Trends 2011-2013 Project Team Biographies

We are all volunteers that bring different levels of expertise, experience and effort to the team, and is stronger for the work we are able to offer.

We value all our partners and/or sponsors helping the all-volunteer team to deliver an excellent report. The Trends 2013 Project Team is currently made up of:

Project Partners Team
  • Partners Group
    • Mark van Wyk & Ronel Scheepers, Mergence Investment Managers
    • Adri Joubert & Ryan Andersen, Frost & Sullivan
    • Jon Duncan, Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa (OMIGSA)
    • Barbara Evans, Bloomberg ESG
    • Therese Niklasson, Investec Asset Management
  • Resource Group
    • Adrian Bertrand & Belaina Negash, Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF)
    • Martina Macpherson MSCI ESG
    • Gareth Allison, MSCI Africa
    • Jako Volschenk, University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB)

See BIOs at Trends Report Project Team Biographies or

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  • Work Group
    • Deon Smith, RisCura & [Project Manager]
    • Asmaa El Bacha Blanc,
    • Olivia Muiru, B.Lab &
    • Pamela Leste De Perindorge,
    • Keith Comline, Comline Attorneys & University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business MBA Candidate 2013 &
    • Adekanmi Lawson, & Edward Nathan & Sonnenbergs (ENS)
    • Ian Meaker, & Future Champs
    • Buyiswa Nodada, Independent Actuaries & Consultants &
    • Graham Sinclair, SinCo &
    • Suchit Saraf, HEC Paris MBA &
  • Other
    • Greg Barker, Sustainable Capital &
    • Miles Mudzviti,
    • Sam Obamiyi, Craven Cottage Partners
    • Avril Harvey, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business MBA Candidate 2012

The Trends Report Project Team is made up of individuals in the investment space who are connected to Africa. It is unlikely we will ever be in the same room at the same time with the active investment world we live in on different continents, but we share a common goal making happen.

Greg Barker joined project in 2011 as VP Knowledgebase heading’s curating and archiving of Africa investment research reports and new research processes.
  • Greg heads up Sustainable Capital’s investment team. Sustainable Capital is an independent asset manager specialising in responsible investment of listed equities in Africa ex-SA. The Company was founded in 2008 and currently manages the Africa Sustainability Fund and the Africa Alpha Fund.
  • Greg has extensive experience in sustainable investment research in Africa and developed a strong track record of investment decision-making in his previous role as a fundamental investment analyst at a leading responsible investment management firm in South Africa. 
  • Since co-founding Sustainable Capital 4 years ago, Greg has been travelling into African countries to conduct detailed, bottom-up research on companies. Greg has over 13 years of experience in fundamental research in sustainability and investment management.
  • Greg is a CFA charterholder, and has obtained and MBA from Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town. Greg holds a BTech Degree in Engineering from the Cape University of Technology, South Africa and a Masters degree in Sustainability from the University of Cape Town.

Pamela Leste joined in 2011 as VP Research and her role is to curate and promote the research work. 
  • Pamela Leste currently lectures sustainability, environmental issues and geography in tertiary institutions in Mauritius and also conducts economic and sustainability research on emerging markets with a special focus on Africa.
  • Pamela has several years of experience in the Sustainability/ESG field, having played a leading role in the launching of Glamis Research Institute (Mauritius) which promotes sustainable development in emerging markets by providing information and analysis for sustainable business. From 2006 to 2009, she was a Senior Research Manager in a Swiss leading provider of ESG data, a position which exposed her to the analysis of hundreds of CSR/ Sustainability reports for companies listed on the main stock exchanges world-wide.
  • She has in the past also worked for the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture in the field of agricultural diversification, natural resources and environment and also for De Chazal Du Mee (former Arthur Andersen representative) in the field of economic and marketing studies. As a consultant, Pamela travelled widely in SADC countries as well as in West Africa to conduct a vast range of economic and strategic studies. She has equally participated  regularly in national and regional committees or seminars that led to strategic development in the agricultural or environmental fields in particular.
  • Pamela  holds a BSc Econ. in Geography & Environment from the London School of Economics, a Pg. Dip in Agribusiness Management from Imperial College, University of London and a Master in Business Administration from Poitiers, France.

