Investment Professionals

Colin Rezek

Managing Partner Vantage Mezzanine

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Colin Rezek

Managing Partner - Vantage Mezzanine

Colin is a director of Vantage and a founder of the business. He has day-to-day responsibilities for the origination and assessment of mezzanine fund and balance-sheet investments. He is a member of the Vantage Mezzanine Fund’s investment committee.

Colin has had a wide range of entrepreneurial experiences over the years. The main focus was building and running the Rezek Motor group with his two brothers over a 13 year period. The group grew from one dealership to the largest privately-owned motor group in South Africa at the time, before being merged with a listed group, Venture Motor Holdings, in 1994. At this time, the turnover of the Rezek Motor group was R450 million and it employed 440 people. Over this period various complementary businesses were started, such as short term insurance, import/export and panel-beating.

He then spent 3 years at Venture Motor Holdings, where he played a significant role in various aspects of operations, marketing and new business development. During this period he also established the largest Ultra City in South Africa which employed 230 people. This business has since been sold. In 1998 and 1999, Colin assisted in the establishment and management of the Equity Africa Fund.  The Equity Africa Fund is a R100 million fund sponsored by ABSA aimed at developing previously-disadvantaged individuals.

Subsequently, Colin established MMR Equity Capital, a private equity management company, which after a merger in 2001, was the genesis of the Vantage Capital group.

Colin holds a bachelor of commerce from the University of Witwatersrand and an MBA from the Witwatersrand Business School.

Luc Albinski

Managing Partner Vantage Mezzanine

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Luc Albinski

Managing Partner - Vantage Mezzanine

Luc is the co-founder and co-managing partner of Vantage’s mezzanine funds as well as being one of the two executive members of the mezzanine funds’ investment committees. He has played a key role in the investments executed by Fund I, Fund II and Fund III since 2007. He has also overseen several fund exits during this period. His primary responsibility is the assessment, structuring, execution and post-transaction monitoring of mezzanine investments. 

Prior to joining Vantage in 2006, he spent time as a strategy consultant with Bain & Co. in Paris (1992) and with Accenture in Johannesburg (1993-94).  After completing his MBA at INSEAD, he joined the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, in Washington DC in 2006.  At the IFC, Luc spent time working on advisory and investment projects in a diverse range of countries including Brazil, Gabon, Romania and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Luc returned to South Africa in 1998 and joined Brait, one of South Africa’s leading private equity firms.  As a deal executive he was responsible for investments in the building materials, logistics, fine chemicals and luxury tourism sectors. Before joining Standard Bank, Luc spent two years in Poland as the founder and CEO of a start-up employee benefits firm before returning to South Africa in 2002. The following year he established Standard Bank’s mid-size private equity department which focused on executing mezzanine transactions in the mid-market as an alternative to traditional private equity solutions. Luc then headed up Standard Bank’s mezzanine finance department where he co-led several noteworthy transactions which included providing R800 million in funding for the buy-out of the South Africa subsidiary of Waco International and providing a R1 billion mezzanine tranche for the De Beers empowerment transaction.

Luc has a Master of Business Administration from the INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau, France. He studied for his undergraduate economics degree at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris.
 

Alastair Campbell

Managing Director Vantage GreenX

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Alastair Campbell

Managing Director - Vantage GreenX

Alastair is a director of Vantage GreenX and a member of the Fund’s Investment Committee. His primary responsibility is the assessment, structuring, execution and post-transaction monitoring of senior debt lent to projects in the sustainable energy space, with a primary focus on the Renewable Energy IPP (REIPP) Procurement Program being run by South Africa’s department of Energy. He joined Vantage GreenX in January 2014.

Prior to joining Vantage GreenX, Alastair headed up the renewable energy finance team within Standard Bank. He has successfully overseen the funding of more than R15.5bn of debt to 15 wind and solar projects in bid dates 1 and 2 of the REIPP procurement program.

Alastair is a South African qualified Chartered Accountant. He completed his articles at Deloitte in Johannesburg in 1995 and then moved to the UK.  After a year at NatWest Markets, Alastair joined Standard Bank London where he worked in the Project Finance team on Infrastructure and Power sector transaction across the African continent in a diverse range of countries including Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa.

In 2003, Alastair moved back to South Africa where he joined Standard Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking division with principal responsibility for the development of projects in the power sector. This role has involved both lending to and advising clients across sub-Saharan Africa. Most notably, he was the lead adviser to Anglo American on the development of its 450MW - R10bn Khanyisa waste coal project being developed near Witbank, and the 1500MW – R53bn Hydro Mphanda Nkuwa project being devloped 60km downstream from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique. Prior to that, he led the advisory team taking Vale through its pre-feasibility and bankable-feasibility studies on the Moatize Mine in Mozambique.

