2021 API SUMMIT SPEAKERS
API Virtual is privileged to host some of the foremost professionals working in property investment today. As the goal of our virtual summit is to enrich the working experience of our delegates through relevant information and insights, we take great care in selecting a high calibre of speakers, who, in many respects, set the tone for the virtual summit. Furthermore, as a speaker you get the most visibility and the most significant corporate brand exposure. If you would like to get in touch with us about speaking at API Summit Virtual 2020, please contact Susan Swart on [email protected]
Thomas is the Managing Director of Lango Real Estate, where he led the founding of the business. Lango has grown to own assets across 4 countries worth in excess of $600m. Lango aims to list on the LSE over the medium term. Thomas is an accomplished Investment professional with more than 25 years’ experience across a range of asset classes including real estate, debt finance and the financial derivative markets. Thomas holds a Master of Science Degree in Finance from the University of London’s CASS Business School (awarded with distinction), as well as an Honours degree in Economics and a Batchelor of Commerce degree in Economics.
Chukwuemeka is the CEO and Co-founder of Cofundie, a property crowdfunding platform based in Ghana working to solve the housing crisis in Africa. He is passionate about applying tech toward solving common developmental problems across the continent and has spent his life doing just that. Right now with Cofundie, he is focused on helping to increase the supply of affordable housing units in Ghana and increasing access for low-middle income earners to afford those units.
Emmanuel Stefanakis has more than 40 years global experience in applying sustainable development principles to numerous housing and urban development projects. Prior to joining EchoStone, Mr. Stefanakis has served as Senior Management Consultant at Arthur D. Little International, as a senior executive at Harvard University, and has advised many Fortune 500 companies and international organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations. Mr. Stefanakis received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Master’s degrees in Sustainable Development from the University of Pennsylvania and Public Administration from Harvard University, and is certified as an International Finance Corporation EDGE Expert in sustainable building.
A graduate of Kingston University, London, Greg Pearson studied Business Management and Project Management and is registered with the Chartered Management Institute. His experience includes development management, cost planning, procurement, time management and traditional project management of major engineering and building projects. His market sector knowledge includes office, retail, leisure, education and healthcare schemes and he has experience in over 40 African countries. Greg was formerly an executive with AECOM, a global provider of design, development and engineering and construction services, and had the responsibility of expanding the footprint for the “Rest of Africa”.
Funke is a Director in the real estate team at Actis, based in Lagos. Funke joined the firm in 2007 where she is responsible for origination, execution and portfolio management in West
Africa. Funke has over 15 years’ experience in private equity with the last 5 years focused on investing in Commercial Real Estate. Funke is a chartered accountant and holds a Bachelor of
Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos and a Master in Finance from the London Business School.
Louisa Waddingham joined Reall in February 2020 as Head of Operations in Africa. Prior to that she worked for the British Council for 32 years in progressively more demanding roles including international postings in Botswana, Malawi, Nigeria, Oman, Sierra Leone, Slovakia and Zimbabwe. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Management (2009) and a Masters Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies (2015).
Debra Erb is Managing Director of Housing Programs for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a U.S. government corporation focused on supporting U.S. investment in developing markets. In this capacity, she is responsible for program development, investor development and marketing, as well as credit structuring and analysis for housing and other real estate sector projects. Ms. Erb has over 20 years’ direct experience in mortgage lending in the U.S. plus 12 years of international housing finance experience. Her international experience includes President of Mortgage Finance International, a boutique consulting company that worked with all aspects of mortgage finance in emerging markets. She was also President of Societas – International Institute for Real Estate Finance, a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. that was sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. Previously, Ms. Erb served as Senior Director – MBA International, responsible for international membership development and liaison between international and U.S. mortgage banking companies and organizations. In addition, she managed MBA’s international conference operations and the International Mortgage Institute. Prior to joining MBA, Ms. Erb held a variety of management positions with mortgage and banking institutions in the Washington, D.C. area. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (International Non-Profit Management) from George Mason University, and a B.A. in International Business Communications from the same university.