Olivia Miuru joined in 2011 as VP East Africa based in Nairobi and her role is to represent and promote the mission, developing and coordinating the organisation’s activities and connections with peers and other stakeholders. 
  • Olivia Muiru joined B Lab in January 2011as a Rating Associate based in Nairobi, Kenya. At B Lab, she provides technical training on GIIRS Ratings & Analytics and assists companies and funds being assessed on their social and environmental impact.
  • Prior to her work with GIIRS, Olivia worked with Microfinanza Rating (MFR) as a Junior Analyst in their African Regional office. During her time with MFR, she worked under the Social Rating Department administering social ratings for MFIs located in Sub-Saharan Africa. She also worked with Deloitte and Touche, Kenya, in their internship program focusing on Audit and Assurance.
  • Olivia Muiru studied Finance and International Business at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
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Asmaa El Bacha-Blanc
Asmaa El Bacha-Blanc joined in 2011 as VP North Africa based in Tunisia and her role is to promote the work of in North Africa and assist in the Francophone Africa perspectives.
  • Asmaa El Bacha is a freelance Intangible Assets management Consultant (IAm) with 15 years of management and consulting experience in Intellectual Property & Human Capital, Corporate Responsibility (CR) and Responsible Investment (RI), mainly for international groups and institutions based in France, UK and Morocco. Her work consists of providing companies with both strategic advice and operational support that result in increased integration of ESG issues and other intangibles assets into their business strategies, management systems & processes, as well as of collaborating with global investment research firms and extra-financial rating agencies to optimise RI strategies of institutional investors.
  • Previously, Asmaa worked for ten years at INVESTMARK CONSULTING she co-founded with French and Moroccan partners, and which is a Moroccan consultancy practice, based in Casablanca, specialised in strategic, operational consulting and  investment advisory services mainly for international groups looking for investment opportunities in Morocco and other countries in the MENA region. Her responsibilities have evolved from conducting due diligence and operational audits projects, as a Management Audit senior consultant, to heading the “Strategic Intangible Assets Management” department she had created and developed to provide advice on management, regulatory and business issues surrounding Intellectual Property and other intangible assets.
  • Asmaa started her career within French leading banking & insurance institutions CREDIT LYONNAIS (Credit Agricole Group), as Credit Analyst, and AXA GROUP, as Marketing Manager, in Morocco. Asmaa is English and bilingual French/Arabic speaker with a good insight into European, North African and Middle Eastern business culture.  From 2000 to 2004, she was member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC-Paris) where she served as an active member of the ICC Commission on Intellectual Property and as the ICC representative to the Advisory Committee on the Enforcement of Industrial Property Rights (ACE/IP) at WIPO (Geneva) and « DG Trade » at the European Commission (Brussels). Since 2009, she is member of the Finance Innovation Lab in the UK, and acts as a Representative Member of the «Metro Crowd Investing» Action Group for SMEs to the Project partners WWF and The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).
  • Asmaa holds an MBA from Ashridge Business School through Middlesex University in the UK, an MPhil degree in Intellectual Property (IP) Law from University of Montpellier Law School in France, and a BSc in Finance & Accounting from ISCAE (Institut Supérieur de Commerce & d’Administration des Entreprises) in Morocco. She concentrated her MBA research project on ESG risks integration in the banking industry, and achieved a Distinction for her dissertation. Asmaa is the co-author, with Vincent Blanc, of the Book “La Propriété Intellectuelle: La Nouvelle Richesse des Nations”. Investmark Consulting, 1997, 318 pages.