Alastair holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town and a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting from UNISA.

Alastair was president of the UCT Rowing Club and was awarded a full Blue for rowing from 1986-1989. He represented South Africa when he was selected to row for Trident Rowing Club (the national squad) in 1987.

Warren van der Merwe

Chief Operating Officer Vantage Capital Fund Management

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Warren van der Merwe

Chief Operating Officer - Vantage Capital Fund Management

Warren is the chief operating officer of the group as well as of Vantage Mezzanine. Warren joined Vantage as its chief financial officer in 2007. As such, he was responsible for the financial management of the group’s proprietary investment activities. He was also responsible for risk management, portfolio monitoring and reporting with regard to the mezzanine funds. Warren recently stepped into the position of COO to focus on playing a more prominent role in the assessment of all new investments being considered by the Fund. He represents Vantage on the board of Landmark.

Warren served a year of academic articles at the University of Witwatersrand and the remainder of his articles at Arthur Andersen before starting his banking career with Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank.  He is a qualified chartered accountant.

His first position was account executive in the corporate banking division, managing the bank’s relationships with some of its mining clients.  He then assumed a new business development role and later led a team of transactors in this new business team.  During this time, he concluded numerous bank funding deals including several leveraged finance transactions.  His last position was in the bank’s acquisition finance team where he successfully concluded a number of leveraged finance transactions, before joining Vantage.

Siyanda Gule

Chief Financial Officer

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Siyanda Gule

Chief Financial Officer

Siya first joined Vantage in February 2011 as a financial controller assisting the then chief financial officer, Warren van der Merwe, with the overall finance function. He spent three years on this role before moving to Kleoss Capital in May 2014.

Siya joined the partners at Kleoss Capital, as a chief financial officer, and was responsible for the set-up of the Kleoss Fund I, including negotiating the terms of the fund agreements with the fund’s investors and prospective investors, setting up the entire finance function, setting up the investor reporting for the fund and most of the day-to-day operational functions of the company. He spent two years at this role before an opportunity of chief financial officer at Vantage Capital presented itself.

Siya rejoined Vantage Capital as chief financial officer taking over from Thandie on 1 June 2016. He has prior institutional knowledge having spent three years at Vantage Capital as financial controller and having worked extensively with the then chief financial officer.

Siya has a strong academic record with the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal where he graduated with BCom and BCom (Accounting) Honours and is a qualified CA (SA).  He completed his TOPP articles with the Standard Bank Group.

 

Mokgome Mogoba

Associate Partner Vantage Mezzanine

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Mokgome Mogoba

Associate Partner - Vantage Mezzanine

Mokgome is an associate partner at Vantage.  His primary responsibility is the origination, assessment, structuring, execution and post-transaction monitoring of the mezzanine fund investments.  He currently oversees the New GX Capital, Timrite and Simba Properties investments and previously, the Efekto and Primedia investments before Vantage’s exit. In addition to South Africa, Mokgome is responsible for the Kenyan, Ugandan, Ethiopian and Rwandese markets. 

Prior to joining Vantage, Mokgome was the Head of the Black Economic Empowerment, Financial Institutions Group and Public Sector divisions within Standard Bank’s Leveraged and Acquisition Finance division whereby he led several noteworthy transactions. These included providing R1.2 billion of investment capital to the Shanduka group, providing R1 billion of growth capital to Old Mutual Finance, and concluding a debt advisory and capital structuring mandate for Kenya Airways.

Prior to that, Mokgome was a founding member of Standard Bank’s mezzanine finance division which was set up by Luc Albinski whereby he co-led the conclusion of a number of transactions. These included arranging and underwriting senior debt and mezzanine debt funding for a number of transactions including R6.9 billion to fund the Sasol Inzalo empowerment transaction, R6.2 billion to fund the De Beers Ponahalo empowerment transaction, R800 million to fund the WACO leveraged buyout transaction, R350 million to refinance Metrofile’s restructured debt and provide additional expansion capital, R600 million to fund Worldwide’s acquisition of a 20% stake in Engen and R1.5 billion to fund the Sasol Tshwarisano empowerment transaction.

Mokgome holds a bachelor of commerce (accounting) degree summa cum laude from the University of Natal where came first in the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management. Mokgome is a Qualified Charted Accountant.

