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LEAD: Top 35-under-35: MEET THE FINALISTS

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Abed Abed Tau, 28, Director of Thamani (Pty) Ltd and Co-founder of Tuta-Me (Pty) Ltd 

Abed Tau is a co-founder of Tuta-Me  – call it the Uber of tutors. It’s South Africa’s very first on-demand tutoring edu-tech start-up and has recently been named second-best tech start-up in South Africa by Hack Jozi, City of Johannesburg and the JCSE, thus winning R350 000. Abed has learnt a great deal about fund-raising in the last while, closing their seed capital for Tuta-Me valuing the start-up at R5 million. His big picture is creating micro-entrepreneurs through impacting education.

His ‘little’ consulting business, Thamani, is no longer so little and has grown its revenues more than ten times since its inception two years ago. Thamani has recently got its third CA(SA) partner as well. Getting busier and with hiring more staff, they have moved to Melrose Arch for office space that also operates as hot desk space for young aspiring entrepreneurs who fit in with the culture.

Abed’s big dream is creating a multi-faceted global competitive company within the next year.

Luke Luke Beben, 33, Group CFO of Lamoda Group

Operating in a dynamic and leading online retailer, Lamoda Group in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Luke is responsible for a group finance function – including reporting, controlling, treasury, tax, budgeting and reporting systems – with over 130 heads in seven territories.

Lamoda Group is a significant part of the Global Fashion Group (GFG) unicorn, which operates across five continents covering 23 countries with a €330 billion fashion market serving a population of more than 2,5 billion.

GFG offers more than 2 million products and 1 000 international and local brands in fashion clothing, footwear and accessories, and boasts a steadily growing traffic of over 20 million unique users per month.

In his spare time Luke teaches English to underprivileged Russian youth and mentors them in the hope of creating the regional, and perhaps also international, leaders of tomorrow.

Kamini Kamini Moodley, 34, Head of Manager Research at Stanlib Multi-Manager

Kamini Moodley joined Stanlib Multi-Manager at a time when the organisation was going through an enormous amount of change and staff turnover leaving the overall morale of the team lacking energy and direction. Joining the team left her with two choices: she could either fall into the same despondence or find a renewed sense of energy and ignite a sense of curiosity into the team to carry them forward. Needless to say, she opted for the latter.

It is this attitude that has allowed her to be noticed by her superiors and peers and had led her to snap up the role of Head of Manager Research just 18 months after coming on board as an analyst. The Multi-Manager team are responsible collectively for R150 billion of assets.

In addition to her ‘day job’, Kamini is co-owner of a private company called Avant-Garde Cooling focused on greener, more energy efficient sources of heating and cooling aimed at raising our green consciousness as a society.

Huzaifah Huzaifah Elias, 34, Director: Africa Operations G.U.D. Holdings (Pty) Ltd

Following a highly successful tenure in the commercial and technical finance field at GUD Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Huzaifah Elias was entrusted with the strategic initiative of expanding the group on the African continent. As Director of Africa Operations, he has built up complete operating businesses in some of the most difficult countries – including Mozambique, Zambia and Nigeria – and has expanded into more than ten countries. With a return on investment greater than 150% per annum, these businesses exceeding profitability targets and revenue doubled, the results have been outstanding.

Through knowledge garnered as a CA(SA), Huzaifah  has developed various forex platforms to manage forex risk which has earned the group millions of rands. To top it off, Huzaifah has learnt Portuguese from scratch to operate in Lusophone Africa and has a working knowledge of French for operating in North Africa.

Upliftment of the poorest in Africa through automotive education and training is close to his heart and has been rolled out across Africa. Huzaifah also oversees the Zimbabwe manufacturing plant and chairs the board of directors in Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Charl Charl de Villiers, 31, Chief Financial Officer, Stellar Capital Partners Limited

A highlight for Charl de Villiers has been his appointment as CFO, at the age of 30, of JSE-listed Stellar Capital Partners Limited, an investment holding company which is anchored by shareholder Dr Christo Wiese.

