Over the life of the club, we have received significant support and assistance, whether financial or through other means from several engaged alums and we would like to celebrate some of them below:
Koos Bekker is Chief Exceutive of the leading emerging markets media company Naspers. The company operates in 130 countries, is listed on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges, with 40 000 shareholders and a market capitalization of some $20 billion. (See www.naspers.com.)
In the 1970’s Koos obtained degrees in law and in literature at the South African universities of Stellenbosch and of the Witswatersrand. In the 1980’s he read an MBA degree at Columbia University, where he researched pay television when the industry was in the process of being born.
Immediately after graduation, Koos and a few young colleagues created a pay TV business in South Africa. In 1985 M- Net was one of the first two pay television ventures anywhere outside of the United States, and broke even 2 years later. Since then this has grown into one of the most successful such operations worldwide.
In Pay TV, the group has some 4 million subscribers in 48 countries, which are being served with a variety of television channels and subscriber management services. (A typical customer would receive 30-50 channels directly from satellite)
Naspers is the biggest publisher of magazines and newspapers in Africa. It owns (together with BEE partners) some 50 major consumer magazine, and various daily and Sunday newspapers, including the Daily Sun, the largest circulation newspaper in Africa.
Today Naspers is a diversified media group with holdings in internet, pay television, technology, consumer magazines, newspapers and book publishing.
In internet, the group owns the e-commerce groups Allegro and Ricardo, which leads in Eastern Europe. In Brazil, BuscaPé provides a range of e-commerce solutions. Naspers holds an interest in Tencent (QQ) in China, which serves hundreds of millions Chinese customers with instant messaging, premium services, portals and games. Naspers is also one of the main shareholders in Mail.ru, one of the leading internet businesses in Russia.
Koos is a past winner of the South African chapter of the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Award. He also received the Protea Award of the South African Society of Marketers and the Sunday Times Lifetime Achievement Award. He sat on the Local Organising Committee for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in commerce from the University of Stellenbosch.
Managing Partner, Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management
Kofi began his professional career at Chemical Bank in New York in 1979 after obtaining an MBA (Finance) degree from Columbia University in 1979 and a BSc (Administration) degree from the University of Ghana, Legon in 1977. In his student days he worked for the Northern Ireland Electricity Service, Belfast; Merchant Bank of Ghana; and the First Boston Corpora- tion in New York.
At Chemical Bank he became a Vice President in 1981 based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He joined the African Development Bank in Abidjan as Deputy Treasurer in 1986, becoming Treasurer from 1990 to 1994.
He joined Lehman Brothers International, London in 1994 as an Executive Director, Corporate Finance. In 1997, Kofi returned to Ghana as Managing Director of CAL Merchant Bank until 2000 when he formed his own advisory firm, J. Kofi Bucknor & Associates.
He subsequently became the Managing Partner of Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management in 2003 which launched the $122 million PAIP-PCAP African private equity fund, followed by the $492 million PAIP II fund which closed in January 2010.
Kofi has been a Director of Ashanti Goldfields Corporation, Pep Stores Gha- na, Normandy Mining Corporation of Australia and Ecobank Transnational Corporation and was a member of the Commonwealth Secretary Gen- eral’s Special Advisory Panel on the 1996 Asian Financial Crisis. Kofi has been Chairman of the Ghana Stock Exchange, a Director of T.A. Holdings Limited in Zimbabwe, Chairman of the Council of the University College of Education, Winneba, a Director of Micro-Provident Botswana Limited, and CNIA Assurances, Morocco.
He currently serves on the boards of Newmont Mining Corporation, Chirano Gold Mines, Kingdom Hotels Limited, NIB, Ghana and Mixta Africa, Spain.
Kofi has been an adviser since 1997 to HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, Saudi Arabia.
He is fluent in French.
Omar Lababidi, is a Non-Executive Director at Starcomms. He's a seasoned wireless industry specialist.
He worked with Tradigrain Incorporated before joining Starcomms as the Director of Marketing where he was responsible for the marketing transformation at Starcomms Plc. Omar Lababidi joined the board in 2007.
Omar Lababidi holds a B.SC in International Relations from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. (1998) and an MBA from Columbia Business School (2007).
Thando leads the existing and emerging Africa (ex-South Africa) activities of Allan Gray Group Limited (an investment firm that manages ~$45 billion in retail and institutional assets across Africa). Over the last twenty-two years, he has worked in various capacities in asset management, principal investing, investment banking and corporate law across Africa and in the United States.
Thando is chairman of National Empowerment Fund (The South African government's venture capital fund) and he served as vice-chairman of council of University of Cape Town and chairman of E2 (strategic equity partner to Allan Gray Limited and a philanthropy that provides early-stage financing to business and social entrepreneurs in South Africa).
Genevieve Sangudi is a Managing Director focused on buyout and growth opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ms. Sangudi is based in Lagos, Nigeria.
Prior to joining Carlyle, Ms. Sangudi was a Partner and Managing Director with Emerging Capital Partners where she established and managed the firm’s Nigeria operations and played a lead role in deal sourcing, execution and value creation, particularly for companies in the financial services, oil & gas and petrochemicals sectors. Ms. Sangudi also has significant experience in the fast moving consumer goods sector, having started her career at Procter & Gamble where she worked on market strategies for numerous global brands.