A delegation of American investors visited Johannesburg, April 4-5, to explore co-investment opportunities across sectors and to strengthen relationships with African pension funds, asset managers, and financial institutions for potential partnerships and co-investments.
The delegation, known as the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP), partnered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2016 through a joint program called Mobilizing Institutional Investors to Develop African Infrastructure (MiDA). The program connects U.S. public plan (retirement, pension, health) sponsors and other institutional investors with African counterparts to mobilize greater U.S. investment in South Africa and the continent, particularly in infrastructure development, real estate, and private equity. This is the third annual NASP delegation.
NASP Chair Donna Sims Wilson said, "Our delegation of US institutional investors comes to South Africa with a keen interest to explore investment opportunities in the region. While there is currently limited exposure in South Africa, there is great opportunity to scale up these
investments. We are looking forward to advancing our discussions with our South African counterparts for mutual support and benefit"
The delegation met with leaders at Standard Bank, 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). The delegation also hosted discussions with leading African pension fund trustees and executives around best practices and promoting inclusion in the financial services industry.
U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Jessye Lapenn, speaking at a Standard Bank-hosted reception, 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."
MiDA-influenced U.S. institutional investments allocations extend to almost $800 million dollars. An additional $200 million has been committed in offshore investment services offered by MiDA/NASP asset manager. MiDA is currently in the process of structuring three innovative capital markets transactions to support local pension funds co-investments, housing finance bonds, and the refinancing of infrastructure assets in South Africa.