The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) has revoked the licence of a company accused of diverting N$7,3 million in pension funds meant to build a school.
The saga began in 2020 when the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) pumped N$10 million into Amazing Kids Private School (AKPS), which wanted to build a campus in northern Namibia.
The GIPF made the investment through the Namibia Mid-Cap Fund, which is managed by Myrtle Growth Capital, previously known as Musa Capital Namibia.
As a result, Myrtle Growth Capital ran the affairs of the school.
However, the construction of the northern branch was never finalised.
Instead, Myrtle Growth Capital transferred N$7,3 million into a bank account belonging to FFO Securities Namibia, while about N$2,8 million was used for salaries and school operations.
At the time, Marcelina !Gaoses and Jerome Mouton were listed as the managing directors of FFO Securities Namibia and Myrtle Growth Capital.
This transaction prompted the GIPF to launch an investigation last year and demand the return of the “unutilised” money.
Namfisa has now revoked FFO Securities Namibia’s licence.
“The Registrar of Stock Exchanges has withdrawn the approval granted to FFO Securities Namibia (Pty) Ltd to conduct business as an investment manager due to various contraventions of the applicable legislation,” Namfisa spokesperson Joanette Eises told The Namibian on Tuesday.
She said the public is informed not to undertake any further investment management services with this entity.
Namfisa said FFO Securities Namibia has lodged an appeal against the licence cancellation, as it or any other regulated entity is entitled to do.
“Although an appeal does not suspend the decision of the registrar, for example, FFO Securities Namibia (Pty) Ltd’s licence to conduct business as an investment manager remains withdrawn.
“In view of the appeal proceedings, the registrar cannot comment until the appeal process is finalised,” Eises said.
GIPF chief executive officer (CEO) David Nuyoma declined to comment on the matter. He did not divulge whether the GIPF managed to recover the N$7,3 million which was transferred to FFO Securities.
Instead, he confirmed that Myrtle Growth Capital, which manages the Namibia Mid-Cap Fund through which GIPF invested N$10 million into the Amazing Kids Private School, is still retained as one of the GIPF’s fund managers.
“The GIPF has never invested any of its funds in FFO Securities,” Nuyoma said.
“The Namibia Mid-Cap Fund is governed by a separate board of trustees which oversees the activities of Myrtle Growth Capital and its portfolio investments such as Amazing Kids Private School. We therefore advise you to direct your questions on the way forward directly to the trustees of Namibia Mid-Cap Fund,” he said.
Regarding the alleged withdrawal of the FFO Securities licence, Nuyoma said: “We advise that you consult Namfisa, as only Namfisa can provide reasons for its actions.”
!Gaoses hinted that FFO Securities has new owners.
“Please contact the representatives of the new owners and directors,” she said. The alleged new owner, Moses Ikanga, did not respond to questions sent to him.
Mouton did not respond to the question sent to him either.
Amazing Kids Private School’s managers have since last year insisted that they are now “stable” after a power struggle with the investment managers.