Ecsponent at a glance

Ecsponent Limited, listed on the JSE’s main board under the Financial Services – Speciality Finance sector, predominantly creates wealth by investing in companies that offer a range of niche financial services in South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland and Zambia. These services vary in different jurisdictions of operation and include Investment Services, Business Credit and Equity Holdings.

With operations currently in South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana and Zambia, the group is structured across three pillars, allowing it to leverage core skills and resources throughout its targeted markets and across its chosen geographies.

These services vary in different jurisdictions of operation.
The core business units include:

Investment Services

The Investment Services business unit provides an effective channel to market for financial services and products. Ecsponent leverages this network to market its own and third party products through the network of FSB-accredited investment professionals. The group’s ability to raise capital to fund investment both in underlying assets and potential equity investments, is key to Ecsponent’s growth strategy.

Investment services include capital raising that targets two market sectors, namely retail and institutional investors.

  • In South Africa, the primary channel to the retail market is preference share investments under the R5bn listed preference share programme. The preference share structures are based on redeemable preference shares that provide fixed returns on a capital growth, or monthly dividend basis. The group also attracts institutional debt funding for its operations.
  • In Botswana, capital raising is entirely from institutional sources and is managed by the capital raising division.
  • In Zambia the group has joined forces with GetBucks, an international Fintech company that has now invested in Ecsponent Financial Services Zambia, which holds a deposit-taking microfinance license and its investment products are deployed under the authority of the Bank of Zambia. These include a range of options from entry-level savings based on payroll deduction, to high-end retail investments. The group is currently negotiating institutional investment opportunities in the territory.
  • The South African model is replicated in Swaziland. Retail investment funds are obtained through the sale of local linked loan units.

Business Credit

Business Credit. The banking sectors of most sub-Saharan African countries have significant growth potential but require funding to unlock the opportunities. Traditionally, credit provision in these countries lags significantly behind development requirements – a situation aggravated by banks still applying traditional credit processes. The result is financial exclusion and poor growth in the informal trade sector. Accordingly, it is almost impossible to address the maladies of poverty, development of disadvantaged business sectors, etc.

Ecsponent’s Business Credit unit addresses the demand for funding and other challenges that SMEs face.

 

The roll-out of the group’s business credit offering into Africa replicates the South African model and leverages off the infrastructure, systems, products and management expertise of the local business.

  • The Secured SME Credit model provides wholesale funding to target niche businesses. The group has developed a model to secure this funding that ensures Ecsponent does not take an unsecured position in respect of any credit agreement. The nature of these transactions is typically medium-term facilities, but with a short-term call-up to ensure liquidity for the group. Ecsponent’s success lies in its stringent credit vetting procedures of both the applicant businesses and the security, whilst understanding the nature of the business. Minimising risk to the group is the key element to ensuring profitable growth.
  • Enterprise development funding and supply chain support provide large corporate business with an effective way of managing preferential procurement, improving reliable delivery whilst ensuring true social upliftment and skills transfer for local enterprises. This offering combines the expertise of Ecsponent Development Fund (EDF) and Ecsponent Procurement Services (EPS), which is the procurement leg of enterprise development.

    The offering has been refined over years of providing funding and procurement support provides a holistic solution to assist businesses in South Africa:

    • in achieving and maintaining B-BBEE compliance standards
    • ensuring more reliable delivery
    • driving socio-economic development, and
    • providing local enterprises with the skills transfer and skills development they need to fulfil their duties and deliverables as preferred vendors.

Equity Holdings

Equity Holdings – Ecsponent has a well-defined investment philosophy and invests in companies that demonstrate a strong growth track-record, coupled with significant commercial potential that result in above average investment returns.

The group strives to acquire interests in developing, high-tech businesses with high intellectual property and high barriers to entry. Currently, the group’s equity investments holdings include investment in fintech, biotechnology and media intelligence.

