Team Profiles

THABO NCALO

Founding / Managing Partner & Director

Thabo Ncalo

 

Thabo has over 14 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 BCom in Finance, Investments and Accounting from the University of the Witwatersrand; Registered Persons Exam 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.

—Thabo was selected as a 2017 / 2018 Harvard University – South Africa Fellow and is a candidate for the 2018 PLD (Program for Leadership Development) at Harvard Business School.

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, and was a Judge at the 2017 Seedstars World competition in Johannesburg & Maputo. He currently resides in both Maputo, Mozambique and Johannesburg, SA.

Languages: English, Setswana/Sesotho & (currently learning) Portuguese

 

LEROY BARNES

Founding Partner / Business & Deal Flow Development

LeRoy Barnes

 

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 Accelerator.

Languages: English, Afrikaans

 

AHARON GOLDSTUCK

Senior Investment Associate

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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.

Languages: English, Hebrew (basic)

 

YAIR MILLER

Legal Advisor

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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.

 Languages: English

 

Mr. Mmatu Mzaidume, CA(SA)

Senior Investment Advisor

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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

 


INDEPENDENT INVESTMENT COMMITTEE:

 

STEPHANE BWAKIRA

Investment Committee Member / Partner (Savvy Capital Partners)

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—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

 

MARK SLUZKI

Investment Committee Member / Founder (Capilis Asset Managers)

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Mark is founder and director 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.

Languages: English

 

 

DARE OKOUDJOU

Investment Committee Member / Founder & CEO (MFS Africa)

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Dare Okoudjou is the founder and CEO of MFS Africa. Prior to founding MFS Africa, he worked at MTN Group, where he developed their mobile payment strategy and led its implementation across MTN Operations in 21 countries across Africa and the Middle East. He began his career as a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Paris. Dare holds a MSc. in Telecom Engineering from ENST-Paris and a MBA from INSEAD.

Languages: English, French, Yoruba

 


ADVISORY TEAM / BOARD:

 

  • Dr. Cardoso T. Muendane (*Mozambican) – Business Strategy (Mozambique)

Dr. Muendane is President and founding member of SICS (Sociedade de Indústria, Comércio e Serviços, SA), an investment holding and consulting company in Mozambique. SICS holds interests in various ventures and companies in industries such as pharmaceuticals, financials, tourism, beverages, agriculture, consumer and natural resources. He also serves as Chairman of Moza Capital and an executive director of Mozambique Capitais (parent company), which is a holding company with various interests in business across several sectors – including MozaBanco, one of the fastest growing banks in the country and Moztel (through their brand ClubNet).

Dr. Muendane serves on and chairs various other boards and also participates in research work with national and

international Universities and enterprise consultancies. He is director of the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programme and a lecturer in business strategy at the Faculty of Economics at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo. He holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from University of Northern Washington.

 

  • Ms. Tania Ngima (*Kenyan) – Business Strategy (East Africa)

Tania Ngima is a highly skilled finance, governance and strategy specialist with 13 years’ experience in East Africa. Currently with Microsoft, she works with the partner teams focusing on strategic partner planning and development.

She has previously held Head of Finance roles at Linksoft Uganda and the Loita Group for a total of 12 years leading finance operations for the East Africa region, setting up organizational systems, reporting and compliance in finance and strategic planning.

Tania is also an Independent Non-Executive Director with Resolution Insurance, chairs the ICT Business Committee and sits on the Investment, Audit and Risk Committees which are involved in ensuring cash flow adequacy and business investment decisions as well as evaluation of risk and business performance against the shareholders’ Return on Investment.

She is a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow – Young African Leaders with the U.S Department of State, a columnist with East African Standard championing public and private governance, runs a consulting firm that researches and conducts strategy for firms with the Strathmore Business School and is the co-founder of Game Changers Media Ltd, a company that builds business content for broadcast.

 

  • Dr. Vukosi Marivate (*South African) – Tech & Data Driven Strategies

Dr. Vukosi Marivate is a Data Scientist and Senior Researcher. Vukosi is interested in insights that we can learn from data. He advises Savvy Venture Partners on tech strategies, ventures focusing on data driven solutions and fintec.  Vukosi has a BSc, MSc in Electrical Engineering from Wits University and a PhD in Computer Science from Rutgers University. His PhD focused on practical considerations of Reinforcement Learning. Vukosi is also interested in how Machine Learning can be leveraged by organisations to improve their business or processes.