Sunday, February 28, 2021

Bifm tight-lipped on retrenchments

Botswana Insurance Fund Management (Bifm) this week confirmed that it has completed its restructuring process, which started several months back. However the company is tight lipped on the number of employees that will be shown the door.

Asked to state how many Bifm employees have been given formal letters to terminate their employment contracts, Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) Group Public Relations, Communications and Marketing Manager, Tebogo Keepetsoe said it is not company policy to discuss past or present employee matters with third parties. She however confirmed that the restructuring process has been on-going for several months as the Group explores ways to reduce recurrent expenses. She further said that the recent reduction in assets under management experienced by Bifm necessitated a look at its staffing costs.

“Our aim remains focused on long term viability and maintaining our position as the leading fund management company in Botswana,” said Keepetsoe.

She pointed out that Bifm remains a market leader with P19.2 billion worth of assets under management, citizen skilled and experienced staff and is the largest employer within the asset management arena. Also asked on what exactly the restructuring process entailed, Keepetsoe said the process was focused on making business decisions to ensure continuity in operations.

“As always, our aim remains to give our clients and stakeholders the exceptional levels of service they have come to expect from Bifm, while we continue to return great value to all stakeholders.”

While she could not give specific details on which company departments were mostly affected by the exercise, Keepetsoe revealed that various departments went through re-deployment of resources or separation from employees. In relation to maximizing profit and effective service delivery, Keepetsoe added that Bifm remains conscious of the needs of the business and existing market conditions and remains committed to returning value to the stakeholders and clients.

“We are still the leading fund managers in Botswana through innovation and wealth of experience from our 40 year heritage,” she stated.

Bifm recently lost its multi-billion pula management contract with Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF). The pension fund dropped a bombshell on Bifm when it terminated its P9billion worth management contract, effectively shrinking Bifm’s funds under management from a whooping P11bn to just under P2bn. Soon after, Bifm terminated the contract of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tiny Kgatlwane, a move that was seen as the first step towards the retrenchment, and appointed Neo Bogatsu as Acting CEO.

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