Johnny F. Jones

Associate Partner Vantage Mezzanine

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Johnny F. Jones

Associate Partner - Vantage Mezzanine

Johnny is an associate partner at Vantage and is primarily focused on the mezzanine fund’s activities.  In addition to South Africa, Johnny is responsible for the Nigerian market.  He oversees the Servest and Landmark investments and previously, the TrenStar and Safripol investments before Vantage’s exit.

Prior to joining Vantage, he worked in the leveraged finance group at UBS Investment Bank in the U.S.  In this role he specialized in the basic materials sector assisting in underwriting transactions and providing relative value investment recommendations for listed debt securities.

Johnny began his career in 2000 working as an equity research investment analyst at Wachovia Securities in Atlanta, Georgia.  His focus was on macroeconomic trends and investment strategy.  Later he spent two years at KPMG in the economic & valuation services division based in New York.  In this role he worked as a generalist providing debt and equity value indications for companies in industries including financial services, steel and entertainment.

Johnny received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and his Bachelor of Science degree (Economics) from Duke University in North Carolina. He became a CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst®) charterholder in 2007 and passed the certified public accountant exam in 2003.  Johnny is a US national.

 

David Kornik

Associate Partner Vantage Mezzanine

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David Kornik

Associate Partner - Vantage Mezzanine

David is an associate partner at Vantage and his primary focus is on the mezzanine fund’s activities. He oversees the Masevumeni, Dynamic Bedding, Afrisam and UAG investments. In addition to the South African market which he focuses on from the Cape Town office, David is responsible for the Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique markets.

Prior to joining Vantage, David was an associate director at Barclays in their Leveraged Finance team based in Dubai, where he worked on a variety of leveraged buyout transactions within the Gulf region. Before that, he worked as a finance manager for Barclays in their London head office, and for KPMG in Johannesburg as a supervisor in their financial services division.

David holds a Bachelor of Business Science (Finance honours) and Masters in Commerce from the University of Cape Town. He is a qualified CA (SA) and a CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst®) charterholder.

 

Diana Njuguna

Senior Associate Vantage Mezzanine

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Diana Njuguna

Senior Associate - Vantage Mezzanine

Diana is a senior associate at Vantage and her primary focus is the origination, assessment, structuring, execution and post-transaction monitoring of the mezzanine fund investments. She oversees the New GX Capital, Timrite and Simba Properties investments (and previously the Efekto and Primedia investments before Vantage’s exit). She is responsible for transactions in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia) as well as South Africa.

She previously worked at TransCentury Ltd, a Kenyan based firm that participates in existing and emerging private equity opportunities within Sub-Saharan Africa. During this time she evaluated various medium and long-term investments across fast-growing under-served sectors in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. She also contributed to the running of the portfolio companies and was seconded to help in setting up and running the operations of a cable manufacturing plant which the firm acquired in The Democratic Republic of Congo, Cableries du Congo.

Diana also worked as a Summer Analyst at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (London), where she evaluated the Africa Investment opportunity for the firm across different asset classes. She also worked as an Investment Intern at Centum Investment Company Limited (Nairobi) where she reported to the Investment Manager. Prior to that, she worked at Deloitte & Touche (East Africa) as an Audit Intern.

She is a 2010 Kenyan Rhodes Scholar who holds an MBA from the Said Business School, University of Oxford where she obtained a Distinction and featured on the Dean's List. She also holds an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford, an MSc in Accountancy & Finance (Distinction) from Birmingham City University, a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance (1st Class) from the University of Nairobi and a BSc Hons in Applied Accounting (1st Class) from Oxford Brookes University. She is also a CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst®) charterholder and an ACCA Member (Qualified Chartered Accountant).

Ridhaa Ahmed

Senior Associate Vantage Mezzanine

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Ridhaa Ahmed

Senior Associate - Vantage Mezzanine

Ridhaa is a senior associate at Vantage and focuses on both the mezzanine and GreenX portfolios. He assists in overseeing the AfriSam, Surfline, UAG and Vumatel mezzanine portfolio investments as well as the 8 renewable energy projects that form part of the GreenX portfolio. He also focuses on the origination and assessment of transactions in South Africa as well as Mozambique.

He is an engineer by qualification and spent over 5 years in the energy industry spanning the nuclear and renewable energy sectors as a design, project and commissioning engineer. Following business school, Ridhaa acted in an advisory capacity to an EPC firm and international CSP technology provider where he advised on business strategy, performance management and internal control systems.

