Board of Directors


Sharon is a corporate governance specialist and foreign currency adviser renowned for getting things done. An energetic entrepreneur with a keen eye for risk, recognising opportunities, and understanding the value of good governance. South African born of English parents, Sharon has business interests in South Africa and the UK, and is fully aligned to a key strategic goal of developing bilateral trade between the countries.

Sharon is CEO of Genius Methods and of Valufin, is a Member of the International Committee of the CISI and a Non-Executive Director at Caban Capital plc. She holds an MBA, is a Chartered Director, a Chartered Secretary, Fellow of the Governance Institute, a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Company Secretaries and Administrators.


Peter works with global investors, banks, law firms and corporates to successfully navigate South African and Sub-Saharan Africa economics and politics. Offering a range of high touch subscription options to dedicated investors and consulting services for larger projects, financial institutions and corporates, he particularly specialises in developing political economy strategy and scenario planning for both individual and organised business.


Wessel has sound working knowledge of mining operational practices and principles, underpinned by a thorough understanding of relevant legislation. With over 20 years’ experience in operational mining transactions, restructuring and disposal of distressed mining and smelter operations, health and safety, mining labour law, mining and mineral dispute resolution, and environmental law pertaining to the mining industry, Wessel offers clients significant expertise in high-profile casualties and fatalities. He also acts on business rescues and restructurings, as well as providing employment and environmental advice.

During many trips to the People’s Republic of China, Wessel has developed a good understanding of the cultural approach to the business needs of SoEs and private Chinese and Asian corporates that invest in South Africa and Africa. He acts as the liaison for legal advice given to a variety of Asian and Chinese clients throughout Africa.

Wessel holds a B.Com., University of Johannesburg, and an LL.B., University of South Africa.


Mohamed Cassimjee was a senior diplomat for the South African foreign service for over 26 years. He served as Deputy Ambassador to Germany from 2016-2020, and prior to that served abroad in Washington DC, Uganda and Senegal.

He has served in various positions at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria including: Director of the African Union; Germany/Nordics; Latin America/Caribbean States and the European Union. Before joining the foreign service, he was a practicing advocate (barrister) in South Africa.

As a foreign affairs analyst his research is on the present state of the geopolitical environment as well as implications for governments, corporates and investors. He is a mentor at the Blavatnik School of Government and a research associate at the Centre for African Studies at Oxford University. He is also active in politics in North Oxfordshire, where he lives with his family.


Ali Chafekar’s background has involved managing inward investment, foreign direct investment and trade related projects, which have often led to regeneration, working with multiple stakeholders and partners from the private and public sectors.

Ali brings the experience of working at senior level alongside various central government departments, ministers and leaders, investment promotion agencies, municipalities and their networks within the public sector, significant stakeholder partners, embassy representatives and their commercial attaches.


Tanya is a highly regarded intermediary, convenor and facilitator of solutions between the government and private sector, who employs her expertise in relationship-building and agile interventions towards the goals of inclusive growth and employment. She is a Senior Advisor at the Public Private Growth Initiative, a sector-based initiative that focuses on building trust and unblocking priority inhibitors and opportunities. As the former Chief Executive of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), she led country’s largest organisation representing organised business. In this position, she played a key role in leading business on numerous social compact processes, including the Presidential Jobs Summit Framework Agreement and the Presidential Health Compact.

Prior to joining BUSA, Tanya was the Managing Director of the Retail Association and spent 11 years in people management and stakeholder engagement at Woolworths (Pty) Ltd. She has served as Chairperson of the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) Governing Body, and as a Commissioner of Employment Equity. An attorney by profession, Tanya holds a BA, LLB, LLM (Laws) from the University of Witwatersrand. She currently serves as a Commissioner in the National Planning Commission.


Thabiso is an experienced governance and business development practitioner. He has a deep understanding of the complexities of corporate governance, financial management, board dynamics, systems thinking and business leadership. Thabiso has a strong ability to analyse and interpret data, develop and implement solutions, and effectively manage resources. 

Thabiso is a SME business consultant who enjoys consulting on projects that involve commercialisation and new business development. He’s an experienced practitioner with tenures in the health, education, conservation and eco-tourism services sectors, and is skilled in corporate governance and sustainable development, business planning, analysis, entrepreneurship, and environmental finance.


Ed is the Managing Director of GKB Ventures, Trade & Export Finance Ambassador for the SACC , and the Chair of the Financial Services Committee at BCA.


Sarah Hutton is a South African born business woman who has had the pleasure of a career working around the world. As Human Resources Director for Coca-Cola, Sarah aligns the HR Agenda with business strategy and measurable results.

