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Investment Team

We know the one thing that makes a business truly successful – is its people.

It’s the inspiring leaders who guide the company to even greater success. The expert teams that work together to make it happen. The passionate individuals who make the extra effort to exceed expectations. And our growing team of people are no exception.

Gerrit Muller

Investment Director

Gerrit is a founding member of Arise. He has 16 years’ experience in the industry, 12 of which include dealing with African private equity. Before joining Arise, he was employed as a member of Norfund’s Financial Institutions Department for seven years and sat on the advisory board of a number of renowned private equity funds. Before Norfund, he was a private equity executive at RMB Corvest, a private equity company within the FirstRand Group. He started his career at PwC Transactions, where he performed various due diligence and valuations assignments. Gerrit is a qualified Chartered Accountant and trained at PwC. He also holds a Bachelors and Honours of Commerce and Accounting from the University of Pretoria.

Hugo Azevedo

Investment Director

Hugo joined Arise in July 2017, with over 18 years of international experience from the inception of his career auditing in Cape Town to Financial Due Diligence and Investment Banking in London and Europe (Ernst & Young and Rabobank International M&A). In 2004 he worked extensively in Africa gaining significant exposure to managing teams focused on client management, investment banking, transactional banking and global markets (African Alliance, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank).  Hugo has also run his own consulting company and performed the role of CFO for a submarine telecom company, where he played an instrumental role in launching the first ever cable to cross the Atlantic in the southern hemisphere, linking Angola to Brazil and another cable linking Brazil to the USA. His experience includes two start up projects in which he formed part of the top management teams that built international bank subsidiaries in Angola for the Standard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank groups, respectively. Hugo is also a qualified Chartered Accountant.


Steve Motsi

Investment Manager

Steve joined Arise in January 2017, with 13 years’ experience in equity research, corporate finance and brand marketing in banks and financial institutions across Sub-Saharan Africa. Before joining Arise, Steve was a Senior Banks Analyst at BPI Capital Africa. Prior to this, Steve was a Banks Analyst at African Alliance as well as Brand Manager for a merchant bank in Harare. His career commenced in equity research in 2003. He holds a MPhil Development Finance cum laude from the University of Stellenbosch Business School, where he graduated overall top student and named an Old Mutual Scholar. He also holds a BSc Economics (Honours) from the University of Zimbabwe and a banking diploma.


Fred Pelser

Senior Investment Manager

Fred has over 15 years’ experience in the African private equity and financial services sectors. Having previously worked for Norfund as a member of the Financial Institutions department with a strong investment track record, he uses his extensive knowledge of African portfolio companies to the benefit of Arise. Fred is a qualified Chartered Accountant and trained at KPMG in South Africa. He holds both a Bachelor and an Honours degree in Accounting Science from the University of South Africa.

Roswitha Knol

Senior Investment Associate

Roswitha joined Arise in 2016. As a Project Manager in the Strategy and Change Management Team of Rabobank International, as well a member of the deal team that formed Arise, she played a pivotal role in the setup of the company. Roswitha started her career at Rabobank as a Corporate Management Trainee, after which she became a strategy consultant focusing on international rural and retail business. She holds MSc degrees in International Finance and Business Economics from the University of Groningen and the University of Uppsala, and completed two internships at the Dutch Development Bank FMO as a portfolio analyst.

Priyansh Dhawan

Senior Investment Associate

Priyansh joined Arise in February 2017. With over five years of experience in emerging markets, he was responsible for analysing and assessing risk and performance within multiple Financial Institutions and banking sectors, across India, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Prior to joining Arise, Priyansh joined the Graduate Programme at Rand Merchant bank working in both their India and South Africa offices. Priyansh holds a BBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and an MBA from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. He has also completed internships at Rothschild and Standard Chartered Equities Research.

Marijn Wiersma

ESG Specialist

Marijn joined Arise in October 2017 and boasts over 20 years of sustainable development experience across the African continent and abroad. A Corporate Anthropologist and former Financial Inclusion Expert at FMO the Dutch Development Bank, Marijn has worked extensively in both the private and public sector. She has worked for the United Nations, various NGOs and in development banking, on healthcare, emergency relief, sustainability, human rights and gender issues. In addition, she also holds a MAs degree in Development Sociology and Cultural Anthropology from Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Clinton Abbott

Director: Banking and Innovation

Clinton is a diversified core banking and IT specialist, who is passionate about spearheading functional design within the banking sector both locally and abroad to enhance the customers banking experience. A seasoned expert with more than 25 year’s experience across multiple core banking platforms he has played an instrumental role in using technology and innovation to transform banking systems across the globe. Prior to joining Arise he fulfilled the role of Head of Functional Architecture at Standard Bank, where he was responsible for managing various specialist teams, who were accountable for the development of a single core banking design that could be either cloud hosted or locally implemented. One of his key achievements during his tenure at Standard Bank include the successful implementation of the first private cloud hosted banking system in South Africa, which was hosted for Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Malawi, Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Carla Bester

Risk and Compliance Officer


Carla is a certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM), who boasts extensive banking and consulting experience across various risk disciplines such as operational, liquidity, market and credit risk to name a few. Prior to joining Arise she held the position of Senior Manager Financial Services Risk and Regulation at PricewaterhouseCoopers South Africa, where she was responsible for overseeing their financial services clients. Having held management positions at leading banks such as Standard Bank and Absa, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team. She also holds a Master of Commerce from the University of Johannesburg, Operational Risk Manager Certificate from the Professional Risk Managers International Association (PRMIA), Certificate in Financial Engineering and Risk Management from the University of Columbia and a B Comm Honours (Economics) from Stellenbosch University.

Linda Ngcwangu

Investment Associate

Linda Joined Arise in July 2019. She has six years Investment banking experience and spent the last two years primarily working on Financial Institutions Group (FIG) advisory and subsequently, general corporate finance covering Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining Arise she was part of corporate finance division at Absa. Linda holds a Bcom In Financial Management from the University of Pretoria and a Post Graduate Diploma from CIMA.

Simon Lockhart – Ross

Investment Associate


Simon joined Arise in July 2019. Prior to joining Arise, Simon was an Associate at Clifftop Corporate Finance, a boutique cross-border and cross-continental focused corporate finance firm dedicated to European/Sub-Saharan African mergers & acquisitions. He was responsible for firm-wide transaction execution across a range of sectors, as well as relationship management with key clients and partnerships. He holds BBusSci and MCom degrees in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Cape Town.

Andani Madzena

Investment Trainee