Prior to joining Vantage, Ridhaa worked for a Cape Town based private equity firm where he was responsible for company, market and industry analysis together with pipeline development. During his time there, he covered a number of diverse industry sectors including the FMCG, Mining & Resources and Financial industries.

Ridhaa received his Master of Business Administration degree from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town and his Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in Mechatronics from UCT.

Hugo van den Heever

Senior Associate Vantage Mezzanine

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Hugo van den Heever

Senior Associate - Vantage Mezzanine

Hugo is a senior associate at Vantage. He assists David Kornik with originating and assessing transactions in South Africa with a specific focus on the Cape region. He also assists David in overseeing the Dynamic Bedding transaction. 

He is an engineer by qualification and spent almost 4 years as a consultant in the supply chain industry. He specialised in FMCG and retail network optimisation and consulted to a number of the major retailers in South Africa.

Prior to joining Vantage, Hugo completed his MBA from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town and did a 3-month exchange program at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India.

Hugo completed his Industrial Engineering degree from the University of Stellenbosch and is a CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst®) charterholder.

 

Akinseye Akinola

Senior Associate Vantage Mezzanine

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Akinseye Akinola

Senior Associate - Vantage Mezzanine

Akinseye is a senior associate at Vantage. He assists Johnny Jones with originating and assessing transactions in both the South African and Nigerian markets. He also assists Johnny in overseeing the Servest and Landmark investments.

Prior to joining Vantage, he worked as an investment analyst at Emerging Capital Partners, a Pan-African private equity firm in their Lagos office for 3 years. There he covered ECP's Nigeria portfolio and assessed investment opportunities.

Prior to ECP, he was an Investment Banking analyst in the Financial Institutions Group at UBS from 2006 to 2008.

Akinseye is a 2013 MBA graduate from Harvard Business School and holds a Bachelors degree in Finance from Howard University. He is a Nigerian national.

 

Nishay Vithal

Senior Associate Vantage Mezzanine

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Nishay Vithal

Senior Associate - Vantage Mezzanine

Nishay is a senior associate at Vantage. He assists Zaheer Cassim with overseeing the Kgoro, Pretoria Towers and Austell investments and also originating and assessing transactions in South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Mauritius  and Tanzania. 

Previously, Nishay was a corporate finance and strategy analyst for Internet Solutions, a large pan African enterprise Internet Service Provider, part of the Dimension Data group, focusing on executing M&A transactions and expansion strategies across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to Internet Solutions, Nishay worked at Standard Bank in the Strategic Investment and Alliances division where he was responsible for managing and growing the bank’s strategic long-term equity portfolio valued at over R1bn. Whilst at Standard Bank he also worked on structuring a number of joint-venture deals to create strategic alliance partners for the Standard Bank Group. Nishay also worked as a strategy analyst in the retail and financial services sectors.

Nishay holds a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics and Honours in Statistics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal which he completed Summa Cum Laude and a Masters Degree in Statistics (Cum Laude) from the University of Pretoria.

 

Driss Benabdeslam

Associate

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Driss Benabdeslam

Associate

Driss is an associate at Vantage. He assists Yaw with originating and assessing transactions in both West African and Maghreb francophone markets.

Prior to joining Vantage, he worked as an investment associate at InfraMed Management, a €385m Private Equity infrastructure and Project Finance platform investing in equity across various sectors in the South & East of the Mediterranean region, in their Paris office for 2 years.

Prior to InfraMed Management, he worked as an investment analyst at Amethis Finance, a US$530m Pan-African private equity firm investing in equity and debt across various sectors including consumer driven sectors, financial services and infrastructure. During that experience, he conducted numerous due diligence and valuation missions in Africa as part of prospective acquisitions in different sectors.

Prior to Amethis Finance, Driss worked as an investment analyst within the French team of Equistone Partners Europe, a €1.5bn independent investment firm owned and managed by the former executives of Barclays Private Equity. The Fund operates across France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK.

Prior to that, he gained experience in Private Equity within the mid-market team of Idinvest Partners, a European leader in private equity specialized in the low and middle market segments with €4bn assets under management. He actively contributed to European Private Equity fund investment analysis and selections and was also involved in diverse medium-sized mezzanine transactions in Europe.

Driss began his professional life within the Private Equity department of BNP Paribas Wealth Management, where he notably participated in the launch and the marketing campaign of a US$ 1.9bn European Fund and US$ 1.5bn Chinese Fund.

Driss holds a French ‘Grande Ecole’ degree in business and a MSc in Risk and Investment Management from EDHEC Business School. He is a Moroccan national.

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