SuperReturn Cape Town Report – Where there is uncertainty there is opportunity

SuperReturn Cape Town Report – Where there is uncertainty there is opportunity

Managing Director Richard Putley and a team of four Search Consultants attended the 5th annual Super Return Conference in Cape Town at the beginning of December.  Presenting itself as the gateway into Africa’s Private Equity and Venture Capital communities, it attracted over 550 PE professionals from 150 local and International LP’s and 200 World Leading GP’s.

The event itself provided a mixed and varied agenda offering insightful, inspirational and thought provoking presentations from its keynote speakers and lively debate during the Panel discussions.

Proceedings were opened by the Ex-President of South Africa and Nobel Prize winner FW De Klerk who focused his address to the Conference on the importance of a positive relationship and partnership between Government, Private Business and Civil Society.  He referenced, by way of example for the African community, Hong Kong as the most successful economy (in terms of per capita income) and how this partnership has worked.

Not surprisingly he also warned of the disastrous effect of corruption and how Governments needs to not only legislate but lead by example in its eradication to prevent it “eating away at the roots of economic growth”.


Outside of the formal agenda, the event provided an excellent opportunity for both formal and informal networking. “The team and I were able to meet face to face with over 140 Clients,” said Putley “It is important to us as a business to attend these events and it enables us to meet with Clients from all over the globe”.  “The overriding message from everyone that we spoke to, was that all the major drivers of the Continent are still in place and the medium term prospects are still good.”

Not surprisingly Africa’s major economies of both South Africa and Nigeria, having had a challenging 2016, featured both in conversation and in the Conference Agenda.  “The recession in Nigeria has manifested itself in the lack of deal flow, the lowest apparently for 6 years, but equally companies there represent exception value for money from an investment perspective.  Whilst the specific economic problems of each country are able to be identified, the solutions remain extremely complex and difficult to implement,” added Putley.

“However, where there is uncertainty, there is opportunity.  As we know African Economies are not a homogeneous whole and the non-oil commodity-based Countries are, for the first time, exceeding investment expectations, together with some of the previously overlooked Francophone African Countries”.

Other sectors that represent excellent opportunities for growth in 2017 remain within FMCG production and consumption.  As one of the panellists stated “there is a structural shift in economies moving away from resources to consuming” and with 187 million people moving to cities by 2034, Africa’s work force will become larger than China and India’s, a fact that cannot be ignored by any global manufacturer of FMCG organisation”.

“Overall it was a well organised and supported event and I look forward to attending again in 2017” concluded Putley.

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