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Our Story

The Barak Story

Barak Fund Management was founded on the back of smart thinking in the tight liquidity constraints of sub-Saharan Africa. The two founders, Prieur du Plessis and Jean Craven, both hailed from banking backgrounds and had time and time again seen potential lucrative deals being overlooked because they did not fit traditional financing structures.

Prieur and Jean acknowledged that doing business in sub-Saharan Africa was no easy feat, however realised that from their experience, the potential yields in the region from an alternative financing perspective were far greater than they had been dealing with in their respective banking-sector transactions.

The Barak Team has grown steadily over the years as both deal implementation and investor interest has grown, with this Team now boasting an impressive on-the-ground footprint in all parts of the sub-Sahara African region. Both strong investor relations and a rigid client-sourcing network has been the top priority for all at Barak, and the continued success of the story is based on this consistently solid foundation.

From the launch of the Barak Structured Trade Finance Fund in February 2009, the company has built up a strong reputation in the trade finance value chain in over 30 countries in Africa. With consistent performance and no negative months seen by the STF Fund, the global exposure from investor interest that the Fund has reached has grown considerably since 2009. The investor reach includes Family Offices, HNWI, Fund of Funds, Pension Funds, and more recently a strong sentiment from many large global institutional investors and niche assets managers. The AUM of the Fund as at the beginning of 2017 is in excess of US$450 million (up 80% from beginning of 2016), with the pipeline continuously growing each quarter.

Two more funds were added in 2014, being the Barak Impact Finance Fund and the Barak Shanta Commodity Fund. The thought process of the Fund Manager has always been to add value in the African trade markets wherever the opportunity lies, and in early 2016 the demand for longer-term financing outside of Barak’s trade finance core focus arose. Hence, the Barak Mikopo Fund (African medium-term developmental asset-backed credit) and the Barak Asha Fund (African Impact long-term agri-project financing) were launched mid-2016 to address this growing demand for our existing and prospective pipeline of longer-term funding opportunities. The sixth Fund to be added to the Barak product suite has been the Barak Shariah Trade Finance Fund, which looks to bring on board a growing investor demand out of the Middle East. The Fund, like the STF and Impact Finance Fund, focuses on short-term lending into African trade.

The Barak story thus far has been one of consistency, reliability and the ability to go into places within African financing that traditional capital providers cannot, or will not. The trading markets in Africa, be it short, medium or long term, hold exciting and unique opportunities, and the Barak Team remains committed to investors to seek out these opportunities to continuously provide the yield-seeking, correctly risk-adjusted performance that it has become globally renowned for.

April 2017

April 2017

Barak prepares to launch higher credit quality Structured Trade Finance Fund II, focusing on larger transactions in shorter-term African trade

March 2017

March 2017

Barak hosts the Global Trade Review African Trade Finance Conference in Cape Town, South Africa

31st January 2017

31st January 2017

Barak currently working with 110 borrowers within Africa spread through the Southern, Eastern and Western geographical regions

January 2017

January 2017

Wealth & Finance Alternative Investments Award: Best sub-Sahara African Alternative Financier 2016 and Best Short-Term Commodity Fund 2016

December 2016

December 2016

9.24% net returns achieved for the Barak STF Fund

November 2016

November 2016

Launching of Barak Ibdar Shariah Trade Finance Fund with US$20 million seed capital

September 2016

September 2016

Barak STF Fund breaks through US$400 million mark

August 2016

August 2016

Riparian Advisory (Advisors to Barak Fund Management) move into new offices in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, South Africa

July 2016

July 2016

Barak Legal Representative Office Opened in Zurich, Switzerland (FundBase)

June 2016

June 2016

Barak Advisory (Division of Barak Fund Management) launched

May 2016

May 2016

Barak Mikopo Development Fund and Barak Asha Fund launched

April 2016

April 2016

Barak breaks through the US$300 million mark

March 2016

March 2016

Barak UK Representative Office opened for Marketing & Distribution and Deal Sourcing

1 March 2016

1 March 2016

AI Hedge Fund Best Alternative Financier 2015 Award: Best Structured Trade Finance Fund

31st December 2015

31st December 2015

Annualised Return of 11% for the Barak STF Fund

December 2015

December 2015

Barak Kenya and Ivory Coast Representative Offices continue to play a vital role in deal sourcing for Barak’s new deal territories

1st December 2015

1st December 2015

Barak Fund Management AUM sits in excess of USD 280m

1st December 2015

1st December 2015

GTR Best Alternative Financier in sub-Saharan Africa

1st December 2015

1st December 2015

Structured Trade Finance Fund completes 7th year of zero negative returns since inception

1st September 2015

1st September 2015

Barak hires new COO and CFO in response to expanding business activities

1st December 2014

1st December 2014

Barak Fund Management AUM sits at USD 180m

1st December 2014

1st December 2014

Structured Trade Finance Fund returns 11.46% for the year, Barak Shanta Fund returns 90.58% YTD in its first year

1st July 2014

1st July 2014

The Barak Impact Finance Fund is launched, with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

1st March 2014

1st March 2014

The Barak Shanta Commodities SP Fund is launched, with fund focusing primarily on relative value and directional trading opportunities within the agricultural commodity markets.

1st December 2013

1st December 2013

Barak Structured Trade Finance Fund sits USD 65m.

1st December 2012

1st December 2012

HedgeNews Africa Specialist Strategies Winner.

1st December 2011

1st December 2011

Africa Fund of the Year Winner.

1st February 2009

1st February 2009

Barak Structured Trade Finance Fund is launched with seed funding of USD 300,000. It will grow by some 830 times by the end of 2015, not 7 years down the line.

OUR BEGINNING