[South Africa] Westbrooke raises R565m as investors take advantage of S12J tax incentive
Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management, South Africa’s largest Section 12J manager, has confirmed that it has recently successfully closed its 2018 fiscal year fundraise, with over R565 million raised across four S12J investment strategies.
Dino Zuccollo, fund manager at Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management says, “We saw increased traction this year as we do each year in this relatively new asset class. We raised R420m in 2016 and R470m in 2017 so we are seeing excellent growth year on year which bodes well for the industry. There are almost 100 registered S12J companies in SA.”
It is estimated that the S12J market is now valued at more than R3 billion, which solidifies Westbrooke’s position as the market leader in the S12J industry.
In the 2018 budget review, National Treasury acknowledged the significant growth in the Section 12J industry over the past two years. Jonti Osher, fund manager at Westbrooke comments, “This is positive, especially in the context of the commitment to assisting in promoting increased uptake through a simplification of key rules going forward. Although the exact nature of the proposed amendments remains unknown, the focus on S12J by National Treasury bodes well for the longevity and effectiveness of Section 12J as an asset class in South Africa.”
S12J is an investment tax incentive which was introduced by the South African Revenue Services under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act in 2009. It wasn’t until 2014, however, when SARS made a number of favourable amendments to the Section 12J legislation, that the industry began to gain traction amongst investment circles.
The intention of S12J is to boost the South African economy by encouraging investment into a range of private companies which meet defined criteria. The incentive gives individuals, companies and trusts the ability to write off 100% of their investment against their taxable income in the year they invest. Therefore, investors can benefit from up to 45% immediate tax relief, thereby reducing the cost of the investment, providing downside protection and enhancing overall returns.
Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management is owned by Westbrooke Group shareholders, including Capricorn Capital Group, Capricorn Ventures and management.