Investment funds in South Africa

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel has a highly-specialised investment funds practice that is closely tied to the firm's leading tax and corporate transactional teams. The firm frequently acts for fund managers in South Africa and across the continent, along with international fund managers looking to invest in Africa. Its client list is unrivalled. Nicole Paige is highly regarded and leads the team that includes funds specialists Ashford Nyatsumba and Michael Denenga.

Practice head(s):

Nicole Paige

Other key lawyers:

Ashford Nyatsumba; Michael Denenga  

Testimonials

‘Proactive and respectful, putting the client first.’

‘The service and industry knowledge provided by the funds team has always been of a very high standard.’

‘Deep understanding of the private equity market in South Africa and international precedents. Good team chemistry, provides an ability to get the job done using a team approach. Client centric, responsive and diligent.’

‘The level of expertise was outstanding. Extremely commercially-minded approach as opposed to just applying the law.’ 

‘This team is terrific due to its depth and breadth of knowledge. They worked with us on the initial fund formation and they have worked with us continually since then so they have all the institutional memory. They also have a breadth of awareness of market terms and latest trends given their many other clients.’

‘Ashford Nyatsumba has strong commercial awareness. He can bring his commercial knowledge to a discussion before it is asked for.’

‘Nicole Paige and her team provide simple solutions to complex problems and are able to translate this into the documentation in a manner that assists negotiations with investors. The advice is balanced and well-informed.’

Key clients

Adiwale Partners

Africa Capitalworks Holdings

Africa Rainbow Capital

African Infrastructure Investment Managers

Alitheia IDF

Alterra Capital

ARCH Emerging Markets Partners

Ashburton Investments

Ata Capital

Capitalworks Investment Partners

Convergence Partners

Ethos Capital

Ethos Mezzanine Partners

Ethos Private Equity

Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)

Investec Bank Limited

Knife Capital

Metier Investment Group

Old Mutual Private Equity

Pembani Remgro

RMB Westport Fund Managers

SA SME Fund

Sanlam Private Equity

Secha Capital

South Suez Capital

Stanlib Asset Management

Takura Capital

Vantage Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Capitalworks Private Equity Fund III, an Africa-focused buyout fund with 27 institutional, corporate and fund-of-fund investors, on its establishment and subsequent closings.
  • Advised the sponsors on the establishment of Metier Sustainable Capital International, an Africa focused private equity fund established to make investments in energy efficiency, renewables, water and waste management businesses and projects in Africa.
  • Advised the sponsors on the structuring, formation and subsequent closings of the Adiwale Fund I LP.

Bowmans

Bowmans has a fast-developing funds structuring practice for Africa-focused private equity funds. The fund formation team is tightly integrated with the tax group, notably Wally Horak in Cape Town, a prominent figure in private equity tax structuring. The firm's increasing presence across Africa has afforded it greater knowledge and experience in regulatory considerations for funds. John Bellew leads the private equity sector group; he handles a strong flow of both fund formation and transactions and is close to a range of South African and international private equity houses. Cape Town partner Joshua Janks provides further senior level experience in private equity funds.

Practice head(s):

John Bellew; Wally Horak

Testimonials

‘The team, headed by John Bellew, has deep history and experience in fund formation.’

‘John Bellew has been a leader in fund formation for many years. He is a skilled negotiator and drives a transaction to a close.’

‘John Bellew is utterly reliable, provides quick turnarounds, and is always available for consultations even at short notice.’

Key clients

Sanari Capital

Knife Capital

Phatisa Fund Managers

Trinitas Private Equity

Mphande Property Fund Managers

SAsfin Private Equity

Rockwood Private Equity

Kasada Capital

International Housing Solutions

SummerPlace General Partners

SA SME Fund

4D Innovative Capital

Ascension Capital Partners

Evolution II GP (Mauritius) Holdings

Exeo Fund Advisors

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has a flourishing funds practice, aimed at major asset managers, mid-tier players and a number of start-ups. The firm is also active in limited partner-side engagements. It is also making a further impression in funds structuring for B-BBEE-compliant private equity funds. Cape Town director John Gillmer is an experienced funds specialist, who has played a pivotal role in pushing the firm into the funds limelight. Mark Linington is a recognised specialist in tax structuring in the private equity space.

Practice head(s):

John Gillmer

Other key lawyers:

Mark Linington; Wayne Murray 

Testimonials

‘Definitely industry experts in private equity fund agreements. Highly recommended.’

‘The CDH team are friendly, collegial, and a smart team of fund structuring lawyers. 

‘John Gilmer and Wayne Murray pay attention to detail and treat the client with the utmost respect. I value the relationship that I have built up with the team.’

‘John Gilmer and Wayne Murray respond to queries timeously, offer practical solutions to issues and go out of their way to assist in getting a transaction concluded.’

Key clients

27Four

Mbuyu Capital Partners

NEP

Investec

Public Investment Corporation

PAPE Fund Managers

Old Mutual

Coronation Fund Managers

Nesa Capital

PSG Capital

CoreShares

Dentons

Dentons is focused on international funds and their Africa funds structuring efforts and investments. The firm is also unique in its experience with investor actions and shareholder activism. Much of the practice led by Angeli Arora in Cape Town is pan-African.

Practice head(s):

Angeli Arora

Key clients

Industrial Development Corporation

Amethis Finance

Startupbootcamp (Afritech)

Southern Wind Shipyard

ENSafrica

ENSafrica's broad-based funds practice covers a range of segments, including private equity and venture capital funds, hedge funds, collective investment schemes, REITs, and managed account platforms. Johan Loubser is the senior investment funds specialist in the firm, who has strong connections to South African and African fund clients. Jessica Blumenthal is another experienced funds specialist, while tax experts Magda Snyckers and Mansoor Parker also operate in the funds space, including collective investment schemes, private equity and venture capital. All named individuals are based in Cape Town.

Practice head(s):

Roger Rudolph

Other key lawyers:

Johan Loubser; Jessica Blumenthal; Magda Snyckers; Mansoor Parker 

Testimonials

‘Strong technical knowledge combines well with extensive practical experience.’

 

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc remains noted for South Africa-based hedge funds, infrastructure and energy funds. Key partner Shawn Barnett has deep and extensive experience in the funds sector, including collective investment schemes.

Practice head(s):

Shawn Barnett

Werksmans Attorneys

Werksmans Attorneys covers the private equity, hedge funds and pension funds segments, representing both investors and managers. Impact investing is a growth area for the team, which remains notably active in collective investment schemes. It represents a large number of South Africa based funds, along with those located in other African and European jurisdictions. Cape Town's Shayne Krige has some 20 years' experience in the investment funds and private equity segment, including 12 years in Paris where he had a significant focus on private equity and hedge funds.

Practice head(s):

Shayne Krige

Other key lawyers:

Hilah Laskov

Key clients

Stonewood Holdings

Barak Fund Management

Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund

Nomura

Standard Bank

Chase & Willow Investment Partners

Citadel

CNBB Venture Partners

Cosnova Cosmetix

Havaic Venture Capital

Arx Pangaia

Ngewdi Investment Managers

Prescient

King Price Insurance

Mergon

Sana Partners Private Equity

Kapela Investments Holdings

Vumela Enterprise Development Fund Trust

First National Bank a division of FirstRand Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Stonewood Holdings, the principals of the Belvedere Group which is accused by the press of administering the world’s largest Ponzi scheme.
  • Acted as lead international counsel to Barak Fund Management including in relation to the restructuring of a suite of investment funds in the wake of COVID-19.
  • Advised the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund on its rights under a limited partnership agreement in respect of a private equity fund in which the client had invested.