Economic transformation at worker level

As South Africa prepares to put the spotlight firmly on workers’ rights around Workers Day on May 1, Steven Nathan, 10X Investments chief executive officer, says it is absolutely crucial that financial transformation is achieved at the basic worker level.

The founder of the disruptive asset management company says broader economic participation is a hot topic at the highest levels in politics and business, but it is also critical that practical change takes place at grassroots level.

In support of these goals, 10X Investments has joint venture agreements with trade union-controlled companies, Numsa Financial Services and BIG Employee Benefits, which is majority owned by Fawu (the Food and Allied Workers Union).  These partnerships advance economic empowerment in general, as well as achieving very practical immediate benefits such as skills transfer.

Nathan, says: “Everyone seems to focus on where all the money is, on the assets, but for us it is really about who is delivering better value to retirement fund members, who is looking after those retirement fund members.”

Nathan adds: “If you look at it from a Numsa or Fawu perspective, they are saying, ‘We are concerned about the high cost of investing that causes our members to retire poor’.”

What the unions are saying, says Nathan, is, “we would rather get better value for our provident fund savings so that our members retire with more money and have more dignity at retirement”.

10X is meeting these challenges, which the company sees as opportunities, by partnering with these organisations. The company has formal agreements with Numsa and Fawu structures, which means they go collectively to those funds.

“The unions participate in the value creation as they can earn a percentage of the revenue their members are paying for administration and investment management services, which goes back to the members,” says Nathan, who notes that there is also training and skills transfer under the joint ventures.

“We are sharing knowledge and upskilling our union partners in terms of investments, the impact of fees, employee benefits consulting… and the members are getting better value for their money.”

This is broader economic participation and skills transfer at the worker level.

Happy Workers’ Day!