Reporting Inflation

Global markets have been focused on inflation over the past two years, but over the past decade, another type of inflation has quietly been consuming the hours of financial analysts and investor relations teams alike.

We illustrate this by counting the number of pages in the Standard Bank Annual Reporting Suite from 2015 to 2022. There is no specific reason that we have chosen Standard Bank other than that it is a large and complex business.

The 2022 reporting suite for the Standard Bank Group totals 910 pages across 7 reports. This is up from 580 pages across 4 reports in 2015. Almost all the increase has come through increased reporting on ESG-related matters.

Source: Standard Bank Group

Clearly listed companies are spending a lot more time disclosing ESG-related matters to their shareholders, but does increased disclosure necessarily mean better ESG-related outcomes?

How many shareholders are able to fully engage with all this information? And what is the point of diminishing marginal returns to this disclosure?


Our Market Snippets aim to provide concise insight into our investment research process. Each week, we highlight one chart that showcases our research, motivates our current positioning, or simply presents something interesting we’ve discovered in global financial markets.

For more of our current market views, please visit our website.

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It is our longstanding belief that companies cannot achieve sustainable economic success while neglecting their social and environmental responsibilities. Responsible investing forms an intrinsic part of our investment processes and supports our mission in creating sustainable shared value through delivering positive risk-adjusted returns for our clients while making a significant positive impact on society and the environment.

Engagement with companies and voting at shareholder meetings are both powerful tools that we have considered to be an essential part of our active management offering since the very beginning of our responsible investing journey. We were one of the first South African asset managers to make public its proxy voting decisions. Click here to view our historic proxy voting records.

CLICK HERE to view our historic proxy voting records.

We have been early supporters of initiatives guiding responsible investing, including:

  • Signatory to the United Nations supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) since 2008
  • Supporter of the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa (CRISA)
  • Signatory to the Climate Change 100+
  • Members of Carbon Disclosure project

Our investment processes deliberately include ESG considerations which are continually refined, updated and enhanced by the investment teams.

Our Public Markets team have an explicit ESG pillar and minimum ESG deliverables as part of their equity research process and portfolio construction. Similarly, the Private Markets team have an ESG management system which details how they incorporate ESG issues into the investment decision-making process with a view to mitigating overall portfolio risk, promoting sustainability, and generating positive impact. The system also spells out our ESG requirements of investee companies.

At Mergence, we believe in the power of People, Planet and Prosperity, acknowledging that making profits can only be justified if people and the planet are respected and preserved in the process. Our ethos of creating sustainable shared value is at the heart of our business. Making a positive impact on society, embracing diversity and inclusion, nurturing relationships, and encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit underpin our commitment to being a responsible employer.

As evaluated by an independent agency we currently hold a Level 1 BBBEE rating.

We offer a range of local and offshore investment strategies that meet the needs of retirement funds and individuals in Southern and Sub-Saharan Africa. We are dedicated to managing and growing our clients’ investments in a socially sustainable manner. Our clients are mainly institutional investors with a growing offering of retail investors.

ExploreDateFund Fact SheetTransactional Form
Capped SWIX FundSeptember 2023
Enhanced Index FundSeptember 2023
SWIX FundSeptember 2023
ExploreDateFund Fact SheetTransactional Form
Domestic CPI +4% FundSeptember 2023
Global Balanced FundSeptember 2023
Global CPI + 5% FundSeptember 2023
Prime CPI + 4% FundSeptember 2023
ExploreDateFund Fact SheetTransactional Form
Bond CompositeSeptember 2023
ExploreDateFund Fact SheetTransactional Form
Bond CompositeSeptember 2023
Enhanced Index FundSeptember 2023

Mergence was a pioneer in impact and infrastructure investing, with a rich history showcasing the advantages of uncorrelated alternative investments. We strongly advocate for the potential of these investments to deliver consistent long-term returns while making a positive social impact. Our diverse portfolio encompasses a wide range of debt and equity asset classes carefully chosen from sectors that global and national organisations have identified as high-priority areas.

ExploreDateFund Fact Sheet
Bond CompositeSeptember 2023
Debt FundSeptember 2023
Equity FundsSeptember 2023
ExploreDateFund Fact Sheet
Renewable Energy Debt FundSeptember 2023
ExploreDateFund Fact Sheet
Bond CompositeSeptember 2023
Enhanced Index FundSeptember 2023

Mergence is an independent asset management firm with a strong 18-year track record. We were founded in 2004 and have successfully grown our offering to a diverse product range across both public and private market investments, spanning specialist equity and fixed income, multi-asset, infrastructure, debt and private equity funds.

