Bosch Capital SAPSA advisory firm of the year award

Bosch Capital has been presented with the 2019 Advisory Firm of the Year Award in the category for Commerce, Law and Management, at the annual South African Professional Services Awards (SAPSA) function, held in Johannesburg recently.

Each year, SAPSA recognises outstanding accomplishments in various fields. Awards are presented for excellence in important areas, including transformation, customer service, contribution to the community and commitment to ethical best practice.

“This esteemed award, which is an honour for the Bosch Capital team, comes as the company celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2018,” says Mike Gibbon, CEO, Bosch Holdings. “We are proud that Bosch Capital has been acknowledged for attributes, which encompass the demonstration of leadership skills, professionalism, resilience and performance excellence.”

Bosch Capital offers advisory, capital raising and investment solutions, which form an integrated financial and engineering solution for clients.

The award was presented to Bosch Capital’s Managing Director, Chris Baloyi, who was also a finalist under the Professional of the Year Award category. Chris had this to say about the company’s win: “We are immensely humbled to have won this prestigious award – it is a great motivator for our team, as we steer the business into the next dimension.”

Bosch Capital is a member of the Bosch Holdings group, a diversified group offering multidisciplinary consulting engineering, skills and development and financial solutions. Another tribute for Bosch Holdings was the SAPSA 2019 Engineering Young Professional of the Year Award, which was presented to Jeshika Ramchund, Lead Engineer – Developments, for Bosch Projects. Bosch Holdings and Bosch Projects were also finalists for the Engineering Large Firm of the Year Award and Engineering Firm of the Year Award, respectively.


DLA Piper Africa claims top spot in M&A for Africa

For the first time, DLA Piper also claimed the top spot on the Mergermarket league table for M&A (based on deal count) in Africa, it added.

According to Mergermarket, the company has advised 43 deals in the Middle East and Africa combined and 30 deals in Africa alone. The company also ranked high in the Mergermarket league tables in a number of regions around the world, including:

  • 1 Global Deal Count (671)
  • 1 Europe Deal Count (411)
  • 3 US Deal Count (296)
  • 1 Nordics Deal Count (131)
  • 1 UK Deal Count (128)
  • 1 Denmark Deal Count (63)
  • 1 France Deal Count (56)
  • 1 the Middle East & Africa Deal Count (43)
  • 1 Africa Deal Count (30)
  • 1 Russia Deal Count (9)

Johannes Gouws, director and managing partner at DLA Piper in South Africa, said, “We are delighted to be ranked number one for deal count in Africa for the first time. It shows that our M&A strategy in Africa is starting to deliver the results we are aiming for.”

“With 20 DLA Piper and DLA Piper Africa offices in countries right across Africa, and numerous other Africa-specialists from financial markets across the globe, there really is no other law firm that can match our M&A offering on the African Continent,” he added.


Theresa May pledges Africa investment boost after Brexit

In a speech in Cape Town, Theresa May pledged £4bn in support for African economies, to create jobs for young people.

She also pledged a “fundamental shift” in aid spending to focus on long-term economic and security challenges rather than short-term poverty reduction.

She will also visit Nigeria and Kenya during the three-day trade mission.

On her way to South Africa, the prime minister played down warnings from the chancellor about the economic damage a no-deal Brexit could cause.

Talking to journalists on board RAF Voyager on Tuesday morning, Mrs May reiterated that she believed a no-deal Brexit was still better than a bad deal – adding no-deal “wouldn’t be the end of the world”.

Last week Chancellor Philip Hammond warned in a letter that a no-deal Brexit could damage the economy.

Mrs May’s trip – which will see her meet the presidents of all three countries – aims to deepen economic and trade ties with growing African economies ahead of Britain leaving the EU in 2019.

Arriving in South Africa on Tuesday morning, Mrs May said she wanted the UK to overtake the US to become the G7’s biggest investor in Africa by 2022.