Sheila Moraa is keen to explore unchartered waters taking up new visions and making them realities through sound and strategic development. Passionate about promoting sustainable development in the built environment and utilizing opportunities in the green space to further grow this in the local context by attracting affordable blended finance for various projects. Currently as Head of ESG at AIML; an integrated Real Estate company providing student accommodation, Sheila is managing green certification of the company portfolio. With the launch of the REITs, we are working towards obtaining GRESB Assessment for the funds which will have a positive impact holistically on the policies and practices of the company and its stakeholders with regard to ESG. Previously, Sheila worked in the Oil & Gas and the energy industries both at the project (Total Kenya Ltd. & KenGen) and regulatory levels influencing policy formulation while at Energy Regulatory Commission. Sheila is a trained Civil Engineer currently completing an executive Masters program at Strathmore University, certified PRINCE2 practitioner and an EDGE Expert. Sheila also sits in the board of Kenya Green Building Society. She has over 13 years Project Management experience in the built environment and renewable energy sector.
Warren is Managing Partner at Vantage Capital. He joined Vantage in 2007 as Chief Financial Officer, before moving into a Chief Operating Officer role and then into his current position as Managing Partner. Warren is a qualified Chartered Accountant who served a year of academic articles at the University of Witwatersrand and then completed his articles at Arthur Andersen. He embarked on a banking career with Standard Bank in 2001 where he worked as Account Executive in the Corporate Banking division, a transactor in a new business development team and finally as a transactor in the bank’s acquisition finance team, before joining Vantage in 2007. He holds undergraduate, Honours and Masters degrees in Commerce from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Lenore is the African regional program manager for EDGE, the green building certification solution that
is an innovation of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. Prior to joining IFC she was leading the
implementation of green building initiatives for a housing impact fund at Old Mutual Alternative
Investments for close to four years. Her experience includes six years of project finance at Standard
Bank in South Africa and London. She holds an MBA from GIBS, University of Pretoria and an MSc
(Chemical Engineering) from University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Nawfal Bendefa is the founder of REIM Partners, a real estate asset manager with more than €300 million AUM in commercial real estate Morocco. Nawfal has over twenty years of experience in development, asset management, fund management and fundraising. His career in real estate began in lodging in the US and UK in various roles. He participated and led transactions in more than a dozen countries (US, Europe, Africa and Asia). Prior to REIM, Nawfal was CEO of Actif Invest in Morocco, and Vice President of Asset Management with Marriott International.
Belinda holds a Certificate in Business Accounting (CIMA), BSc (Hons) (Finance), MBA (University of Mauritius), Financing the Entrepreneurial Business Programme (London Business School, UK) and Strategy Execution for Business Leaders (Insead, France). Prior joining Grit, Belinda started her career at Rogers Group in 2006, one of Mauritius’ most prominent conglomerate as an investment trainee. She has spent 13 years working for the Company, whereby her career took her through the various facets of real estate, project management and corporate advisory, all contributing to her most recent position there as Head of Projects and Corporate Advisory. Belinda also held the position of Executive Director of Ascencia Ltd, Mauritius’ largest domestic property company, where she was responsible for Fund Management, Strategic Management and Investor Relations.
Derrick Roper is a qualified actuary. He graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in England. Before joining Novare he worked for a number of large financial services companies in South Africa including Sanlam and Gensec Asset Management. He spent some time in the United Kingdom where he gained experience in investment product development in the pension fund market. Derrick co-founded Novare in October 2000. He is a regular commentator on industry topics in the financial media and has addressed numerous conferences across the globe. Derrick’s areas of expertise include asset-liability matching, strategic asset allocation, alternative investments and private equity investments in sub-Saharan Africa. Derrick’s tendency to innovate in product development saw Novare launch the first South African Fund of Hedge Funds in 2003, and subsequently, the first Novare Africa Property Fund in 2010. Derrick is the MD of Novare Equity Partners, a private equity firm investing exclusively in Sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa. He is listed amongst the top 50 most influential, innovative and powerful figures in African asset management by Africa Asset Management magazine for 2013 and 2014. He has 27 years’ experience in the industry.
