Empowerment can help SA break out of low-growth trap
An often overlooked element of the debate is the role of asset managers in driving transformation of the underlying assets they hold
There have been increasing calls in recent years for the asset management industry to transform, particularly regarding black economic empowerment. The debate has ranged from a focus on the portion of assets that are managed by black firms to the proportion of black ownership in the industry. BEE is a critical conversation for asset managers and one that must lead to impactful change, given that allocation of capital is essential for the growth, development and progression of the economy. Its success is essential if SA is to break out of the low-growth trap in which it finds itself. Previously, I have argued for the need to shift the focus on the transformation of asset managers to look at the proportion of assets managed by black investment professionals at not only black firms, but also the number of black executives who are leading these businesses and the average level of black equity ownership in these businesses. On this basis, if some of the emotion is taken out of the debate...