About Acorn Black Investments

Established in 2014 Acorn Black Investments (ABI) is a South African based private equity investment vehicle, structured in the format of a permanent capital vehicle, and is a Level 1 BEE investor.

Key focal areas of the investment mandate include the following sectors:

  • Renewable energies
  • Education and skills development
  • Professional services
  • Property investment
  • Healthcare

ABI initially focused on the Industrial sector in South Africa, due to the shareholders and investment executives, having direct access to family-owned enterprises in this sector.  ABI’s evolution has been enabled by the success of its investment executives in various corporate finance mandates in excess of R3bn in value, as advisors to private equity investors and business owners. The benefits of these ventures have allowed ABI to build private investment capital that enables it to invest off balance sheet, in a prudent manner. The involvement of investment partners allows ABI to manage its prudential limits and portfolio management objectives, while enhancing the investment expertise within each transaction.

By virtue of ABI’s 100% Black Women owned and 100% Black designated Group owned status, the organization facilitates businesses compliance with the provisions of the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice. While the primary function is to assist companies to address the representivity of their equity participants, Acorn Black Investments seeks to strategically assist the companies in which it invests, ensuring the partnership realizes direct measurable benefits, while leveraging off the Empowerment credentials to guarantee sustainable growth.

Our value proposition is to provide relevant market specific value for all stakeholders. ABI’s engrained entrepreneurial spirit has resulted in an ethos of dedication, aspiration and honesty, which we value in every aspect of the organisation. The company’s executives and staff are committed to increasing not only the investment profile of ABI, but providing group companies with tangible support in the fields of finance, transformation, human resources, sales & marketing and operational efficiencies, resulting in realisable and sustainable benefits for all shareholders.

The Team

The shareholders of ABI consist mostly of the active participant of the Trading companies it owns and comprise out of, amongst others, the leadership of ABI. The vested nature of their involvement ensures the alignment of value achievement for all participants.

Reshana Galal

Reshana is a qualified CFA with 10 years’ experience in the Banking and Financial services sector.

Reshana served as a Credit manager in Standard Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking division with a focus on Power and Infrastructure deals. In addition, her vast exposure in the transaction advisory space (mergers and acquisition), while with Ernest and Young, and her commercial credit experience within FirstRand, forms a foundational advantage to ABI.

Her skills in financial analysis and modelling, due diligence understanding while incorporating macroeconomic and industry specific knowledge, enables ABI to viably invest in predefined sectors.

Brent Oakes

Over the past 18 years, Brent has spearheaded entrepreneurial ventures in various industries. He has fulfilled executive management roles for South African listed multinationals and has successfully founded, grown and disposed of multiple business. An example of Brent’s achievements has been his selection for the “Top 40 under 40″ award. This prestigious achievement aims at acknowledging young talent in and around the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, who have helped to better the development of the city.

Brent has been entrusted with the compliance strategies of a host of listed and multinational companies across South Africa in addition to fulfilling advisory roles to industry/professional bodies such as The National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM).

Roshen Galal

Post graduating off the FirstRand TOPP programme, and qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2010, Roshen moved into specialised finance and gained experience across property finance, leverage finance and then private equity, within the FirstRand stable. He has since co-founded two private equity funds that have raised in excess of R500 million, where he is the Chief Financial Officer.

Roshen has played significant roles in the initial minority investment and subsequent majority divestments of healthcare transactions exceeding R2bn in value.

chris van de water

Qualified Chartered Accountant with 10 years of international experience specialising in finance and tax in hyper growth tech companies who has decided to come back to South Africa to join the ABI Group.

Chris headed up Uber’s group reporting for it’s first 3 years while Uber became one of the fastest growing companies in history and then settled into their tax team looking after their B2B products from an international tax perspective for a year. Chris left Uber to join a tech startup based out of the UK, which received funding from Kleiner Perkins out of San Francisco before joining the ABI group.

Chris also spent 3 yrs with KPMG in the Cayman Islands in their corporate restructuring advisory team.

johan zietsman

Johan is a qualified Professional Accountant (SA) who spent +8 years in public accounting before joining the ABI group.

Johan oversees the finance function of the ABI Group and its subsidiaries. Integrating new group acquisitions’ finance processes into ABI’s, with finance now falling into Johan, he will work with the existing team to build a sustainable and supporting finance function which then provides management with all the necessary tools to drive growth while improving or minimally imposing costs. The experience gained at Mazars offered him the opportunity to see professional accounting’s best practice and apply these principles to the ABI Group.

jean opperman

Jean is a qualified attorney with 13 years’ experience in commercial law. Jean served her articles at Pagdens Attorneys and occupied the position of commercial director at the firm for several years. Jean has recently opened her own commercial law firm, which oversees Acorn Black Investments’ legal requirements.