Black Women-Owned South African Fund Managers
We have our roots in business rescue and private equity. We are passionate about making a difference in the world through the allocation of capital with impact. We invest in SMEs using our ‘Gender Lens’ which assesses what the future of gender in that SME could be, and by implementing our gender development programme guided by the management team. Our portfolio companies don't have to be women-owned to qualify for investment - just positively predisposed to us helping them get there.
Founded in 2017, FyreFem’s mission is to be a careful custodian of private equity capital while making sure that all capital allocated by us helps to change the world, starting in Africa. We aim for healthy SME’s in our portfolios, healthy returns, healthy societies, and healthy economic systems. We value transparent and fair dealings and have a great deal of respect for diversity. SDG 5 and 8 guide our investments.
We examine all our deals and projects through a gender lens and have a goal to impact the lives of women in private equity in South Africa.
FyreFem Fund License Incubation Program
FyreFem's mission centres on creating positive change by collaborating with high-impact fund managers, with a preference for those owned by women or black entrepreneurs. The company is engaged in investment, and advisory services, and has geared up to officially launch its incubation program in November 2023, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The USAID Southern Africa Mobilizing Investment (USAID Mobilizing Investment) is a five-year project aimed at addressing various funding gaps in Southern Africa's investment ecosystem. The project's goal is to stimulate private capital investment in sectors that can drive employment, reduce poverty, and combat inequality within the Southern African region.
Utilizing a blend of technical assistance and catalytic grant funding, USAID Mobilizing Investment is focused on mobilizing private sector investments in high-growth sectors and enhancing the skills, relationships, and information networks necessary to influence market behaviour. The project collaborates with industry stakeholders and institutions to create capacity development programs, with a particular focus on first-time fund managers, especially women and historically disadvantaged individuals, to enhance their performance standards in raising and deploying capital and managing portfolios.
FyreFem's program, which is funded by USAID Mobilizing Investment, is to take selected fund managers through a 24-month program, ensuring they meet essential compliance and monitoring requirements to obtain their South African Category 1 financial services license by the end of the incubation period.
HOW WE MAKE SUPER RETURNS
We find the right deal.
We access our multiple origination channels to find businesses that require capital and are aligned to our philosophy.
Our strong and well established networks include private equity and impact funds, business rescue practitioners, audit firms, corporate finance advisors and law firms.
We are hands on
We work together with our portfolio companies to build value.
We help our businesses up-skill relative to the Financial Regulatory environment, BEE, SD Goals & Governance Codes.
We also understand financial engineering and the Companies Act. We know how to access incentives and grants and certainly are plugged in to the market for deal opportunities for our portfolio companies.
Gender diversity improves performance
The IFC's 2019 report notes that gender diverse fund managers have an increased IRR of 20% over the mean emerging market IRR of 6.4% for Sub Saharan Africa (5% for multi-market) or 7.8% for growth equity.
We want to ensure that our decisions are made by gender diverse teams and that our portfolio companies benefit from this. The same report finds valuation enhancements from gender diverse teams at this level also.
Our staff is made up of individuals from different backgrounds who use their experience in the financial, legal, business rescue worlds to help businesses and restore companies to good health and growth. Check out the people who make FyreFem such a great Investment Management Firm. Get in touch with us if you’re interested in joining our team.
Chairwoman of FyreFem Fund Managers
As a founding director Nhlanhla is invaluable to provide the FyreFem board with strategic guidance and deal sourcing. Her background as economic advisory in the Presidency and her current board positions at Capitec, Pioneer Foods, Ansys, Aurecon and many others, provides the team with invaluable expertise. Nonhlanhla has won the SABC Lebone Businesswoman of the Year Award and several other awards for business leadership and social entrepreneurship. She has a BA from the University of Fort Hare and an MA in City and Regional Planning from the University of Cape Town. In addition, she has completed modules in Management at the Washington State University, a Fellowship in Urban Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Certificate in Finance at the Wharton School of Business (USA), a Senior Executive Leadership Programme at Harvard University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Technology Management at Warwick University (UK).
Founding shareholder FyreFem Fund Managers
CEO of FyreFem Fund Managers
Cathy originates, assesses and structures all new transactions. A Business Rescue Practitioner and Private Equity player and SAVCA board member, Cathy has experience and skills also as merchant banker, corporate financier, and always asks the right questions when evaluating a great deal.
Cathy has worked at blue-chip companies in investment banking and corporate finance including Investec, Deloitte and EY. Cathy started associate company, Firebird Advisors where she is leveraging her corporate finance, merchant banking, private equity and business rescue skills. She has extensive BEE and transaction experience during her tenure as Chief Investment Officer of a boutique Private Equity firm. She is a board member of the South African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (“SAVCA”). She was voted 5th in the 10 Power Women Shaping Africa’s Private Equity Market by AfkInsider.com in the Fall 2015 Edition of Women in Private Equity Awards. She is a registered Senior Business Rescue Practitioner and has experience in working with distressed assets and turnarounds. Cathy has a passion for re-igniting growth and reviving troubled businesses.
OUR CLIENTS & PARTNERS
Incubator and VC Fund
Savant is a long-term strategic commercial partner to select South African hardware technology companies. Savant is in the business of de-risking excellent South African technology ventures from an early stage and helping them grow into sustainable South African businesses with global market appeal.
FyreFem provided financial compliance services and continues to provide investment commitee services to Savant.
Impact Fund focused on funding black automotive suppliers
In 2016 Volkswagen of South Africa provided R86 million of initial funding to anchor this fund. The fund has invested in majority black owned businesses in the automotive sector. The fund although in its infancy is the largest privately funded transformation fund in the automotive industry.
FyreFem provides financial compliance services to the VW B-BEE Trust.
Business rescue practitioners, turnaround consultants and business intelligence
Business Rescue Partners have a sterling record of success in taking businesses through business rescue and the turnaround process with smart systems. The team makes sure that only those businesses that can really be rescued are taken on.
FyreFem and Business Rescue Partners have worked together since 2016.