Prior to joining Stellar, Charl was a corporate finance executive with AfrAsia Corporate Finance where he managed the conversion of ConvergeNet Holdings Limited, then a JSE-listed information and communication technology group, to an investment holding company, as well as the related disposal of ConvergeNet’s operating businesses and a R150 million capital raise. Stellar’s market capitalisation has increased significantly from R120 million to R1,6 billion in less than two years since the establishment of Stellar.

Throughout the process of Stellar’s conversion and its subsequent development, Charl managed complex transactional, regulatory and accounting challenges.

Charl performs oversight of investee company CSI programmes on behalf of Stellar and in addition to his role as CFO, leads financial services sector transaction execution for the company.

Daylan Daylan Staude, 33, Lecturer in Postgraduate Taxation and Taxation Honours, University of Fort Hare

Daylan joined the university in 2011 after spending ten years in practice and with a strong technical and training background, easily settled into the university’s postgraduate lecturing team, of which he is now the overall programme co-ordinator. He has always shown enormous passion for the development of his students and the postgraduate programmes. His dedication was recognised when he was awarded the university’s Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014.

Daylan has presented a number of research papers including presentations on in-classroom participation techniques, something which he is passionate about. His students and colleagues easily describe him as someone who is always willing to go the extra mile for his students and who always has his students’ best interests at heart.

With an interest in serving others, Daylan is involved in many community engagement initiatives and corporate governance training. He has also spearheaded a number of fundraising initiatives such as a cancer Shavathon campaign, as well as for local children’s homes.

Raymond Raymond Ledwaba, 30, Vice-President: Product Control at Barclays Africa

Raymond has been awarded the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship, President Barack Obama’s flagship programme for Young African Leaders (YALI). He is the co-founder and CEO of Diski Nine9, an NGO that uses soccer as a tool to educate and empower South African youth. Raymond has over seven years’ professional experience in auditing, consulting and project management and has worked in the United States, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and numerous other African countries.

He holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town (class of 2013/14) and was selected as one of 100 global students to participate in the 2015 MBA World Summit in Barcelona, Spain. He has been appointed the head of the 2018 MBA World Summit Organising Committee where he will lead a team based in South Africa and Germany to organise this annual educational event scheduled to take place in Cape Town.

Graeme Graeme Marais, 34, Founder and Managing Director of Blue Recruiting

‘In our continuous effort to be a service provider and employer of choice, KPMG has aligned with Blue Recruiting to assist our clients in finding quality staff and also provide our alumni with employment opportunities. The Blue Recruiting innovation was conceived and built by Graeme Marais and has been a great success,’ says John Saker.

Although Blue Recruiting is an independent recruitment business, it is housed within KPMG and in just more than two years has placed over 100 CAs(SA).

Blue Recruiting was advertised at the 2015 KPMG SA Alumni event as one of the KPMG South Africa’s recent innovations and will also be featured at the 2016 KPMG Europe, Middle East and Africa conference in Spain on Talent Management.

Graeme is also the co-founder and trustee of Bokamoso Education Trust, which is currently providing financial assistance to 51 children whose parents are unable to afford a quality education.

Ryan Ryan Mer, 31, Managing Director of CQS Confirmations

Ryan has always gravitated towards entrepreneurship. He opted to do his articles at Grant Thornton, which provided him with exposure to a variety of business. In 2011 he was seconded to the Los Angeles office where he was introduced to an electronic system which allows auditors to simply log their audit confirmation requests with banks – something that had already been on his mind in South Africa.

Upon his arrival back home, with bags barely unpacked he and a friend, Brett Chait, began the pursuit of making electronic audit bank confirmations possible in South Africa. Along the way they were approached by CQS, an established audit software player, to partner on this start-up venture.

Three years after officially beginning operations, they had changed the way of doing audit confirmations in South Africa, improving turnaround times, efficiencies and security. Today, all the big banks and over a thousand audit firms use the system to fulfil their audit confirmations electronically.

