ABSIP UCT Inaugural Gala Dinner

Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals
University of Cape Town
Student Chapter

ABSIP UCT held its inaugural Gala Dinner on the 9th of October at the prestigious Double Tree by Hilton Hotels, in Cape Town. With generous sponsorship from Allan Gray, Sanlam Investment Management, ABSA Capital, Old Mutual Investment Group, PWC and RMB, the event was compelled to be a success. Surplus funds raised for the event will be contributed to the ABSIP Bursary Fund.

The opening remarks were given by Theetso Mfosi (ABSIP UCT 2014 Chairperson) who thereafter introduced Sibongiseni Mbatha (ABSIP Secretary General). Mbatha stressed the importance of developing competent, professional female graduates for injection into the financial sector, in line with ABSIP National’s Vision 2020.

The highlight of the evening was the keynote speech given by Luyanda Joxo, Co-founder of Argon Asset Management (Pty) Ltd. He gave insights into the condition of the South African economy and described the need for black autonomy and excellence in the financial services sector. He shed much needed light on the necessary steps that need to be taken to protect the internal growth of the South African economy whilst still competing convincingly in the international community:

“However, whilst we continue to focus on our domestic socio-economic challenges, we must not lose sight of the fact that we operate in a globally integrated trade and market environment. For 20 years now, we have been part of the global community. Unfortunately, since the 2008 financial crisis, global economies, in particular the developed economies are battling with low and declining economic growth rates, this, on the back of extremely high debt levels, negative population dynamics and interest rates that are at 30 year lows.
Since the crisis, emerging markets are sitting at debt-to-GDP ratio of +/- 40%, South Africa, at around 40% is on the high end of the scale but still below the 50% threshold. Developed market debt-to-GDP ratios are double that of emerging markets at around 83% post the financial crisis” – stated Joxo.

On the topic of strategic alliances in Africa, Joxo described two challenges of doing business in Africa. The first being access to finance. Our rigid banking structures and stringent lending policies are hurdles that face young black entrepreneurs. “No economy grows without access to risk capital”, stated Joxo, “the financial sector reform, with less emphasis on ownership and more emphasis on lending and access to capital is imperative in addressing this problem”. The second being the corruption expressed in the World Economic Forum/World Bank Report. We must develop alliances in a disciplined and values-driven manner that uses the correct structures and does not perpetuate corruption, perceived or otherwise. Here, institutions and networks like ABSIP go a long way in developing disciplined skills towards African excellence, and offers strategic alliances to tackle the two above mentioned challenges.

To the 105 of the ABSIP UCT members, and other UCT students, whose transcripts warranted invitation, the event was a great networking and learning experience, as well as a celebration of the hurdles overcome by ABSIP in 2014. The event was concluded by various awards of excellence relating to the trading competitions and entrepreneurship project (to mention a few). With Masange Matiwane as Chairperson and Gregory Makama as his Vice Chairperson, the 2015 ABSIP UCT team promises to continue to escalate ABSIP UCT to greater heights under the 5 pillars.

Kneo Mokgopa – ABSIP UCT Head Writer

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