We are focused on sub-Saharan markets and led by a pragmatic, sustainable, shared value creation mindset. Responsible investing and ESG principles are part of our ethos and embedded across our investment processes.

Mergence is majority black-owned and managed and embraces the multi-cultural and multi-racial diversity of Southern Africa. We employ 58 people across our operations in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Windhoek, and Maseru.

At Mergence we value our people. Our culture is characterised by a collective focus on excellence and development, keeping our staff motivated and committed to growing with Mergence and growing our clients’ savings.

Our senior investment team have worked together for nearly a decade. With over 300 years of combined experience our entire team, including analysts and fund managers, have distinct specialisation in both Public and Private Markets. We leverage data and key elements from each area to widen our perspective and innovate to obtain outperformance.

Masimo Magerman

Non-Executive Chairman, Mergence Group

Bachelor of Management Science (Finance)

MBA (Finance)

Masimo co-founded Mergence Africa Holdings in 2004 with the vision to create a world-class diversified group. With R42 billion in assets under management, the group spans asset management, derivatives trading, property, and industrial holdings. The primary subsidiary is Mergence Investment Managers, with a dual capability across Public and Private investment markets. Masimo is an entrepreneur by nature and believes fervently in “creating shared value”.

Fabian de Beer

Chief Risk Officer

BCom (Accounting & Economics)

H.Dip.Ed

Fabian joined Mergence in 2006 with over 34 years’ experience in financial services, specialising in  investment and macro strategy. Fabian’s primary focus is on investment risk, compliance and regulatory matters across Public and Private markets. He serves on the Mergence Board as well as the in-country Boards where Mergence operates. He has held senior and executive management positions at major SA banks and retirement funds.

Bongani Jack

Director: Institutional Sales, Mergence Group

MTech (Marketing)

BTech (Marketing)

Associate Financial Planner (AFP) 

Certificate of Proficiency (Retirement Funding), Institute of Retirement Funds

Bongani joined Mergence Investment Managers in January 2009 in the Business Development team. He has 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, where he built an extensive network. His experience includes working as an institutional sales executive in employee benefits, and a manager in corporate social investment and transformation. Bongani sits on the Mergence Group executive committee.

Noyonga Fofang

Independent Non-Executive Director

BA (Political Science)

Executive MBA

Nyonga Fofang, Independent Non-Executive Director at Mergence, has 25+ years of capital markets experience, specialising in private equity, M&A, leveraged finance, and general management. He co-founded and leads Bambili Group Investment Pty Ltd, a pan-African investment holding company. Nyonga also serves as a director at SourceTrace LLC in Boston. He began as a closed-end fund Equity Analyst at PaineWebber Inc. and holds degrees from Harvard University and UC Louvain.

Sholto Dolamo

Managing Director, Mergence Investment Managers

BSc (Chemistry)

BTech (Ceramic Science) 

MSc (Engineering)

MBA (Administration)

Sholto joined Mergence in July 2022. He has more than 15 years’ experience in financial services with a focus on strategic leadership, product innovation, and research across all asset classes in Public and Private markets. He held various senior roles at the Public Investment Corporation including Acting Chief Investment Officer. Before entering the financial services sector, Sholto pursued a specialised career in resources and precious metals.

Semoli Mokhanoi

Director: SADC, Head: Business Development & Marketing

BCom (Accounting)

BCom Hons (Financial Planning)

MBA (Strategy)

CFP®

General Tax Professional (GTP-SA)

Semoli joined Mergence in 2017 as Regional Investments Strategist. He has 20 years’ experience, including as a fund accountant, investment consultant and business development executive. With a strong network of contacts throughout the Southern African Development Community (SADC), he is also a non-executive director on several company boards.

Brad Preston

Chief Investment Officer

BSc (Mathematics & Statistics)

MSc (Financial Mathematics)

Brad joined Mergence soon after its inception in 2006. As an investment analyst, portfolio manager and former Joint MD at Mergence, he has experience in derivatives, absolute return, and specialist equities, as well as leadership. In 2021 he was appointed as Chief Investment Officer.

Karen Wagner

HR Executive

Diploma (HR Management & Training)

Karen joined Mergence in February 2014 as Office Manager. In February 2023, she was promoted to HR Manager. Karen has 27 years of experience in office management and finance, having worked at several large corporates before joining Mergence. In acknowledgement of the importance of our people, Karen was appointed to the executive committee of Mergence Investment Managers in October 2022.

