About

Uqalo is a specialist investor targeting Consumer Product opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa

About Us

Uqalo is an ideal partner for African Consumer Product entrepreneurs who want active, expert advice and support

As a co-investor, Uqalo offers our team of specialists and the capabilities of our cornerstone investor

Our Team

  • Giles Hefer
  • Philip Baum 
  • Tony Yusuf 
  • Diane Laas
  • Megan Bowren
Giles Hefer
  • Born in South Africa and qualified as a chartered accountant
  • Worked as PA to mining magnate, Harry Oppenheimer
  • Then based for 30 years in Asia and Europe
  • Firstly establishing an investment company in Asia for Oppenheimer family interests
  • Which over 10 years invested US $100m in 10 private Asian companies
  • Including Li & Fung which was a major home run
  • And then joining the Fung family and establishing a European office in London
  • Which has acquired and invested in British and European companies
  • Including most recently a portfolio of premium European fashion brands
  • Established Uqalo in 2014 with a cornerstone commitment from the Fung family
Philip Baum 
  • Born in South Africa and educated as a lawyer
  • 30 year career with global multinational, Anglo American plc, rising to position of an executive director with
    global responsibilities, including
  • Operations in 12 sub-Saharan African countries
  • 5 years as CEO of Anglo American Zimbabwe, a holding company for resource, industrial and consumer businesses
  • Created what later became Atlas Mara, out of two unrelated investments in the financial services arena, with a pioneering listing in Botswana and operations in five African countries
  • Established and ran Anglo Zimele a vehicle for doing business with Black SMEs in South Africa
  • Effected US$7.5bn of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transactions in all Anglo American’s South African operations
  • Past Chairman of 7 listed African companies and non-executive director of 2 listed African companies
  • Currently chairman of Emco Resources, which is developing a colliery and 340MW power station in Zambia
Tony Yusuf 
  • British and Italian fashion industry veteran, who trained as a tailor on Savile Row
  • Co-founder and Managing Director of the John Richmond global fashion brand which grew to US$1bn at retail
  • Currently Managing Director of No.14 Savile Row which owns two premium British menswear brands
  • Product expertise across menswear, womenswear apparel (luxury to mass), footwear, children’s, optical, accessories and perfumes
  • Brand development expertise from product concept to delivery, licensing, franchising, wholesaling and marketing
Diane Laas
  • Born and educated in South Africa
  • Qualified as an Electrical Engineer and obtained an MBA, both cum laude
  • Designed telecommunications networks in Southern Africa
  • 3 years as a management consultant, devising strategies for consumer related businesses
  • As well as business plan development for emerging market consumer companies
  • 8 years at Investec Asset Management, the largest deployer of capital on the African continent
  • Analysing Africa-based consumer companies
  • Shaping strategic direction of listed companies through management engagements
  • Initiating key investment positions in African consumer companies
Megan Bowren
  • Born and educated in South Africa
  • Qualified with a Post Graduate Degree in Management and Entrepreneurship
  • 4 years Fashion and Supply Chain experience
  • Brand coordination for Urban Degree, a top South African Fashion Brand
  • Strategic Planner at Truworths, a large South African Fashion Retailer

Combined Years Experience

50

Analysing African companies

38

Managing & directing African businesses

48

Investing in the consumer sector

45

Founding & managing Consumer business

48

Establishing & developing Consumer brands