On Friday, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) welcomed Argon Securities, a 100% black-owned brokerage firm, as one of its members.
“We are very excited to welcome Argon Securities to the JSE and we hope to see many more 100% black owned member firms joining the JSE in the future,” says Zeona Jacobs, Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE.
Transforming and growing the South African stock broking industry will create more accessibility and encourage more black businesses and investors to enter our Capital Markets and therefore lead to the transformation of both the sector and the eco-system.
“The JSE is committed to the transformation of the South African capital markets industry and believes that transformation in financial services and capital markets is greatly needed. As an exchange, we have a number of initiatives that contribute to transformation and are proud that the work we have been doing to enable transformation is coming to fruition,” continues Jacobs.
Thapelo Magoro, co-CEO at Argon Securities says “We received our licence in December 2016. It’s taken us over a year to get here, and we believe that the journey was worth it. Our market research and strategy objective is to build a stockbroking firm rooted in global best practice, while also being a meaningful participant in our market and the transformation journey of the country.”
As part of its contribution to transformation in financial markets, the JSE last year introduced an Enterprise Development Programme, which provides financial assistance to emerging black stockbroking firms. The programme disbursed approximately R6 million to participating firms in 2016, who used the funds in various different ways to grow their businesses. The disbursements were equal to 33% of the equity trading and membership fees that the brokers paid to the JSE during each quarter in 2016. Fourteen black-owned stock broking firms participated in the 2016 programme and there are currently 14 brokerages participating in the 2017 programme.
Earlier this year the JSE also amended its Listing Requirements to include disclosure on the promotion of racial diversity at board level. This means that companies must have a policy for the promotion of racial diversity at board level and they are further required to report annually to their shareholders how they have applied the policy. The requirements were effective as of 19 June 2017 and companies will be required to start reporting on this in their annual reports from 1 June 2018.