Saturday, October 23, 2021

All is well at AON Botswana – Director

AON Botswana has dismissed speculative revelations that many of their clients are unsettled that their pension funds have not been audited for some years and now doubt the accuracy of the records.

The company is still mum on the issue that it has sought the intervention of external companies to assist with resolving the challenges that it is currently experiencing. 

Among others were reports that the Sentlhaga Umbrella Fund has not been audited for an unspecified period of time.

In his response, AON Botswana Acting Managing Director (MD) Bryn Williams, was quick to dismiss that and stated that as is the case with all businesses, challenges emerged and they focused on solving those  with the sole purpose of providing satisfactory service to our clients. 

“Whilst each challenge comes with its own time frames a recent example of such a situation relates to the successful execution and well received feedback of a pension payout exercise completion for one of the largest mining concerns in Botswana,” he stated.

He further said that ultimately and when it comes to the various challenges encountered, it is incumbent upon the teams to work to towards positive outcomes for all stakeholders. Williams added that as a professional and global company, client confidentiality is a significant “best practice”.

“We cannot be specific in terms of names and data provision into the public domain, a fact that is becoming more and more significant in terms of data protection,” he said.

He also revealed that AON Plc and the AON African Operations and Black Stone acquisition only affects North America-based operations and has no impact or relevance whatsoever to AON Botswana. 

He added that AON Plc has decided to change the ownership structure of its operations in Angola, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. 

Capital Works, a leading Africa-focused private equity firm specialised in investing in the African continent, is to acquire AON’s shareholding in these 10 operations.

“We are constantly evaluating our global operations and the most effective way for us to serve clients, and in some territories exclusive correspondent relationships, are our preferred way to operate,” said Williams.

When contacted Non Banking Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) said they had not carried out an investigation at AON, adding that they undertook a routine inspection which is within the confines of their regulatory processes that allowed the regulator to broadly look into an array of issues as picked by their analysis. 

“Our inspections are a progressive measure that further informs entities to correct anomalies if any looking at the best interest of consumers of financial products and services,” stated NBFIRA CEO Oaitse Ramasedi.

He is of the view that they are quite happy that regulated entities continue to respond well to concerns raised through inspections adding that AON is one of them.

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