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SAVCA Newsletter feature: Q&A with Paul Boynton

Paul Boynton

Paul Boynton

We speak to one of the three newly appointed SAVCA directors, Paul Boynton, head of Old Mutual Alternative Investments, about SAVCA’s role in the Southern African private equity.

How do you see the role of SAVCA within the private equity industry ?

SAVCA has a multi-faceted role within the Private Equity industry. It promotes the benefits of the asset class and potential investors. It is a lobby group within government and the regulators ensuring the industry’s interests are understood and protected. It facilitates appropriate and informative research on and about the industry. It runs training and educational programs about and for the industry. All in all a full agenda.

What is the impact of private equity within the African economy ?

Africa represents remarkable growth and therefore investment opportunity over the coming decades. The global population will increase by 2 billion through 2050 and 50% of this growth will be in Africa – 1 billion. Africa’s working age population will exceed India or China’s by 2045. Africa is home to approximately 30% of the global mineral endowment and 60% of the remaining uncultivated arable land. With strong demographic and resource endowments and improving governance, Africa is well positioned. The difficulty is mobilising investment. The listed markets are small and illiquid apart from SA. Private Equity, therefore is uniquely well-placed to drive investment into Africa. The hands-on nature of Private Equity and the ability to have greater influence on governance in complex environments compared to listed companies make it the preferred investment vehicle. It also has the ability to drive real change in Africa through mobilising capital into much-needed areas of investment such as infrastructure.

What is your outlook for the private equity industry within Southern Africa?

The PE industry within SA should continue to grow. It has demonstrated a long-term track record of superior returns in the listed market and as outlined above, is particularly well situated as an investment construct for the particular opportunities and challenges present in Africa.