With his sights set on growth into new markets, new opportunities and niche software/technology business acquisitions, Ryan believes the journey has just begun.

Chantelle Chantelle Loots, 34, Chief Financial Officer of Bombela Concession Company

Growing up as a small-town girl, Chantelle has worked extremely hard for many years to achieve something amazing – not knowing if it would ever really be possible. But today she is living her dream as a young independent woman rocking the corporate world as CFO of the Bombela Concession Company. The company was awarded the contract for the design, partial financing, delivery, operations and maintenance of the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link, a multi-billion rand project. Chantelle has played a major part in the success of this popular public transport system.

As one of Chantelle’s many achievements, she took on the challenge of building a new budget model from scratch. Her knowledge in financial modelling enabled her to build a model that is dynamic, reliable and accurate. Management and the board of directors now place great value on this model for financial planning and decision-making.

Carlo Carlo Botha, 32, Financial Manager of Stellenbosch Vineyards

Without any prior knowledge of the wine industry, Carlo joined Stellenbosch Vineyards in November 2014 at a time when the business was still in a recovery phase after a massive turnaround strategy.

A week into his employment the project manager of the implementation of a new ERP system resigned leaving Carlo to take over the reins. With excellent planning and management, Carlo and team successfully completed the project, and 30% below the original budget.

He has also been able to identify a number of key cost-saving opportunities and taken over the responsibility of foreign currency risk management along with revamping the insurance strategy and being a key member of the credit risk management committee.

Carlo is an avid sports person, having represented South Africa in his age group at the World Duathlon Championship. He is also currently the vice-chairman of the University of the Western Cape Sports Board.

Currently Carlo is also involved with Amicus, an organisation formed in 2007 between friends of the Dagbreek residence at Stellenbosch University that financially support children with special educational needs from previously disadvantaged backgrounds on wine farms.

Pieter Pieter van Niekerk, 31, Deputy Group CFO at Ascendis Health

Pieter has been involved in the listing of Ascendis Health, a pharmaceutical business with a R7 billion market capitalisation, on the main board of the JSE. At the age of 29 he was promoted to Deputy CFO, overseeing operational and financial issues in a listed group with multiple local and offshore subsidiaries.

During the course of his career, Pieter has been involved in corporatising and listing companies both locally and internationally. He managed teams of 100+ people in multiple locations and time zones. Pieter has been extremely successful in creating working environments with high-performance teams, including setting up innovation teams that improved processes and place ownership with the team members. The team has both corporate and social responsibilities and is very involved in supporting a charitable institution in Soweto that provides meals for children.

GregM Greg Magid, 27, Managing Director (UK&I) of the VAT IT Group

At just 27 years old, Greg Magid is successfully building and running the largest subsidiary of the VAT IT Group, specialising in automating VAT recoveries for global enterprises via a suite of SaaS and service-related products including an industry-first VAT cloud application.

Out of UCT, Greg qualified with KPMG and now has a team of 23 members and over 1 000 clients, including the world’s largest consultants and manufacturers. 2016 has been the most successful start to a financial year in the history of the UK business, which is ten years old. ‘The goal is to double the business this year,’ says Greg.

A highlight for Greg has been concluding a global partnership with MasterCard, Concur, Xpenditure and Certify.

Greg is also part of a team of young professionals who co-founded Chapter2, a charity which started in 2012 and is aimed at restoring basic rights in South Africa.

Nirakasha Nirakasha Sookraj, 31, Financial Director of Bidvest SACD

As finance manager within Bidvest Tank Terminal (BTT), formerly known as Island View Storage, Nirakasha joined at a time of dramatic change, playing a key role in managing to keep the finance team focused on their core goals. She also embarked on numerous projects, some of which were outside the scope of her role. These initiatives assisted in streamlining processes within the organisation.

Owing to Nirakasha’s exemplary commitment and dedication she was recommended to become the next finance director of Bidvest SACD, which is part of the Freight Division of Bidvest.

Before turning 30, Nirakasha was appointed as finance director making her currently the youngest director within the Freight Division of Bidvest.

