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FAST Growing Journey

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Africa Global Funds Interview with Graham Sheward

SGG Group offers administrative and accounting solutions for investment funds, multinational corporations and family offices across more than 20 countries. Last year, the firm acquired Cim Global Business in Mauritius, which was rebranded as SGG. Graham Sheward, Managing Director, SGG Mauritius, tells AGF about some of the projects in Africa.

AFRICA GLOBAL FUNDS (AGF): PLEASE TELL US ABOUT SGG AND YOUR AFRICAN FOOTPRINT?

GRAHAM SHEWARD (GS): SGG Group has a strong focus on continuing to develop its African strategy, which is being managed and serviced by our Mauritius office which employs over 300 people. Over the past three years, we have consolidated our presence in South Africa with the opening of a Johannesburg office in 2016, strengthened this year with the acquisition of Viacert (Pty) Ltd, a boutique provider of financial statements preparation services to the global investment fund industry. We have also recently appointed Charles Buchanan as Managing Director Fund Services for South Africa and opened a second office in Claremont, Cape Town. Charles has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry in South Africa and the United Kingdom. We will also establish a presence in Kenya by the end of this year, and another in West Africa early next year.

AGF: CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE PROJECTS OF YOUR FUND CLIENTS IN AFRICA?

GS: We are honoured to have supported our fund manager clients investing in a number of sustainable projects on the Continent. For instance, we have helped a Private Equity firm to invest in a number of renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan African countries including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon, Cote D’ Ivoire and Guinea. The total amount of the investment is worth over $172m. We have also assisted a leading investment firm in investing in a number of sustainable projects in Senegal, Ghana, Mozambique, South Africa, Ethiopia and Cameroon.

AGF: PLEASE TELL US ABOUT SGG’S GROWTH OVER THE PAST YEAR?

GS: SGG has embarked on a fast-growing journey over the past two years with the support of its Private Equity investor and has made a number of key acquisitions including First Names Group, Iyer Practice, Lawson Conner, Viacert and Augentius (latter pending regulatory approval). Our Group executive team is dedicated to ensuring that those firms are well integrated to achieve our overall ambition of building a strong and growing firm. The integration process is key to ensure that we reap the full benefits of acquisitions for our colleagues and clients.

AGF: WHAT ARE YOUR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?

GS: From an SGG Africa perspective, we wish to consolidate our presence in Sub-Saharan Africa and enlarge our product offering for our institutional clients. We will leverage on the recent acquisitions we have made and offer innovative solutions and new geographical reach to our Africa-focused clients. For example, with the acquisition of Lawson Conner, we will be able to provide outsourced compliance solutions based on RegTech to fund managers. Through Augentius, we will now be able to offer sophisticated investor solutions.

First published in the November 2018 issue of Africa Global Funds Magazine.