Good governance comes through good design – a philosophy nurtured by Computershare to invest in people and innovative solutions to strengthen the financial markets and deliver meaningful change. By combining youth development with a solution-orientated approach to tackle market challenges and help South African issuers strengthen their governance frameworks, Computershare demonstrates a commitment to building a brighter future on multiple fronts.

The Challenge of Unclaimed Assets

One such challenge for South Africa's financial markets is in the form of unclaimed assets, with unclaimed dividends alone exceeding R4 billion as highlighted in a whitepaper by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).

The conundrum exists where thousands of shareholders have not been paid for assets such as dividends or share buy backs, and the issuers trying desperately to locate and pay their ‘lost’ shareholders are sitting on a growing liability affecting their balance sheets, while impacting governance responsibilities as shareholders remain disengaged.

Numerous underlying reasons can result in a lost shareholder. They can move or relocate, change bank accounts, changes to mobile number or email address, or personal detail changes due to marriage or other legal processes, and may not update these changes with the respective issuers. Should shareholders pass away, their shareholding may not be included in their estates and the executor will not be aware as a result.

With the FSCA engaging various market participants, and putting greater emphasis on the need for a coordinated approach to identify, manage, and minimize dormant and unclaimed assets, there is a greater urgency for issuers to reduce the amount of unclaimed assets.

Computershare: Champions of Youth and Asset Reunification

youth learning

Computershare understands the importance of both youth development and tackling such significant market issues. Their youth-focussed programmes are designed to equip young graduates with the skills and confidence they need to thrive in the professional world.

Computershare had already begun to address the broader issue of unclaimed assets several years back to identify, verify and trace thousands of shareholders entitled to unclaimed assets. In the past five years alone, Computershare has already facilitated payments exceeding R1 billion that is rightfully owed to legitimate shareholders. Each year of its youth development journey, Computershare gives graduates the opportunity to bolster this milestone and gain workplace experience serving a purpose that makes a difference to the market.

The story of Computershare’s journey to building a talented pipeline of skills in South Africa’s financial markets doesn’t start and end with workplace experience of graduates, but rather through the nurturing of skills through the years leading up to graduation.


Through learnership programmes and bursaries, young individuals are exposed to Computershare much earlier to enable them further in their studies. In 2024, there were 49 external bursary recipients and 16 internal recipients. Once graduated, individuals are also given the opportunity to join Computershare’s graduate programme that is aligned to the national Yes-4-Youth (Y4Y) Initiative for a year, where some are then given the prospect of being absorbed into the company’s talent pipeline. Computershare currently has 30 graduates in its Y4Y graduate programme.

The Youth Advantage

Following graduation, students can apply to the programme. One of the first criteria is finding a marriage between the technical skills and qualifications of the applicants and the strategic requirements of the business. This is complemented by an interview process to assess for a cultural and behavioural fit.

Once formally selected, students embark on a year-long development programme. This immersive experience begins with a three-day onboarding session that introduces them to Computershare's company culture, core values, and operational structure. This is followed by a skills development phase, where graduates receive prescribed training and learnerships.

Building Well-Rounded Professionals

The programme goes beyond technical expertise by incorporating life coaching sessions that foster business acumen, communication skills and critical thinking. While graduates may have excelled in their studies and can provide a strong theoretical background, they still need to nurture their workplace experience. Hands-on work experience allows graduates to apply their knowledge, develop their expertise in real-world settings and foster a well-rounded understanding of the financial services industry.

Computershare also encourages them to build courage and charisma to engage the company and ask questions that could transform and future proof the business, and help colleagues think differently. Investing in young people is an investment in the future. Their skills, energy, and fresh perspectives are the driving force behind innovation and progress.

Young Talent Meets Asset Reunification


One of the teams that graduates may encounter and collaborate with during their time at Computershare is that of asset reunification. This team has led initiatives for the verification and updating of more than 204 800 records with the latest mobile numbers, email addresses, ID and deceased status. Having the latest contact information opens communication with shareholders and further improves governance practices. With up-to-date details, shareholders receive vital corporate information about companies they invest in, information about upcoming AGMs where they can vote on resolutions, enabling informed decisions and active shareholder participation.

Several stories have emerged from shareholders benefiting from Computershare’s efforts, after receiving the news that they have unclaimed assets owed to them. One shareholder was planning to take out a bank loan so that his daughter could continue university, as he could no longer afford the tuition fees. The payment of his unclaimed dividends enabled him to pay for her university. With the tougher market conditions, another shareholder had lost his income and was facing the loss of his house, but then received a substantial dividend payment to avoid this. Another shareholder used the payment received to save their business and continue employing their staff, and elsewhere a student inherited shares and was contacted to be surprised by the amount of unclaimed assets that were owed to her.


Investing in technology and talent, Computershare has scaled its asset reunification efforts to meet market demands effectively. In addition, Computershare has been actively engaging market participants to meet financial market development objectives, participating in industry discussions and regulatory compliance, reflecting its commitment to contributing to broader financial sector goals.

With people and technology at the core of Computershare’s good governance comes from good design philosophy, Computershare’s dedication extends beyond providing services. In its commitment to fostering talent and social responsibility, Computershare continues to invest in Y4Y graduates and build on their financial literacy and skills development while sharing meaningful insight with the industry to contribute to broader financial goals.

Computershare’s approach to empowering young talent strengthens the financial sector and demonstrates its dedication to youth upliftment and development, and to building a sustainable pipeline of quality talent for the industry.

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