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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

Senior Investment Director

Gerrit is a founding member of Arise. He has 21 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

Senior 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.


Fred Pelser

Investment Director

Fred has over 19 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.

Melissa Ventura

Investment Manager

Melissa joined Arise in 2022. She has more than 10 years of experience in the financial services industry. Before joining Arise, she spent 7 years at Futuregrowth Asset Management in Cape Town, of which 5 years were spent as an Investment Analyst, initially in the Listed Credit space covering the Banking sector and thereafter in the Unlisted Credit space with a focus on Non-bank Financial Institutions and the Agriculture sectors, amongst others. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2014 after completing her articles at PwC, Cape Town, and then completed an 8-month international secondment at PwC in the USA. She also successfully completed CFA Level 2 in June 2017 and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting from the University of Cape Town.

Linda Ngcwangu

Senior Investment Associate

Linda joined Arise in July 2019 and has worked on several transactions and projects since joining. Prior to joining Arise she was part of general corporate finance (M&A) team at Barclays Africa Group (now Absa Capital) and spent six years working in the investment Banking Division with a strong focus on Financial Institutions Groups’ Advisory covering Sub-Saharan Africa. Linda holds a Bcom In Financial Management from the University of Pretoria and a Post Graduate Diploma from CIMA.

Andani Madzena

Investment Associate

Andani joined Arise in 2019 as an investment trainee straight out of university. She became part of the permanent Arise team in April 2020. She holds a Honours Degree in Financial Markets from the University of Fort Hare.

Ariane Korf

Investment Analyst

Ariane graduated from Stellenbosch University in March 2021 with a BCom Honours degree in Financial Economics. She developed a passion for emerging markets while completing her Honours research thesis. Prior to joining Arise, Ariane worked as an analyst in the insurance industry.