The equity investments made by Oye Hassan Odukale’s Leadway Pensure Ltd., a licensed Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), in the FBN Holdings belong to Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders.
The National Pension Commission, PenCom, explained that the investment was made on behalf of the pension funds and does not breach any aspect of its regulations on investment of pension fund assets.
In a statement, the Commission said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission wishes to clarify as follows: the equity investments in FBN Holdings Plc as stated above, cannot be appropriated or classified as shareholdings of any related party to the PFA.
“Leadway Pensure Ltd is not in breach of the Investment Regulation by investing pension funds in the equities of FBN Holding Plc.
“Records which can be confirmed from the Securities and Exchange Commission show that the equity investments in FBN Holdings Plc are in the name of the Pension Fund on behalf of the RSA holders.
“Section 69 (b) of PRA 2014 stipulates that the PFA and PFC shall take reasonable care that the management or custody of the pension funds is carried out in the best interest of the retirement savings account holders.
“Therefore, all investments made by licensed PFAs in eligible securities and corporate entities are “ring-fenced” and belong to the RSA holders and other pension beneficiaries. Accordingly, these pension assets cannot be appropriated directly or indirectly to any individual or related party of the PFA.
“The provisions of Section 6.1(iii) of the Investment Regulation dealing with conflict of interest, stipulate that the PFA or any of its agents are prohibited from investing Pension Fund Assets in the shares or any other securities, issued through public or private placement arrangements, by related party/person of any shareholder of the PFA,” it stated.
Obviously, the ripples generated by the controversy over who holds the largest number of equities in First Bank may not have settled.
This arose recently when oil magnate, Femi Otedola, and his nominee, Calvados Global Services Limited’s was reportedly said to have the largest single stake in the bank.
However, in a statement to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) signed by the Company Secretary, Seye Kosoko, the FBNH said Hassan-Odukale is its largest single-holder with 5.36 per cent equity holding, while Otedola comes second with 5.07 percent stake.