She promised to continue existing economic links based on the UK’s EU membership – including an EU-wide partnership with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique – after Brexit next year.

Promising an extra £4bn in direct UK government investment – which she expects to be matched by the private sector – she said while the UK could not match the “economic might” of some foreign investors – such as China or the US – it offered long-term opportunities of the “highest quality and breadth”.

She defended the UK’s aid spending in Africa, a target of criticism from some Tory MPs, saying it had “worked” to give millions of children and women an education and immunise millions against deadly diseases.

But she said she was “unashamed” that it had to work in the UK’s own interest and pledged a new approach in future, focusing on helping British private sector companies invest in fast-growing countries like Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal while “bolstering states under threat” from Islamist extremism such as Chad, Mali and Niger.

“True partnerships are not about one party doing unto another, but states, governments, businesses and individuals working together in a responsible way to achieve common goals,” she said.

The UK’s overseas aid budget totalled £13.9bn in 2017, an increase of £555m in 2016.

UK direct investment in Africa was £42.7bn in 2016, compared with £44.3bn from the US, £38bn from France and £31bn from China, according to data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.


Aurecon excels at 2018 CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards

Global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon walked away with two coveted accolades at this year’s Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Aon Engineering Excellence Awards.

The Sol Plaatje University Library and Student Resources Centre was the winner in the category ‘Projects with a value between R50 million and R250 million’, and Aurecon civil engineer, Shamiso Kumbirai, won the Young Engineer of the Year Award.

“2018 marks the fourth year in a row that Aurecon has won or received a commendation in the Young Engineer of the Year Award category, which is a testament to the talent our company attracts and their ability to excel within the engineering sector,” says Ferdi Nell, Aurecon Managing Director, Africa.

The prestigious awards function was held on 15 August at Vodaworld, Midrand, and aims to celebrate “innovation, quality, outstanding workmanship and professionalism in engineering”. The prominent event is one of the highlights in the consulting engineering industry, with companies showcasing their most complex and innovative projects.

About the Sol Plaatje University Library and Student Resources Centre

Situated in Kimberley, the traditional diamond capital of Africa, the building’s spectacular three-dimensional concrete envelope mimics the faceted surface of a diamond. The entire envelope of the Sol Plaatje University Library and Student Resources Building is supported by slender eccentric steel columns to create the impression of a floating, hollowed-out diamond.

The striking, origami-like roof is both attention-grabbing and yet perfectly blended with the surrounding buildings. This bold and original project pushes the boundaries of architectural and engineering design, requiring high expectations of the concrete to perform not only as a structural element but also as an aesthetic material.

In addition, it was awarded an Innovation in Concrete Fulton Award for ‘Buildings Greater than 3-storeys’, as well as a Commendation in the ‘Architectural Concrete’ category at this prestigious biennial event, which recognises excellence and innovation in the use of concrete.

“I would like to thank our client, the Sol Plaatje University, for giving the architect the brief of designing something that has never been seen in South Africa. It is a testament to what can be achieved when design-led thinkers and visionaries are combined in a single project team,” said Nicholas Bester, Aurecon Structural Engineer.

About Shamiso Kumbirai, winner of the CESA Young Engineer of the Year Award

Kumbirai is a 29-year-old civil engineer at Aurecon’s Tshwane Office. She specialises in water engineering and has worked on projects in South Africa, Uganda, Swaziland and Rwanda involving hydropower schemes, pipelines and irrigation works.

She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Cape Town and has recently completed her Master’s degree in Civil Engineering.

She was selected to represent the voice of the Southern African youth at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2018, and she is a member of the first class of the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa – a programme for young leaders from across Africa.

As part of her prize from CESA, Kumbirai will be attending the FIDIC (International Federation of Consulting Engineers) International Infrastructure Conference in Berlin in September. This year’s conference theme is Mobility and Smart Infrastructure, and thought leaders from across the globe will examine how these changes and the increased digital interconnectivity will impact the future of our infrastructure, offices and homes.

“I’m deeply honoured to receive this award. Standing on stage, witnessing a dream actualised was nothing short of an incredible moment. To say this recognition belongs to me alone would be unjust. Thank you to my family, mentors and colleagues who help me grow, innovate and continually force me to think in new, creative ways,” says Kumbirai.

“Aurecon’s track record at the CESA awards demonstrates our commitment to fostering achievement for both our clients and for our people. Congratulations to all the winners at this year’s event.”


Allianz Group acquires Nigerian insurer

International insurer Allianz Group has expanded its presence in Nigeria after completing a merger with Nigerian insurer Ensure Insurance, which will now trade as Ensure – a company of Allianz.

The deal, announced last year, was completed on 18 July, with the Munich-headquartered insurer acquiring 99.03% of the shares in Lagos-headquartered Ensure from London-based insurance investor Greenoaks Global Holdings.

Ensure provides retail, reinsurance and corporate insurance and generates EUR 18.2 billion in premiums last year.

Regional chief executive of Allianz Africa Coenraad Vrolijk said in a statement: “We are pleased to enter this fast-growing market through the acquisition of a solid financial player with strong local expertise. This new step of development will allow us to leverage the strength of the Allianz Group and the expertise of the Nigerian team to provide high quality products and services to Nigerian customers in both personal and commercial lines.”

Allianz said it sees Nigeria “as a high-potential market in Africa with a strong regulatory environment and promising demographics”. The insurer has operations in 17 African countries and reports having clients in 39.

It came just a couple of months after Allianz acquired an 8% stake in African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re), headquartered in Lagos, the continent’s first and largest reinsurer. The deal was worth USD 81 million.

At the time, the Allianz board member responsible for global insurance and reinsurance in the Middle East and Africa, Niran Peiris, stated that the company had “identified Africa as one of the future growth markets”.

A study published late last year by international law firm Baker McKenzie predicted a rise in mergers and acquisitions in Nigeria and South Africa during 2018.

As the continent’s biggest economy, it is an obvious focus of interest for international investors, especially as the country seeks to diversify its economy in order to protect itself from future variations in the oil price. The government has committed to improving the ease of doing business, with economic growth happening across the West African region.

However, Nigeria has yet to commit to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which was agreed by members of the African Union in March. With South Africa having now committed, there is plenty of scrutiny as to whether Nigeria will follow suit. It would be a blow to both Nigeria and to the credibility of AfCFTA President Muhammadu Buhari is believed to be in favour, but with an election due next year, is cautious about alienating the more protectionist forces in the Nigerian unions by committing to free trade until afterwards, so a commitment from the government may not come until 2019.


This Durban attorney is a ‘real hero’

A Durban legal eagle has been selected as the “Real Hero” of the We Are Durban campaign, which celebrates the city’s heroes during Women’s Month.

We Are Durban helps charities in the eThekwini area to reach their potential, by helping them use a developmental approach to give back instead of a relief type approach.

Charmaine Schwenn, the director of Durban-based law firm Schwenn Inc. has been using her skills to help develop the city’s residents.

She was nominated as a “Real Hero” for her active involvement in pro-bono work, including assisting

Schwenn has served on the Jes Foord Foundation, which assists survivors of rape, and was recently appointed as the Small Claims Court Commissioner to provide access to justice to those who cannot afford the court process.

“I am both honoured and humbled to be recognised and salute all fellow women in business this Women’s month,” said Schwenn.

We Are Durban’s managing director, Linda Morrison, said they aimed to highlight local and inspiring women within the various organisations they represent.

“These women challenge us to be more than we have been in the past and are changing their community for the better. We value our Real Heroes who are hope carriers, impact champions and change agents. Charmaine is a regular speaker at events motivating fellow businesswomen and encouraging them to succeed in their chosen fields. With a heart for upliftment and empowerment, she is deeply committed to volunteering and actively involved in multiple organisations,” said Morrison.