Positive Impact

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Imfundo: The investment with the highest return

16 Jan 2019

Positive Impact

 
Scroll down to read how the Imfundo Trust
supported Sheree during her studies.


“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world” (Nelson Mandela)

“It has been said often in many ways: Education is the key to success, a transformative foundation for unlocking the potential and possibilities of one’s life. Granting access to those potentials is offered by Imfundo Trust, without strings, to worthy individuals who need a little help in opening these doors.” (Henk Beets, Chairman of the Imfundo Trust)

The Old Mutual Investment Group Imfundo Trust was launched in 2011 with the objective of addressing South Africa’s shortage of black investment professionals by growing the pool of suitably qualified individuals in the asset management industry. This is a nationwide tertiary education scholarship initiative involving all Old Mutual’s investment boutiques.

Futuregrowth jumped at the chance to play a role in this process, and has since become one of the most significant contributors to the Imfundo Trust, which has spent over R35 million to fund a combined 369 years of study for its beneficiaries over the past eight years.

The name Imfundo is from the Nguni languages of southern Africa, meaning "the acquisition of knowledge; the process of becoming educated."

A significant milestone

In 2010, the Trust was invited to purchase a 5.33% equity stake in Futuregrowth, for which Futuregrowth loaned the Trust the funds to cover the share purchase. Over the years, the dividends received on the Futuregrowth shares have empowered the Trust to not only pursue its bursary objectives, but also, as of 2018, to fully pay back the initial loan, plus interest.

The Trust’s assets now stand at just under R64 million, and these are expected to grow strongly as the dividends received from Futuregrowth going forward will be fully available to add to this pot.

Henk Beets reports:

“As in education, a solid asset foundation is key to the Trust’s successful future. It uses its income to provide academic bursaries and other support to enable deserving students to achieve their educational goals at selected tertiary education institutions in fields that, broadly speaking, will permit them entry into the financial services sector post-qualification. The Trust attaches no conditions to its bursary payments other than a requirement to achieve and sustain an adequate academic performance level. Selected high-performing students have been permitted to study for post-graduate degrees.

The Trust has now assisted many young people to achieve important milestones of their own. It currently supports 25 students at South African public tertiary institutions in a variety of study programmes. Nine of these young people should graduate this year, empowered to begin the next phase of their lives. The Trust may agree to sponsor some of these students for post-graduate studies depending on their performance, while others will seek employment. A total of R3.6 million was spent on these bursary beneficiaries during 2018. All beneficiaries are Black as defined in the B-BBEE codes and 13 are female.”

Futuregrowth is proud to be able to support qualified, disadvantaged bursary students through the work of the Imfundo Trust.

The graphics below provide an overview and profile of the current bursary students.

 


Our own young Imfundo achiever

Our very own Sheree Davids was one of the first students to receive a bursary from the Imfundo Trust, which funded four years of her studies. In January 2015, after completing her studies at Stellenbosch (where she completed a BCom in Mathematical Sciences and honours in Financial Risk Management) Sheree joined Futuregrowth as a GAP Performance Specialist. At the end of her GAP contract in June 2016, she accepted a permanent position as a Performance and Attribution Analyst, and in Aug 2017, was appointed as Manager of the Performance and Attribution team, her current position. In this, Sheree is responsible for the calculation and delivery of portfolio and composite performance, attribution and risk reports and analysis, and has two staff members reporting to her.

Sheree believes that the support she received from the Imfundo Trust went way beyond just financial support. She was allocated a mentor who provided guidance throughout the four-year funding period, and it was through her mentor that her CV ended up at Futuregrowth. Her experience with the Trust gave her an edge when she started her first job, in terms of career planning and having a context for the work she was about to do.

“The workshops that were hosted as part of the bursary programme, where we were building skills and learning about ourselves and the industry, as well as the mentorship programme were of immense value to me. This is especially important if you don’t have anyone in your network who’s in the industry.”

Sheree has clearly made the most of the platform provided by Imfundo, and we are proud to be part of her journey! 

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