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Profile of Alternative Investments set to rise with new industry virtual conference

A new industry conference for Alternative Investments will be taking place virtually on the 27th, 28th and 29th of October 2020 in South Africa.

The conference will be brought to delegates by The Collaborative Exchange in conjunction with Sanlam Investments as the lead sponsor. The Collaborative Exchange is a specialist strategic advisory and research business that works with investment managers and wealth managers/financial advisers throughout South Africa. It also owns the intellectual property rights for arguably South Africa’s largest industry events, including The Investment Forum, Meet the Managers and The Investment Think-Tank.

“Alternatives can give investors a meaningful and impactful role during these critical times by accessing opportunities unique to the unlisted markets without compromising returns. The rate at which global allocations towards Alternatives has risen should catch the eye of the astute investor. South Africa’s capabilities in this space, I believe, can compete with the best internationally. We are eager to demystify the important role that Alternatives can play in a well-diversified portfolio even within the current regulatory constraints”, said Mervyn Shanmugam chief executive for Alternatives at Sanlam Investments.

There is no uniform definition of Alternative Investments or a definitive list of alternative assets. The four broadest categories include public equity (property via REITS, investing in the shares of infrastructure companies), public debt (property via commercial backed securities, infrastructure via railway bonds), private equity (core property and value add and greenfield infrastructure) and private debt (mezzanine loans, often unlisted and unrated). According to Sanlam Investments, there has been growth and acceleration into private markets over the past three years as pension and sovereign funds seek to exploit the opportunities of private assets in diversified portfolios.

Subjects that will be covered during the Alternative Investments conference include – why alternative assets are going mainstream, new principles of effective portfolio construction, social impact investing and ESG factors, the future of hedge funds, risk and opportunities in private credit, private equity activity and arbitrage opportunities in Africa, real assets and accessibility to investors and impact investing in order to make a real difference. Short modules will be run on each day of the event.

International and local speakers will be presenting at the event and include names such as Charles Dumas, the Chief Economist of TS Lombard who is considered Britain’s most accurate and respected economics forecaster, Aaron Friedman who is the CEO from the Simbi Foundation – a non-profit organization providing quality education support, Mark Griffiths who is the Global Head of the Climate Business Hub at WWF and other expert speakers from Sanlam Investments, ASISA, SAVCA, Alexander Forbes, Stanlib, Ashburton, Momentum Investments, Schroders and Sarasin & Partners.

Both the CFA Society South Africa and SAVCA (South African Venture Capital Association) are associate sponsors for the event.

For more information about the conference, go to or email

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