Sanari Capital's Samantha Pokroy: Finance is starting to return to the people side of things.
Samantha Pokroy, founder and CEO of Sanari Capital, private equity specialists in founder-run, owner-managed or family-owned businesses, believes finance is starting to return to the people side of things.
“Today, it is less about whether finance professionals can run a model or set up accounts and more about the strategic role they play in providing a business with a stable foundation and important insights for growth. While there is still a lot of process and rule-based, technical decision-making involved, the real value finance professionals can bring is from their understanding of a company’s direction and how its various resources can be deployed to achieve that direction.”
“Finance professionals are often called upon to lead and advise on processes to either raise capital, sell all or part of the company, introduce BEE ownership or expand in new markets. The options are many but are not all are created equal. It is important to examine the different roles the various types of investors can play in a business’ journey. This requires an understanding of the pros and cons of those alternatives. The more finance professionals understand this, the more strategic a role they can play.”
Pokroy feels that the prior investment experience of Sanari Capital in this niche means it can recognise and address the obstacles that often stand in the way of growth and create a disconnect between owner-management and their private equity investors.
“Our understanding, coupled with our experience of institutional corporate best practice, enables us to unlock the significant value that exists in these entrepreneurial businesses, filling a gap in the traditional private equity market. To drive investment returns for investor and investee alike, we have developed our forward-thinking 3S Solution which focuses on Sustainability, Scalability, and Saleability. Not only do we bring a multi-disciplinary and people-centred approach to investments, but we employ our extensive technology backgrounds to help conventional businesses avoid the threats and tap the enormous potential that the new world of digital, artificial intelligence, data analytics, and connectivity have to offer.”
“It’s been a really great last 18 months with three investments made in the data services, distribution and Internet of Things space. In the next 12 months we will be focused on concluding investments underway in sectors such as schooling, distribution, tech, edutech and green solutions and on raising our next fund.”
“Despite the very tough economic conditions, we see enormous opportunity in the lower mid-market and we will continue to play our part by supporting inclusive growth in South Africa through our investment programme and industry involvement.”
She is also pleased to have the company involved at Finance Indaba Africa.
“We are really pleased to be here. Even though I wanted to have delegates walk away with glorious tales of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll, I have been asked to demystify private equity and so I’ll be taking people through the slightly less theatrical, more painstaking but I think equally interesting world of unlocking value through private equity investments.
Pokroy shares that “the role of private equity and the nature of the investment approach has changed dramatically from the early days of financial engineering, to more of an operational and strategic focus and now to an even more demanding challenge – a challenge of helping companies to transform themselves, to reinvigorate and in some cases, reinvent themselves. The future is one where private equity will be viewed differently than in the past with potential existing for those looking to harness innovation with a investment-led strategy,”.
She feels that the event can contribute to the the mental shift required to move finance professionals away from just being held responsible for the costs associated with new technology roll outs and now play an active role in assisting the business assess and navigate the opportunity and risk for the organisation.
“Although everyone is talking about automation and big technology trends, we believe a company’s finance function will always be important and we depend on CFOs and finance professionals to understand the drivers of value and how everything comes together to support company strategy. That’s how finance professionals stay relevant in this changing world,” she says.
Sanari Capital will be at this year’s Finance Indaba and invite you to come and speak with them on 3 and 4 October 2018 at Stand 30 about your or your client’s owner-managed, founder-run or family-owned business.