Connect with us

Business

Access Holdings acquires pension business, First Guarantee Pension, with troubled past

Published

on

Access Holdings has agreed to acquire First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL) after selling its pension business, Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited, to First Bank of Nigeria Holdings.

First Guarantee Pension Limited has been a troubled company with past management crisis, that saw the National Pension Commission (PenCom) sack the management in 2011, and maintain authority for over five years.

Pencom had taken control of the company, and installed an interim management during the crisis, citing “incessant shareholders squabbles and several issues of adverse corporate governance in the PFA.”

Surprisingly, Access Bank sold Access Pension Fund to First Bank Holdings, only for its parent company, Access Holdings, to acquire First Guarantee Pension, whose pension funds for RSA accounts are held by First Pension Custodian, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Bank Holdings.

Troubled past involving mismanagement allegations

There had been squabbles over ownership of the firm, with the founder, Chidi Duru, alleging that the board of First Guarantee Pension were sacked through an abuse of power, opening the door for new owners.

The affected board members were Chairman, Orlando Ojo, Vice Chairman; Nze Duru, directors, Derrick Roper, Tsegba Tsengu, Johan Henn – their disengagement followed the sacking of FGPL Managing Director, Wilson Ideva, in March 2011, by the ousted board.

Fast forward to 2012, Premium Pension Limited, a market rival of FGPL, appointed Ideva. The PenCom Director-General at the time, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu’s family operated the firm.

Note that Anohu-Amazu was PenCom’s Company Secretary/Legal Adviser during the sack of the board, but later became acting director-general a year after, before permanently securing the spot in 2014.

Read also: AIICO, FBN Holdings, Access Bank, Zenith Bank top Ripples Nigeria Stocks Watchlist

The faceoff with PenCom and allegations of infractions came after the regulator had certified First Guarantee Pension as the “most improved pension fund administrator”, only to retrace its steps after the ousted board sacked Ideva.

Meanwhile, Access Holdings has now entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in First Guarantee Pension, and PenCom, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), have approved the takeover.

Commenting on the acquisition, Access Holdings said the “Transaction is a consequential step in the Corporation’s evolution from a narrow banking business into a financial service holding company positioned to gain relevant scale across Africa, global monetary centres, and beyond-banking verticals.”

According to Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank’s large customer base made it necessary to acquire the pension business, as the parent company looked to scale beyond core banking services.

Join the conversation

Opinions

Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now

Investigations