Steven Herring started Heriot Properties (Pty) Ltd, a property investment and development company in 1998. He received his Undergraduate Degree in Marketing in 1991 at the University of Johannesburg and his Masters of Business Administration in 1995. Under his leadership Heriot Properties Group develop, own and manage Retail, Industrial and Commercial properties in Southern Africa.
Ram leads transactions across Kasada’s target economies. He has over 15 years of experience in global real estate private equity and operations across North America, India and SSA.
Prior to joining Kasada, Ram was based in Dar es Salaam where he was CEO of Village Supermarket, a regional Supermarket chain that he led and expanded over 4 years. He also spent 10 years in real estate and infrastructure investments, notably at the Xander Group in Singapore and Global Infrastructure Partners in New York. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School where he was elected George F. Baker Scholar and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University obtained with First Class Honors.
Patrick is Account Director and SADC Hub Lead in the Occupier Services Division. The role entails ensuring that client’s business strategy is met / enhanced through optimization of real estate. This could be in the form of Consultancy, Strategic Advisory, Market Research, Transaction Management (acquisitions, disposals, consolidations, re-gears, etc…)
Patrick Katabua is French and English speaking, and has over 10 years of Real Estate Experience covering African Markets. Prior to joining Broll, Patrick was an Account Director at Chushman and Wakefield Excellerate in the Africa Division, and also assumed the role of Lead for Francophone Territories. Patrick has provided value to key clients including Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever, Novartis, US Embassy, China Communications Construction Company, to name a few. He previously worked in the banking sector for 10 years, as Senior Deal Maker focusing on Africa Commercial Property Finance for various Banks in Africa (ABSA, Standard Bank, FNB). He has a M.Sc Building Degree from Witwatersrand University (RSA), and successfully completed the “Doing Business in Africa” short course in collaboration with GIBS Business School (Johannesburg)l, Strathmore Business School (Nairobi) and Lagos Business School (Lagos).
Kim van Rooyen is a Director at Turner & Townsend, currently based in the UK. With over 25 years’ experience in both the construction and technology sectors Kim has helped clients harness innovation and deliver real benefits from the delivery of their capital programmes and operational use of the asset. He has worked in both the public and private sector, delivering projects and programmes in six continents and plays a key part in disrupting the construction sector through his role at Turner & Townsend. More recently his focus has been on helping clients with their Digital Transformation journey, linking the human side with the machine so real tangible benefits can be realised. Kim will use this session to share some of his experiences of how businesses are using Digital to address the productivity and environmental agenda.
Paulo Cruz has joined LandAfrique Real Estate & Infrastructure as its Africa CEO to lead the strategy and respective roll-out in Sub-Saharan Africa. Paulo brings over 24 years of comercial real estate & infrastructure experience to the LandAfrique group. He most recently led the Washington DC based Blackivy´s real estate endeavors in Ghana and has been with another US based, NAI Global’s Sub-Saharan Africa office as their CEO and, prior to leading that office, he developed and managed BP’s real estate assets in Angola, including commercial, industrial and residential facilities. Paulo started his career in Europe at Cushman & Wakefield and Royal HaskoningDHV. He holds a BSc in Construction & Real Estate Management from Delft University of Technology and a Post Doctorate from the Lisbon School of Economics and Management in Real Estate Management & Valuation. A member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Paulo has lived and worked the last fourteen years in Sub-Saharan Africa. LandAfrique Real Estate & Infrastructure owns a significant landbank in West Africa, has forty year on the ground experience, an enviable tenancy list and a well-structured pipeline that continues the legacy of West Africa´s number one manufacturing site: Agbara Industrial Park. LandAfrique´s developments eliminate many of the challenges – including access to reliable power, water, transport and telecommunications – that often confront companies in Sub-Saharan Africa while providing modern and reliable infrastructure for its tenants. LandAfrique offers land, custom-built warehouses, factories, offices, lifestyle homes, affordable housing and retail space.
