The National Pension Commission (PenCom), pepped up the controversy surrounding major shareholdings in FBN Holdings Plc as the pension industry regulator clarified the status of Leadway Pensure Limited’s investments in the holding group.
In a statement titled: ‘Clarification on Alleged Breach of the Regulations on Investment of Pension Fund Assets in the Equities of FBN Holding Plc by Leadway Pensure Ltd,’ the Commission stated that Leadway Pensure Ltd has not breached any of the investment regulation by investing pension funds in the equities of FBN Holding Plc.
The clarification came on the back of publications in the media alleging breach of its regulation on investment of pension fund assets by Leadway Pensure Ltd, a licensed Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), in the equities of FBN Holdings Plc.
The Commission however stated that the fund cannot be appropriated or classified as shareholdings of any related party to the PFA, faulting a major legal argument by FBNH’s company board, which had attributed Leadway Pensure’s equity stake to Mr Tunde Hassan-Odukale, who holds indirect substantial stake in Leadway Pensure.
The addition of Leadway Pensure’s equity stake to Hassan-Odukale made him the largest shareholder ahead of business mogul, Mr Femi Otedola, a controversy already undergoing scrutiny of financial services regulators.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission wishes to clarify that first of all, the equity investments in FBN Holdings made by Leadway Pensure Ltd on behalf of the pension funds under its management are in the name of the pension fund and belong to the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders.
“Secondly therefore, the equity investments in FBN Holdings Plc as stated above, cannot be appropriated or classified as shareholdings of any related party to the PFA.