Developmental Impact at Fund Manager Level
Black Economic Empowerment
Vantage Capital Group is committed to Black Economic Empowerment. It is a black-owned company as defined in the Financial Sector Charter, with 51% of equity held by BEE individuals and broad-based groups and half of its staff being black people. The Group is committed to employing, training and mentoring black people, and is proud of maintaining its BEE rating of level 1 in 2015 (an improvement from its level 2 BEE rating in 2013). Similarly, Vantage Capital Fund Managers (Pty) Ltd is proud of maintaining its level 2 BEE rating.
As a pioneer of black-owned private equity fund management, Mutle Mogase was closely involved in 2002-03 in the formulation of the Financial Sector Charter (“FSC”) on Black Economic Empowerment. In many respects, the Charter’s emphasis on genuine, broad-based empowerment echoes the Vantage Capital view that empowerment is an opportunity, not an imposition, that it has to be holistic and must bestow benefits on many rather than privileges on a few. Vantage Capital is a business to help its partners unlock the value and the potential of BEE, in the process creating wealth, transferring skills and growing jobs.
Training provided to Vantage staff
Since April 2009, no less than 36 Vantage staff have participated in over 170 training events, including courses and conferences.
Funding and Mentorship programmes
Vantage is actively involved in funding and mentorship programmes aimed at uplifting underprivileged local communities:
Junior Achievement South Africa
Vantage is deeply involved in Junior Achievement South Africa (“JASA”) through making ongoing monetary donations to the Junior Achievement Education Trust (R1.3 million donated to date) as well as Vantage staff volunteering their time and working with young people. Chris Lister-James, a director of Vantage Capital Group, also sits on the board of JASA.
The purpose of JASA is to prepare young people for life after school by raising their awareness of economic issues, teaching them entrepreneurial and life skills, providing them with an understanding of the business world and enhancing their sense of personal responsibility through practical business experience. Vantage’s latest project is to sponsor JASA’s Out-of-School programme, in which mentors will continue to provide these young adults with entrepreneurship support once they leave high school, with the objective of facilitating a higher entrepreneurship success rate.
As a member of Junior Achievement Worldwide, one of the largest business education organisations in the world operating in over 100 countries, JASA was established in 1979 to address the serious unemployment situation in the country, with particular reference to young people.
More information can be found on their website: www.jasa.org.za.
Small Enterprise Foundation
The Small Enterprise Foundation (“SEF”) is an NGO dedicated to ending poverty through providing micro loans primarily to rural women in South Africa to empower them to run their own small businesses and in doing so increase their income. Since commencing operations in 1992, the SEF has cumulatively disbursed over 1 million loans to the value of R1.9 billion to very poor people, being the bottom 50% of the population below the poverty line. Mutle Mogase sits on the board of the SEF and Vantage has to date provided the foundation with R1.3 million of funding.
More information can be found on their website: www.sef.co.za.
Africa Tikkun is an NGO that provides education, health and social services to children, youth and their families through community centres set up in South African townships. With former President Nelson Mandela as the organisation’s Patron-in-Chief, the centres provide their surrounding communities with primary health care services, family support services, early childhood development (through providing basic numeracy and literacy skills), child and youth development (through libraries, computer labs, sports, drama and other structured recreational programmes) as well as meals (through community kitchens, vegetable gardens, weekend feeding, food parcels, emergency relief and lunch boxes).
Vantage has signed on as a financial sponsor of the organisation’s Alexandra community centre with an initial R50 000 donation, and a further R10 000 contribution to the NGO in 2014. In addition Vantage staff spent time with the children helping at various events through the year, of which the most recent was a Masterchef Challenge at the Africa Tikkun centre in 2015.
More information can be found on their website: afrikatikkun.org.
Partnerships for Possibility for South Africa (PfP4SA)
Partners for Possibility for South Africa (“PfP4SA”) is a creative solution to South Africa' education crisis - it is a co-action, co-learning partnership between school principals and business leaders, enabling social cohesion through partnerships, and empowering principals to become change leaders in their schools and communities. The Partners for Possibility programme facilitates cross-sectoral reciprocal partnerships between Business, Government and the Social sector. PfP4SA runs a leadership development programme for principals of under-resourced schools in South Africa. Schools are seen as the centres of their communities, and school principals are seen as the centres of their schools. The objective is therefore to send a school principal and a business leader together on a series of training courses to better equip principals to lead their schools and improve the quality of education provided to their learners.
Vantage first got involved through the sponsorship of one such course in 2013, in which Chris Lister-James partnered a school principal over the course of a year to develop sustainable solutions to improving education at that particular facility. Vantage has continued its association with the programme in 2014 through the sponsorship of Ridhaa Ahmed. Ridhaa completed the formal programme in 2014/2015 partnering with Charmainne LeKay of Bramble Way Primary, a school located in Bonteheuwel, Cape Town an area with significant socio-economic problems and a prevalent gang culture. Together, they implemented various reforms at the school over the period and Ridhaa remains informally involved with the school. Vantage has once again recognised the strength of the programme and has sponsored Dibokano Phihlela for the 2015/2016 period and contributed R 70 000 to the organisation in 2015.
More information can be found on their website: www.pfp4sa.org.
Madswimmer is a registered South African Charity that raises funds for children and orphanages by swimming between the world’s continents. The charity was started in 2009 and has completed various inter-continental and world first open water swims in aid of children’s charities every year since inception. The most recent inter-continental swim was between Asia and North America. Vantage contributed R10 000 to the charity in 2014.
Donations to Children’s Homes
Annually, on Mandela Day and before Christmas, Vantage runs internal charity drives, in which Vantage staff bring in toys, clothing, food, toys and cash that are donated to various children’s homes. In 2015, the beneficiary was Hearts of Hope, who were very grateful for the R50 000 donation from Vantage.
Personal initiatives undertaken by Vantage staff
Some Vantage staff are involved in personal initiatives to provide mentorship to underprivileged learners. For example, Johnny Jones has provided personal monetary donations and has offered his time to the local Student Sponsorship Programme which looks to provide mentorship and financial support to underprivileged learners.
Vantage involvement in development of the private equity industry
- Colin Rezek has been a member of the EMPEA (Emerging Markets Private Equity Association) Private Credit Council since 2014 and was appointed Vice-Chairman during 2015.
- Warren van der Merwe served on the board of SAVCA (South African Venture Capital Association) for a three-year term until the end of 2015.
- Mutle Mogase previously served as the Chairman of SAVCA for two years.
- Johnny Jones served on SAVCA’s regulatory subcommittee for 6 months, which provided advice on Regulation 28 governing the asset allocation of South African pension funds. He also is a member of the EMPEA Marketing Committee.
- Warren van der Merwe and Mutle Mogase have worked with the Financial Services Board (FSB) on helping to shape the regulatory environment for private equity funds.
- Diana Njuguna regularly attends the SAVCA Women in Private Equity events.
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