Johan van der Merwe is co-chief executive officer and executive director of African Rainbow Capital, an investment vehicle with a diversified portfolio of investments including Tyme Bank and Rain.
He previously served as the chief executive officer of Sanlam Investments for a period of 11 years, and was global sector head of resources at Investec Asset Management, and a chartered accountant at Deloitte & Touche.
Van der Merwe has obtained an MCom, MPhil (Cantab), CA(SA), an Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Harvard in the US, and a Challenge of Leadership (COL) certificate from Insead.
In this episode of Business Talk with Michael Avery, Van der Merwe talks Michael through the challenges of looking for new business in a Covid-19 hit environment.
He says that majority of the mistakes made by ARC, has been ‘backing the wrong jockey’. “Doing new deals at this point in time, you cannot really spend enough time with people…that makes it more difficult.”
The uncertainty of how long the pandemic will last has also been a challenge for ARC, Van der Merwe says.
“It’s probably this one time where we would say listen, it’s probably better to sit with a little more cash than under normal circumstances – to be sure that we can support our investee companies when they need it.”
Van der Merwe says he hopes to see job creation and education at the forefront of the budget speech, to be delivered by finance minister Tito Mboweni later this month.
The full interview is embedded below.