After almost four years of operations in Botswana, asset management firm Afena Capital Botswana is now ready to become an exclusively independent and citizen owned firm. Afena Capital Botswana’s establishment in the country was adopted from the 11 year period over which the Afena Capital Group matured since inception in November 2005. Afena Capital’s existence in Botswana has been through the partnership with the Group as its majority shareholder.
Last week, Afena Capital Botswana announced the acceptance of its proposition by Afena Capital Group to relinquish its majority shareholding of 51 percent so that it can be 100 percent owned by the local management. One would expect that as one of South Africa’s largest black owned asset management firms, Afena Capital Group would unreservedly bestow Afena Capital Botswana the coveted opportunity to become one of a very few citizen majority controlled asset management firms in Botswana.
Currently the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) has under its supervision 11 registered asset managers, amongst which includes Afena Capital Botswana. The majority of the asset managers are traditional investment management firms with an extensive history with origins outside the country.
“This transaction is a key milestone in the intensive, on-going citizen empowerment process at Afena. Our empowerment strategy addresses all of the principal components of citizen empowerment as envisaged by our clients and indeed with the general spirit prevailing in the country. Having majority citizen shareholding in Afena Capital Botswana is a key outstanding item on our agenda and provides a catalyst to further advance the other growth aspects of our business,” proffered the firm’s Managing Director Bakang Seretse.
According to a statement released by Afena Capital Botswana the acquisition encompasses all of Afena Capital business in Botswana, including, inter-alia, its main pillars of Institutional Asset Management and Retail Investments. The support of Afena Capital Group of this transaction, as indicated in the statement, is subject to approval by the relevant regulatory authorities. The transaction includes the firm’s Staff Trust to which it is anticipated that following approval it will result in the addition of shares into the Afena Staff Share Trust. The finalisation of the transaction will also include the stepping down of Tebogo Naledi as Afena Capital Botswana’s Chairman. Naledi is a founding partner of the firm and was its first Chief Executive Officer and currently serves as the Executive Director responsible for Africa.
Naledi‘s support of the transaction is quoted in the statement saying “As well-established business partners of Afena Capital Botswana, we are excited by the opportunities this transaction opens up for Botswana. As a group, we are committed to transforming the investment management industries in which operate. Afena Capital was one of the first black asset management firms in South Africa, and we are proud to have once more demonstrated our transformation purpose by supporting a transaction that creates a Botswana citizen majority owned company. We wish the management of Afena Capital Botswana well and have full confidence they will continue to grow the business platform developed over the past four years”.
Seretse who anticipates assuming full control of the operations following regulatory approval said the transaction will among other things enable it to play a meaningful role in transforming the investment management industries in which it operates in, and create an environment that allows it to produce excellent investment outcomes for its clients.