Liberty Education Foundation and Today’s Trustee enter a joint venture to promote trustee training and education. Huge scope for participation by industry, unions and government agencies. Unique database being expanded to include all trustees. Today’s Trustee to retain independence.

The Liberty Group Limited, through the Liberty Education Foundation (the Foundation), and Today’s Trustee magazine (TT) have formed a joint venture to facilitate communication with the wide array of retirement-fund trustees. The joint venture’s main purpose, consistent with the objectives of both the Foundation and TT, is to enhance the opportunities for skills training and education of trustees who are pivotal in the control of almost R3 trillion in national savings.

The existing TT database, sold to a Newco owned equally by the Foundation and TT, will be developed and maintained as a vehicle not only to reach the maximum possible number of trustees but also to help in the understanding and provision of their needs. The joint venture will be an ongoing project, offering the platform for appropriate seminars and training courses in relevant partnerships. priority priority
This is viewed by the Foundation and TT as an endeavour in the national interest. Accordingly, it is anticipated that the continuously updated database will be made available to outside parties on terms that the Newco board will determine and on condition that its use is restricted to advancing trustee training and education. It will not be commercially available for product promotions.

The initiative is being led by Audrey Mothupi, head of human resources and corporate affairs on the Liberty Life group executive. She comments: “With the Mindset and Learning Channel television programmes, as well as dedicated programmes in the mass print media, the Foundation has been in the forefront of projects to extend educational content of the highest quality to focused audiences from the primary to the tertiary levels nationwide.

“This trustee initiative with TT is a logical and vital extension of the Foundation’s activities. As with other activities of the Foundation, participation need not be confined to Liberty alone.”

The editorial independence of TT is unaffected, and its columns remain open to any advertiser wishing to reach the trustee market. The publication continues to be wholly owned by Allan Greenblo, its editorial director.

At present, the TT database comprises some 10 000 trustee names and contact details. It is understood to be the only such database. A significant investment will be made for this database to include all trustees of South African retirement funds, possibly 40 000 in total.

Greenblo notes: “During the first two years of TT’s existence, the primary goals were to establish a distinct network and credible brand within the trustee community. Now underpinned by the necessary resources, the size of its base and scope of its activities can be considerably extended in the service of trustees.”

6 August 2007.