22 February 2021, Johannesburg – Cyril Ramaphosa has, on occasion, been criticized for expounding economic development plans that are long on intention but short on detail. Finally, an exciting new private sector led initiative has been launched to give much needed substance to these recovery plans. The brainchild of Dr Phumla Mnganga, Malcolm Rutherford and Chris Lister-James, Khulisa Investment Partners intends making a difference to the South African economy by providing funding to businesses typically under-served by financial institutions and by facilitating a transfer of wisdom to the next generation of business leaders of our country. By nurturing and mentoring young management Khulisa’s purpose is to build substantial and economically powerful businesses to help drive the South African economy of the future.
Khulisa provides a mechanism for seasoned business professionals to answer Ramaphosa’s thuma mina call. As a black owned private equity management company Khulisa will raise investment funds from impact driven investors and will harness the collective wisdom of successful South African businessmen willing to contribute their time, energy and experience to make sound investment decisions into selected SME businesses.
More aptly described as a private equity enabler as opposed to a private equity management company, Khulisa has developed processes which utilize the decision making skills of seasoned business professionals to select tomorrow’s leading businesses for investment. Then, by harnessing the altruistic energies of the same network of individuals, Khulisa will deliver ongoing mentorship programmes for up-and-coming business leaders. By capturing the collective wisdom of seasoned business professionals Khulisa will not only ensure that skills are transferred substantively to the next generation of business professionals but also that maximum value is added to its investments.
“We believe we can leverage the skills and the expertise of seasoned business professionals all of whom have good intentions to see South Africa grow and prosper. This will not only build our future as a country but also deliver top quartile returns to investors” says Rutherford. “I could not sit back and watch South Africa drift towards a failed state. I had to play my part to sustain our future and I believe that many institutions and like-minded associates just needed the right structure to channel their same intentions. Khulisa offers this.”
“Khulisa has identified the two largest bottlenecks faced by growing SME’s: the first being access to strategic and governance skills and the second, access to finance. Our solution was to establish Khulisa to address this conundrum and, by so doing, also contribute positively to our own future” says Mnganga. “In addition to harnessing the collective wisdom that exists in past and present business leaders and applying this to selected SME’s, Khulisa’s various funds will raise approximately R750 million from institutional funders to invest in SME’s operating in sectors such as engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, and fintech.
“Under the watchful eye of a vast network of associates and fellow business professionals, we will apply these funds to businesses that play a positive role in tomorrow’s South Africa. Khulisa is impact driven and we put ESG and responsible investing at the core of everything we do. We are particularly focused on businesses that can catalyse job creation and the transformation of the workplace. Our centre of attention is on ensuring that tomorrow’s business leaders are properly equipped today to drive our economy but we are also an investment fund manager whose investors expect market related returns” says Mnganga.
“Our investment funds are targeted and very specific” says Rutherford and Khulisa subscribes to sound fund management principles of a clear investment mandate, clarity of purpose and ongoing value add for its investments. “Our Thuma Mina Structured Finance Fund is sector agnostic and we assess deals based on the role the company will play in our future economy together with our ability to mentor and add value to the business. There are a number of SME’s out there looking to be big businesses of the future but they just need funding support today. We can deliver this using imaginative and risk appropriate finance structures” adds Rutherford.
Khulisa’s second fund, The Fintech Fund, is focused on financial inclusion. “Defined as the availability and equality of opportunity to access appropriate, affordable and timely financial products, Khulisa’s Fintech Fund is targeting financially inclusive fintech opportunities that will grow the financial community. Access to financial products and services has been proven time and time again to be a fundamental driver of general economic prosperity” says Lister-James.
The key is that Khulisa looks to engage with a network of part time business professionals, and to bring back retired and semi-retired executives to “do it again” in their spare time. Everyone wants to see South Africa thrive and, by-and-large, individuals are looking for appropriate channels to make their thuma mina contribution. Khulisa is a breath of fresh air and provides an opportunity for seasoned businessmen and women to break the apathy and inertia to Ramaphosa’s thuma mina call.
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For more information, contact:
Khulisa Investment Partners
Mobile: +27 (0) 84 614 2333