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Chartered account Warren Wheatley has turned his dream of offering private equity opportunities to everyone into a reality. Next month his brainchild, AltVest, will list its shares on the Cape Town Stock Exchange, enabling anyone with R100 to invest in an asset class that has always been the preserve of financial institutions and the ultra-rich. Individual offerings ranging from game and wine farms through to classic cars and sports teams will be available for co-investment by retail investors. In this interview with BizNews editor Alec Hogg, financial industry veteran Wheatley explains where the idea came from and how it all works.
Warren Wheatley on the listing date for AltVest
Our last call said six weeks, so I’m going to be a little disappointed. That’s slightly out, but the date now is 5 May at the Cape Town Stock Exchange, and it’s going to be followed by quite a raucous party. We have a fabulous day lined up like all investment companies do these days. We have a line of merchandise we are going to be releasing. But true to form, we are going to be having a fashion show by David Tlale, the famous designer. So, there will be a fashion show displaying all our merch, followed by a minting of the original share certificates while we still have a private company into NFTs. All our shareholders will be able to trade those in the metaverse. Then finally, the materials shares will be dematerialised and converted into electronic shares available through the aid trade brokerage platform on the Cape Town Stock Exchange on 5 May. We are hoping all your readers and listeners will open up a trade account. I hope there aren’t too many shares available. I hope everyone who is invested holds onto their shares forever. However, in the event that people want to take some quick profits, now is the time to register an A-Trade account and be there to get in on the hottest list this year.
On opening up an A-Trade account
AltVest is a major investor in A-Trade. We are one of the largest shareholders. We’ve agreed to exclusivity to market the shares only on that platform for the first six to 12 months after listing. They will be available and all the brokerages eventually. But as part of our growth strategy, they will only be available through the A-Trade platform for the first six to 12 months. A-Trade is linked directly to the Cape Town Stock Exchange. Opening an account will give you access not only to the opportunities available through AltVest, but you’ll also be able to buy AltVest shares, and, indeed, any other shares listed on the Cape Town Stock Exchange plus any debt products. Almost every week we have been listing debt products on the Cape Town Stock Exchange, so quite a good number of debt instruments are available to retail investors, but also an interesting array of exotic instruments are available by opening up an A-Trade account.
On the opportunities alongside buying shares in AltVest
On day one, what you are really buying into is the equivalent of a SPAC. And that SPAC has raised R50m from a range of private, retail and institutional investors. We are going to use that R50m to find exotic alternative investment opportunities that we will make available to the retail public. So, you’d be buying into the platform of AltVest, which earns management fees, capital raising fees, marketing fees and so on. But you would also be a co-owner of every opportunity we buy. One of our philosophies at AltVest is for any opportunity we take to the market, we have to have our interests aligned and we co-invest our own balance sheet into every single investment opportunity we take to the market. In effect, AltVest will ultimately become an ETF of SME exotic opportunities. So, by owning a share in AltVest, you’ll own a proportion of our platform-generating abilities, but also a tiny proportionate to your shareholding, at least of every single opportunity that gets listed on the AltVest platform.
On investing in an asset class with as little as R100
That’s exactly right, except that in this case, the unit trust company will be buying opportunities that are currently unavailable to the retail public. So, it will be shares in hemp farms and wine farms. Our first one is a game lodge. Secondly, a medical offshore property portfolio, exotic car funds and old family-run businesses. So, all the opportunities that people just hear about at braais, dinner parties and cocktail parties are suddenly going to be available at a fraction of the costs required to be participants in these investments ordinarily. For R100, a bank teller would be able to buy a share in a wine farm, a classic car fund or a movie fund, or any of these things that have been the preserve of the ultra-high net worth community of South Africa. Suddenly, these opportunities will be available to everyone.
- AltVest Unpacked – Six weeks to a CTSE listing that will democratise private equity into R50 investment chunks
- Kisby SME fund has initial R250m in “lifesaver” loans – seeking entrepreneurs with dreams of AltVest, CTSE listings
- Altvest: Rethinking the way people invest
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