Q: Tell us about Kgori Capital?
A: Kgori Capital is a home-grown, 100 percent citizen owned and run asset management company that provides client-driven local and international investment solutions to pension funds, corporates, charities, and private clients. Established in 2012, we have developed and evolved from humble beginnings into a growing business managing investments on behalf of third-party clients.
Q: What is the nature of your industry?
A: Our business operates in the financial services sector as an asset management firm whose responsibilities involve managing investments on behalf of third parties. Our goal is to efficiently grow our clients’ portfolios over time while mitigating risk. We are a multi-disciplinary firm with a focus on equity, fixed income and multi-asset mandates. As Kgori Capital, we seek to create profitable partnerships between clients, shareholders and employees and exceed expectations in both client service and investment performance.
Q: How does Kgori Capital support talent development in the sector?
A: Kgori Capital recognizes the responsibilities it has towards growing the financial services industry. Being an active player in the growth and development of talent in our sector is at the core of what we do. This very principle guides our operations as we currently employ 10 skilled, experienced and passionate members of our team, all of whom are shareholders in our business and all of whom are Batswana and are predominantly women. As a business, we recognise the role that we play in ensuring diversity and inclusion. We also believe in having the very best team to be able to deliver excellence for our clients.
Q: What vision was the business founded on?
A: Kgori Capital is passionate about driving change in Botswana and in the lives of its people through purposeful and impactful solutions. Botswana remains our destiny as we continue to serve our clients, partners and stakeholders. Through our products and services, we are committed to building legacies and securing futures for Batswana and to do so with PRIDE, in both the best meaning of the word and as an acronym for Passion, Reliability, Integrity, Dynamism and Excellence as our motives and goals. We are motivated by our own ambition and that of our clients to constantly strive to do more and better, as well as scale greater heights.
Q: About three years ago, Kgori and its directors were by association involved in the NPF scandal. Kgori was cleared of charges and seems to have become more resilient ever since. How did you wiggle your way out of the crisis?
A: On 26 July 2019, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Kgori Capital on a matter with respect to frozen Kgori Capital funds at the request of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in 2018, disputing investment management fees owed to Kgori Capital from the National Petroleum Fund (NPF). The appeal overturned a previous court ruling on the matter and was dismissed with costs. The ruling highlighted that a contractual dispute need not have been escalated to alleged criminal charges and that the fund had outperformed the market under the management of Kgori and the fee charged by Kgori was below market rate, resulting in Kgori Capital being wholly exonerated of any assertions or allegations.
In addition, Kgori Capital Directors, myself and Sharifa Noor, were in fact cleared of any allegations and charges related to the NPF by a Judge Court Order on 24 March 2020.
Kgori Capital, its Directors and/or employees are not part of the continued NPF legal case.
Q: How has the scandal affected the business?
A: It certainly is a chapter in our business and indeed personal lives that will be hard to forget but one that I am proud to say our team persevered through and indeed overcame with the utmost resilience and professionalism, working to put this issue to bed and behind us because none of what was alleged had actually happened. This has been a challenging process, but we are proud to come out of it stronger and more determined. As a business we have remained steadfast in serving our customers with PRIDE. We understand and do not take for granted the role we play in building purposeful futures for Botswana and its people, and this has been our guiding force. Throughout this process, we continued to be dedicated to delivering excellence for our clients. Equally, we are eternally grateful for their continued trust in us and indeed loyalty. That said, it is unfortunate that we continue to encounter challenges of perception and “blacklisting” by some government-related entities and private companies when in fact we have been cleared of any wrongdoing. We can only hope to be given an equal opportunity to participate in servicing and building our market.
Q: But you persevered and sustained the business nonetheless. How did that happen?
A: I think what is key here is that sound business structures, practice and ethics from the onset can make a business wholly resilient. That courage of conviction is essential, and that no matter the storm it weathers, a Botswana-born business can stand on its own in the most adverse circumstances and indeed spar with the very best even on an international footing. Tough as it was, it has made us stronger. We have also strengthened the business with the reconstitution of our board of directors and learnings from various regulatory and independent reviews on our business.
We are very enthusiastic about the future of the business as we embark on our next chapter with renewed purpose and vigour; with young Batswana talent driving a force for truly positive change and laying the foundation for others to follow.
Q: What are some of the challenges in the industry?
A: The industry has grown significantly in the last few years. Although this is a welcome development, the industry has been faced with and continues to face a number of pressures, such as achieving and demonstrating regulatory compliance. Regulations are pushing frequent reporting to new levels of consistency, completeness and accuracy. The ever-changing regulatory reforms can affect asset managers’ returns. New competition is a factor. There is a growing body of competitors entering the asset management industry. These organisations’ resources will place further pressures on asset management firms who may not be able to provide their services at such competitive prices.
Then there is rise of technology -driven competition and new products that is forcing firms to re-evaluate where and how they reach the market, which can be costly. At the same time, market volatility and price movement are accelerating the industry and asset class levels dramatically. Because of these factors and others, many investment management firms are adjusting their budgets and financial strategies based on their experiences from the 2020s’ COVID-19 outbreak.
Q: What are your future plans as Kgori Capital?
A: We are very enthusiastic about the future of the business as we embark on our next chapter. We remain dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of Batswana as well as our industry. We have ambitions to grow the firm in terms of assets under management, number of clients, investment products and distribution channels. Kgori Capital continues to grow our foundation towards Excellence, investing with PRIDE for and with Batswana. With almost 10 years in the industry, coupled with young Batswana talent in the driving seat, our commitment to Botswana and its people remains unshakeable. We indeed are determined to continue boxing with the very best both locally and internationally.