Nirakasha is also currently the deputy chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal committee of African Women Chartered Accountants. She is also a member of SAICA’s YCAN Eastern Region.

Alta Alta-Mari Grebe, 34, Financial Manager of DCD Wind Towers (Pty) Ltd

In December 2013, Alta-Mari Grebe joined DCD Wind Towers, the first wind tower manufacturing company in South Africa. As the youngest senior manager at the time, Alta-Mari was responsible for setting up the entire finance department with it becoming the custom of taking over other operations if others were struggling with them.

Alta-Mari has assisted the first Imfundo project in building a school in Malabar in Port Elizabeth, a rural area with no running water. The school provides foundation education for previously disadvantaged children ages 3 to 6 who are subjected to severe poverty conditions within the area. The school runs without any government assistance and now has 25 children they teach on a daily basis along with providing both breakfast and lunch.

Alta-Mari has since joined forces with RoleModels foundation and four other Imfundo projects were subsequently introduced throughout South Africa. On weekends she also provides meals to the community, where she serves about 150 people.

During 2015, Alta-Mari was awarded the runner-up PPS Professional Woman of the Year in recognition for the work she does with the youth.

Siya - profile pic Siyanda Gule, 29, CFO of Vantage Capital Group

Siyanda Gule began his private equity career at Vantage Capital. With his good work ethic and sharp technical skills, Siyanda has worked his way up to CFO of Vantage Capital Group.

After spending three years at Vantage Capital as financial controller and right-hand man of the CFO, he was approached by three partners in the process of starting a new private equity firm, Kleoss Capital. Leaving his cushioned position at Vantage Capital he joined as CFO of Kleoss and assisted with the establishment of the fund, fundraising presentations, admission of investors into the fund, and deal sourcing.

From 1 June 2016, Siyanda has re-joined Vantage Capital Group as its CFO effectively heading up the finance function of a fund manager with R8 billion assets under management.

Waseem Waseem-Ahmed Carrim, 28, Chief Financial Officer of the  National Youth Development Agency

After going through a competitive process of interviews and psychometric assessments, at just 26 years old, Waseem Carrim was appointed CFO of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). Waseem is one of the youngest CFOs ever appointed within the public service.

During his first year as CFO, through the design of supply chain management policies and procedures and the harmonisation of the internal control environment through application of financial systems and controls,  the NYDA achieved an unqualified audit opinion. In his second year, the NYDA achieved its first ‘clean audit’ opinion from the Auditor-General of South Africa, reduced irregular expenditure by 97%, eliminated all matters of non-compliance, and achieved its highest organisational performance in history placing the NYDA in the top tier of government agencies.

Recently the NYDA with Waseem as one of its leaders has concluded a notable corporate restructuring and culture change programme, one of few successful restructuring programmes ever concluded within the public service.

Garth Garth Pretorius, 33, Partner at EY

Within 12 months of joining EY as a senior manager in 2014, Garth Pretorius was promoted to associate director. In January 2016 he went on to be nominated into the firm’s partnership admission process. His nomination was accepted and on 1 July 2016 he will start as a Financial Accounting and Advisory Services (FAAS) Partner. His rapid advancement is ascribed to his wealth of experience and technical knowledge, which is evident in his significant contribution to successfully improving audit outcomes at a number of government institutions.

With more than ten years’ experience within the public sector, Garth is passionate about making a tangible contribution and difference through the advancement and reform of financial accounting, reporting and governance within the sector.

Mose Mose Kutadzaushe, 32, Founding Director of Supreme Brands

Mose left Zimbabwe for South Africa and after a challenging three-month-long job search he managed to secure a job as a management consultant at Deloitte. However, supporting his family was not enough for him – he felt challenged to make a difference in his entire community ‒ Zimbabwe.

When he was 27 Mose launched Supreme Brands, a company that manufactures and distributes toilet paper products. His company was recently identified by the largest wholesaling group in Zimbabwe, N-Richards, who admitted Supreme Brands into their selective supplier development initiative. This has resulted in them being awarded a large portion of the toilet paper shelf space in all of the group’s 26 outlets.

