Founding / Managing Partner & Director
Thabo has over 15 years investment management experience in Africa. He was previously Portfolio Manager at STANLIB Asset Management until May 2016 managing the firm’s suite of Africa Equity (ex SA) Funds. STANLIB is the principal asset manager for the Standard Bank and Liberty Group. Prior to this he was an Equity Analyst on the same STANLIB funds from 2007. The Africa Funds invested in mid-sized and large companies listed across Africa (ex S.A). In this role he traveled extensively on the continent engaging with company executives, industry & financial sector players and regulators / public officials.
He was previously at Investec Asset Management for 4 years, ending as an Equity Analyst on the South African industrials, healthcare and small cap sectors on the JSE Securities Exchange.
He holds a PLD (Program for Leadership Development) from Harvard Business School and was also awarded the 2017 / 2018 Harvard University – South Africa Fellowship. Thabo graduated with a BCom in Finance, Investments and Accounting from the University of the Witwatersrand; a Registered Persons Exam (RPE) in Equities & Bonds; and a CAIB (SA) (Inst. of Bankers). He has also completed the Advances in Equity Portfolio Construction programme at the EDHEC Risk Institute in London, and the SAVCA / GIBS Foundation and Advanced Programmes in Private Equity.
Thabo is a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow under the U.S. Department of State Young African Leaders Initiative and underwent studies in Business & Entrepreneurship at Clark Atlanta University’s School of Business in the summer of 2015.
A panelist at Harvard Business School’s 2015 Africa Conference in Boston, Thabo was a finalist for the 2013 ABSIP Equity Manager of the Year award in South Africa and was awarded the Young Banker of the Year by IOB/SASBO in 2007. He appears regularly on various media (such as CNBC Africa) as a commentator on African markets and companies.
Thabo serves as a Mentor for Startupbootcamp (CapeTown) – one the largest accelerator programmes in the world, MAN Impact Accelerator and was a Judge at the 2017 Seedstars World competition in Johannesburg & Maputo.
Languages: English, Setswana/Sesotho (& currently learning Portuguese)
Director & Senior Advisor
Founding Partner / Business & Deal Flow Development
LeRoy Barnes is an accomplished Senior Business Analyst, IT Engineer and Entrepreneur, offering 15 years’ experience in driving the delivery of several large-scale, state-of-the-art digital projects and business process improvements for various corporations.
In his current position as Head of Product for International Banking at Absa, LeRoy is part of a team that has revolutionised the organisation’s international payment offering through an innovative and new mobile application and foreign exchange execution platform.
He joined Absa Bank (now Barclays Africa) in 2006 as a Business Analyst within Payments Operations and also gained experience in other areas including International Banking, Custody and Trustee Operations, and Secondary Market Operations. He also held the role of the Change Portfolio Manager in the Foreign Exchange Back Office (Operations) of ABSA Capital.
LeRoy started his career at East Rand Water Company and then moved to AmVia (now VoxAmvia) as a Solutions Engineer. In this role his core function was to scope and implement Business Information Delivery solutions for customers such as SABC, TFMC, MediHelp, Xerox Kenya and HSBC. Amongst other achievements he implemented RightFax for PwC in Nairobi, Kenya.
LeRoy holds a BCom in Accounting and Information Systems from the University of the Witwatersrand, National Diplomas in Treasury, International Banking and Business Analysis, and other industry qualifications from UNISA, Microsoft, FTI, and SWIFT.
He has co-founded and directed several business ventures that have generated positive returns and management experience. He has a passion for business and new venture creation and volunteers his time as a business mentor at Awethu Projects and Barclays / ABSA’s Rise Accelerator.
Languages: English, Afrikaans
INVESTMENT ADVISORY TEAM:
MMATU MZAIDUME, CA(SA)
Mmatu graduated from The University of the Witwatersrand with a Bachelor of Accounting (Hons) in 2002. After 3 years of auditing articles at Ernst & Young he qualified as a chartered accountant having gained experience auditing clients in the Banking and Mining industries. Following articles he worked briefly at Ernst & Young’s Washington DC office in the United States. He then joined Nedbank Capital as an equity analyst focusing on the healthcare and services sectors for 3 and a half yrs. In this role Mmatu gained good experience analysing JSE listed compaies and marketing research to institutional and other investors. Since then he has engaged in a diverse range of business projects in financial services ranging from corporate finance, private equity to SMME funding – including serving as Financial Manager at Otto Waste (Pty) Ltd and Meago Asset Managers.
