Soon after Sydney left Standard Bank and Vusi left Investec, Rand Merchant Bank recognised that Sydney and Vusi’s complementary skills would be a great asset to help with the launch and management of a mezzanine fund. This led to the birth of Makalani Holdings Limited, which listed on the JSE in 2005 after raising R2,5 billion. Makalani was the first mezzanine fund in South Africa and its focus was empowerment financing. For the next three years, until 2008, Vusi was the chief executive officer of Makalani and Sydney was its chief investment officer. Makalani provided funding of about R2.9 billion to 29 BEE transactions across all sectors of the economy.