Added value

JSE Investor Services is simplifying the BEE verification process

Added value

JSE Investor Services (JIS) will, by end January 2023, have introduced an electronic system that simplifies and streamlines BEE verification, doing away with paperwork and onerous admin. The new centralised JIS BEE Verification platform enables shareholders to verify their BEE credentials once-off, allowing their broker to download a confirmation letter, instead of having to verify their identify every time they sell or buy BEE shares.

‘Our aim is to make the lives of our issuers and retail shareholders easier while ensuring that retail shareholders have a conduit to the company they’re invested in,’ according to Carol Crozier, CEO of JIS. She highlights the focus on developing products and services to facilitate the communication and engagement between companies and their shareholders – for JSE-listed as well as unlisted entities.

In just more than two years since the JSE Group acquired JIS as a wholly owned subsidiary, the specialist end-to-end keeper and manager of shareholder registry and communication has achieved impressive growth. JIS now also offers shareholder analytics and market intelligence, and has partnered with specialist service providers for comprehensive advisory and execution services in the field of shareholder engagement.

‘Our diversification and growth strategy has resulted in our market share rising from 20% to 29%,’ says Crozier. ‘At present, we maintain the share registers of more than 150 companies, including some of the top 40 JSE-listed companies, which means we are in charge of more than 2.5 million shareholder or participant records. We are continually looking for ways and means to expand our service offering, as most recently with the addition of the BEE verification platform.’

The new verification system is powered by the JSE ShareHub, a centralised hub that provides a full audit trail of shareholder activity and that can be tailored for individual needs or targeted campaigns. It’s a digitalised mailbox for shareholders to log into in order to access issuer information, register for AGMs, update their contact details and access training and educational material for topics including BEE and employee shareholding.

‘Ultimately, our BEE verification platform is expected to boost trading and investment in the empowerment segment, as it enables brokers, issuer agents and asset managers to simply log on to the ShareHub platform and access the shareholder’s verification on the central database and initiate the trading process,’ says Crozier. Individual shareholders can get verified by completing the online application form on They then need to take a selfie with their ID document and upload it to the platform. They will receive an email confirmation and, within 48 hours, their broker will be able to download the confirmation letter from ShareHub.

The BEE verification service supplements JIS’ existing services, which include BEE advisory and the administration, registry and listing of BEE schemes. In 2021, JIS entered into an association with William Radcliffe to offer listed and unlisted companies value-added services that cover advice on how to set up BEE schemes and employee share-ownership schemes, the financial administration of these schemes, as well as the training of trustees, trust beneficiaries and employees. Seeing that it’s best practice to have an entity independent of the founding company to administer the BEE schemes, JIS recently acquired a BEE plan-schemes administration business. JIS’ empowerment track record further includes the successful migration of Vodacom’s YeboYethu as well as Sasol’s SOLBE 1 and Khanyisa share registers.

The intention of a BEE share-ownership scheme is to give previously disadvantaged South Africans the opportunity to own a stake in a company and participate in its growth, says Crozier. ‘As the new BEE verification platform will make it easier to become part of these schemes, our ultimate goal as a subsidiary of the JSE will be to continue empowering black shareholders and facilitating inclusive wealth creation in South Africa.’

By Silke Colquhoun
Image: Gallo/Getty Images