American Investors to South African Business Leaders: “Let’s do Business”

The second annual meeting of the U.S. Mobilizing Institutional Investors to Develop Africa’s Infrastructure (MiDA) delegation met with South African asset managers, financial institutions, and African pension fund representatives to build further partnerships and find co-investment opportunities in Johannesburg and Cape Town March 5-9, 2018.  Formed in 2016, MiDA is a partnership between the U.S. Agency for Development’s (USAID) Office of Private Capital and Microenterprise (PCM), Africa Private Capital Group of the Southern Africa Mission, and the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP).  NASP is a U.S.-based membership organization supporting women and minorities working in the securities and investment industry; it boasts 700 members and represents more than 140 companies.  The total assets under management of pension plans managed by NASP members is close to $3 trillion –approximately 40% of all pension plans in the United States.

Within two years, members of the MiDA program have closed on new deals totaling close to $500 million.  This exemplifies the mutually beneficial commercial and development opportunities that exist between the United States and Africa.

In a visit that took the delegation to Cape Town and Johannesburg, MiDA sought to facilitate relationships that will ideally result in more American investments in South Africa and the continent, particularly in infrastructure development, real estate, and private equity.  Partnering with the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP), the Batseta Council of Retirement Funds for South Africa (Batseta), and the Institute of Retirement Funds Africa (IRFA), MiDA hosted roundtable discussions with leading African pension fund trustees and executives around best practices, and to promote financial inclusion in the financial services industry.

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Jessye Lapenn said, “This program is one of many win-win initiatives supported by the U.S. Mission to South Africa to promote the mutually beneficial outcomes of trade and investment between our two countries.  Great economic opportunities exist for American and South African investors to create connections that will build infrastructure and contribute to prosperity for all.”

NASP Chair Donna Sims Wilson said, “The most important work we do is educate U.S. institutional investors about the vast opportunities available in infrastructure.  We tell them they can achieve safe risk-adjusted returns by investing in African infrastructure.  We are also very interested in how we can do business with our counterparts in the African financial community for our mutual benefit.”