As the newly appointed CEO of Public Investment Corporation, Dan Matjila has the full backing of acquaintances he has previously worked with in different institutions. In general, his peers concur that he is someone for the big occasion.
However, Royal Bafokeng Holdings CEO Albertinah Kekana, who worked with Matjila at the PIC, said she was aware about the enormous task that awaited Matjila. In an interview with an online business publication in December 2014, she remarked: “I think he has a very good appreciation. Running a fund of R1.6trn is not an easy task. There’s so much complexity. If you have it in your personality to remain calm and relaxed in a very demanding role, it’s a very helpful thing.”
Following cabinet approval, Matjila, who has been serving in an acting capacity, is now permanent CEO. If the corporation’s growth in returns to year ending March 2014 should be regarded as measure of his capabilities, then, undoubtedly, he is qualified for the post. In the year ending March 2014, assets under PIC’s management grew three times to R1.6trn.
Matjila has a PhD in math and completed a diploma in mathematical finance at Oxford University. He worked as a maths lecturer at what is now known as the University of Limpopo. Then he has had stints at the Anglo American and Stanlib Asset Management, before joining PIC as Chief Investment Officer.
One thing is certain: the task of leading an institution that is the government’s treasure chest will be quite a challenge in a flagging economy.