John Afordofe

Chief Financial Officer

BCom (Accounting)

PGDip (Accounting)

CA(SA)

John joined Mergence in November 2018 as General Manager: Operations. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2019. In September 2021 his role at Mergence was specialised into Chief Financial Officer as part of high-level changes to the Mergence executive leadership team to meet the company’s strong growth.

Peter Takaendesa

Head: Equities

BCom Hons (Economics)

MCom (Economics)

MCom (Finance & Econometrics)

Peter joined Mergence in 2014 as a Senior Equity Investment Analyst specialising in the TMT sector. He became a portfolio manager in 2016 and head of the listed equities team in 2019. Peter has over 15 years’ experience in the financial services industry, having worked for several global investment banks. He won ABSIP equity analyst of the year in 2011 and has worked as a university lecturer in economics.

Izak Van Niekerk

Portfolio Manager

BAcc Hons

CA(SA)

Izak brings over 15 years of financial services experience to his role as Portfolio Manager at Mergence. He co-managed portfolios from November 2019 to December 2022, having joined the team in 2011 as an equity research analyst and dealer. His current focus encompasses resources, beverages, luxury goods, and healthcare. His background extends to being an investment committee member in private markets and an audit manager at PwC prior to joining Mergence.

Salome Maruma

Senior Investment Analyst

BCom Hons (Financial Management)

In 2023, Salome re-joined Mergence as a Senior Investment Analyst, having worked in the company in a trainee capacity before. With a focus on the retail and industrial sectors, Salome brings valuable experience from previous roles at local asset managers and a global investment bank over an eight-year career in the financial services industry.

Malose Mamashela

Investment Analyst

BCom (Financial Analysis & Portfolio Management)

MSc (Chemical Engineering)

Malose joined Mergence in 2022 as an Investment Analyst. With 20 years of experience, she has a solid background in chemical engineering and financial analysis. Malose previously worked as a process engineer at Sasol, Project Services Group, and Chevron. She also served as a sell-side equity research analyst at Primaresearch. Additionally, she has lectured in her field at the CPUT and provided consultation to 4th-year Design Course students at UCT.

Radebe Sipamla

Investment Analyst

BCom (Economics Science & Business Finance)

Radebe joined Mergence in March 2021 as Investment Analyst in the Public Markets equity team based in Johannesburg. He currently covers banks, insurance, and other financials. With five years of experience, Radebe has in-depth sector knowledge across SADC, most notably in the banking, precious metals, and telecom sectors. In 2017 he won the ABSIP award for Research Analyst of the Year.

Keagan Martin

Investment Analyst

BCom Hons (Finance/Investments), BCom (Economics and Finance) 

Keagan Martin joined Mergence in 2021 as a Client Relationship Manager, following his experience at Prudential Investment Managers. In 2023, he transitioned into an Investment Analyst role in the public markets’ investment team, where he now specialises in small to mid-cap industrials and food producers. 

Mohamed Ismail

Head: Fixed Income

BSc (Actuarial Science & Mathematical Statistics)

BSc Hons (Advanced Mathematics of Finance)

Exec Masters (Finance)

CFA® Charterholder

Mohamed joined Mergence in March 2021 as Head of Fixed Income: Multi-Asset Class. He has 14 years of experience. Mohamed is responsible for a stand-alone fixed-income product and integrating a fixed-income investment process into the overall multi-asset strategy. He is the primary portfolio manager for the Mergence Composite Bond Fund and lead investment manager for the Money Market and Multi-Asset Income portfolios.

Fazila Manjoo

Portfolio Manager

BSc (Actuarial Science)

PGDip (Management in Actuarial Science)

Fazila joined Mergence in September 2020 as a Portfolio Manager in the Multi-Asset team. She has over 18 years of experience in the financial services industry, and a passion for research, technology, and sustainability. At Mergence, she is responsible for developing quantitative and systematic strategies across balanced and absolute return funds while also managing portable alpha strategies.

Unathi Hewana

Investment Analyst

BCom Hons (Financial Analysis & Portfolio Management)

BSc Hons (Biotechnology)

Unathi joined the Mergence Public Markets Investment team in July 2020 as an Investment Analyst in the Multi-Asset team. She has ten years of asset management experience and is completing her BCom Master’s degree in Applied Finance at UCT. Her primary focus at Mergence is a top-down and bottom-up analysis of the South African property sector.

