Finweek English Edition - - Openers - BELINDA AN­DER­SON

AJAY LALU, a part­ner at Bravura Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment Con­sult­ing, says com­pa­nies will for a long time to come con­tinue to do deals with po­ten­tial share­hold­ers that they be­lieve can add value to their busi­ness.

Lalu says the chal­lenge is to broaden the base of po­ten­tial ben­e­fi­cia­ries so that the same names and faces don’t keep emerg­ing.

How­ever, Lalu says there’s al­ready been a shift away from the usual sus- pects. “When last did you see Tokyo Sexwale, Pa­trice Mot­sepe or Cyril Ramaphosa’s Shan­duka an­nounc­ing an em­pow­er­ment deal?”

Over­all, Lalu says the mar­ket has be­come suf­fi­ciently aware of the need to broaden par­tic­i­pants.

There’s also an in­cen­tive pro­vided in the Black Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment Codes, giv­ing com­pa­nies an ad­di­tional point for in­clud­ing play­ers who haven’t pre­vi­ously par­tic­i­pated in ma­jor deals.

Though staff em­pow­er­ment deals have been few and far be­tween, the in­clu­sion of em­ploy­ees is al­most al­ways lauded as giv­ing a com­pany’s build­ing blocks a say in its run­ning.

But Lalu doesn’t be­lieve that staff deals are al­ways a good thing. In large com­pa­nies the share al­lo­ca­tion of­ten turns out to be too small to act as a mean­ing­ful re­ten­tion mech­a­nism.

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