PAVING THE WAY

Mozambique 2016 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Aldo Tembe, CEO of Moçambique Previdente, on recent successes, challenges facing the company, and aspirations for 2016.

Aldo Tembe
BIOGRAPHY
Aldo Tembe studied law at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and Pension Funds Management at University of South Africa (UNISA). Prior to Moçambique Previdente, he worked for four years for British American Tobacco in corporate, regulatory affairs, and legal departments. He has also been legal consultant and corporate advisor for Nadhari, Mila Investments, and Managing Director for NBC Mozambique.

Moçambique Previdente received a prestigious award in London for the Best New Pension Fund Management Company in Mozambique for 2014. What factors led to this success?

We were the first pension fund company in Mozambique, and we started a new business with different processes and a new way of thinking. We apply our expertise in terms of technical capabilities, marketing, and human resources, and have gained a high profile. The Global Banking & Finance Review commended us for our professional conduct. Our new marketing and communication strategies are expected to expand the size of our portfolio. We started off with three pension funds of around $1.4 million and then doubled that amount within a year. Among the companies doing pension funds in Mozambique, there is no ranking available. The statistics are hard to come across; however, we know for sure that we are at the forefront and we have the largest market share. In 2015, we want to not only be the Best New Pension Fund Management Company in Mozambique, but the Best Pension Fund Management Company in Mozambique.

What are the biggest challenges Moçambique Previdente currently faces?

One of the issues we are facing is a lack of understanding about saving. We have a national social security scheme and our pension funds are complementary, essentially voluntary schemes. Some people do not understand what this is or lack the required financial understanding. The other issue is that the country lacks investment. Our stock exchange only has five companies right now; hence, there are not a lot of opportunities for sourcing funding. Aside from the real estate sector, there are not many instruments for in-country investment. These will ultimately hinder the profitability of the funds. We try to seek out alternative ways of putting fund money into safe investments with good returns.

What are the highlights of the benefit system Moçambique Previdente instituted?

We basically understand what a client wants, what they need, and what they are doing, and we create a tailored pension fund for their system. We are working with final contribution funds and final benefit funds and in some cases, we are actually creating hybrid funds with added benefits. We include risk benefits such as funeral coverage, group life insurance, life insurance, disability, and death.

In practical terms, how are you aligning your operations with government initiatives to further develop the Mozambican economy?

One of the things about being a complementary pension fund is that we deal with people wanting more than what the INSS offers. They often look to us for an alternative solution. Our service provides added coverage compared to what the INSS is doing. The government wants to provide social welfare and benefits to people in the formal sector. We are also trying to increase the number of funds and increase asset value. We have to bring profits to the funds we serve and in a way we have to see where the government strategy is going.

What are your expectations for the year ahead?

For 2016, we are trying to provide solutions for the formal sector, such as establishing pension funds as well as providing unique products for individuals. These are our biggest aspirations for this year. We want to consolidate in terms of our investment portfolio and want to venture into real estate, not only because it dictates the growth of the country but because it is also a profitable market. We are also trying to provide solutions for SMEs, and are working to this end with a network called REDE PME. We are not only providing pension funds and social welfare to their members, but on the investment side we are looking to see how we can invest more in SMEs. We do not have a stock exchange that it active itself; however, we can invest part of our funds in their venture capital and in new businesses.