Thabiso Mgwambane

Investment Graduate

BSc Hons (Physics)

Thabiso Mgwambane joined the Mergence Public Markets Investment team in July 2023 as an Investment graduate. With a BSc Honors degree in Physics and currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Astrophysical Sciences, he brings advanced computational and mathematical programming skills, as well as proficiency in analytical and quantitative methodologies.

Morgan Mlambo

Head: Investment Risk & Analytics

BSc (Mathematics & Statistics)

BSc Hons (Mathematics of Finance)

Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

MBA

Morgan joined Mergence in 2018. He has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. At Mergence, he has oversight on the generation and monitoring of investment risk metrics for Mergence portfolios including performance metrics, market risk, etc. In addition, he also has oversight on the compliance function pertaining to the Public Markets portfolios.

Jeandre van Jaarsveldt

Investment Analyst: Investment Risk & Analytics

BCom (Economics, Risk, and Investment Management)

Jeandre joined Mergence in 2023 as an Investment Risk & Analytics analyst, bringing three years of industry experience. Notably, he honed his analytical skills and became the youngest team leader at Burgiss during his tenure as a Private Equity Data Analyst. His strength lies in working with databases and excelling at identifying errors and outliers through data manipulation.

Nicolai De Greef

Trader

BCom (Finance & Investment Management)

Nicolai joined Mergence 2019 as a Trader. He has 14 years of experience in financial services, both in London and Cape Town, including in equity dealing, client relationship management, hedge fund administration, and fund accounting. At Mergence, Nicolai is responsible for executing equity trades for the Public Markets team as well as managing broker relationships.

Kasief Isaacs

Head: Private Markets

BCom Hons

CA(SA)

Kasief joined Mergence in 2015. He has 17 years of experience in the financial services industry. As Senior Investment Principal he has a specific focus on energy, infrastructure, and impact within SA and SADC. He leads the Private Markets investment team which has built up a stellar performance record over the past decade. Kasief has prior extensive international and local experience in SA’s renewable energy market. He is an experienced conference speaker and media commentator.

Chito Siame

Investment Principal

BSc Hons

MCom (Financial Management)

ACCA

Chito joined Mergence in 2011 as Equity Analyst in the Public Markets team focused on FMCG, hospitality, financial services, and telecommunications before transitioning to the Private Markets investment team in 2015. As Investment Principal, Chito focuses on Private Market investment opportunities within SADC. He has led transactions in the aquaculture and microfinancing sectors and serves on the boards of several investee companies.

Mosa Molebatsi

Senior Investment Associate

BCom Hons (Actuarial Science & Finance)

MPhil (Development Finance)

CFA® Charterholder

Mosa joined Mergence in January 2023 as Senior Investment Associate in the Private Markets team. Previously, she worked at the International Finance Corporation and the Public Investment Corporation in various investment roles. She is also involved in lecturing, foundation trustee work, committee membership, and serves as the Secretary General of the UCT Association of SA Black Actuarial Professionals.

Tshepiso Appie

Investment Associate

BBusSci Hons

Tshepiso is an Investment Associate at Mergence Investment Managers. He joined the Johannesburg team in 2018 after a 3-year tenure in the middle-markets private equity team of a listed, blue-chip asset manager. With a diverse range of expertise, Tshepiso has successfully facilitated deals across multiple sectors at Mergence, including affordable housing, medicinal cannabis, primary healthcare, agri-finance, specialised healthcare, waste management, secondary mining, student accommodation, financial inclusion, and fintech.

Rizaan Samuels

Investment Associate

BSc (Finance & Accounts)

PGDip (Accounting)

CA(SA)

Rizaan joined Mergence in 2022 as an Investment Associate. He is a trained investment professional with extensive post-qualification experience in investment banking, asset management, and renewable energy debt investment. He is responsible for the origination and execution of deals in the SADC region for Mergence’s Equity and Debt funds, with a focus on infrastructure finance, renewable energy, and other clean energy investment opportunities.

Piwokuhle Sotshonanda

Investment Analyst

BCom Hons

Piwokuhle joined the Mergence Graduate Trainee Programme in July 2018. In 2020, she was appointed as Investment Analyst in the Private Markets investment team. She is involved in deal origination, due diligence, and post-investment monitoring. Piwokuhle has five years of experience in numerous industries in South Africa.  

Hileni Nghinaunye

Portfolio Manager

BBusSc

PGDip (Investment & Portfolio Management)

Hileni joined Mergence Unlisted Investment Managers (Namibia) as a Portfolio Manager in 2017. She has 15 years of experience in financial services. At Mergence she has transacted on and overseen infrastructure and impact investments on behalf of Namibia’s largest retirement fund, including three renewable energy projects, and a bulk infrastructure/land servicing project.

