The Southern African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (SAVCA), in partnership with First National Bank (FNB) and the SA SME Fund as lead sponsors, has launched a Fund Manager Development Programme (FMDP) with the aim of increasing the number of females-and black-owned and managed fund managers.

South Africa’s private equity industry still has a way to go in achieving a truly diverse workforce. This is according to the 2019 SAVCA industry survey, which revealed that the percentage of female and black (as defined in the B-BBEE Codes) professionals within the industry in 2018 increased to 29.6% and 56.9% respectively, up from 21.8% and 50.9% in 2017.

SAVCA – the industry body for the private equity and venture capital industry in Southern Africa – has selected 13 fund managers to participate in the FMDP.

“The programme caters to both aspirant fund managers – first time managers who have an investment thesis but are still in the process of setting up their fund – and growth fund managers who have already set up their fund, have investments under management, and are in the process of raising further capital and scaling their businesses,” FMDP Programme Manager, Melanie de Nysschen, said.

Tanya van Lill, CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA)
Tanya van Lill, CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA)

“Given that the programme will cater to fund managers that are in different stages of development or growth, there will be customization of the programme to target relevant areas of development and support for the selected fund managers.

“The intention is not to flood the market with hundreds of new private equity and venture capital firms, but rather to assist the selected high-potential emerging fund managers who can contribute to the broadening of the overall industry,” she explains.

Through classroom-based teaching, one-on-one coaching, mentoring and support from industry stakeholders, the 12-month programme aims to address some of the challenges typically experienced by first-time emerging fund managers such as fundraising, access to networks and working capital facilities, and most importantly ensuring the fund team has the necessary support to successfully execute on their fund’s investment mandate.

Tanya van Lill, SAVCA CEO, said participants will also receive the guidance of dedicated mentors and coaches, along with the added support of shortlisted preferred suppliers who are willing and able to deliver services into these fund managers at preferred rates.

To ensure the practical relevance of the programme, van Lill says the final quarter is expected to culminate in capital raising presentations to both local and international investors.

“The programme is therefore directly aligned to the outcome of participants being 100% prepared to put their best selves forward in the presentation of their funds to prospective investors.”

Through this flagship transformation initiative, van Lill says she hopes to see a substantial increase in the value of assets under management by black- and female-owned and managed funds.

“SAVCA remains committed to accelerating the sustainable transformation of the industry by not only developing high-potential black and female fund managers but also by attracting new talent into the industry.”

Appoints young blood to the board

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From left: Fulu Makwetla, Kabelo Moja and Samantha Pokroyivate equity

SAVCA has appointed new board members, which include Fulu Makwetla, founding partner and MD of Third Way Investment Partners, and Kabelo Moja, MD of Ascension Capital Partners. The organisation also reappointed Samantha Pokroy, founder and CEO of Sanari Capital.

Lill says that these well-respected and leading industry professionals have been appointed to continue driving the association’s strategic objectives forward amid a period of impressive industry expansion.

“The new board appointments complement a board that already comprises of individuals with extensive industry and business experience that are uniquely positioned to contribute positively to the industry and country at large, ensuring the association fulfils its strategic objectives.”

As noted by the recent SAVCA 2019 Private Equity Industry Survey, South African private equity exhibited a considerable increase in investment activity in 2018, with the value of new investments and follow-on investments reaching a record-high of R35.4 billion, compared to an annual average of R15.2 billion over the preceding 10 years.

Similarly, the SAVCA 2019 Venture Capital Industry Survey reported robust industry growth in 2018, with 181 new Venture Capital deals reported – an increase of 13.8% from the 159 deals reported in 2017. This also shows a substantial increase in the overall value of all deals, up from the R1 billion invested in 2017 to just over R1.5 billion in 2018.

“This industry growth bodes well for future economic growth on a national level,” says van Lill, who notes the important role that the industry plays in South Africa’s broader economic environment. “A thriving private equity and venture capital industry is crucial for South Africa in order to accelerate economic recovery and positively impact job creation.”

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