Laurium Capital celebrates 15th anniversary

Mike Titley

Einstein’s old adage “time flies when you are having fun” is something the Laurium Capital team can certainly attest to. On 1 August 2023, the company celebrated 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 from friends, family and their own capital to create a competitive world-class business. It has been hard work, but with the right team and culture, the journey has been an enjoyable and successful one for the clients and the business.

The firm currently manages approximately R50bn with a diversified base of investors across the globe, with offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and London. The genesis of the firm began with the Laurium Long Short Hedge Fund, which has annualised 10.1% per annum in ZAR over 15 years to 31 July 2023. It’s 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 transformed into an asset management house providing both long-only as well as hedge solutions to local and global investors.

More recently, international capabilities have been added to the Laurium product suite. The successful acquisition of Tantalum Capital in 2020 added to the research capabilities, including fixed income and global equities. Important distribution partnerships have been established for three of the unit trusts, with Amplify Investment Partners, Nedgroup Investments and PPS Investments. The firm launched its Global Active USD Equity Fund in 2021 and was appointed Investment Advisor of the Thornbridge Global Opportunities Fund in London at the end of 2022. It currently holds R2.95bn in assets, available to both South African and international investors.

The broad range of investment products has enabled Laurium’s business to remain resilient throughout market cycles, while applying one consistent investment philosophy across all strategies.

The firm has also made recent strides in its South African traansformation journey. Today, over 50% of the team is black and over 40% are women – measurable progress to the team composition and the businesses transformation journey. Laurium has also invested in its social impact programme by having the team select charities to work with and teaming up with the YES Programme in South Africa. This transformation plan has seen Laurium achieve a BBBEE Level 1 rating as of August 2022.

Africa remains as a key differentiator relative to peers; with expertise, skills and demonstrable track records to show in African equities and fixed income, Laurium is well positioned for a comeback in Africa as macroeconomics have started to improve and companies continue to grow.

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 their clients in Laurium’s wide array of funds. The team shares the same purpose – to go above and beyond, investing for their client’s future. We could not have reached this milestone of achievement without you, thank you.

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