Sanlam Investments Private Equity

Following over 20 years as an institution in the South African private equity space, we are well placed to achieve strategic goals of inclusive growth and improved job quality for the people in our country.

ZAR3 Billion

Private Equity AUM

We invest in high-quality unlisted businesses with strong management and significant growth potential. We are a key strategic equity partner to our portfolio companies and a trusted adviser to the respective management teams. We acquire significant positions in portfolio companies, with the key executives of portfolio companies encouraged to share in the equity risks and rewards.

The South African private equity opportunity:


  • Investment activity as a percentage of GDP grew to 0.80% in 2018, with scope to match developed markets such as the UK at 2.07% and the US at 1.69%.
  • Allocated capital to private equity funds has increased by 9.3% per annum since 1999.
  • The steady decrease in the number of companies listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) emphasises the attractiveness of private market investment opportunities.
  • The South African private equity market gives investors access to a broader range of companies than the listed market, with an increasing abundance of attractively priced investment opportunities in small and mid-cap businesses.

“South African private equity is particularly appealing at present. The market is well established and the local cycle is in an attractive phase in which to deploy investment funds.”

John Seymour – Head of Private Equity and Mezzanine Finance

Companies listed on the JSE

December 1999:

November 2019:
Source: JSE

South African
Private Equity AUM

December 1999:
ZAR29 Billion (USD1.9 Billion)

November 2019:
ZAR171 Billion (USD11 Billion)
Source: SAVCA

Our investment philosophy

The five key elements of our investment philosophy are supplemented by a value creation and environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy applied from due diligence to exit.

A differentiated value creation strategy

An integral part of our unique value creation strategy is our access to in depth industry expertise. Industry experts are identified at the onset of the investment process and work with us throughout the investment life-cycle.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) management

As part of our commitment to ESG management, we follow a comprehensive ESG framework that is aligned with internationally accepted standards, such as the IFC Performance Standards, the World Bank Group ES Guidelines and King IV Report on Corporate Governance. We consider ESG management core to our long-term success and believe that the application of ESG considerations leads to better investment outcomes. ESG considerations are therefore fully embedded in our investment processes and decision making, from evaluation to exit.

Over and above ensuring good ESG practice across our portfolio, we also focus on driving, measuring and reporting on positive outcomes linked to our key value-add themes where possible, specifically inclusive growth and improved job quality. This strategic focus area draws on important research conducted by the International Labour Organization as part of the Decent Work agenda. It is also aligned with South Africa’s strategic government plan, and highlighted in the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Why partner with us

  • Sanlam Investments has over 20 years of experience in private equity and our team members have a strong track record of partnering with owner-managed, entrepreneurially-run, mid-sized companies.
  • We benefit from the strong institutional support of the Sanlam Group which has been operational for over 100 years and can offer strong empowerment credentials to our investee companies.
  • Our seasoned deal team is co-invested, aligned with investor interests and has a unique network of commercial experts that partner with us to execute on our unique value creation strategy.
  • We follow a disciplined investment process with an embedded ESG framework.
  • We are growth capital orientated and do not rely on excessive use of financial leverage to generate returns.

Investment team


John Seymour


John Seymour

John has over 20 years of investment, fundraising and financial services experience and is responsible for managing portfolios of over ZAR3 billion. After qualifying as a chartered accountant with Deloitte’s capital markets division, John moved to Rand Merchant Bank where he co-founded and headed the principal investments division. He later became a venture partner for Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Ltd. John sits on several company boards and is a mentor for the Endeavor entrepreneur network.


Paul Moeketsi

Managing partner

Paul Moeketsi

Paul has over a decade of direct South African private equity experience. He was a partner at Medu Capital where, in addition to his firm-wide responsibilities over nine years, he led and managed a number of high profile mid-market investments and fundraising initiatives. Paul was also a founding investment director at Value Capital Partners, a pioneer in bringing value creation strategies to the investment process in the South African listed market. During this time he led investments into Sun International, Metair and Grand Parade Investments.


Latest news

The South African private equity opportunity.

John Seymour, Head of Private Equity and Mezzanine Finance highlights some of the opportunities available for private equity investors.

What should private equity investors be considering?

John Seymour, Head of Private Equity and Mezzanine Finance discusses the investment opportunities in the private equity market.

Opportunities in the private equity space.

John Seymour, Head of Private Equity and Mezzanine Finance discusses the exciting South African private equity market.

Get in touch

Contact us to find out how you can access our private equity solutions.

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