Menno Lammers (1977) is the quartermaster of the PropTech for Good movement. The PropTech for Good Movement propels Real Estate and Technology forward to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By stimulating connections between the Sustainable Development Goals, real estate and technology, we experience the endless human possibilities. This empowers us to create future-proof environments for everyone. Menno is the founder of PropTechNL, one of the founding board members of the PropTech House, the European network and a much sought-after strategy sparring partner to the boards of real estate companies. As a strategic advisor Menno worked for companies like Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Heimstaden Nederland, Savills, Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance, Rijksvastgoedbedrijf (part of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations).
Ivan Cornet has more than twenty years of real estate experience in Europe and Africa as a lawyer, an investor and a financier. Ivan is Managing Partner – Real Estate and Infrastructure of Latitude Five, a pan-African investment and advisory firm. He assists international and local investors and operators with growth strategies, providing market intelligence, identifying off-market opportunities and structuring and implementing complex commercial and financial transactions. Ivan is a Chartered Surveyor (MRICS) registered with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (UK). Ivan holds senior executive positions with several African real estate companies.
Gil Sperling is the CEO of Flow, a proptech platform which is revolutionising how people rent and live. Sperling started his career as an engineer, and was one three founding partners of Popimedia, one of Africa’s biggest ad-tech and performance marketing companies. Popimedia went on to be bought by French based global communications group – Publicis. Through his experience and expertise within the tech industry, Sperling, together with the co-founders of Flow, are revolutionising the economics of rent with a shared value approach, bringing in behavioral economics to make the entire renting process more affordable, more transparent and more seamless.
Bronwyn Corbett is the CEO of Mara Delta Property Holdings. She has significant corporate finance and deal making experience and has played an instrumental role in the JSE listing of
Delta Property Fund Limited in 2012 where she held the positions of CFO and COO prior to taking up the leadership role at Mara Delta. During her tenure at Delta Limited, Bronwyn
spearheaded the diversification of the REIT’s funding sources into the debt capital markets, leading to the establishment of a ZAR2 billion Domestic Medium Term Note Programme (DMTN
Engr. Femi Akintunde is an Industrial Engineer and Business Management Professional with strong entrepreneurial drive. Before starting Alpha Mead in 2006, Femi’s career spanned more than 18 years in the Manufacturing, Oil & Gas and Financial Services sectors; working with Nestle, Shell and United Bank for Africa respectively. He currently leads Alpha Mead Group; overseeing business operations in Facilities Management, Real Estate & Infrastructure Development, Healthcare Management Service and Property Management &; Advisory across Nigeria and 13 African countries, where Alpha Mead operates. Femi’s expert views on the African Real Estate and Infrastructure market have been featured in both local and international media and he has keynoted events across the continent.
Dennis Papa Odenyi Quansah is Program Lead for IFC EDGE Green Building Market Transformation Program in Ghana and Nigeria. He is an Urban Development professional with experience in the built environment in Ghana. His expertise includes Sustainable Real Estate Development, Real Estate Marketing and Agency, Real Estate Management, Real Estate Valuation and Business Development. He has also undertaken socio-economic surveys for voluntary relocation and other resettlement packages. He holds an MSc in Urban Policy and Development and an Undergraduate degree in Land Economy in Ghana. He is also a member of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors.
I have over 20 years experience in Financial Services both within South Africa and Globally. My global approach to client centric solutions and risk management provides a unique perspective to the range of multinational clients supported. My experience has allowed me to provide pragmatic solutions in commercial real estate, risk analysis, business process and risk management. My subject matter expertise has impacted external and internal stakeholders (including multinationals) in both strategic, financial and operational management. I have managed change in different environments, developed high performing teams and partnered with other Executives on an ongoing basis. This results in positive outputs for the Company I am part of and innovative solutions to our clients.
Will Harris is the CEO of Gmaven – a business focused on digitising businesses in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. A Chartered Accountant by training, after time at Silicon Valley Bank, and declining a promotion at Sasol, he instead accepted an offer in the world of commercial property. Since then, together with a team of extremely talented and dedicated team mates, he has bet fourteen years, and counting, of his working life on driving efficiencies and reducing massive human pain in the enormously complicated $29T CRE industry.
