Seasoned private equity executive Quinton Dicks, who has been appointed CEO of the R1.5bn SME Fund, says the fund will start deploying money into the sector by the second half of the year. Dicks, who has worked at Metier, Brait and Old Mutual Private Equity, was in discussions with funds but said no due diligence processes had begun. Established in terms of the CEO Initiative, the SME Fund will provide capital to existing fund managers already investing in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). The aim is that the private sector’s R1.5bn contribution is matched by the public sector over time. Dicks said the fund was putting together a team with experience in fund-of-funds private equity investing. Fund-of-funds investing involves holding a portfolio of investment funds rather than investing into asset classes directly. It is also called multi-manager investing. The SME Fund had elected to pursue this route in order to most effectively and rapidly leverage the skills and experienc...

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