They currently supply all leading retailers in Zimbabwe and occupies more than 80% of the nationwide toilet paper shelf space in some retailers. The company has generated revenues in excess of R70 million since its inception and currently employs 77 people.

Mose recently joined Investec Asset Management as an Investment Specialist in the Africa Private Equity team.

Xolani Xolani Sithole, 32, Managing Director: Sebenza Forwarding And Shipping (Pty) Ltd

Being a highly motivated individual, to date Xolani quickly rose through the ranks and held various key positions. His most recent appointment has been MD of Sebenza, a company with a turnover above R50 million and assets worth R100 million. Before being appointed as MD, Xolani served as financial director of Sebenza for almost a year and a half.

Turning around the business from loss-making (R17 million annually) to profit-making within six months, achieving a 60% reduction in audit time and costs, improving the BEE rating from a level 5 to a sustainable level 2, streamlining the IT environment, and launching  a new corporate strategy that is measurable are some of his achievements.

Outside working hours he has presented numerous lectures on financial awareness at no cost to church communities in the townships. Xolani recently appeared on ‘Against all odds’ on ENCA,  a TV show that tells the stories of how ordinary South Africans from disadvantaged backgrounds make a success of their lives and the lives of others.

Justin Justin van Wyk, 34, CEO of Big Concerts

Growing the group’s value by 300% in the past eight years, Justin van Wyk has seen Big Concerts become the largest and only live entertainment company in Africa to feature on the Top 100 Worldwide Promoters List with interests in touring, ticketing, concessions, hospitality, merchandise, and venue management.

Justin has successfully created business models for the use of the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums for live entertainment and has hosted some of the biggest names in music including U2, One Direction, Justin Bieber, Bon Jovi, Rihanna and Bruce Springsteen.

Justin has also been successful in growing the brand into one of the Top 10 brands on Twitter in South Africa, winning the tender for the +R2 billion redevelopment of the Bellville Velodrome precinct, which will include a world-class multi-purpose arena. He also concluded an acquisition of a majority stake in the business to Live Nation, the largest live entertainment company in the world.

Liaan Liaan Kretzschmar, 33, Finance Director of Jaguar Land Rover SA & SSA 

Since his appointment in January 2014, Liaan’s professionalism, leadership and impact has led to him being identified as one of Jaguar Land Rover’s senior leaders of the future. Liaan is one of only six candidates globally that have been selected in 2016 for Jaguar Land Rover’s high-performance training programme, Advance, which develops high-potential leaders towards future senior leadership and executive roles.

Leading a diverse team working across multiple disciplines, Liaan has brought significant structure and process strength to the organisation, increasing efficiency, accuracy and control over all elements of finance and beyond. Despite significant economic challenges and headwinds, he has driven the continued delivery of results in line with the shareholder’s expectations across both South Africa and the Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

Liaan is an active member of his local church where he serves in a variety of ways. He presents a guest lecture once a year at  North-West University ‒ Potchefstroom with the focus on corporate governance and board responsibilities. In 2015 he cycled the 94.7 Cycle Challenge as a personal challenge in memory of a friend that passed away to cancer and in support of the Beulah Africa Charity.

Nico Nico van der Merwe, 35 Associate Professor in Financial Reporting, North-West University

In a career marked by various accolades and achievements, right from the start during his training contract Nico van der Merwe achieved the highest ratings for work performed. Thereafter he joined the academic staff of North-West University (NWU), where he quickly progressed to being the subject head and later the leader of the CA(SA) programme. He was promoted to Associate Professor in Financial Reporting at the age of 26.

Nico has received the Absa bronze medal for best master’s student in the social sciences at NWU. Other awards include an award for the best lecturer at NWU in 2008, an Institutional Award for Excellence in Research in 2010, and a Rapport Faculty Award for Inspirational Education in 2010.

