, and he is leaving the institution with a smile having successfully turned around the Fund.  

Under his watch, the Fund grew its asset base by nearly threefold from a mere N$50 billion in 2013 to the current N$145 billion plus. 

The affable executive’s employment contract was due to end this December, however the board extended it for six months, a time when he will also turn 60. 

Nuyoma, who joined the Fund in January 2013, has made himself available to assist the organisation in moulding his successor, saying this process is likely to begin any time soon. 

“I will support the process throughout, but soon the position will be advertised, so that we see a smooth transition of power," he said. 

Nuyoma prides himself as a sharp mind and told The Brief in an exclusive interview that he attributes his success to sheer hard work and commitment. 

“I didn't know I was doing well until 2016 when I went to the USA where there was a conference of all the biggest pension funds. At that conference I had the opportunity of a short presentation that we were a fully funded Fund. It was only then that I was told we [GIPF] are doing extremely well, as we were performing above 100% as we clocked 110%, exceeding our liabilities with positive assets, something that is highly unusual. I should, however, commend the whole GIPF team, he said. 

Adding that: “It is rare for any country in the world performing like that, on average it's always performance of 70% or 78% against liabilities, but never beyond the 100% mark including the wealthy countries.  In other words, there is a deficit, but the Fund has done it and maintained that status, however as Namibians we take that for granted, but it is not a given out there. This is something we are proud to have sustained despite economic challenges.” 

Nuyoma’s other achievement was the 26% growth recorded at the height of Covid-19 year-on-year. 

"This is also something I have never seen anywhere in the world, or any funds claiming that it has been phenomenal. The irony was during Covid-19 maybe we had nothing to do other than concentrate on the work. The growth was superseded by a month deep because the market and everything was closed (locked down) and affected everyone.

“Nonetheless, when markets reopened, we were online with all our partners 24 hours, leading to us coming off the woods with tangible results," he remarked, saying that was an experience.  

The pain and hardship that orphans and annuitants endure as a result of loss of loved ones and delays in timely payments are some of the basis that kept the seasoned executive doing more and bringing change. 

"What people see in the media is only related to the investments, but we have been working hard to make sure, the beneficiaries get time dues on time, these were some of the motivations that kept me going, on top of other institutional changes," he added. 

He recalled, there were delays initially in payment as a result of the backlog, but this was cleared. "Now if a member retires today, the following month a member will still receive their income. And one third will be paid immediately within 20 days. The claim for death benefits are done instantly, if you bring a claim in the morning by the end of the day, the money has reflected. So, these efficiencies brought great turn-around changes, compared to when payments will take six months, if you resign now, the same month, you are sorted," Nuyoma said.  

Before becoming the head of GIPF, his career as a financial and economics expert started in 1989 when he worked with an entity called Repatriation, Resettlement and Reconstruction, an association of the Council of Churches in Namibia serving along with the United Nations to reintegrate returning refugees. 

Thereafter, he joined the Ministry of Industrialisation andTrade as an assistant to the then Minister Ben Amadhila, and later became a Chief Economist in the same Ministry.  

He didn't stop there, as he joined Namibia Development Corporation in 1994, then returned to the Trade Ministry as an Executive Director for investment development, thereafter becoming the founding CEO of the Development Bank of Namibia from November 2003 to December 2012. 

"The appointment to head DBN came unexpectedly, it was a mammoth task of handling an institution from scratch. My fear was how I was going to convince professionals to join when the entity had no track record. But gladly, the likes of Gottlieb Hinda, Michael Humavindu, John Mbango and Joy Sasman, as able Namibians joined, not because of money, but the confidence they had in me, and we did a great job cementing the foundation together." 

"I am very excited to have worked with the colleagues, they are professionals and can do wonders, and they are the top of the tops. I have never been about the money, but the change and work I present." Nuyoma concluded.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Last modified on Monday, 26 September 2022 00:21

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.