JOHN BATTERSBY (DIRECTOR)
John Battersby is a journalist, communications consultant, relationship-broker and analyst with an extensive data-base built up over 35 years as a journalist, country marketing executive and consultant. Battersby is co-author of the book Nelson Mandela: A Life in Photographs by John D Battersby and David Elliot Cohen published by Sterling in the United States (Sterling, 2010). He is also author of the 10 000-word Afterword in the updated version of Mandela: the Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson (Harper, Collins, 2011).
For the past ten years (2004-March 2015), Battersby served as UK Country Manager of Brand South Africa. Battersby has put the case for South Africa at debates and conferences, having presented at investment and emerging market conferences in the United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. In 2008, he chaired the emerging markets session at the annual Bill Gates summit at Microsoft headquarters. For five years Battersby served as a judge on the panel of the CNN African Journalist of the Year awards and is a founder delegate and contributor to the Monaco Media Form. He has travelled to China with Leaders’ Quest, been a guest of the government of the Peoples’ Republic of China and served as southern African correspondent of the New York Times (1987-89). He has further been involved with the Christian Science Monitor, receiving two for the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of South Africa. In February 2015, Battersby was appointed as chair of the Canon Collins Educational and Legal Assistance Trust (CCELAT), the oldest and most established of more than 100 registered charities in the UK which contribute to the development effort in South Africa.
DAVID BUTLER (DIRECTOR AND CEO)
David is an entrepreneur and crisis and risk management expert with extensive experience advising companies investing and operating in high-risk frontier markets across the Middle East and Africa with a specific focus on the SADC region and South Africa – a country he is passionate about. David has worked with a number of global, African and South African clients across a range of industry sectors including financial, oil and gas and telecoms. Prior to joining Brecon Group, a risk management consultancy, David spent five years as a Control Risks managing director in South Africa setting up the Control Risks Southern Africa office. Prior to that he was the Head of Control Risks’ business development function across Europe, Middle East and Africa, managing a number of the firm’s strategic accounts.
Having spent eight years as a Royal Marines Officer Dave spent three years as a corporate development manager for an international bank. A trained military helicopter pilot, Dave has also worked with the UN as an Observer in the Former Yugoslavia leading a team of multi-national officers during the negotiation and implementation of the Dayton Peace Accord. Dave graduated with Distinction from the Warwick University full-time MBA course. He also holds a Bachelors Degree in Astrophysics and a Masters Degree in Finance from London Business School.
CHANTELÉ CARRINGTON (DIRECTOR)
Chantelé is the COO of the Africa Business Group for PwC UK. She was previously the Africa Financial Services Lead, and Southern Africa Lead. She has spent over 10 years working in financial services on the African continent. Since joining PwC South Africa, Chantelé has worked as an auditor and consultant to African and British companies, including those listed on the FTSE100, JSE, and other African stock exchanges. She has worked in several business areas at PwC; her current focus being on British companies who wish to expand into Africa, and strategies for African companies in the UK. Her expertise ranges across internal and external audit, as well as controls, governance and regulatory consulting, for insurers, asset managers and banks. Other experience includes tax, liquidations and forensics. She has also written on investment governance for global financial magazines. Chantelé was previously an innovaBRICS & Beyond Advisory Board Member. Chantelé is passionate to give back to her homeland to actively help it develop. She feels that is her duty to motivate and inspire SA businesses in the UK, and globally to see SA’s potential, and contribute to a country in which businesses and government work together for healthy, attractive economic growth.
SHARON CONSTANÇON (DIRECTOR AND CHAIRMAN)
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, Sharon will focus on delivering against the strategic plan which she shared in creating this last year. 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. The Board welcome her business and strategic experience, her corporate network and passion for the Chamber. Her business acumen and vision will support the growth in membership and ongoing development of the Chamber.
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 and winner of a SACC Business Award. In Sharon’s words “This is a great opportunity to create an energy for the various pillars of activity – to deliver value add to business, charity, politics and networking, a place to be seen and to learn.”
CAROL FREEMAN (DIRECTOR)
Carol was born and grew up in Johannesburg and spent her salad days studying law and politics at Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape. After that, she moved to the UK, with the intention of travelling and working here for only a short while. Seven years later she has made her home in Blackheath, London. By day she is a political adviser and researcher working in the House of Commons for a senior Conservative MP. By night she can generally be found earnestly debating public policy in pursuit of her persistent youthful ambition to make the world a better place. Carol keeps herself very busy and barely a day goes by when she cannot b
e found in some sports or social activity. She immensely proud to hold dual South African and British citizenship, although when it comes to sport, she will always fail the Tebbit Test as her blood runs green and gold.
PETER MAILA (DIRECTOR)
Peter joined CDC in 2012 as Investment Director in the Direct Equity Investments team. He is responsible for sourcing and execution of direct equity investments in Africa and South Asia.
Peter has a wealth of experience gained over 15 years in private equity, investment banking and telecommunications. Prior to joining CDC, he was the Investment Director, Principal Investments at HSBC Bank; and Head of Leverage and Acquisition Finance Africa at Rand Merchant Bank. He also worked for Standard Bank; and Vodacom South Africa and Tanzania operations. Peter is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a member of SAICA and ICAEW.
MIKE MILLER (DIRECTOR AND TREASURER)
Mike Miller grew up in Durban and was educated at New Forest High and the then University of Natal. After graduating he joined Unilever’s Marketing department in Durban as a graduate trainee and subsequently enjoyed a successful corporate career in both South Africa and the UK with Unilever, Beecham Products International (now GSK), Revlon and Colgate Palmolive in both senior marketing and general management roles, heading up several successful corporate ventures in the process. He established Sapro International in South Africa in 1997 and moved to the UK at the end of that year to set up Sapro in the UK followed by The South African Shop retail and online stores which were sold earlier this decade. His company, SAJE International Ltd, is in the process of launching a new webshop specialising in South African consumer products delivered directly from South Africa, www.sadpro.co.uk.
Mike is one of the original founder members of the South African Chamber of Commerce in the UK and is also a past president of the Maidenhead and District Chamber of Commerce. His additional interest in recent years has been education and apart from tutoring Business and Economics at Sixth Form level he is also Chair of the Young Enterprise Area Board for YE SWiM covering schools in Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead. Mike is a family man who has been married to his wife Liz for more years than he cares to remember with four children and five grandchildren who have become the passions in his life. Mike’s motto in both business and life is “Always strive to make a difference”.
RICHARD SWART (DIRECTOR: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS)
South African-born Richard Swart is a global sales director and UK managing director of Berger Group Europe. Richard was initially hired to establish a UK manufacturing base for Berger in Durham in 1988 before becoming group chief executive officer, where he reformed and stabilised the business and helped return it to good strength.
Richard is a non-executive director of North East England Chamber of Commerce, Chair of International Trade for the NEECC, Chairman of the Board of North East Worldwide (the delivery partner of DIT in the North East), and previously Chairman of the board of Go Global (North East), the previous delivery partner. Richard has strengthened links between South Africa, the UK and the world, setting up Memorandum of Understandings signings between Durban and Newcastle local governments as well as between the Durban and North East of England Chamber and facilitated specialist trade missions to South Africa.