  • While the Ecsponent group focuses primarily on the financial services industry, it diversifies its investments across multiple industries and geographies by identifying private equity and mergers and acquisition opportunities with the potential for high returns. Currently, the group’s private equity investments are diversified across multiple industries:
Financial Services
  • MyBucks
  • Ecsponent Financial
  • Services Zambia
Biotech
  • Cryo-Save
  • Salveo Swiss
  • Technologies
  • Lazaron
  • Other
  • Return on Innovation
    • Other businesses that support the group’s operations and investment criteria, for example our investment in the media intelligence business, ROi Africa.

    Ecsponent's growth story

    As a JSE-listed company with operations expanding across Africa, Ecsponent focuses on opportunities where local businesses can be leveraged, grown or brought into the group.

    Ecsponent has a strong future-based investment philosophy and deploys investment funding to companies that demonstrate a strong growth track record, coupled with untapped commercial potential that can result in above average investment returns. Overall, the group seeks out value-enhancing acquisitions that complement the group’s business model and are aligned to its expansion plans or other investment.

    History

    Established in 1995, the venture capital investment holding company John Daniel Holdings (JDH) listed on the JSE’s Venture Capital board in August 1998.

    In 2010, the company’s shareholders introduced a group of investors to the business, which sparked the start of a long-term relationship and resulted in a fundamental shift in the business’ future. Later in the same year, a new board of directors and management team were appointed to JDH. This change in leadership refocused the company’s strategic direction, resulting in significant growth, improved governance and relationships with shareholders.

    Following these changes, the primary funder at the time agreed to convert its debt to equity, backing the management team and the group’s strategy. And so, from humble beginnings, a venture capital company with two subsidiaries evolved into what is today, a fully-fledged and rapidly growing African Financial Services group with multiple subsidiaries. The group has expanded its horizons to include a number of geographies across Africa but has retained the same core focus which has made the business so successful.

    Ecsponent’s exponential growth

    Vision

    Ecsponent intends to become the premier provider of financial services in the niche market segments of the territories…

    Mission

    The Ecsponent group strives is to create and provide a secured environment for predominantly investors to obtain…

    Values

    The Ecsponent group fuses traditional, proven investment principles with progressive, creative thinking that…

    Goals and Initiatives

    The group seeks to identify, develop and profitably commercialise intellectual property and technology predominantly…

    Group companies

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    Ecsponent Limited, listed on the JSE’s main board under the Financial Services – Speciality Finance sector, predominantly creates wealth by investing in companies that offer a range of niche financial services in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia.
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    As one of the specialised divisions in the Ecsponent private equity stable, Ecsponent Biotech invests in products and services that promote the adoption of personalised and regenerative medicine among South Africans to improve their quality of life.Read More »
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    As a Fintech company, MyBucks is dedicated to facilitating financial inclusion by serving customers in predominantly high-growth emerging markets. MyBucks believe that personal financial management provides a practical avenue to help our clients successfully manage their financial affairs, personal lives and family environments.Read More »
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    Cryo-Save South Africa is part of the Cryo-Save Group, Europe’s largest private cord blood and tissue stem cell bank. Through its six international laboratories in Geneva, Belgium, Germany, Dubai, India and South Africa, Cryo-Save globally stores more than 310 000 samples and is represented in over 30 countries on six continents.Read More »
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    Salveo Swiss Biotechnology offers South African parents the most affordable options to store their babies’ stem cells combined with sustainable, world-class quality standards. Storing your baby’s umbilical cord stem cells with Salveo Swiss Biotechnology will give you access to the treatments provided by currently known stem cell therapies, while storing tissue stem cells in sustainable formats for potential future use.Read More »
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    ROi Africa is proud of its association with Ecsponent and the group of companies. ROi Africa has enlisted the entrepreneurial spirit and media monitoring passion of Tonya Khoury to pioneer and execute this remarkable worldwide monitoring solution. ROi Africa also has the support of a network of global specialists that match and surpass any media monitoring expectation.Read More »