Miles Mudzviti
Miles Mudzviti joined in 2011as VP Operations UK base din London and his role is to represent and promote the mission, developing and coordinating the organisation’s activities and connections with peers and other stakeholders.
  • Miles is the Managing Director at Africa Investment Today (AIT), a business to business information and communications company providing integrated media solutions to deliver value-added content in key business sectors via a range of products.
  • Through its respective portfolio of products, AIT is committed to providing new insight into the opportunities that are presented by the evolving African economies and markets to promote investment into Africa and how best to connect with the continent. The company's product portfolio includes the inaugural Euro-Africa Health Investment Conference:MediPharm; the online portal, and the complementary digital newsletter, AfriPharma Focus which provide insight for industry professionals on key issues and trends from a business perspective with unique coverage of major issues facing the industry.
  • Prior to founding the company, Miles worked as a Practice Accountant in the United Kingdom from 2004 responsible for leading assignments and managing a portfolio of clients, providing services including compliance and advisory work, accounting and taxation advice to businesses throughout the UK from sole traders, partnerships, limited liability partnerships (LLPs) to limited companies.
  • Miles subscribes to the belief that every business needs a purpose because without a purpose, there is nothing to shape personal and collective ambition. Miles currently resides in Hertfordshire, UK with his wife and twin daughters.

Avril Harvey
Avril Harvey is VP Communications of and her role is to manage communications of the Marketplace trends Report 2012 and promote the language, writing and communications aspects.
  • For the past 4 years Avril has been involved in monitoring and evaluation of R&D projects/start up businesses supported by public funds administered through the Department of Science and Technology (DST). These projects were specifically in the Agricultural domain and were focussed in the area of Plant Biotechnology. Previous to that she worked as Process Manager and Head of R&D at a biotech start up producing biological control agents for agricultural use. She also started her own budget accommodation and tour operator based in Pietermaritzburg during this time, which is currently still running.. She is interested in expanding her knowledge, and gaining work experience, in the social investment space in South Africa with the ultimate aim of empowering entrepreneurs in sustainable businesses in Africa.
  • Avril has a Master’s of Science degree in Molecular Biology, read at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. Fulltime MBA University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. Monitoring and evaluation of projects funded through public funds through the department of Science and Technology

Deon Smith
Deon Smith is VP Africa Research of and his role is to project manage the Marketplace trends Report 2012 and promote the research outputs of the organization.
  • Deon Smith joined RisCura on 1 July 2009 and is responsible for developing and running risk and performance reporting across asset classes for investments ex-RSA. This includes:
  • Developing reporting structures and analyses.
  • Research and construction of an African – Ex RSA listed equity benchmark to serve as an institutional investment performance monitoring tool;
  • Performance attribution implementation.
  • Pricing of listed and un-listed instruments and integrating vendor sourced market  data;
  • Monitoring compliance of investments with emphasis on institutional regulatory requirements;
  • Prior to joining RisCura, Deon worked at ForwardSlash as a Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Deon has a B.Sc. In Electro-Mechanical Engineering from UCT and is a June 2013 CFA Level II Candidate

Keith Comline
Keith Comline is VP Governance of and his role is to develop governance systems and promote the proper running of the organization.

  • Keith Comline is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa and currently operates independently, specialising in the provision of commercial and corporate law services. Prior to opening his practice, Keith worked and gained experience at the law firms of Adams & Adams as well as Taback & Associates.
  • Prior to being admitted as an attorney, Keith worked in London as an analyst in the corporate finance department of the investment bank, Canaccord Adams, where he was primarily involved with the listing of companies on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM. During 2010, Keith also spent several months assisting a Zimbabwean based mining company as legal counsel.
  • Keith is also a founding trustee of the Bokamoso Education Trust, a public benefit organisation which finances the educational costs of underprivileged children within South Africa; enabling them to receive a standard of education which would otherwise not be attainable. The trust operates in Johannesburg and Cape Town and currently provides full financial assistance to 10 children.
  • Keith holds two bachelor degrees in Business Science and Law from the University of Cape Town and is currently completing the 2012/2013 modular MBA programme at UCT’s Graduate School of Business.

