Investment funds in South Africa

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel is the market leader in South Africa thanks to its exceptional expertise in fund structuring and tax expertise. The team is building its presence in Africa-focused funds and for first-time fund managers. Nicole Paige is highly regarded and is supported by key names Michael Denenga and Ashford Nyatsumba.

Practice head(s):

Nicole Paige

Key clients

African Infrastructure Investment Managers

African Rainbow Capital

The Carlyle Group

Ethos Private Equity

South Suez Africa Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised Ethos Private Equity on the establishment of the Ethos Fund VII.
  • Assisted African Infrastructure Investment Managers with the establishment and closing of the African Infrastructure Investment Managers Fund III.
  • Acted for Aleyo Capital on the structuring and formation of the Aleyo Growth Fund.

Bowmans

Bowmans is a strong player in private equity, operating across the fund formation and M&A space. The core group is supported by a number of tax experts, including Wally Horak in Cape Town, that focus on the private equity segment, along with executive compensation specialists. Moreover, the firm has a new Mauritius office that has leading funds expertise. John Bellew is a major name in private equity. Cape Town-based Joshua Janks is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

John Bellew

Testimonials

The team has a depth of experience in fund formation, spanning decades.’

Pragmatic to get fund terms on market and drive to closure.

John Bellew has been in the fund formation business for a long time and understands the nuances of fund legals. He is well informed of developments in the market to keep terms up to date. He is a good negotiator.

Key clients

African Development Bank

Swedfund

Ascension Capital Partners

T. Rowe Price Group

Southeastern Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised the general partner of Evolution II Fund on the admission of African Development Bank (AfDB) and Swedfund as investors to the fund.
  • Assisted Ascension Capital Partners with the formation of Ascension Fund No 3.
  • Acted for SA SME Fund on the formation of Summer Place Equity Fund I.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's funds team is leveraging the established client relationships within the firm. It now advises a greater number of general partners, particularly those in the mid-market space, and a growing proportion of start-up black fund managers. John Gillmer, who is based in Cape Town, leads the team, which includes tax director Mark Linington, who specialises in fund formation. Wayne Murray is the key name at senior associate level.

Practice head(s):

John Gillmer

Testimonials

Efficient, committed and motivated to get us to realise our goals during capital raising. They were responsive and proactive.

Breadth of industry service coverage. A one-stop shop.

John Gillmer provides fast responses and is knowledgeable on private equity structuring.’

Wayne Murray was fast to respond and clearly explained legal concepts which were new to me.

Key clients

27Four

MCP

NEP

Investec

PIC

PAPE

Dentons

Dentons is focused on international funds that are targeting Africa. Much of the practice centres around private equity fund structuring though the firm has received a growing number of downstream investment engagements. It is also immensely experienced in the activist investor segment. The Cape Town-based team led by Angeli Arora also works closely with the firm's office in Mauritius.

Practice head(s):

Angeli Arora

Testimonials

The team managed to unpack a very complex private equity transaction. They have managed to bring us up to speed with the structuring and understanding of key concepts in the industry.

Excellent lawyers, great drafters and negotiators.

Angeli Arora’s turnaround times have been excellent. She has always fulfilled her promises timeously. When vetting documents she has always sought my prior in-put instead of arbitrarily debating with the opposition.

ENSafrica

ENSafrica's core funds team is backed by a leading tax practice, enabling it to gain a sizeable piece of the limited partner market and develop inroads into the general partner segment. The firm is noted for registered funds and its sizeable Cape Town office provides further links to the asset management and financial services community. Johan Loubser is the key name.

Practice head(s):

Peter Dachs; Roger Rudolph

Testimonials

The team has the correct mix of attributes, including technical knowledge and skill, an ability to source specialist knowledge from colleagues, to understand our business and our products, and is able to communicate sometimes highly technical issues to business people.

I have found the quality and depth of the team to be exceptional.

Johan Loubser has a mountain of knowledge and gives a thorough evaluation of every problem. Johan knows when to draw on the expertise of other specialists.’

I believe Johan Loubser’s knowledge and experience in financial services law, his ability to be pragmatic and have a business minded approach, make him stand out.

Key clients

Global Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Global Capital on establishing Global Capital Fund 5.

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc has strong connections to the financial services and asset management community with an especially strong record with South Africa-based hedge funds and infrastructure and energy funds. Shawn Barnett leads the team.

Werksmans Attorneys

Werksmans Attorneys has a fine record in the funds segment, for both regulated and unregulated funds. It has a lengthy history in structuring and operating investment funds and collective investment schemes. Shayne Krige leads the team, which includes highly rated associate Hilah Laskov.

Practice head(s):

Shayne Krige

Key clients

Stonewood Holdings

Barak Fund Management

Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund

Work highlights

  • Acted for the principals of the Belvedere Group who were accused of administering the world’s largest Ponzi scheme.
  • Advised Barak Fund Management on drafting amendments to fund documentation, derivative contracts, setting up new funds and drafting fund documentation.
  • Advised Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund on its rights under a limited partnership agreement relating to its investment in a private equity fund.