Nico holds a PhD in which he made a significant contribution to improving and transforming the education of CA(SA) students. He has published various articles in national and international journals.

Ismail Ismail Seedat, 34, Group Reporting and Taxation Manager, One Africa Media

Ismail joined One Africa Media at a time when they were aggressively expanding across Africa, where little attention was being given to organisational structure, record keeping and compliance. The group operates Africa’s largest portfolio of online marketplaces focused on jobs, cars, property and travel.

After supporting the CFO in South Africa, Ismail was given the opportunity to relocate to Lagos to take control of the struggling subsidiary businesses in Nigeria and Ghana. Driving budgets in a chaotic environment with young and junior executives means also testing strategic thinking. Within weeks and with extraordinary management skills, Ismail was guiding and mentoring the general managers to success.

Ismail has excelled in innovative thinking by identifying a niche in funding Nigeria’s financially excluded population, who although financially well-off didn’t have formal documentation in place either to open a bank account or obtain loan finance.

He is now also leading the product thinking on a finance product for rental property in Nigeria. These products could materially influence the group’s strategy and transform the business in these markets.

Rikus Rikus Vorster, 32, Chief Financial Officer, Deloitte Nigeria

Before turning 30, Rikus Vorster became CFO of Deloitte Nigeria with the key responsibility of ensuring international standard financial transformation and sustainability within the finance department.

He has differentiated himself by bringing initiatives to the table of Deloitte Nigeria which have been most impressive. To name a few: he set out creating a business intelligence reporting platform that left even the service provider astounded to what type of reports he had designed using their data. Another has been developing an online procurement system that has proved to work effectively, focusing on going green as well as reducing manual input and processing. Rikus also designed several tools and templates to make reporting, budgeting and forecasting more detailed yet easier to understand. These initiatives have resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of information for purposes of strategic decision-making.

Overall he is a good leader who creates a positive team environment by focusing on responsibility, ethics, output, and continuous improvement.

Johan Johan Ferreira, 34, Group Financial Director, Rolfes Holdings

At Rolfes Holdings, a JSE-listed company that operates from Johannesburg and has a global footprint in Africa and Europe, Johan has settled into his role exceptionally well, boldly stepping up to challenges with an eagerness and energy that has amazed his superiors and colleagues.

Prior to this Johan was employed by Glencore for almost five years. Glencore is one of the world’s largest global natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 90 commodities and over 150 mining and metallurgical sites. Here Johan was transferred from Optimum Coal Holdings South Africa as group financial controller to Glencore International AG in Switzerland as part of the Copper Trade Finance team. During this period Johan also completed his master’s degree in business administration. Prior to this Johan was as an audit manager at KPMG in the Energy and Natural Resources Department, where he was involved in various mining engagements including the JSE listing of Optimum Coal.

Johan’s strength of character and ethos, both personally and professionally, have been notable.

Lyndsay Lyndsay Maseko, 34, Senior Lecturer at University of Johannesburg

Lyndsay is passionate about academia and enjoys motivating students to perform at the best of their ability and to be respected, responsible and caring human beings.He recently co-authored an academic article that was published in an internationally accredited research journal. He also completed his master’s degree in computer auditing with a dissertation investigating the application of King III as a framework for effective IT governance, for which he received a grading above the 75th percentile.

Lyndsay is a lecturer at APT and has recently been appointed director and shareholder of the company ‒ one of SAICA’s two accredited professional programme providers. He also serves as the audit committee chairman of Safika Resources (Pty) Ltd.

Along with being actively involved with lectures for the Thuthuka fund, Lyndsay assists with annual career days organised by the Tirisano Foundation, an NPO uplifting scholars in Soweto.

Sedzani Sedzani Musundwa, 33, Thuthuka Bursary Fund Manager of The University of Pretoria

Attesting to her dedication and contribution to the development of global young leaders, in April 2016, Sedzani Musundwa was awarded a Silver Angel Award at the annual G200 Youth Forum in Germany. Sedzani is an executive member of the international G200 Association based in Switzerland, an organisation that gathers young leaders from across the world. Her aim of bringing African issues to the fore and attracting more African students and professors was the reason for her joining the organisation in 2012.

