The Southern African Venture Capitalist and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) in collaboration with First National Bank (FNB) and the SA SME Fund has launched the Fund Manager Development Program (FMDP). The program aims at improving the number of female and black-owned as well as fund managers.
According to the 2019 SAVCA industry survey, the percentage of female and black professionals in the private equity industry in South Africa in 2018 increased to 29.6% and 56.9% respectively, compared to 2017 (21.8% and 50.9%). Therefore, this is the right momentum for SAVCA and partners to launch the program.
The inaugural event of the program was held in Johannesburg. Thirteen selected fund managers were announced to take part in the program. They were selected among more than 50 submitted applications.
“The caliber of the applications we received for the inaugural FMDP was extremely high, and selecting just 13 participants was no easy feat,” said Melanie de Nysschen, the FMDP Program Manager, speaking at the official launch event of the program.
The selected 13 participants consist of 7 generalist private equity funds, 4 infrastructure funds, and 2 venture capital funds.
“The program 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. Given that the program will cater to fund managers that are in different stages of development or growth, there will be customization of the program 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,” de Nysschen explained.
The one-year program will feature classroom-based teaching, one-on-one coaching, mentoring, and support from industry stakeholders. It aims at tackling some of the challenging issues experienced by first-time emerging fund managers, including fundraising, access to networks and working capital facilities.
“Having identified these challenges, it is critical that the learning content and support delivered through the program is relevant and practicable in addressing these shortcomings,” said Tanya van Lill, CEO of SAVCA.
“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,” she added