Veripi Ngapurue

Senior Investment Analyst

BCom (Economics & Finance)

BCom Hons (Financial Analysis & Portfolio Management)

CAIA Candidate

Veripi joined Mergence Unlisted Investment Managers (Namibia) as a Senior Investment Analyst in 2022. Prior to that, she gained experience as an unlisted Analyst at Temo Capital and held intern and trainee positions at EOS Capital and Simonis Storm stockbroking. Alongside her professional role, Veripi actively contributes as a budget coach, collaborating with Liberty Namibia on a financial literacy project.

Linkeng Debra Letsaba

Trainee Investment Analyst

BCom (Investment Management & Banking)

BCom Hons (Financial Economics & Investment Management)

Linkeng joined Mergence Investment Managers (Lesotho) in 2022 as a Trainee Investment Analyst as part of our bigger Private Markets investment team. Her role encompasses assisting with the origination of opportunities and guiding them through the investment process, to implementation. Linkeng has team leadership skills, having been an SRC exco member at university.

Ntsbeng Chabeli

Property Analyst

BA (Economics)

PGDip (Property Management & Development)

MCom (Finance & Investments)

Ntsebeng joined Mergence Investment Managers (Lesotho) as a Property Analyst in 2022. She has five years of experience, including time spent as a real estate specialist and data analyst. Her responsibilities at Mergence include analysing the economic drivers of the commercial property portfolio and assessing the financial opportunity for existing and potential property investments.

Nandipha Kenqa

Risk Manager

BCom (Financial Accounting)

PGDip (Accounting)

CA(SA)

Nandipha joined Mergence as a Risk Manager in the Private Markets investment team in June 2017. She has six years of experience working as an external and internal investment auditor. Nandipha’s responsibilities at Mergence include ensuring that governance, risk, and control frameworks are effective and that all investment activities, across all markets, sectors, and deals, are in accordance with applicable legislation, regulation, and client mandates.

Zeenat Patel

Post Investment Analyst

BCom (Economics & Statistics)

BCom Hons (Financial Analysis & Portfolio Management)

Zeenat joined Mergence’s Private Markets investments team in 2022 as a Post-investment Analyst. She has eight years of experience working in numerous global asset managers’ Private Equity and Infrastructure investment divisions. Her principal role at Mergence is to monitor the performance of all unlisted funds’ investee companies in South Africa, Namibia, and Lesotho, as well as to guarantee that all contractual reporting requirements are completed. 

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Masimo Magerman

Non-Executive Chairman, Mergence Group
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Fabian de Beer

Chief Risk Officer
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Bongani Jack

Director: Institutional Sales, Mergence Group
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Noyonga Fofang

Independent Non-Executive Director
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Sholto Dolamo

Managing Director, Mergence Investment Managers
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Semoli Mokhanoi

Director: SADC, Head: Business Development & Marketing
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Brad Preston

Chief Investment Officer
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Karen Wagner

HR Executive
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John Afordofe

Chief Financial Officer
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Peter Takaendesa

Head: Equities
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Izak Van Niekerk

Portfolio Manager
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Salome Maruma

Senior Investment Analyst
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Malose Mamashela

Investment Analyst
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Radebe Sipamla

Investment Analyst
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Keagan Martin

Investment Analyst
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Mohamed Ismail

Head: Fixed Income
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Fazila Manjoo

Portfolio Manager
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Unathi Hewana

Investment Analyst
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Thabiso Mgwambane

Investment Graduate
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Morgan Mlambo

Head: Investment Risk & Analytics
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Jeandre van Jaarsveldt

Investment Analyst: Investment Risk & Analytics
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Nicolai De Greef

Trader
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Kasief Isaacs

Head: Private Markets
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Chito Siame

Investment Principal
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Mosa Molebatsi

Senior Investment Associate
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Tshepiso Appie

Investment Associate
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Rizaan Samuels

Investment Associate
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Piwokuhle Sotshonanda

Investment Analyst
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Hileni Nghinaunye

Portfolio Manager
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Veripi Ngapurue

Senior Investment Analyst
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Linkeng Debra Letsaba

Trainee Investment Analyst
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Ntsbeng Chabeli

Property Analyst
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Nandipha Kenqa

Risk Manager
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Zeenat Patel

Post Investment Analyst