SA’s financial services sector is regarded as one of the most sophisticated worldwide but it remains highly conservative and risk-averse, an approach that must adapt to t​he growth needs of a developing economy characterised by massive income inequality. In a country with just four main commercial banks and a single dominant securities exchange, anyone seeking to generate and realise wealth is, to be frank, severely limited in their choice of options. This is true both for businesses needing to raise capital for expansion as well as individuals looking to improve their lives, particularly those from previously disadvantaged communities and women who have traditionally not enjoyed equitable access to financial opportunities.

These realities are compounded by the expensive, inflexible and often outdated, protective procedures and obfuscatory jargon inherent in the financial services and investment industries. This is hardly ideal in a country that is not only desperate to promot...

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