Sedzani currently heads up the Thuthuka Programme at UP as this is directly aligned with her life values. Being an accessible role model to hundreds of black students leaves her feeling like she doesn’t work a day in her life.

Another great achievement for Sedzani is her commencement of a PhD which will focus on addressing social issues encountered in accounting education in South Africa.

Louw Louw Barnardt, 28, Founder and Managing Director of OutsourcedCFO

A driven entrepreneur, Louw Barnardt co-founded financial management boutique OutsourcedCFO. His company boasts clients like Microsoft, Absa Enterprise Development, Edge Growth and Bandwidth Barn, as well as many exciting local and international growth companies.

Louw has built up a team of more than fifteen highly qualified financial professionals (of which six are chartered accountants) who have become synonymous with excellence in high-level financial management for private companies in South Africa.

OutsourcedCFO has helped raise more than R100 million in growth funding for start-ups in the last 12 months and has an annualised growth rate exceeding 100% per annum.

In his role at OutsourcedCFO, Louw has managed a formidable client portfolio, which included the financial takeover of two diamond mines with an asset market value exceeding R200 million. Louw’s work in the tech start-up and finance space has recently seen him named among the Fast Company Top 20 under 30.

Tumi Tumi Hlongwane, 32, Founder and CEO of Mohau Capital (Pty) Ltd

Three years ago, Tumi Hlongwane courageously set out to launch her own business called Mohau Capital, a black, female-owned advisory company which offers corporate finance advisory services to a broad range of clients in various sectors. Services include: capital structuring and raising, valuations of businesses and assets, expansion and general corporate strategy, and buy side and sell side transaction support.

At the height of South Africa’s recent drought, Mohau Capital managed to assist a client in the agricultural business to raise capital. Tumi and her team were able to package the opportunity to funders in a way that demonstrated sustainability and a strong business case in the midst of tough economic times.

Tumi is actively involved in Friends of Diyatalawa, a community upliftment project in the Free State for a community called Diyatalawa, where they have built a computer centre to teach the  underprivileged how to use computers. She also volunteers her time as a trustee of LoveLife, which is a national youth upliftment programme.

George George Diab, 31, Co-founder and Managing Director of Tailor Me (Pty) Ltd

Believing that every man should own a bespoke suit, George and co-founders of Tailor Me Ricardo Da Matta CA(SA) and Bradley Marriot set out literally from the boot of their cars to create an accessible and affordable bespoke tailoring business for South African men.

Within 16 months, Tailor Me has grown into a leading name in bespoke fashion, boasting an annual turnover of R3,4 million and a client base of over 800 – including top executives and public figures.

George plans to build on their current success by growing the Tailor Me brand nationally and into Africa. They are also in the process of launching a student initiative where Tailor Me will offer discounts to clients for donating retired suits, which will then be provided to underprivileged students entering the workplace.

Their vision is to continue building a brand that celebrates individuality, style and supreme quality and provides a fresh approach to a traditional market.

Stuart Stuart Allan van der Veen, 29, Founder of Paper Plane Boutique Management Consultants and Future Faces

Stuart loved his traineeship at Deloitte and thrived at the firm. Then, in 2014, his passion to be part of technology changing the world for the better led him to found Paper Plane and co-found Future Faces, with counsel from his mentors Ruwayda Redfearn, Willem van der Post and Malusi Cwele.

Today, Paper Plane assists African financial institutions to strategically incorporate blockchain, big data and machine learning into the future of their businesses. After building relations and a presence in Silicon Valley, Paper Plane has collaborated on Silicon Joburg and Exponential Africa to solve Africa’s grand challenges. To this end, Paper Plane has invested in a venture capital vehicle with an investment mandate in financial education technology.

