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Private Equity Advisory Group (PAG) Members

The Private Equity Advisory Group (PAG) advises the UCT IP Advisory Committee on opportunities that RC&I present to it for investment. The members of PAG provide their time and expertise to the University pro-bono. Their non-binding advice and recommendations furthers the University’s role to promote research and incentives researchers to make a commercially sustainable, positive impact in South Africa.

Chris Derksen (Chairperson)

B.Comm. (Maths) University of Stellenbosch, B.Sc.(Hons) (Computer Science) University of Cape Town, MA(Econ) (Cambridge).

Chris started his career as a software engineer at London-based before continuing his studies at Cambridge University where he achieved a M.A. degree in Economics. He joined Goldman Sachs while still a student at Cambridge as an equity research analyst covering the pan-European media sector. Thereafter he joined the Mergers & Acquisitions (Investment Banking) business where he was promoted to associate and worked in London and Johannesburg on various large South African and cross-border transactions. Chris joined Investec in 2006 as an analyst in the Africa Fund team with the final designation of Head of Frontier and Emerging Markets where he headed up various teams and businesses within South Africa and London across traditional public equity, private equity and real estate asset classes focused on South Africa, the African continent and Emerging and Frontier Markets. He is a co-founder and current director of 12Cape (Pty) Ltd, a section 12J Venture Capital Company. He serves as chairman of the University of Cape Town Private Equity Advisory Committee with a remit to commercialise and fund IP and spin-outs from the University, and chairman of the Badawi Legacy Trust, a scholarship fund for talented secondary school learners. He is married with four children.

Ashley Francis

BCompt (Honours) CA(SA).

Ashley’s career spans auditing, manufacturing, real estate, renewable energy and consulting – all in senior financial roles. In January 2001, he joined the V&A Waterfront group as chief financial executive where he played a pivotal role in finalising the initial sale of the Waterfront Group. In October 2005, he left the V&A Waterfront to form Biotech Fuels (Pty) Ltd, a company producing wood pellets from waste material for export to be used to generate electricity as an alternative to coal. He held the position of managing director and public officer of the group. At the start of 2011, he sold the company and formed Ashley Francis Consulting, an entity creating business and financial solutions for companies. He has consulted widely in the areas of accounting, finance, business and strategy. Ashely has been appointed Executive Director of Finance from January 2016, where he currently presides at UCT. He serves on numerous university and faculty committees and is also a director on the board of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.

Gasant Orrie

BA LLB (Law) University of Cape Town

Gasant worked as a Chief Legal Advisor at South African Airlines for 3 years, overseeing legal responsibilities, regulatory and company secretarial functions within the airline. He then went on to take the position of Managing Partner at Hofmeyr Herbstein & Gihwala Inc. for 15 years focusing on the firm’s Corporate & Commercial Practices. Currently, Gasant is a Cape Managing Partner of CDH and Senior Director in the Corporate and Commercial practice for the past 10 years. Gasant covers most areas of corporate and commercial law with a focus on M&A in the financial services, hospitality and leisure, real estate, and transportation and tourism sectors. He has a special interest in corporate governance, anti-bribery and corruption compliance.

AJ Nel

Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) Hons, Accounting and Finance, University of Stellenbosch

AJ is a transactor with Investec Private Capital and has been with Investec for 11 years. For the first 6 years AJ worked in the Corporate Finance Division of Investec Bank focusing on Mergers & Acquisitions and raising capital for the Bank's corporate clients. Since joining Investec Private Capital in 2012, AJ has focused on providing Private Clients with capital solutions to grow their wealth either in their personal capacities or through their private businesses. AJ was born in Pretoria and matriculated  form High School Pretoria North. He obtained an Honours Degree in Finance from the University of Stellenbosch before joining the Mazars practice of Accountants in Cape Town where he completed his articles and also qualified as a CA(SA).

Guy Harris

Bachelor’s Degree, B.Comm (Hons) University of Cape Town; CA(SA)

He is also a Founder at Pathways outa Poverty. Guy plays prestigious roles in multiple facets of Entrepreneurship with an extensive list of board memberships and chair positions. Some of his positions include: Promoter of KLOP (Kensington, Langa, Observatory, Pinelands and Mowbray, Athlone and Woodstock) SME Accelerator and CAPE (Cape Town and Western Cape Acceleration and Promotion of high growth Entrepreneurship), NED SABS and Booyco; Chair of Audit Committee City of Cape Town, Chair of Audit and Risk Committee SABS and member of Parliament of RSA Audit Committee, Advisory Board Member Partners for Possibility, Vice Chair of Northlink College Council, External member of UCT Intellectual Property Advisory Committee and member of UCT private equity advisory cheerleader Quirky30, trustee Shonaquip, previous Chief Entrepreneurship Officer- SAIE.