The old adage “the days are long, but the years are short” is something the Laurium team can certainly attest to. On August 1st Laurium Capital will celebrate its 15-year anniversary and yet if you ask founders, Murray Winckler and Gavin Vorwerg, they’ll tell you it seems like only yesterday when they set out with R100m in friends, family and their own capital to create a competitive world class business.
Today the Firm manages approximately R50bn with investors based across the globe and offices in domiciled in Johannesburg, Cape Town and London . The genesis of the firm began with the Laurium Long Short Hedge Fund, which has annualized 10.1% per annum in ZAR over 15 years to 31 July 2023. It has achieved this by taking long and short positions within the South African equity markets, capitalising on market inefficiencies and special opportunities. Over the years as the team has grown, to what is now 37 people, the business has trans- formed into an asset management house providing both long-only as well as hedge solutions to global investors.
In more recent years, international capabilities have been added to the Laurium product suite. The acquisition of Tantalum Capital back in 2020 added to the research capabilities across different facets, including fixed income and global equities. The Firm launched its Global Active USD Equity Fund in 2021 and was appointed the Investment Advisor of the Thornbridge Global Opportunities Fund in London at the end of 2022. It currently holds R2.7bn in assets, available to both South African investors who are looking to gain global market expo- sure or externalise assets along with international investors.
The broad range of investment products has enabled Laurium’s business to remain resilient throughout market cycles, whilst applying one consistent investment philosophy across all strategies since inception.
The Firm has also made recent strides in its South African Transformation journey. Today, over 50% of the team is Black and over 40% are women – a measurable difference to the team composition back in the early days of the Firm. Along with transformation initiatives, Laurium has invested in its social impact program by having the team select charities with which to work as well as teaming up with the YES Program in South Africa. This transformation plan has seen Laurium achieve a BBBEE Level 1 rating as of August 2022. The team is proud of this milestone, however, acknowledges that their transformation journey continues.
Africa still remains as a key differentiator amongst peers with expertise, skills and demonstrable track records to show in African equities and fixed income. Africa remains a challenging market, but as many competitors have shutdown their Funds over the past few years, Laurium has survived and remained at the top of the peer group. Laurium is well positioned for a comeback as macroeconomics have started to improve and companies continue to grow well in the African continent.
A key component of Laurium’s commitment is the team’s alignment with its clients. Close to half of the team have equity in the business and the team is invested alongside our clients in Laurium’s wide array of funds. The strong performance culture is embraced by the passionate team members that work at Laurium. Laurium’s team shares the same purpose, to go above and beyond, investing for our client’s future.
We could not have reached this milestone of achievement without you, thank you.