Holding an MSc, Management (Industrial Relations), degree from Oxford University, Sarah is highly valued by the leadership teams she works with, for delivering pragmatic HR solutions to meet business needs on a daily basis, but also for driving large scale organisational change. Sarah has throughout her career at Coca-Cola, been a formal mentor to women in early and mid-career, through a program called “women in leadership”.

Sarah is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a member of SAICA and ICAEW.


Mark Kerns is a seasoned senior executive with a distinguished career working with leading global and regional banks including Standard Bank where he was Head of Investor Services.

He has held senior roles at The Bank of New York, JP Morgan, Bankers Trust and The WM Company. His experience embraces business ownership roles, client and sales management, product management leadership, strategy and corporate development within the post trade and securities services industry. Mark also has over 25 years of experience doing business into and out of South Africa. He is a Global Custodian Legend inductee and has received a Lifetime Achievement award from Global Investor.


Natalie Naudé is a highly accomplished professional with an impressive track record spanning over 15 years in global communication and media relations.

Her expertise lies in the strategic development and seamless execution of communication campaigns that deliver impactful results.

Natalie’s academic achievements include earning an MBA from the University of Cape Town, and BA in Communications and Political Science. Her passion for multicultural communication is evident in her work, where she consistently garners international media attention and conceptualises communication campaigns that resonate with a global audience.

Natalie has collaborated with renowned organisations on a global scale, including YPO and Wesgro. Her work has graced the screens and pages of esteemed international media outlets such as BBC, CNN, CNBC, and prominent leadership magazines, effectively conveying their core ideas and objectives to a diverse and discerning audience.


Prof Francis William Petersen is the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Free State since 1 April 2017.  He has formerly been Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town; Dean: Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Cape Town; Executive Head: Strategy at Anglo American Platinum; Executive Vice-President: Research and Development at Mintek; and Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Cape Technikon (now the Cape Peninsula University of Technology).  He obtained the degrees BEng (Chem), MEng (Metal), and PhD (Eng) at Stellenbosch University, and completed a short course on Financial Skills for Executive Management with IIR Training.  He is a recipient of the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust and Cape Technikon Researcher of the Year Awards.  He is also a regular reviewer and serves on the editorial boards of various international journals.


Jonathan Rosenthal is the Africa Editor at The Economist.

Every day I get to try to understand and then explain the world’s fastest-growing and fastest-moving region to smart readers across the globe. To do my job I get to travel across the length of Africa.

 I oversee all of The Economist’s output on Africa and edit the weekly pages in the Middle East & Africa section. I also write most of The Economist’s editorials on Africa. I manage a team of great reporters across the continent and represent the paper at public events. When not chained to my desk in London, I endeavour to travel extensively on the continent to report and write longer-form special reports and analytical articles with a particular focus on emerging trends.


Andrew Skipper MBE has over 35 years’ legal experience at the same law firm, Hogan Lovells,  and is currently Chair of its Africa Practice. He was head of Hogan Lovells  global corporate practice and on their international management committee for 10 years. He is also a member of the working group on legal services for UK-Nigeria Economic Development Forum (EDF).

In the wider world, Andrew is Co-chair of the UK government’s Africa Investors Group, a member of the Council of the Royal Africa Society and on the board of South Africa Chamber of Commerce in the UK. Andrew is vice chair of the advisory board of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and is on the advisory Board of the Art Fair 1-54. He is a regular commentator on African affairs, hosting a popular podcast called the A Perspective Podcast.


Moses Tembe’s illustrious business career spans almost three decades and includes spearheading several major developments in Kwa-Zulu Natal, including the development of the Point Waterfront, Suncoast, Richards Bay Eco Junction.

Moses chairs Bellamont Capital and other investment companies that have invested and built various businesses that include Geochem, Afrostructures and Kusile Gas. He is President of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vice-Chairman KZN Business Initiative, Chairman of the eThekwini Community Foundation and member of the Board of Durban Infrastructure Development Trust. He currently Co-Chairs the KZN Growth Coalition with Premier of Kwa-Zulu Natal and also serves as Convenor in the KZN Economic Council and eThekwini Economic Council.


Dennis completed his articles with Ernst & Young and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1984. Dennis spent 14 years in investment banking focusing on corporate finance with some of South Africa’s major banking groups and accountancy firms.

He co-founded the Servest Group in 1997 with Kenton Fine and was appointed as Group Deputy Chairman in 2011. His role is to assist in growing Servest into a significant facilities management group in Africa and the United Kingdom. He is also a Vice President of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He values fairness, honesty, and is passionate about people.