F Menzi Mbatha, The co-founder and managing partner at Greystreet Capital, which focuses on mining investments, the thrill lies in “unlocking value”. “I enjoy starting something that begins with a geologist kicking dust and results in
employing people and feeding families,” he says.
Greystreets’ Texas-based partners, Denham Capital — a private equity firm with more than $8.5-billion under management globally — controls a $200-million committed pan-African fund. “We focus on South Africa, while our partners deal with the rest of the continent,” Mbatha says. “No two mining projects are ever the same, which makes for a dynamic setting.”
Mbatha has had a varied career, with stints in marketing, consumer development, and property. His last role was as chief investment officer at mining investment company Afripalm Resources, where he worked under Lazarus Zim.
“I wore suits for 10 years of my corporate life. My friend and mentor Lazarus Zim schooled me,” he says. “But once I established myself on my own, I had to loosen that top button and exhale.
If I can avoid a suit, I do.” Mbatha inherited his stylish genes from his late father, who wore Florsheims and tailored trousers. “He was an exceptional, creative, and dapper man. Matching his flair is beyond me,” Mbatha says.