Meaningful economic empowerment
“What counts is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
– Nelson Mandela
As a South African company, we strongly believe that it is a business imperative to actively commit our time, energies and other resources towards meaningful economic empowerment of those who have been disenfranchised by an unjust system. To that end, we have in place a multi-pronged approach in place to deliver against the objectives of true transformation of our industry, local communities and indeed the nation. Over the past decade, we have made significant strides in this respect, with our key focus areas summarised below.
Ownership of economic means
Taquanta is a majority black-owned business and has always been, since being established as an independent company. 58% of Taquanta’s unencumbered direct shareholding is owned by individuals and groups representing previously disadvantaged individuals.
As a critical resource in the success of a financial services firm, human capital is a high priority focus area. We are not only focused on identifying and employing diverse talent, we are particularly committed to training and retaining young talent, in a manner that upskills and offers individuals an opportunity to grow. Our true team based approach to all endeavours, affords new talent exposure to the full investment process early on in their career. Further, we commit resources to ensure a supportive and collaborative environment through mentorship and other retention strategies.
Our skills development initiatives include the following:
- Taquanta provides support – financial and otherwise – to employees looking to further their education.
- We sponsor a student annually at the Tertiary School in Business Administration (“TSiBA”), in partnership with the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (“ASISA”) on the Investment Management Administration programme. We have had many successes with students who have interned at Taquanta through this programme being offered permanent employment – some of whom are still part of our staff complement.
- As a business imperative, Taquanta’s strategy is to expand our offering within our set of core competencies, which further creates opportunities to augment the staff complement
Our strategy of “Changing of the Guard”
Having achieved independence from the Nedbank Group – through a vendor finance deal in November 2007 which resulted in management acquiring roughly a 40% equity stake – Taquanta has set about planning and developing a new management team with a strong focus on previously disadvantaged individuals. This strategy, which we have termed the “changing of the guard” is focused on ensuring a sustainable, deeper transformed business in which equity ownership is gradually shifted to a “new guard” of management.
At Taquanta we believe true transformation is not only based on demographic representation, but also through economic empowerment in the form of ownership. As proponents of the benefits of an owner-managed business, we are firmly of the view that true transformation is achieved when our team of professionals represent the demographics of the country and own a meaningful proportion of the firm’s equity. Further, the bench of management that has been developed over time is taking on more meaningful responsibilities within their roles.
Taquanta’s support of enterprise development is an example of our collaborative approach with other stakeholders, where an augmented impact can be achieved. We are a funder of ASISA’s Enterprise and Supplier Development Fund, which provides business acceleration and investment support to emerging enterprises. In particular, enterprises supported by the fund are high potential SMEs that are aligned with the value chain of our industry, with the vision to create sustainable shared value.
Corporate Social Investment
Taquanta is on a quest to transform the business in a sustainable manner into the future. We believe that improving the social, environmental and economic well-being of our immediate community and society at large is our way of starting this journey.
In 2018, we invested our CSI funds into:
Innovation for the Blind
We supported 6 blind unemployed individuals to attain a qualification in End User Computing NQF Level 3, Call Centre Support NQF Level 3 and Business Practice NQF Level 1.
In partnership with ChangeAbility and the Cape Winelands Biosphere, we built and planted off-the-ground Veggie boxes in Khayamandi (Stellenbosch) for wheelchair bound individuals.