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Growing a Kinship of Businesses

Its family values philosophy to investment informs how Capricorn Capital builds intergenerational businesses with long term impact.

The common phrase ‘it is just business’ may apply to many private investment firms that distance themselves from their assets. Instead, Capricorn Capital prefers to adopt a more personalised approach. With offices in London, Johannesburg, Malta and Hong Kong focusing on investments in the financial services sector, it gauges business opportunities based on shared values and integrity.

“We are very patient with our capital — something that differentiates us from traditional private equity investors,” said Robin Harris, Capricorn Capital’s Managing Director in Hong Kong. “We see ourselves as a permanent home for the businesses we acquire. In Asia, we have two key focuses: corporate and fiduciary services businesses, and independent asset management businesses. We look for talented business owners who we can effectively support to achieve their long term goals. Our acquisition of Asia-Pacific Accounting & Secretarial Services Limited (A-Pass) is a prime example of our approach in action. Andrew Burgin and his team have built a wonderful business that continues to evolve, and we are delighted to partner with them.” 

Strategic Springboard for Global Expansion

Capricorn Capital set up its Hong Kong office in 2015 to realise its vision of having four teams of international partners, one each in the four corners of the globe. “The city is an important springboard and strategic keystone for our expansion across Asia,” explained Harris. “As one of the world’s top international finance centres, Hong Kong is a prime location for financial services firms like ours. It has a robust financial regulatory regime, which made it a logical choice when considering where to establish Capricorn’s head office in Asia.” 

After living in Hong Kong for the past 17 years, Harris understands first hand the benefits the city offers as a place to live, work and play. He appreciates the city’s skilled talent, particularly in the financial services sector, and views them as hardworking, internationally minded, communicative and energetic. “Hong Kong being the premier business hub in Asia has its own currency, political and legal systems,” Harris stated. “These advantages have allowed it to flourish as an international business city while also offering unrivalled access to opportunities in Mainland China. The Belt and Road Initiative is a big opportunity for us, as the firms we invest in will participate in these developments.” 

“From day one, InvestHK has supported us and provided opportunities for us to connect with potential partners, both in Hong Kong and the UK,” Harris noted, explaining how InvestHK helped his company achieve its expansion goals. “They are an invaluable partner when setting up. Beyond that, InvestHK is an exceptional resource for policy updates, thought leadership content, and industry insights. Had it not been for their expertise, we would not have been able to grow the way we have.”

03.10.2019

Fast Facts

  • With roots dating to 1994 as the private equity arm of South Africa’s Hollard Insurance Group, Capricorn Capital is a leading private investment company with offices in London, Johannesburg, Malta and Hong Kong
  • Capricorn Capital’s Hong Kong office is its regional head office

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