The Advisor: Ethos


Ethos Private Equity, the investment adviser, was founded in 1984.  The Firm has scaled from managing successive buyout-focused funds in South Africa to a multi-fund offering across geographies and asset classes.


Ethos Private Equity employs over 65 members of staff, including 20 partners, which makes it the largest private equity firm in sub-Saharan Africa. An institutionalised approach to investing, world-class governance, extensive origination networks and an experienced investment team provide Ethos Private Equity with a competitive advantage in the markets in which it operates.

Stuart MacKenzie

Chief Executive Officer

“Ethos’ institutional platform has been built and honed over a period of more than 30 years. In 2016, we commenced a diversification strategy that aimed to leverage this platform by developing a range of alternative asset funds.

The Ethos Capital listing, coupled with the launch of new Ethos Funds, enabled public market investors to access a broad suite of largely unlisted assets actively managed by Ethos. It is important to appreciate that we did not seek to change our business model but rather to broaden both the opportunity set we could invest in and the universe of investors that could access the funds we manage. We continue to raise capital from private market investors who invest in our Funds alongside Ethos Capital.

  • implementing 111 transactions since 1984, investing over R16 billion during this period;
  • successfully exiting 98 investments, generating 35.8% gross realised IRR and 2.5x multiple of cost;
  • 72% of all realised investments by capital invested have returned greater than 2.0x invested capital;
  • since Ethos Fund III (the first Ethos Fund that attracted international investors), which was raised in 1996, Ethos Private Equity has generated 24.4% gross realised IRR and a 2.5x multiple of cost;
  • USD returns generated since Ethos Fund III have been 18.1% gross realised IRR and 2.0x multiple of cost
  • positioning itself as the lead investor on transactions with control or joint control stakes in the majority of its deals;
  • having an understanding of, and focus on, sub-Saharan Africa, predominantly driven through expansion of its investee companies;
  • implementing a theme-led approach with thorough evaluation of economic drivers and industry fundamentals; and
  • significant hands-on involvement in portfolio companies, leveraging its Value Add capability to optimise financial and operational performance of its investment companies.

Ethos Private Equity seeks to leverage its understanding of the South African and sub-Saharan African markets to target small- to mid-sized companies best positioned to benefit from the region’s unique growth dynamics. As an active investor, Ethos Private Equity has capitalised on its experience of owning businesses across a variety of investment, economic and political cycles to maximise value post-investment and generate superior returns.

Over its first three decades, the Firm built a renowned platform with a strong track record that provided sufficient scale to develop a multi-product offering. Ethos Private Equity has been pursuing a growth vision since 2016, it is now a multi-fund platform with a significant presence across Africa and it continues to investigate growth and diversification opportunities. The platform consists of Large Equity Funds, a Mid Market Fund, a Mezzanine Fund, an Artificial Intelligence Fund and sub-advisory contracts to manage Brait and the Ninety One Africa PE Funds.

The latest Ethos Sustainability Report profiles ESG performance at its portfolio companies and reflects on the Firm’s influence as an active asset manager. It also exhibits numerous case studies of how it has partnered with investors and management teams to drive positive impact through the activities of its portfolio companies.
The document can be downloaded here:  Ethos Sustainability Report 2021