Investment Funds & Private Equity

Investment Funds & Private Equity

Investment Funds

From structuring private equity funds for groups of investors to the operation of listed investment funds and collective investment schemes, managing assets for clients has become a complicated business. It demands savvy commercial sense and raises ever more intricate tax and regulatory issues.

Whether the underlying assets are private equity investments, listed securities, infrastructure projects or property, and whether the client is establishing, investing in or operating a fund, there are tax, regulatory and commercial issues that need to be managed.

Managing these diverse issues requires increasingly specialised legal skills that only a specialist commercial service law firm like Werksmans can offer. The members of the firm’s dedicated investment fund practice are able to bring together commercial, tax, private equity, regulatory and finance lawyers to meet the unique requirements of asset managers, investment advisors and investors.

In addition to dealing with local funds, Werksmans is routinely involved with offshore funds in a variety of jurisdictions including the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Ireland, Jersey, Luxembourg and Malta. Members of the team have also assisted clients to set up and operate management companies in Luxembourg, Mauritius, South Africa, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Werksmans’ services extend from advising clients on operating their local and offshore funds to advising foreign investment management businesses in relation to the distribution of their funds in South Africa.

The firm has established relationships with the Financial Services Board, the South African industry regulator.

Through Lex Africa, the oldest network of law firms in Africa, the firm offer clients a single entry point to several African countries.


  • Structuring, setting up and operating open-ended and closed-ended funds in South Africa and offshore
  • Setting up private equity, real estate and infrastructure funds with a special focus on funds investing into Africa
  • Setting up hedge funds, umbrella funds, funds of funds, feeder funds, derivative and mezzanine funds
  • Structuring the individual investment managers’ holding in investment management and advisory businesses
  • Licensing and regulation of investment funds
  • Licensing of investment management companies and regulatory issues relating to their operation
  • Advising on financial services legislation affecting investment management companies and funds including distribution and marketing issues
  • Negotiating and drafting investment advisory / management mandates, custody agreements, administration agreements, brokerage agreements, co-investment agreements and rebate agreements
  • Listing investment funds
  • Fund migrations
  • Liquidity and investor management issues
  • Creating structured products such as guaranteed funds
  • Investing in fund products or appointing managers to managed accounts
  • General matters of interest to investment management businesses including employment issues, acquisitions, outsourcing, tax, legal due diligence, intellectual property and corporate commercial issues

Contact  Director Shayne Krige, Head of our Investment Funds practice area.

View our Investment Funds & Private Equity practice area overview

Meet the Investment Funds & Private Equity team

Private Equity

Werksmans has significant experience in private equity transactions and is widely regarded as one of the leading South African law firms in this area. In the leveraged and acquisition finance field, our experienced transactional lawyers have advised on most of the significant private equity transactions in South Africa over the last few years. Our M&A team has also advised parties to a number of these transactions, including South Africa’s biggest private equity transaction to date.

Our clients include international and local private equity and venture capital houses, investment funds and their managers, investors and financiers. As a full service law firm, we cover all stages of the private equity process from advising on fund structuring and formation, to providing transactional advice, offering solutions to regulatory and tax issues, and structuring and restructuring investment acquisitions and disposals.

The firm routinely delivers multi-jurisdictional solutions to private equity issues and advises funds from various jurisdictions on investments across Africa and beyond. Our experience in relation to fund formation includes the setup of both South African and offshore funds. Members of the private equity team have been involved in the setup and operation of local private equity funds as well as funds based in the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, European Union and elsewhere. As one of the founders of Lex Africa, the oldest network of law firms in Africa, the firm is able to introduce clients to the leading commercial law firms in more than 30 African countries.

Our private equity team draws on the experience of our banking and finance, investment funds, corporate / mergers and acquisitions, tax and regulatory experts to advise on all aspects of any private equity transaction. Members of the team routinely draw on the knowledge of in-house specialists in other fields such as agriculture, environmental, infrastructure, mining, real estate, technology and telecoms law.


  • The structuring of private equity funds, general partners and investment managers
  • The formation of private equity funds both in South Africa and offshore
  • Private equity investment transactions including leveraged buy-outs and buyins, management buy-outs and buy-ins, Secondary investments and capital raising, mezzanine debt, and Black Economic Empowerment transactions
  • Exits from private equity investments including listings, initial public offerings, buy-backs and trade sales
  • Tax issues relating to acquisition and investment structures
  • Regulatory issues including licensing requirements for funds and private equity managers
  • Venture capital investments including non-equity investments
  • Co-investment arrangements including parallel fund arrangements
  • Investor’s interests in private equity funds
  • Private equity financing including senior, mezzanine and high yield debt transactions, security arrangements and convertible instruments.

Contact Director Shayne Krige, Head of our Private Equity practice area.

View our Investment Funds & Private Equity practice area overview

Meet the Investment Funds & Private Equity team