Sean Godoy is a property professional with 10 years’ experience in the property industry. Most of his professional experience has been in property market analysis where he has developed a strong understanding. He has a strong interest in cities and emerging economies. Sean is passionate about SA, Africa, poverty alleviation, and education. In his own capacity and through his role on the executive committee of the South Africa Chamber of Commerce in London, he actively promotes and facilitates business and charitable activity between the UK, SA, and afield.
Gerhard has 14 years’ experience in property finance and has held various senior positions in retail and investment banking. A chartered accountant with an MCom (cum laude) from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Gerhard was the Head of Real Estate Finance: Africa Regions at Standard Bank before joining Nedbank in 2018.
Kelvin Wachira is the Co-Founder and C.E.O of BidiiBuild. BidiiBuild is a software company that is an all in one construction management platform suited for real estate and construction companies helping them manage their projects on time and on budget. He holds a Bsc. Civil Engineering degree from Dedan Kimathi University of Technology and is an alumnus of the prestigious MEST. He has conducted technology workshops in NCA CPD workshops, BIG 5, and also selected in IFC “Next 100 African Startups”. His areas of expertise are Cloud, IOT, Design Thinking, tech integrations and technology implementation for effective construction delivery.
Sethebe Manake is a business owner, standing at the helm of Botswana’s first Property Research and Consulting Firm. She has extensive experience in the real estate industry particularly with pension fund portfolios, listed property portfolios, consortiums, joint ventures and privately owned portfolios. Her last corporate role was Chief Executive Officer of listed property company Letlole La Rona, before being offered a regional Asset Management position at Stanlib South Africa. Sethebe holds a Bachelor of Science in Property Studies from the University of Cape Town and a Master of Science in Strategic Management from the University of Derby and Botswana Accountancy College.
From the USA Daniel has spent the last seven years building Blockchain solutions. Daniel studied at the University of Michigan where he worked at Bitbox, one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges in the USA. Daniel subsequently cofounded the College Cryptocurrency Network (now Blockchain Education Network) a nonprofit that provided Blockchain educational initiatives at Universities in over 10 countries. In 2014 Daniel received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a Blockchain solution in Ghana which ultimately led to the concept of Seso. This experience has provided valuable expertise in the land administration and financial inclusion implementation.
Bright is a finance professional with extensive experience in real estate financing, private equity and investment banking. Prior to his current position, he was the Chief Financial Officer, Ghana for Rendeavour, Appolonia City’s owner and developer. As CEO, Bright leads the Ghana team to transform the ambitious vision into what is becoming a world-class mixed-use urban development in Ghana. Bright has also worked as a Senior Analyst at Black Star Advisors; a boutique private equity company with a focus on the SME sector in Ghana, and as a Research & Corporate Finance Analyst with SDC Brokerage Services Ltd. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School’s Real Estate Management Program and the University of Lincoln (UK) where he obtained a Masters degree in Finance.
Kecia Rust is the Executive Director and founder of the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa. She is a housing policy specialist and has provided strategic support to government in South Africa for the past 20 years. Over the span of her career, she has focused on affordable housing finance, residential property assets and property markets, rental and social housing, and the creation of sustainable human settlements. She holds a Masters of Management degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Bachelor’s Degree with Distinction and Honours in International Studies from the University of North Carolina USA.
Tayo Odunsi is a Chartered Surveyor with over 10 years of professional real estate experience. He holds an undergraduate degree in Estate management from the University of Lagos, a MSc. Real estate finance and investment degree from the Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK as well as a MBA from the Imperial College London. Some of his previous roles were at FBN Capital, GTHomes and ARM Investment Managers. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the African Real Estate Society. He also serves as a Director at Ventures Park, the leading co-working space in the heart of Abuja. He’s an ardent art lover, valuer and curator. Tayo enjoys soft rock, gardening and mentoring young people.