Future Faces was co-founded with Deloitte and SovTech to give every African access to quality financial education. In 2015, supported by Deloitte employees and successful entrepreneurs, Future Faces fully crowdfunded their first student to complete her CA(SA) undergraduate studies and supported several CA(SA) students with their living expenses.

Johnathan Johnathan Dillon, 34, Associate Professor / Division Head at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Johnathan Dillon is considered one of the ‘stars’ among the 50 academic staff at NMMU’s School of Accounting. After years of transforming and leading the Management Accounting and Finance discipline, Johnathan was promoted to Associate Professor in January 2016.

At the 2015 South African Accounting Association (SAAA) International Conference, Johnathan presented a paper entitled ‘A refined constructive operating lease capitalisation model considering new proposed lease accounting rules’. Out of the 69 papers presented, he won two awards, including that of overall best paper.

Another highlight for Johnathan has been coming on board as a co-author on the 8th edition for the most widely prescribed finance textbook in South Africa, titled Financial Management, which was published by Juta in 2015. He has also successfully pioneered the recent launch of a suite of CIMA-aligned short learning programmes offered by NMMU’s School of Accounting in partnership with the NMMU Business School.

Johnathan is also the academic co-ordinator of the Thuthuka CTA group.

PieterVDZwan Pieter van der Zwan, 33, Associate Professor and Tax advisor

Promoted to associate professor at North-West University (NWU) at the age of 28 years, Pieter van der Zwan has since been responsible to present and co-ordinate the master’s degree in taxation. The programme is recognised for his innovative approach offering students a good mix of technical and practical insight. He was chosen best lecturer of Potchefstroom campus of NWU in 2011.

Pieter has built his own consulting practice, PvdZ Consulting, with a client base consisting of companies, both large and SME, as well as accounting and legal firms that he advises on tax and IFRS matters. A highlight of the practice includes being requested to be part of a dynamic team assisting the Mongolian Tax Authorities on a World Bank project. The practice enables him to share practically informed knowledge with students and perform relevant tax research.

Resulting from this balance between academia and practice, Pieter now serves on a number of technical committees and has been requested on numerous occasions to speak at tax conferences and seminars.

Patrick Patrick Martin, 34, Financial Director of Rema Tip Top South Africa

Rema Tip Top is an international group consisting of 23 local companies ranging from 100% subsidiaries to 50% joint ventures to associates. Achieving the esteemed status of financial director at an age of 33 has demonstrated Patrick’s outstanding capabilities and leadership qualities.

Being a young South African and having a firm appreciation of the South African business climate, especially with regard to empowerment, Patrick approached his then CEO and requested that the group make a small investment in drafting a robust joint venture agreement with a BEE partner he had identified. This successfully resulted in the establishment of   Dunlop Industrial Africa (Pty) Ltd. Although no significant equity was required, the first year of trading achieved a turnover of R55 million followed by R76 million in 2015. Showing exponential growth, it is expected to achieve north of R100 million in 2016.

Gerhard Gerhard Visagie, 33 , Investment Director, Acorn Private Equity

Employed in the fast-paced private equity industry at Acorn Private Equity directly after his CA(SA) traineeship, Gerhard has been an Exco member since age 27 and was appointed as one of the youngest investment directors of a private equity firm in South Africa at age 30. Within his first year of employment, Gerhard concluded his first private equity transaction, of which the company value grew from R19 to R420 million in 5,5 years. He has since concluded numerous private equity transactions with the largest being R190 million.

Gerhard is one of three investment executives who managed Acorn SME Fund 1, which delivered exceptional returns of 46% gross annualised returns from 2010 to 2015, and who also founded and manage Acorn Agri, an agri- and food-focused holding company with assets of R950 million. He was instrumental in securing an anchor investor by raising R200+ million.

Gerhard also founded an investment holding company that invests in listed equities on the African continent with an investment performance in excess of 20% per annum.

Gerhard believes that the purpose of capital is more than just wealth creation, but to impact the world for good. He consequently applies his investment skills in order to contribute a meaningful portion of the returns to uplift the widows, orphans, sick and poor.

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