State Fund Manager PIC Suspends Officials Over Ayo Deal ‘Irregularities’

"The preliminary report clearly reflects a blatant flouting of governance and approval processes of the PIC. Employees of the PIC have also been implicated in these irregularities"

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Ayo Technology Solution
Ayo Technology Solution

South Africa’s state fund manager PIC announced on Tuesday that it has suspended two officials over technology deal irregularities.

The employees were suspended following a probe into the role they may have played in the Ayo Technology Solution transaction.

In 2018, the PIC backed Ayo Technology Solutions with R4.3-billion investment for its initial public offering.

The deal enabled Ayo to be valued at R14.8-billion even though its assets were estimated at R292-million at the time.

Following responses that were given to SCOPA in Parliament in December 2018, the PIC Board resolved to commence an investigation into the Ayo transaction, with a specific focus on the role that employees of the PIC may have played.

PIC head of corporate Affairs, Deon Botha, said in a statement a preliminary investigation report was submitted to the board on 21 January 2019.

“The preliminary report clearly reflects a blatant flouting of governance and approval processes of the PIC. Employees of the PIC have also been implicated in these irregularities,” he said.

“It is for this reason that the board has resolved to suspend the Executive Head of Listed
Investments, Mr Fidelis Madavo and the Assistant Portfolio Manager: Mr Victor Seanie with immediate effect.”

Botha added that as this is an ongoing investigation, the board will keep all its stakeholders informed on the developments.

“The PIC continues to uphold good corporate governance and will do everything in its power to restore the integrity of the institution.”

The PIC invests on behalf of the large Government Employee Pension Fund and four smaller state-run funds, including the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

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