Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was on Tuesday appointed to the supervisory board of newly-formed Cape Town-based investment firm Arise.
Nene was fired as finance minister by President Jacob Zuma in December 2015 with a promise of a position at the Brics Bank, which never materialised. He subsequently resigned as an African National Congress (ANC) member of parliament after his sacking and has since taken various private-sector jobs.
In addition to being a nonexecutive director on the board of Allan Gray, Nene is the resident advisefr for the Thebe Investment Corporation. He will assume the position of chairman of Arise from Thursday, 1 June.
Nene said it gave him great pleasure to serve on the Arise board and to be a part of their business journey.
“With the support of its shareholders, Norfund, Rabobank and FMO, Arise is uniquely placed to advance the financial services sector on the African continent and I look forward to contributing to their success,” Nene said.
The investment firm, which came into being in February this year already, has combined assets of $637 million, with its maiden deal, an acquisition of a 27.7 percent stake in CAL Bank in Ghana, concluded the same month.
Arise chief executive Deepak Malik said Arise’s mandate was to invest long-term in local banks in Africa in order to make banking more accessible to people and to grow the financial services sector.
Malik, in a statement, said that they were excited to have someone of Nene’s calibre on their board, and were grateful that he had chosen to accept the appointment.
“We are looking forward to Mr Nene’s strategic contribution to the board and we trust that this role will enable him to make the contribution that we believe he is capable of making, whilst at the same time advancing his own professional aspirations,” Malik said.
“Mr Nene’s extensive financial experience and background in the public and private investment sector will be invaluable in helping Arise to successfully deliver on its mandate of building strong and stable financial institutions on the continent.”
Malik said the main objective of establishing Arise was to strengthen and develop effective, inclusive financial systems in Africa in order to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction.
The company was founded by three cornerstone investors, the Norwegian private equity firm Norfund, and Rabobank and FMO, both Dutch banks.