The Maris Approach

Our strategy is to build our diversified portfolio of multi-country businesses across Africa, led by excellent teams operating to international standards.  We are very hands-on, taking an active approach to managing our portfolio to ensure the best risk-adjusted returns. But our approach is long-term; we are not looking for short term gains through buying and flipping investments.

We are not interested in investments that rely on financial engineering for quick gains. In 2014 we converted to a Permanent Capital Vehicle model to accommodate our long-term ambitions.


Maris Investment

Focus on SMEs (<$15m Enterprise Value). These businesses offer the strongest growth potential and benefit most from direct involvement and consolidation into a larger group. 

​Focus on proven business models, which do not exist in the countries in which we operate, or are being done poorly.

​Focus on high margin businesses. We typically have no debt or very low leverage in our businesses.  We ensure control of our holdings and typically are only interested in controlling stakes.  Our current equity control exceeds 90% of our holdings and we exercise significant management control over almost all of them. 

​Focus on asset-backed investments. More than 70% of all Maris NAV is in tangible physical assets. This ranges from around 50% in Mining and Agriculture and Forestry (excluding resource or biological assets) to over 80% in Property Services and Business Services.​

Management Fee






Net IRR (USD) PE Fund, 2009-14


Maris Operations

​We enter new markets slowly, building up small exposures.  We then increase our investments over time as we strengthen our networks and manage risk. 

​We are intensely focused on operations to deliver significant long term growth of our holdings and the overall group.  We also provide back office functions for finance, procurement, governance, E&S reporting and HR across many of our companies to deliver expertise, controls, consistency and cost reduction through economies of scale.

​We develop strong partnerships with business owners and founders, both through the co-founding of businesses and support to existing companies during growth and expansion phases. 

We believe strongly in working with business owners/founders to achieve a shared long-term vision.

We generally do not “cash out” business owners, but instead structure our transactions to align interests and jointly share in value created together. 

We limit local currency exposure.  Over 90% of the group revenues are either in USD or pegged to the USD.  These are matched by 70% of expenses in USD, while the balance is in local currency.  

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