Thursday, 22 April 2010

Happy Earthday!

Only hard work will help us save the planet!
Thanks to the banks, Standard, ABSA, FNB and Nedbank - especially greenbank - Nedbank keep up your involvement.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A Tough Market - So how do I raise Private Equity funds????

So I am sure you agree that without doubt, 2009 was the worst year to raise a private equity fund.

Everyone could see that PE fund-raising suffered a significant drop in 2009 in most emerging markets in general.  this was particularly in Middle East and North Africa. In this reagion, MENA, only four funds were successfully closed in 2009, compared to 13 funds in 2008, less than 50%.

Whats important to know is that there are very few Pan african funds and many of the African funds are actually Gulf or Middle east funds that only overlap in Egypt.

So with this in mind and the turbulent financial market and stagnant PE industry, there are key guidelines that a PE fund should follow in order to overcome the tough fundraising environment. . These guidelines represent the ingredients for successful fund-raising, in our opinion:

Outstanding relationship with historical LPs

It is vital for a fund to manage the expectations of its LPs and try to go beyond the already-set objectives. Maintaining excellent relationships with LPs and winning them over have proven to be of utmost importance, especially in unfavorable market conditions. This relationship comprises good quality and regular reporting, regular visits and communication, a continuous and full respect of the funds' guidelines as well as offering them co-investment opportunities. The derived result of this is securing recurrent investment by these LPs.

Good track record in a turbulent market, both in terms of the performance of the existing portfolio companies andexiting from companies

In times of crisis, the ability of the fund management team to monitor the performances of its portfolio companies and assist their top management to adapt to exceptional market conditions is of major importance. This will result in portfolio companies developing greater resistance to the market downturn in turbulent times and improvement in portfolio valuation.

Ensuring seed financing from trusted institutional investors

Ensuring solid seed financing early on in the fundraising process can give a great boost. In difficult times, having international institutions with abundant capital (but strict conditions) aimed at emerging markets early on in the process is crucial. This requires a very strong relations and trust between the two parties built over time. In 2009, almost all of the funds raised in MENA had one or more international institutions.

These institutions provide great added-value in terms of the development of the portfolio companies (such as SME businesses in the region) as well as additional credibility vis-à-vis other LPs. Procuring funds from these institutions is not easy; they require strict adherence to their internal regulations, strong governance schemes and high accountability.

Good relations with shareholders and managers of existing portfolio companies they are the best marketing agents for the fund

Good relationships with shareholders and managers of portfolio companies is essential. They provide good referral base about the fund management team and they could well be potential investors in the fund in addition to being the best marketing agents for the fund management team.

A strong relationship between the GP and the Fund Management Team

A strong relation between the GP and the Fund Management team, along with a complete alignment of interests is essential and gives great comfort for LPs. Clearly, fundraising in difficult times is very tough, thus increased co-ordination between the two parties is crucial.

A strong and serious pipeline of potential deals

Transactions are usually on hold during crisis. It is as difficult to exit in good conditions as it is to invest in good conditions. Thus, having a serious pipeline of potential deals is key to attracting interest and funding from LPs, whose focus on this issue is much more than in normal times.

A strong and dynamic Fund Management Team

Finally, money is worthless with no human capital supporting it. Funds should be handled by a strong, dynamic, motivated team that has shown its ability to deal with changing environments and cope with different situation, as well as entertaining good relationships with the LPs, the fund advisors, and portfolio company managers, etc...

We believe the prospects for 2010 are positive for private equity in Africa and MENA as the markets are showing signs of recovery and higher potential for investing in good opportunities at reasonable valuations.

Fund-raising though, could still be shy in 2010 as there is significant dry powder for investment before the managers return for additional fundraising.

thanks to Euromena Funds for this insight....

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Cityscape in Abu Dhabi - So is the property bounce back happening

I love keeping abreast of whats happening in the world and especially in the UAE since everyone PANICKED!!

So heres the scoop! From me the desert camels lips...
Thanks to Chris Speller - Group Director for the insight

Cityscape Abu Dhabi has proved its continuing success despite market conditions and the volcanic ash disruption. Today has seen a strong turn out of industry professionals taking the opportunity to discuss project delivery and investment opportunities in the GCC market and abroad with exhibiting firms.

The conference agenda identified residential rental property and retail sectors as having the greatest investment potential. John Bullough, CEO of Aldar Properties indentified future demand coming from a wide spectrum of the Abu Dhabi real estate market and singled out the retail sector as the "unsung opportunity" in the UAE capital.

We are delighted to have welcomed General H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to Cityscape Abu Dhabi. In a statement made during an inspection visit he underlined the huge potential Abu Dhabi enjoys, as a result of its growing population, infrastructure development and strategic location. He also expressed satisfaction over the growth of this year's Cityscape Abu Dhabi, with the increase in attendance of international specialists, investors, designers, developers and decision makers being a testimony to the success of the event.

We hope you are able to join your colleagues at Cityscape Abu Dhabi until 21st April. Please note that a dedicated time on the 21st April from 3pm - 8pm will be made EXCLUSIVELY FOR LADIES.

Cityscape is an awesome event and having attended many worldwide it remains a difinitive source of whats happening in the property world - on a grand scale

Friday, 16 April 2010

Retirement Cape Town

Retire In Cape Town - South Africa
Retire in Cape Town. Cape Town is the ideal place to retire to:

Blue oceans, majestic mountains, and mile upon mile of unspoilt beaches, this is what retiring to Cape Town would mean for those thinking of making this their retirement destination.

We work so hard to maintain a fast-paced, frenetic lifestyle, and retiring to the coast seems a far-off dream for so many of us city dwellers, but why should this be the case?

Why not make Cape Town retirement a dream that can come true for either you or you and your partner. Well you may wonder why my little "BLURB" and punt for this majestic "last Bastian of colonialism" on the planet ;-)... Well, I visited a retirement resort in Cape Town that was not only beautiful but so something that looks like it came out of Dubai.

So for more information on this place, make sure that you check out Cape Town's TOP retirement resort - Oasis Retirement Resort!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Happy Easter 2010 / Good Passover 2010

Wishing everyone an enjoyable Easter. Home Owners will be rejoicing and spending a little more this Easter as a result of the rate cut, this is truly welcoming and why should it not be…..the year of miracles……

Property is still an amazing investment and if the Banks could approve a few more bonds then more people could start becoming proud owners of their “biggest” investment. Twenty Ten is surely the year of opportunity in South Africa and property will definitely continue to be a solid performing asset.
Happy Easter!!


Thursday, 1 April 2010


So a Happy Easter everyone

savings from the banks on your home loans comes in different forms!

But I suggest you rely on yourself if you want it to work.  Waiting for Standard bank, ABSA, FNB or Nedbank w'ont work even though they are all offering 10% as prime now.  Sure you will save a few rand this way, but better ways are:

Pay a second bond payment every second month of R 100.00, after your debit order goes off.
  • You will always be paying a R 100.00 plus compounded interest against your home loan for the next 20 years or so.
  • Your score will improve at the bank
  • You can apply at a branch for a better rate - because you are an early payer
If you are Paying a mortgage overseas or from overseas the you must use this forex  service
as you pay NO TRANSFER Fees!!!!!!

Negotiate with your lawyers for a discount on conveyancing fees.

So be your own Easter Bunny!!!  You little devil you!!!