The Public Investment Corp, Africa’s biggest money manager, said it has suspended two employees after an investigation into a transaction with Ayo Technology Solutions.
The PIC suspended Fidelis Madavo, the head of listed investments, and Victor Seanie, an assistant portfolio manager, the Pretoria-based fund manager said in a statement. Madavo is giving evidence on Tuesday before a commission that’s probing allegations of impropriety at the institution.
“The preliminary report clearly reflects a blatant flouting of governance and approval processes of the PIC,” the money manager said about the Ayo investment in the statement. “Employees of the PIC have also been implicated in these irregularities. It is for this reason that the board has resolved to suspend” Madavo and Seanie immediately, it said.
Last year, the PIC spent R4.3-billion to back Ayo’s initial public offering, valuing Ayo at R14.8-billion even though its assets were estimated at R292-million.
The Government Employees Pension Fund, which is the continent’s largest such fund and is the PIC’s biggest client, is “extremely perturbed” by the suspensions and wants the PIC’s board to finalise its probe into the Ayo transaction, it said in a statement on its website.
“The PIC had assured the GEPF on numerous occasions and in correspondence that correct governance processes were followed with respect to the Ayo Technology Solutions transaction,” the fund said. “The GEPF views this as a serious breach of trust.” — Reported by Renee Bonorchis, (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP