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This week, we meet Alphonse Ndzinge, the Managing Director (MD) and co-founder of local asset management company, Kgori Capital.

The Gaborone-born go-getter, who doubles as the company’s Chief Investment Officer (CIO), takes Voice Money’s KABELO ADAMSON through his professional journey before the world of entrepreneurship came calling.

Let’s dive straight in, take us through a normal day in the office for you.

I have two primary responsibilities at Kgori Capital: Managing Director (MD) and Chief Investment Officer (CIO).

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As MD, I provide leadership in developing and executing the company’s long-term strategy. I am responsible for ensuring that the company meets its mission.

As CIO, my responsibilities include developing and communicating our firm’s investment strategy and policies, contributing to managing and developing the investment team, being the custodian of our investment philosophy and process, including decisions on asset allocation, selection of external managers and risk management across portfolios.

Wow, sounds like you have your hands full! I understand your professional journey spans over 17 years?

My career started in 2003 as an Associate Representative with First Investors Corporation, a global diversified financial services group based in Philadelphia, USA.

On return to Botswana in 2005, I joined Stockbrokers Botswana as a Research Analyst and Trader.

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I then moved on to Investec Asset Management (now Ninety-One) in 2006 as a Portfolio Manager and Investment Analyst for Global Frontier Markets.

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, my roles ultimately included Regional Head within the Global Frontier Markets Investment Team and Portfolio Manager responsible for Botswana and Zimbabwe.

I then moved on to Kgori Capital (initially called Afena Capital Botswana) as a co-founder in 2012 in the role of Chief Investment Officer and an Executive Director at inception of the firm.

Then, in 2018, I was appointed to my current role of Managing Director.

And over that period, what stands out as a highlight?

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Starting my entrepreneurial journey in 2012. Along with other young and ambitious finance professionals, we quite simply wanted to change the face of the asset management industry.

From our humble beginnings as a complete start-up, I am proud of the collective contribution our team has made in building a leading Botswana-based investment management firm.

Conversely, what tough moments have you experienced?

On the entrepreneurial journey, I have had to brave some turbulent storms.

On the positive, most of the challenges became lessons and growing experiences.

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What services does Kgori Capital offer?

Kgori Capital is an independent, home-grown, 100 percent citizen-owned and run asset management company that provides client-driven, local, and international investment solutions to pension funds, corporates, charities and individuals.

Our goal is to efficiently grow our clients’ portfolios over time while mitigating risk to help them reach their ultimate investment goals.

We currently have two unit trust funds suitable for both corporate and individual investors: the Kgori Capital Global Balanced Fund and the Kgori Capital Enhanced Cash Fund.

This year marks 10 years since Kgori Capital was set up – what has the company achieved in that time?

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We now have an established and proven 10-year track record for delivering excellent investment outcomes and an industry leading client service experience.

We were proud to become one of the pioneering independent, fully citizen-owned financial services firms in 2016 following the acquisition of shareholding of Afena Capital.

We diversified our business in 2018 to now serve individual investors with the launch of our unit trust offerings.

In 2020, Kgori Capital was awarded an overall A rating by the United Nations supported Principles for Responsible Investment.

We also launched Kgori Secure Service, an online transaction platform that was the first of its kind in Botswana.

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Today, we are proud to have one of the most qualified, committed, and experienced teams of investment professionals in the industry.

We are passionate about driving change in Botswana and in the lives of her people through purposeful and impactful solutions.

We remain committed to serving Botswana now and well into the future.

What are the challenges to achieving such goals?

The asset management industry has been faced with and continues to face a number of pressures, such as achieving and demonstrating increasing regulatory compliance.

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Regulations are pushing frequent reporting to new levels of consistency, completeness, and accuracy.

New competition is always a challenge. There is a growing body of competitors entering the industry.

Then there is rise of technology and new products that are forcing firms to re-evaluate where and how they reach the market, which can be costly.

So, how do you overcome them?

As a business, we consistently have to ensure that we can adequately respond to changes in the business environment.

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Adaptability is important as new opportunities and challenges present themselves.

Kgori Capital came under the spotlight during the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) scandal, how did this affect your relationship with clients?

Importantly, Kgori Capital was cleared and exonerated by court order of any alleged wrongdoing related to the matter.

This matter, therefore, has no bearing on our business, as we focus on the future.

Our relationships with clients and business partners were put to the test, and we all emerged stronger.

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We saw the true resolve and resilience not only of the business but of our team.

Throughout this process, we continued to be dedicated to delivering excellence for our clients.

We remain enthusiastic about what the future holds for Kgori Capital as we embark on our next chapter.

But did it lead to any loss of assets under your management?

Through these challenging times, Kgori Capital did lose some client mandates.

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However, most of our clients were supportive. We remain forever grateful for their support and guidance during that time.

Today, we are proud to say the business is in a solid and stable position with strong inflows from existing clients and the award of new client mandates from several highly reputable institutions.

Good to hear. And finally, on a personal note, away from the office, what keeps you busy?

I am passionate about promoting transformation and entrepreneurship.

I am actively involved in building mutual relationships with several upcoming entrepreneurs.

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PERSONAL PROFILE

Full names: Alphonse Ndzinge

Place of birth: Gaborone

Mentors: My parents and several others

Dream holiday destination: Anywhere by the ocean

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Car driving: Audi

Favourite food: A good steak

Favourite drink: Morning coffee

What makes you angry: Dishonesty

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