The KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension/Provident Funds (NJMPF) has been operating for over 76 years in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Following the recent retirement of CEO and Principal Officer Sam Camilleri, Bonginkosi Mkhize has been appointed as his successor – the company’s first black CEO.
This appointment is significant in the light of South Africa’s political and social past. Zinhle Ndlovu has been promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer vacated by Mr Mkhize, underlining the board’s commitment to remain a leading player in South Africa’s retirement
Mr Mkhize served and completed his South African Institute of Chartered Accounts (SAICA) qualifications with the Office of the Auditor General, where he also gained significant experience in compliance, statutory requirements including auditing and accounting in the public sector. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance including a postgraduate diploma in Investment Management and Banking, both from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Mr Mkhize is no stranger to leading and building value through innovation and creative thinking, and excels in decision-making within the pension funds sector. Having worked at the Auditor General’s office; a bank, and a period in leadership positions at NJMPF he is a worthy successor to Sam Camilleri. Mr Mkhize has worked at NJMPF for more than 10 years – having started as a manager then becoming the Chief Financial Officer. The Board of Trustees took inspiration from the adage of “growing your own timber”. It was their decision to identify a natural replacement from within the organisation and created a year-long mentorship programme for Mr Mkhize under the previous CEO. The strategy has borne fruit and the hand-over to Mr Mkhize has been seamless.
NJMPF is a municipal provincial fund, which is focused on improving the lives and communities of contributing members from KwaZulu-Natal. At NJMPF, improving members’ retirement outcomes is achieved in a number of ways. The Fund’s financial literacy programme improves member knowledge and allows for better financial decisions to be made. The Fund also educates members to fully appreciate the benefits provided through roadshows and workshops. Constantly assessing cost efficiency – either through the administration platform or using technological advances – is something that improves NJMPF’s members’ benefits at retirement
One of the areas that interests Mr Mkhize is the changing shape of the global economy and the rapid development of technologies. He believes innovation, such as robo-advisors and the modernisation of products and services through IT, has a part to play in NJMPF’s line of business. “Using technology to lower fees is critical for a retirement funding service and its members. Experts believe that as entities have grown, complexity, specialisation, silos, and ultimately hierarchy have choked off the capacity to readily adapt and innovate. Finding innovative ways to enhance and accelerate member participation in the retirement funding arrangement is important,” Mr Mkhize says.
The future looks bright for NJMPF and Mr Mkhize has a strong team behind him, striving to continue the firm’s history of good governance, adapt to new legislation, while adding new modules to its Financial Literacy Programme.