Team Profiles

THABO NCALO

Founding /Managing Partner
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Thabo has over 14 years investment management experience in Africa. He is primarily responsible for managing Savvy Venture Partners.

He was previously Portfolio Manager at STANLIB Asset Management until May 2016 managing the firm’s suite of Africa Equity (ex SA) Funds. STANLIB is the principal asset manager for the Standard Bank and Liberty Group. Prior to this he was an Equity Analyst on the same STANLIB funds from 2007. —The Africa Funds invested in mid-sized and large companies listed across Africa (ex S.A). In this role he traveled extensively on the continent engaging with company executives, industry & financial sector players and regulators / public officials.

Prior to STANLIB, he was with Investec Asset Management for 4 years, ending as an Equity Analyst on the South African industrials, healthcare and small cap sectors on the JSE Securities Exchange.

He holds a PLD (Program for Leadership Development) from Harvard Business School, BCom in Finance, Investments and Accounting from the University of the Witwatersrand, Registered Persons Exam in Equities & Bonds, and a CAIB (SA) (Inst. of Bankers). He has also completed the Advances in Equity Portfolio Construction programme at the EDHEC Risk Institute in London, and the SAVCA / GIBS Foundation and Advanced Programmes in Private Equity.

——Thabo is a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow under the U.S. Department of State Young African Leaders Initiative and underwent studies in Business & Entrepreneurship at Clark Atlanta University’s School of Business in the summer of 2015.

—Thabo is also a 2017 / 2018 Harvard University South Africa Fellow.

A panelist at Harvard Business School’s 2015 Africa Conference in Boston, Thabo was a finalist for the 2013 ABSIP Equity Manager of the Year award in South Africa and was awarded the Young Banker of the Year by IOB/SASBO in 2007. He has appeared regularly on various media (such as CNBC Africa) as a commentator on African markets and companies.

Thabo serves as a Mentor for Startupbootcamp (CapeTown) – one the largest accelerator programmes in the world, and was a Judge at the 2017 Seedstars World competitions in Johannesburg and Maputo.

 

Languages: English, Setswana/Sesotho & Portuguese (intro/basic)

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Thabo Ncalo (LinkedIn)

 

STEPHANE BWAKIRA

Co-Founding Director

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Stephane has 16 years experience in the Investment Management industry and Management consulting in Africa and the US.  He was previously an executive at Sanlam Investments overseeing investments across Africa in investments focused on the African Capital Markets; and also advised on African property, debt, and Private Equity investments. —Prior to that, Stephane served as a Vice-President for Invest AD (Abu Dhabi) and managed Pan African multi asset strategies.

He previously also held senior roles at Investec Asset Management and Stanlib (Asset Manager of the Standard Bank group). Prior to his investment career in Africa, Stephane spent 5 years in strategy consulting in Philadelphia and New York City.

—Stephane has led multi-sectoral & multi-geographic investment teams and has repeatedly proven his ability to create commercially successful investment strategies. He has been able through relationships to gather funds from investors in Europe, Africa and the Middle East with various clients (Pension funds, SWF, Insurance companies, advisors). He was until the founding of Savvy Capital Partners, consulting and leading Vunani Capital’s Africa Investments division.

—Stephane holds a BSc (Hons) from Drexler University in Philadelphia and MBA from the University of Cape Town. Stephane has lived in various parts of the world and is also fluent in French.

Languages: English, French & Kirundi