* Fund CEO resigns days after cabinet reshuffle
* PIC biggest asset manager in Africa
* Masilela had pushed developmental agenda
(Recasts, adds details)
By David Dolan and Tiisetso Motsoeneng
JOHANNESBURG, May 30 The chief executive of
South Africa's government pension fund has resigned, the fund
said on Friday, following three years at the helm of the
continent's largest and most influential asset manager.
Elias Masilela's unexpected resignation from the Public
Investment Corporation (PIC) comes just days after President
Jacob Zuma reshuffled his cabinet, promoting former deputy
finance minister, 55-year-old Nhlanhla Nene, to finance
It was not immediately clear whether Masilela had chosen to
go or had been prompted to resign by changes in the finance
ministry, which oversees the fund. In his capacity as deputy
finance minister, Nene was also the chairman of the PIC.
No one was available to comment at the PIC or the finance
Masilela will formally resign on June 30, but will take his
outstanding leave with immediate effect, the PIC said in a
statement. Chief Financial Officer Matshepo More has been
appointed acting CEO.
The PIC, which has major stakes in some of South Africa's
largest companies as well as other investments in sub-Saharan
Africa, manages pensions on behalf of government employees.
Under Masilela, the fund's assets under management grew to
1.6 trillion rand ($154 billion) and it increased exposure to
African countries outside its home market and to alternative
investments such as private equity.
The fund is well known in South Africa for its often
activist stance - it has castigated companies over executive pay
and has been a vocal opponent of at least one recent deal.
Last year it opposed a $1.2 billion bid for drugmaker Adcock
Ingram from Chilean suitor CFR Pharmaceuticals
. The PIC, at the time Adcock's top shareholder, said it
did not want to swap its Adcock stock for that of CFR.
Its opposition helped pave the way for a successful bid from
South African firm Bidvest, in which the PIC is also a
Masilela has also tried to use the PIC to pursue a
development agenda in Africa, even as some critics said the fund
should focus on the considerable development needs at home.
Masilela had argued that growth in Africa would ultimately
help South Africa's economy, reducing unemployment.
"Do South Africans fully understand that? I'm not convinced
that they do," he told Reuters in an interview in March.
(Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa and