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New CEO announced: Institute of Retirement Funds

New CEO announced: Institute of Retirement Funds

The Institute of Retirement Funds Africa has appointed Steven van Schanke as its new Chief Executive Officer. He completed his articles at KPMG and qualified as a chartered accountant in 2001, and then relocated to the UK for five years where he gained experience in a number of finance-related ventures, before returning to SA in 2006 to set up his own business.

The retirement fund industry is abound with change, but requires guidance and leadership when it comes to positive and balanced transformation. van Schanke explains, "I am motivated by ensuring that the new or amended legislation does not adversely affect members' rights and ultimately their future retirement income. At the same time I am driven to continuously promote transformation and equality within the sector as a whole, and the implementation of appropriate legislation to achieve that vision. Finding an equitable balance between these two aspects, so that there is benefit all-round, is both a challenge and an opportunity."

IRFA has seen its own positive transformation in the last twelve months, announcing a new Board of Directors during national stakeholder meetings in July last year. The Board comprises twelve Directors, covering a broad diversity of expertise including Principal Officers, Trustees, legal practitioners and other service providers, to provide a balanced perspective.

It also changed from an NGO to Non-Profit Company (NPC), a separate legal entity with stricter formalities, as prescribed by the Companies Act of 2008.  The aim of this is to ensure that Directors are responsible and accountable for their decision-making and that they comply with corporate governance to create ongoing accountability.

Moving into 2014, IRFA formed five subcommittees to implement activities on behalf of the Board and these include Legal and Technical, Investment, Trustee Services and Education, Member Recruitment and Research and Benchmarking. These are now operational and will be meeting on a quarterly basis.

A key event on the annual retirement fund calendar is the IRFA conference, hosting more than 1100 delegates. van Schanke adds, "It promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with well-informed speakers and cutting edge topics of discussion. So I advise all stakeholders to be there not only to experience, learn and network, but also to contribute. I sincerely look forward to getting to know the industry's role players and getting to know and understand the opportunities and challenges."

Steven can be contacted on: steven@irf.org.za. Linkedin: Steven van Schanke