Board of directors

Terence Gregory
Chief executive officer

Appointed September 2010
Committees: Social & Ethics, Investment

Terence joined Ecsponent Limited as CEO in September 2010 at the request of the group’s majority shareholder at the time. He served as COO from 1 December 2015 but was reinstated as CEO from 1 October 2016. Under his leadership, the group has achieved triple-digit growth for six consecutive years in its key performance areas.

Terence has held various senior and board-level positions in diverse, cross-cultural environments. Prior to Ecsponent, he worked for prominent organisations such as Mercedes-Benz SA, AFGRI, Imperial and McCarthy. He has led teams at various JSE-listed companies, where he implemented turnaround strategies which involved a wide range of corporate actions. As an entrepreneur was responsible for the development in South Africa of the Citroen and SsangYong organisations.

As CEO, he pours his expertise and strategic ability into driving the development and implementation of Ecsponent’s long-term strategy, which has resulted in the group evolving from a venture capital company, to an African Financial Services group with a footprint across sub-Sahara Africa.

Terence is a member of the Social and Ethics committee.

Dirk van der Merwe
Group financial director

Appointed February 2018
Committees: Social & Ethics, Investment

Dirk is a qualified South African Chartered Accountant and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) (non-practising). He served as the Group’s financial director from September 2010 to December 2015, working alongside the group CEO and instrumental in the company’s turnaround. He was re-appointed as Financial Director in February 2018.

In the interceding period, he worked as a financial consulting and forensic investigation specialist. During this time, he was contracted as the Ecsponent Company Secretary from 1 June 2016, until the date of his reappointment as Ecsponent’s Financial Director.

Before joining Ecsponent in September 2010, he gained experience across a wide range of industries and organisations, which includes a decade at one of the big four international auditing firms. Dirk’s experience includes financial statement audits and financial reporting for a wide range of entities including publicly traded entities, governance and control assessments, assurance services for large IT projects, risk management and exposure to corporate finance disciplines.

He is a member of the Social and Ethics committee.

Richard Connellan
Independent non-executive chairman

Appointed February 2011
Committees: Remuneration & Nominations

Richard was appointed as Chairman of the board in February 2011.

As a well-respected figure in the South African listed environment, he provides the Group with a wealth of experience. His experience includes serving as the Executive Director of the Takeover Regulations Panel (TRP) and as a member of the King Task Group into Insider Trading Legislation. Richard was also a member of the King III Committee on Corporate Governance (chairman of the takeovers and mergers sub-committee) and a member of the Standing Advisory Committee on Company Law. In addition, Richard is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, as well as an elected member of the South African Institute of Stockbrokers (non-broking).

Today, Richard consults to corporate finance practitioners and the TRP. Additionally, he teaches takeover law in conjunction with KAR Presentations and was co-author of Commentary on South African Takeover Law (2015).

He is a member of the Remuneration and Nominations committee

George Manyere
Executive vice chairman

Appointed March 2017
Committees: Nominations & Remuneration, Investment

George was appointed to the board as non-executive deputy chairman in March 2017. He is an entrepreneur and investment banker with significant experience in structuring major investment and acquisition deals in Zimbabwe and sub-Saharan Africa, which he applies to advise Ecsponent’s board.

George founded Brainworks Capital, the first Zimbabwean company with a primary listing on the JSE main board, in 2008 and served as its CEO until 2017. Prior to that, he was an investment professional with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), headquartered in Washington DC. During this time, he managed a portfolio of investments exceeding USD 400 million and represented the IFC on several investee company boards.

George serves as a director on the boards of several companies and is a member of the London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group. He holds an Honour’s Degree in Accounting Science and Certificate in Theory of Accounting from the University of South Africa, and has completed various international courses in finance, strategy and investment banking.

Keith Rayner
Independent non-executive director

Appointed January 2011
Committees: Audit & Risk (chair), Social & Ethics, Investment (chair)

Keith was appointed as a non-executive director in 2011. Widely recognised as an expert on the JSE Listings Requirements (JSE LR) and the Companies Act, Keith leverages his experience and knowledge in supporting the Ecsponent board.

He is a past member of the SAMREC/SAMVAL working group, the Takeover Regulation Panel’s rewrite committee, the IoDSA’s CRISA committee and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants Accounting Practice Committee.

In addition to numerous non-executive board appointments, Keith is CEO of KAR Presentations, an advisory and presentation corporation specialising in corporate finance and regulatory advice. He is also a fellow of the Institute of Directors of South Africa (IoDSA), a non-broking member of the Institute of South African Stockbrokers and a member of the Investment Analysts Society. Keith is also a member of IAS, a past member of SAICA’s Accounting Practices Committee and a qualified South African Chartered Accountant.

He is the chairman of the Remuneration and Nominations committee and a member of the Audit and Risk committee.

Patrick Matute
Independent non-executive director

Appointed March 2017
Committees: Nominations & Remuneration (chair), Audit & Risk, Social & Ethics

Patrick was appointed to the board as non-executive director in October 2016. His extensive experience in financial services, as well as corporate finance and private equity, in Sub-Saharan African makes an invaluable contribution to Ecsponent’s strategy.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Finance (University of the Witwatersrand), and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) (NUST, Zimbabwe) and a Master’s of Business Administration from Hult International Business School. He has completed CFA Level 1 and 2 exams.

Patrick started his career with Questco, a boutique corporate finance company based in Johannesburg, where he was involved in corporate finance transactions in the mining, industrial and financial services sectors. Since then, he worked at Frankfurt-listed African Development Corporation (“ADC”) as an Investment Manager, focusing on financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa, before joining Brainworks Limited.

He is a member of the boards of Brainworks’ investee companies, including Dawn Properties Limited and FML Oil, involved in driving their advisory business and portfolio management.

He is a member of the Social and Ethics committee.