Chairman’s Report

Trustco is an extremely creative organisation and management echoes this in its dealings with the board. It is with great satisfaction that I am afforded the opportunity to convene the board of directors because each and every session of the board brings to light new and interesting developments in Trustco’s journey.

Trustco’s strategy is a synergetic growth focus that combines new ideas and also looks at creating new impetus in existing businesses

Both of these together call for tough decisions and hard work from management. I am pleased to say that in both areas there is a clear and present hunger from management to drive this growth and follow through on strategies.

An important part of Trustco’s journey is towards greater integrated thinking in how the group devises and executes its strategy.  Management achieved great success through creative thinking, in growing and developing financial services products, which contributed greatly towards the growth in the company.  Trustco entered into a number of acquisitions and initiated new divisions within the group to fill a void and to ensure growth for the stakeholders.

Trustco is at its core Namibian, but remains exposed to the Southern African region’s economic volatility

The global economy is becoming increasingly interconnected as technology and consumer trends continue to evolve. Faced with a slowing Chinese economy and a European Union facing its own challenges ranging from sovereign debt to an influx of immigrants coupled with a prolonged decline in commodity prices worldwide, sustainable  economic growth will be challenging.

The sub-Saharan African economic growth is projected to be slightly higher than the global growth, however regionally, one is bombarded by headlines of electricity shortages, downgrading to junk status, inflation rate increases, conflict, unrest, high unemployment rates; this amidst the everyday challenge of doing business.

Whilst Namibia’s outlook reads marginally better with its government’s track record of prudent debt management and a low susceptibility to political and financial risk, the regional trend is disturbing. Namibia has long since proved itself as a business destination with a stable and well-regulated financial services industry, as well as a stable and well-functioning democracy within a vibrant socio- economic climate. It is against this back drop that I am optimistic that Namibia can weather this trend and that Trustco will remain resilient in its largest operating centre.

There does, however, seem to be a correlation between Trustco’s share price and the JSE top 40 companies share index.  This conjoined relationship between Trustco’s shares and the South African economy led to a period of downward pressure on the price. Having said that, even in trying times, the Trustco character remains steadfast.

The company always has a positive and vibrant approach

Trustco was awarded first place in the Deloitte’s survey “Best Company To Work For” in Namibia in the large size company category.

I am proud to be part of a company that is so acutely attuned not just to its business opportunities, but also towards employees and the welfare of the greater community.

Management initiated a broad-based employee retention plan where all employees with 1 (one) year service were allocated shares in the company.  With every employee invested in the company, Trustco has achieved an employee-shareholder alignment unparalleled in Namibia. All qualifying employees are now part owner and are afforded a level of control and the ability to provide an opportunity for growth of not only Trustco, but for themselves. This is viewed as a prudent instrument in one of the group’s greatest assets.

The board and I have noted with great satisfaction the heightened engagement and enthusiasm observed from Trustco’s employees. The overwhelmingly positive way in which the employees have rolled up their sleeves in response to new opportunities and responsibilities is a satisfying dividend to the investment and will stand Trustco in good stead in the future.

Trustco’s diversification strategy offers the group a buffer against risks, often applicable to a single minded approach

By diversifying Trustco’s product offerings and growing synergy across the group, the group creates value whilst mitigating risk.

Although Trustco’s core focus remains in

the insurance and investments segments,

I eagerly await the anticipated growth in the banking and finance segment, where all the groundwork is being done with the care and attention it deserves.

Stakeholders should be assured that the group’s leadership and governance are of the highest order

Trustco has a dynamic board and management structure, where we challenge one another and debate issues with passion.  However, when we take a decision, we are all committed to see it through and will do everything to ensure successful implementation.  The board values the cross pollination of different ideas put together by management which more often than not assists us to move forward with confidence that as much input as possible was given to make decisions. The objective of the board is to represent shareholders’ interest and to support management in the development of sound strategies that will ensure sustainable performance and value creation.  All measures are taken to ensure compliance with corporate governance and best practices while maintaining a entrepreneurial flair and creativity.

I am excited about the future and the endless possibilities for Trustco

It is with great anticipation and enthusiasm that Trustco enters into the next financial period, where management will be afforded the opportunity to implement the current opportunities, think creatively to ensure growth for Trustco’s shareholders and employees, and meet all challenges head on.

I thank the managing director, executive team and the board committees for their commitment and dedication during the year.

To the stakeholders, thank you for your ongoing faith in the business. To all new stakeholders, I extend a heartfelt welcome and trust you will enjoy a rewarding association with this dynamic operation.

To my fellow directors, managing director and executive team for their unwavering support and tireless efforts to ensure compliance, while achieving growth and remaining the creative company and leaders in the market you are known for.

ADV Raymond Heathcote SC
(Chairman of the board)