Ms Philisiwe Mthethwa [Chief Executive Officer]

Ms Mthethwa holds an MBA Corporate Finance from the University of Sheffield, and has studied towards the MSc Economics (thesis not defended) at the University of Paris 2.

In this role Ms Mthethwa brought a diverse knowledge of banking, capital markets and international investment, and grew the NEF into a high-performing organisation that saw over 540 black-owned and managed enterprises receive much-needed finance for start-up, expansion and equity acquisition purposes. Under her stewardship the past few years (2007 – 2014) saw the NEF join forces with local and international investors in the quest to champion South Africa’s industrialisation by developing strategic and industrial-type projects valued in excess of R30 billion.

Ms Mthethwa’s experience encompasses both private and public sector activities and provide the NEF with unparallelled understanding of the environment in which the organization operates.

Prior to joining the NEF, Ms Mthethwa worked for a French investment bank in London, held responsibility for risk management control at the South African Reserve Bank and worked in the Treasury division at Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank. She was also employed as a Regional Director for Europe by the dti in Germany and France to promote European investment in South Africa. In 2002 she returned to South Africa to become the Chief Director of the Black Economic Empowerment Unit of the dti, which developed the Government’s Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) strategy, the B-BBEE Act and the Codes of Good Practice, instruments that are at the heart of the country’s efforts to bring about inclusive growth.

Ms Mthethwa is Chairman of Group Five and also serves on the Boards of Sanlam Limited, Sanlam Life Insurance Limited and the Industrial Development Corporation. Among her recent accolades are: 2011 Corporate Business Woman of the Year (Business Women’s Association), 2011 African Business Woman of the Year (Africa Investor), and appointment as a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the National Order of Merit) by the former president of the French Republic, Mr Nicolas Sarkozy. In 2013 Ms Mthethwa received the Woman of Substance Award from the African Women Chartered Accountants, as well as the Top South African Women’s Award from South Africa’s Most influential Women in Business and Government. Ms Mthethwa is also a member of the BRICS Financial Services Working Group.

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