Meets the CEO and Principal Officer of NJMPF: Sam Camilleri

What drives the NJMPF forward, how do they create further momentum?
“Reflecting on the successes of 2016, it is difficult to imagine how to top it,” says Sam Camilleri, CEO and Principal Officer of the Natal Joint Municipal Pension/KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Provident Funds (NJMPF) when we caught up with him recently.

The NJMPF always has more than one major project on the go at any given time – the responsibility to achieve these is given to teams of skilled staff headed by a member of the management team. This ensures focussed attention to the task at hand and status reports are presented to Camilleri regularly.

So, what inspires them to go the extra mile?

“It is perhaps an inherent belief that our duty lies in improving the lives of our members and pensioners. It means we need to find innovative ways to become more efficient and cost-effective in the running of the Fund. We are constantly looking for better ways to communicate and educate our members so they may make the right financial decisions when it comes to their Fund and their financial futures.”

“The financial literacy programme is an example of doing just this. Whilst part of the W’s membership has the financial savvy to understand the nuances of financial planning and fiscal responsibility, the NJMPF positions itself to act as a conduit between National Treasury and the membership who are less equipped to understand the complexities of investment and risk benefit management.”

“Some of the projects involving members and human resource representatives at the 55 municipalities they service include: working with the Financial Services Board and the Office of the Pension Fund Adjudicator in South Africa, presenting educational modules encompassing the need for drafting a will, inflation, compounding interest, budgeting, encouraging higher contribution rates into the NJMPF’s Provident Fund and the most recent project being the South African National Credit Regulator joining Member Roadshows conducted by the NJMPF. “

“This culture of working with the national regulators extends to co-operative and constructive engagement with our provincial government. We also work with the Financial Services Board by adopting unclaimed benefits as a major project and provide input at national level with the upcoming Default Regulations. We find ways to implement proposed legislation in a positive way and avoid highlighting the reasons why something wouldn’t work.”

“Investment returns have been phenomenal in the past few years and our pensioner increases and bonuses are unsurpassed. Our pension increases are way ahead of inflation and this impacts positively on the quality of life of our pensioners.”

Through his interactions with global leaders in the investment and retirement funding arena, and the recognition gained in New York, London, The Hague and in South Africa, Camilleri has raised the bar for his team. No longer is the NJMPF satisfied with setting the standard within South Africa, the Fund is looking to be a market leader recognised globally for the work it is doing.

Whilst the core principles of good governance, clean audit, top-quartile investment returns, and accurate administration remain important, the NJMPF is constantly trying to find new ways to communicate with members and pensioners and to providing value-added solutions.

Through Camilleri’s inspirational leadership, the team at NJMPF believe it still has plenty to give their stakeholders by providing a service of the highest international standard.

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