Vodonaivalu confirmed as FNPF CEO

The Board of the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Viliame Vodonaivalu as FNPF’s Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Chairman Mr. Daksesh Patel, speaking on behalf of the FNPF Board, said the Board is confident that Mr. Vodonaivalu’s deep knowledge and significant local experience made him the best fit to lead the Fund through the challenges of the next three years.

“The Board felt Mr Vodonaivalu was best placed to lead the Fund at this time. He moved from behind the curtain as Chief Investment Officer to centre stage as Acting CEO during a very difficult period on record for the Fijian economy, immediately becoming instrumental to the Fund’s strategic and sustainable response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The quality of his leadership has successfully complemented the Fund’s financial growth and stability and we trust in his proven expertise to sustain the Fund through the economic sluggishness brought about by the second wave of the virus and onwards to the Fijian economy’s steady recovery,” said Mr. Patel. 

Mr Vodonaivalu’s appointment follows an exhaustive and transparent recruitment process run in conjunction with the multinational professional services network, KPMG.

“The Board committed to appoint in the short to medium term a strategic advisor with a substantial track record to the management team of FNPF,” said Mr Patel. “This has been done purposefully to build the capacity of local talent but also to provide additional resourcing to the management team to ensure the interests of FNPF members remains at the forefront.”

“In his previous position as the Chief Investment Officer (CIO), Mr. Vodonaivalu showed innovative and decisive direction, which is reflected in the Fund’s overall investment achievements. He was influential in the successful closure of major investment deals, including the acquisition of the Sheraton Group of Hotels, shares in BSP Bank, PNG acquisition and subsequently selling of the Energy Fiji Limited shares”.

“As CIO, the Fund attained the highest levels of growth in the investment portfolio – averaging 11.5% and totalling $2.8 billion, with a total investment income of $1.97 billion.”

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum also welcomed Mr. Vodonaivalu’s appointment.

“FNPF’s partnership with Government through the pandemic has eased the burden on affected families and kept Fiji on a sustainable path to economic recovery. This crisis represents an opportunity for the Fund to become more member-centric than ever. We’re confident that Mr Vodonaivalu’s leadership can drive positive, people-first management that strikes a prudent balance between meeting the pressing needs of those most vulnerable,” said Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum.

Mr. Vodonaivalu holds a Masters in Applied Finance from the University of Melbourne, a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting & Finance from the Victoria University of Technology. He attained his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Information System from the University of the South Pacific.

He has held key leadership positions in banking and finance locally and regionally with Westpac, ANZ, Air Pacific (now Fiji Airways) and was the Director Fund Management and Acting CEO for the Vanuatu National Provident Fund.

He also held senior management positions with the Fund from 2006 to 2008 as the Deputy Chief Investment Officer and CEO for Natadola Bay Resort Limited, a wholly-owned FNPF subsidiary. Mr Vodonaivalu holds directorship on a number of Board’s including Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Ltd, Airports Fiji Ltd, HFC Bank and the Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association.

Mr. Vodonaivalu expressed his gratitude to the FNPF Board for entrusting him with the role, as well as their confidence and faith in him to lead the Fund.

“We’re in a challenging environment due to the global pandemic, and it’s critical that we keep our eyes open to opportunities and our minds open to out-of-the-box solutions. The FNPF drives a member-centric agenda. It is a people’s institution. And we will continue to balance the pressing needs of the nation with strategies that empower our members to strive for a financially secured future. I am humbled by this appointment and I believe that with God’s guidance, nothing is impossible,” said Mr. Vodonaivalu.

Mr Vodonaivalu has been acting CEO since February 2021, following the resignation of Mr Jaoji Koroi.