Ian Meaker
Ian Meaker is VP Analysis of and his role is to develop analysis and promote the metrics of the organization.
  • Ian Meaker is Business Analyst, Future Champs (Cape Town 2012)
  • Senior Specialist – Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Securities Lending, Product Risk and Control (London, 2012). Business Analyst - Ashoka, Part time/Volunteer (London, 2008). Owner - SAnotebook, an online IT retail store (Cape Town, 2004). IT Consultant - NHS Partnership for Health Informatics (London, 2003). Founder – Solutions Based Computing (Cape Town, 2000)
  • Ian grew up and schooled in Cape Town, South Africa. He built a skill set in IT at a young age and has been involved in the development and running of a number of small businesses. He has now merged this entrepreneurial spirit into the finance world, formalising the industry shift by completing a Business Science degree in Finance and Accounting at UCT in 2007.
  • After a six month expedition up the East coast of Africa, doing corporate social responsibility fieldwork for Heart, a South African NGO, and Engen Petroleum, he worked in the City of London, for 3 years, at an investment bank. Whilst in London he concurrently offered his free time to assist Ashoka fellows and entrepreneurs in financial planning and business development. Ian was also a member of the Microfinance Club UK and attended regular meetings in his primary interest area, notably developing business through financial innovation.
  • He recently moved back to Cape Town, and having successfully studied for, and passed, his CFA level 3 exam in June 2012, is now moving back into projects and work. In his leisure time he is an avid hiker, runner and squash player.
  • His education includes CFA Institute Level 3 pass (2012). Bachelor of Business Science (Finance and Accounting). University of Cape Town (2007). Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (2002)

Adekanmi Lawson
Kanmi Lawson is VP Policy of and his role is to interface on policy issues and promote the policy advocacy of the organization.
  • Adekanmi Lawson is currently a Senior Associate at the South African law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (ENS) where he forms part of the firm’s Africa Department. Based in Cape Town, the team’s work spans across the African Sub-Saharan region and Kanmi has recently been involved in advising in matters in Nigeria, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, amongst other jurisdictions. As part of his role, Kanmi also is involved in investor led conferences relating to Africa, at which ESG is usually a pertinent issue.
  • Prior to joining ENS, Kanmi worked at a major law firm in the City of London where he was involved in advising on worldwide transactions.
  • Kanmi is a Nigerian and British national, having spent much of his life between the two countries. He is also both English and French speaking.
  • Kanmi studied a BA Joint Honours (French and Latin) at the University of Bristol, UK. He subsequently studied for his Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP Law School in London before completing his obligatory Legal Practice Course at the College of Law, London.

Graham Sinclair
Graham Sinclair is President and co-founder of and his role is to lead the organization and connect with global SIFs and promote the strategic future of the organization.
  • Graham is Principal at SinCo and has eight years specialist experience in sustainable investment globally after eight years in pensions consulting and investment banking in Africa. Recent consulting engagements in sustainable investment include leading IFC-funded research into private equity and liquid equity ESG strategies in sub-Saharan Africa in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria to be published in 2011, developing innovative financing mechanisms strategy and ESG index architecture for developed, emerging and frontier markets for a Swiss-based international organization, and for a global institutional investment firm in New York with a US$ one trillion AUM portfolio, designing ESG architecture across private equity, liquid and global real estate portfolios covering philosophy and process innovations and investment strategies. Currently he provides index architecture and stakeholder engagement for the Istanbul Stock Exchange Sustainability Index.
  • As consultant to the UN, Graham developed strategy for 25 emerging markets and launched PRI in Emerging Markets project in Q2 2007 for UNEP FI, creating a network infrastructure, building relationships with 108 investor stakeholders including in Africa through 2008. Before launching the sustainable investment advisory boutique SinCo in 2006 in Boston, he was Product Manager at KLD Research & Analytics, Inc adding to his background in pension funds and asset management.
  • Graham is a former contributor to the CSR Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, Distinguished Member of Net Impact, alum of WWF One Planet Leaders programme and the Tallberg Forum New Leaders Program. He currently leads the AfricaSIF Project building an independent, pan-African not-for-profit Africa Sustainable Investment Forum network at, member of ASISA’s Responsible Investment sub-committee, and a member of Investment Analysts Association of South Africa, and the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets. He has lectured at more than 25 graduate schools globally, and the most recently published work is chapters on Private Equity, Indexes and Africa to Evolutions in Sustainable Investing [Wiley Business, 2011].
  • Graham earned his MBA on scholarship at Villanova University in the USA where he co-managed the Arnone-Lerer SRI Fund equity portfolio in 2004.  He holds a B.Com from the University of Natal and LL.B from the Howard College School of Law as well as numerous industry specialist certifications. He holds diplomas in retirement funds and insurance law, and in 1998 he was one of the youngest ever dual-FILPAs. He resides in Cape, South Africa and Vermont, USA.