Languages: English, isiXhosa
Aharon was previously an Investment Analyst at Grovest Venture Capital. In this role he analysed deals and companies approaching Grovest for venture capital from the various VC funds ran by the firm (which included a VC General fund, VC Hospitality fund and VC Technology fund). He left Grovest in October 2016 and currently works with Savvy VP to source and evaluate deals and companies needing funding and make recommendations to the investment committee.
He is also a Manager at Dot Safety Footwear – a highly entrepreneurial business focused on manufacturing safety footwear for various industries. Before Dot Safety Footwear, Aharon was an Auditor at RWFC Financial Consultants from 2011 to 2013.
He graduated with a BCompt Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa and is currently a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) program Level 2 candidate.
Yair graduated from the University of Johannesburg with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 2012, and went on to obtain his Masters degree (LLM) with distinction in corporate finance law, with emphasis on the cost of capital and corporate governance, for which he was awarded the chancellors medal for the best LLM degree at the University of Johannesburg.
He then joined the team at Rothbart Inc, where he was responsible for advising corporate clients, primarily on debt and equity structuring, as well as capital acquisitions and corporate trading. He was also responsible for dealing with any disputes that arose in the course of his clients operations. In August of 2016, Yair joined Jurgens Bezuidenhout Inc, where he focused on acquisitions and outsourced agreements within the mining sector.
Yair advises Savvy Partners on legal matters relating to the venture capital funds, due dilligence and acquisitions.
INDEPENDENT INVESTMENT COMMITTEE:
Investment Committee Member / Founder & CEO (MFS Africa)
Dare Okoudjou is Founder and CEO of MFS Africa, which was named as one of the world’s most innovative companies by Fast Company in 2017. MFS Africa operates the largest digital payments hub in Africa, connecting over 170 million mobile wallets across the continent, offering safe, convenient and cost-effective payment solutions.
Prior to founding this leading pan-African Fintech company, Dare developed the mobile payment strategy at MTN Group, leading its implementation across 21 countries throughout Africa and the Middle East. He began his career with PwC in Paris. Dare has an MSc in Telecom Engineering from ENST-Paris as well an MBA from INSEAD.
Languages: English, French, Yoruba
Investment Committee Member / Founder (Capilis Asset Managers)
Mark is Founder of Capilis Asset Managers – a boutique asset management company focused on personalised service and management of client portfolios. The company was founded in 2004, with specific focus on providing clients with sound advice and execution based derivative products. He started his career as a trader on the floor at the JSE in 1998. He then moved on to become a portfolio manager at Imara SP Reid and director at Quyn Holdings. After gaining valuable experience in the field, he founded the company in 2004. Apart from overseeing the compliance as key individual, he’s also involved in the general management of the business. He has 18 years’ market experience.
Investment Committee Member / Partner (Savvy Capital Partners)
Stephane has sixteen years experience in the Investment Management industry and Management consulting spanning the whole African continent and the US. He was previously an executive at Sanlam Investments overseeing investments across Africa in investments focused on the African Capital Markets; and also advised on African property, debt, and Private Equity investments. Prior to that, Stephane served as a Vice-President for Invest AD (Abu Dhabi) and managed Pan African multi asset strategies.
He previously also held senior roles at Investec Asset Management and Stanlib (Asset Manager of the Standard Bank group). Prior to his investment career in Africa, Stephane spent 5 years in strategy consulting in Philadelphia and New York City.
Stephane has led multi-sectoral & multi-geographic investment teams and has repeatedly proven his ability to create commercially successful investment strategies. He has been able through relationships to gather funds from investors in Europe, Africa and the Middle East with various clients (Pension funds, SWF, Insurance companies, advisors). He was until the founding of Savvy Capital Partners, CEO of Vunani Capital’s Africa Investments division.
Stephane holds a BSc (Hons) from Drexler University in Philadelphia and MBA from the University of Cape Town. Stephane has lived in various parts of the world and is also fluent in French.
Languages: English, French & Kirundi