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iCA4M: Automation That Eases Compliance

In the age of accountability, fund managers seek tools to automate and ease compliance

By Anton Liebenberg

Spare a thought for South African fund managers. In the wake of a seemingly endless list of controversies and governance crises, South African companies are under increasing pressure to improve how they report on the performance of funds under their management.

The information shared at the Mpati Commission into alleged impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation, Africa’s largest fund manager, has cast a stark light on irregularities and outright failure in governance, most notably at Steinhoff and Ayo Technologies. This has led government leaders, shareholders, activists, unions and civil society to demand greater accountability around how the PIC’s funds are managed.

Considering the PIC administers the Government Employees Pension Fund, the pressure is on fund managers to act responsibly and within the bounds of good governance.

Upping the governance stakes

Unsurprisingly, governance requirements are only growing in scope. The updated King IV codes demand ethical leadership, attitude, mindset, and behaviour, with a focus on transparency and well-considered disclosures. Considering the steep socio-economic challenges South Africa currently faces, it’s also unsurprising to see ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria growing in importance.

In the service of greater transparency, fund managers are required to provide greater clarity on the performance of funds under their management, especially where such funds relate to the PIC. This puts pressure on the already-stretched capacity of fund managers to participate in corporate action and proxy voting and to report on their participation in the fund.

Automating, easing corporate action & voting

In the past, this would be a manual, time-consuming and non-revenue generating activity. But modern tools offer some measure of relief by automating corporate proxy voting and elective events in a way that can be tracked, audited and reported on.

The iCA4M platform is an alternative to admin-heavy, costly and non-revenue generating activities designed for fund managers. It provides proxy voting functionality to fund managers for electronic voting and supports the feeding of data from upstream systems such as ASISA while integrating final results back into line-of-business systems.

What this means is greater transparency and accuracy of the information that minimizes compliance, legal and financial exposure. iCA4M automates traditionally labour-intensive processes and empowers shareholders by providing a seamless online voting experience.

Fund managers using iCA4M have seen average rates of voting and election of between 30% and 40% and enjoy guaranteed on-time consolidated summary reports delivery to the Central Securities Depository Participants on event due dates.

Want to ease some of the administrative burdens of ensuring transparency and compliance in your fund management activities? Get in touch with us to discuss how iCA 4 M could support you.