By Staff Reporter Sanlam Investment Management (SIM) Namibia, a Namibian investment management company with assets of close to N$11 billion, announced on Wednesday the imminent retirement of Chief Executive Officer, Blackie Swartz. Swartz will step down as CEO with effect from January 1, 2007 after 16 years with the Sanlam Group, including 11 years as a fund manager and two years as the Chief Executive Officer of SIM Namibia. Swartz was the first CEO of SIM Namibia, as the business previously shared a CEO with Sanlam Namibia. The credit for establishing the investment process at SIM Namibia lies with Swartz, making the company uniquely suited to managing assets in the Namibian environment for largely Namibian institutions and individuals. The company said in a statement released on Wednesday that Tega Shiimi ya Shiimi has been groomed to take over the role of CEO from Swartz in January 2007 as part of SIM Namibia’s succession planning. Shiimi has spent over five years with the Sanlam Group, and joined SIM Namibia in June 2003. The company says Shiimi has in-depth understanding of the business, its client base and the Namibian market after holding various responsibilities at SIM Namibia. This includes spells as Chief Operating Officer, company secretariat, investment administration, client interface and business development. “I am retiring, confident in the knowledge that over the past few years we have established a professional team with the ability to run a solid business. The process of integration of our business into the Namibian market has also been very positive. Together these factors will ensure the ongoing sustainability of SIM Namibia and will enable us to add value to the financial services industry in Namibia,” Swartz said. Although Shiimi takes over the reins on January 1, 2007, Swartz will stay on at SIM Namibia until the end of March to ensure an effective hand-over. “In the last few years, Shiimi ya Shiimi was tasked with the operational restructuring and management of SIM Namibia. His drive to ensure the sustained profitability of the business, including positive investment performance, and his experience and understanding of the business make him the perfect choice for the CEO role,” Swartz added. Shiimi on the other hand, said Swartz had made tremendous strides in growing the team and the business as a whole. The challenge now was to leverage and build from the solid base he had established. “We continue to foster close ties with SIM South Africa, which gives us ready access to the depth of research and leading-edge systems synonymous with being a leading asset manager. However, we will actively seek opportunities to further Namibianize our business and to create skills and add value within the Namibian financial services industry,” Shiimi said.