About us

History

The origin of Protea Capital Management dates back to early 2009, when Jean Pierre Verster invited a small group of friends and family members to pool their investments and form the Verster Investment Partnership, where he, as General Partner, would manage their wealth alongside his own. The core strategy quickly developed into a diversified share (stock) portfolio investing in listed equities on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange in South Africa, both long and short. The mandate of the Partnership was later expanded to include investing in publicly listed equities globally, both long and short. Our proprietary ‘quantamental’ analysis process was refined during this time, based on the writings of some of the greatest minds in investing and on cumulative knowledge gained from personal experience.

Due to the above-average long-term returns generated by the Partnership, sufficient wealth was created to seed the Protea range of hedge funds, which allowed members of the public to invest with us. The first Protea hedge fund available to the general public was launched in partnership with an established asset manager during 2016. The launch of two additional Protea hedge funds followed in 2017, and in 2019 we formally started operating as a stand-alone investment management business after the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) granted our Financial Service Provider (FSP) licence, number 49796.

Today, we continue to partner with our clients by investing alongside them in the funds under our management, thereby aligning our own interests with theirs.

Our name is a reference to our roots – the Protea is the national flower of South Africa.

Jean Pierre Verster - CA(SA), CFA, CAIA

Jean Pierre Verster - CA(SA), CFA, CAIA

Founder & CEO

Jean Pierre commenced his career in 2005 as a financial manager in the insurance services environment and in 2006 he gained experience as an internal auditor in Standard Bank’s retail banking division. He joined Melville Douglas Investment Management in 2007 where he was employed as a portfolio manager, responsible for the discretionary management of individual equity portfolios. He went on to become part of the award-winning team at 36ONE Asset Management from 2010 to 2016 and partnered with Fairtree Asset Management thereafter to launch the Protea range of hedge funds. In 2019, he founded Protea Capital Management as a stand-alone investment management business. Since 2015, Jean Pierre also serves as an independent non-executive director at Capitec Bank, where he is chairman of the audit committee.
Edrich Jansen - MCom, PGDip Financial Planning

Edrich Jansen - MCom, PGDip Financial Planning

Head: Business Development

Before pursuing a career in the financial services industry, Edrich followed another passion of his – golf. After a successful amateur career, he played professionally from 2003 until 2010, both locally and internationally. In 2010 he made the decision to change careers and study towards a master’s degree in Financial Management Sciences. He was employed as a research assistant in 2015 by the University of Pretoria, conducting research in the field of behavioural finance and decision-making. He joined FIRSTGLOBAL Asset Management in 2016 as an investment fund analyst and was a member of the investment committee, which was responsible for fund manager selection and monitoring. Edrich joined Protea Capital Management in 2019.
Willem le Roux - B.Com. Honours (Financial Risk Management)

Willem le Roux - B.Com. Honours (Financial Risk Management)

Head: Operations

After obtaining his B.Com. Honours degree in Financial Risk Management at the University of Stellenbosch, Willem started his financial services career as a Sales Support Analyst at MSCI in 2013. Willem moved to Contego Asset Management in 2014, where he was a Quantitative Investment Analyst and member of the investment committee. In 2016, he joined Sharenet, where he held various roles before being appointed Group COO in 2017. In 2019, Willem was involved in a system implementation project at Fairtree Asset Management, followed by a short hiatus in China. Willem joined Protea Capital Management in 2020.
Richard Cheesman – BSc (Actuarial), CFA

Richard Cheesman – BSc (Actuarial), CFA

Senior Analyst

Richard represented South Africa overseas as a semi-professional card player during high school and university. He obtained a B.Sc. Financial and Actuarial Science degree from the University of Pretoria in 2006, before starting within the Standard Bank Group on a graduate program. Richard moved into the investment industry in 2008 and began managing discretionary equity portfolios. From 2011 to 2019 he worked at Investec as a senior investment analyst focusing on a wide variety of sectors and strategies. Richard joined Protea Capital Management in 2019.
Cecile Hechter – B.Com. Honours (Investment Management)

Cecile Hechter – B.Com. Honours (Investment Management)

Client Services & Marketing Liaison

Cecile excelled on the hockey field at school, attaining provincial colours. She takes pride in accomplishing the goals she sets for herself and completed a B.Com. Investment Management degree at the University of Pretoria in 2018, and a B.Com. Honours degree in the same field at the University of Johannesburg in 2019. Driven by a keen interest in business and client relations, she plans on furthering her education towards the CFA qualification in the next few years. Cecile joined Protea Capital Management in 2020.