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 firms strategic accounts.
Before joining Control Risks in 2004, Dave spent three years as a corporate development manager for an international bank focusing on strategic partnerships across a number of industry sectors. Prior to that, he spent eight years as a Royal Marines Officer during which he gained a wide range of experience around the world. 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.
On leaving the Royal Marines, 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.
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 be 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.
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”.
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.
For the past ten years (2004-March 2015), Battersby served as UK Country Manager of Brand South Africa, a government-led public-private partnership mandated to position South Africa as one of the highly considered, non-traditional markets in terms of world trade, investment and tourism. Battersby has presented at investment and emerging market conferences in the United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. In Seattle in 2008, he chaired the emerging markets session at the annual Bill Gates summit at Microsoft headquarters. The session was attended inter alia by News International’s Rupert Murdoch and Lloyd Blankfein, the global CEO of Goldman Sachs. For five years (2000-2005) 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. Battersby has put the case for South Africa at debates and conferences organised by the Economist magazine, the Commonwealth Journalists Association, London’s Battle of Ideas, the Frontline Club, UK Trade and Industry, the Business Council of Africa and Brand Finance. He travelled to China with Leaders’ Quest in 2006 and as a guest of the government of the Peoples’ Republic of China in 2002 with a party of 18 African journalists from 11 African countries. Battersby served as southern African correspondent of the New York Times (1987-89) and later for the Christian Science Monitor (1989-94) and from 1994-96 as the Middle East correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor based in Jerusalem covering 22 countries in the Arab world. He was chair of the Foreign Correspondents Association in Southern Africa (1990-1992) and hosted the first FCA annual dinner with Nelson Mandela as guest-of-honour. He was twice nominated by the Christian Science Monitor 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.
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).
Battersby matriculated in 1966 at Diocesan College, Cape Town. He has credits in Comparative African Government and Law I and Social Anthropology I from the University of Cape Town (1968) and has done in-house training courses at Independent Newspapers and an executive development seminar on a visit to South Africa with Henley Business School in 2006.
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.
Sean is a property professional with 7 years’ experience working in various sectors of the property industry, in South Africa and the UK. He lived in London for the 4 years and relocated back to Johannesburg in early 2017. Most of his professional experience has been in property market analysis where he has developed a strong understanding of property markets and an interest in what makes them tick. More specifically, cities and emerging economies interest him.
He recently started operating as an independent consultant through his company Divercity Property Solutions and aims advise investors in South Africa, Sub Saharan and Europe interested in pursuing cross-border transactions, providing nuanced market analysis and assisting wherever possible with the property needs of investors, occupiers and other organisations or individuals. He is also involved in property training in South Africa.
Sean is passionate about South Africa, Africa, poverty alleviation and education. In his own capacity and through his role on the executive committee of the South Africa Chamber of Commerce in London, he actively looks to promote and facilitate business and charitable activity between the UK and South Africa. In line with his field, he is passionate about promoting the African property industry and the opportunities it holds.
Jaco van Zyl