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

A qualified CFA with 10 years’ experience in the Banking and Financial services sector.

Rehana 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. Brent was selected for the “Top 40 under 40 award, a prestigious achievement aimed 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 was the founder of FNB Private Equity as a co-investment partner to RMB Corvest within FirstRand, post leaving and co-founding Ayurveda Investments (Healthcare fund), Chroma Capital (Sector Agnostic) and Acorn Black Investments (BEE Focus). With experience of more than R3bn in transaction origination and executions, Roshen forms part of the ABI investment committee and is involved intimately with the transaction execution process.

Michaela Voller

Michaela is an Experienced Executive level Chief People Officer with over 20 years in the IT, Legal and Banking Industries delivering incredible value while developing innovative, pragmatic and performance-driven strategies and programs.

Her unique combination of software development, sales, strategy and human capital experience allows for a business understanding of how to get the most out of human capital in a digital world. She is ethical, highly rational, detail-oriented and seeks systems and procedures to solve complex problems.

Anton Hingeston

Anton is the founding director of Change Logic, a niche consulting business that specialises in the management of strategic change.

The business launched in 2002 and has grown into the largest Change Management Consulting business in Africa. Anton has worked across a number of industries in the USA, UK, South Africa and Zimbabwe focusing on corporate strategy development, business turnaround and the management of large scale transformation initiatives. Anton represents a number of companies at a board level and has both line management and consulting experience. He is currently the Executive in charge of Consulting Services and Nextec Talent with the EOH Group.

Anton Hingeston

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2001, then working a year in London, Brendon returned to South Africa.

He has worked with various family-owned businesses, listed entities and multinational companies, in the capacity of an executive officer, investor representative, and/or strategic advisor. These roles have included working with the likes of Coca-Cola, Caltex, Specsavers, Pioneer Fishing, Sun International, Walkmates Footwear, Dorbyl Automotive and Rhodes Food; and alongside major stakeholders such Remgro, Old Mutual, Stanlib, Investec Bank, Woolworths and Guardrisk Insurance. Brendon has an exceptional track record of delivering results in the areas of Strategy, Finance, Governance, & Operations; coupled with leading a significant number of Merger & Acquisition activities.

Werner Britz

Werner Britz

Werner, a Chartered Accountant, boasts a diverse career spanning multiple countries and industries. After articles at PwC Johannesburg and qualifying in 2004, he gained experience across the UK, Australia, and South Africa.

As CFO of WesBank’s Corporate division, Werner revived underperforming subsidiaries, restoring profitability. He led the acquisition of RentWorks, becoming its CFO, overseeing a SAP implementation that optimized operations. Ethos Private Equity sought his expertise to sell the House of Busby. Werner re-engineered the back office, implementing Microsoft Dynamics to enhance shareholder value. He orchestrated brand acquisitions and strategic divestitures. At Grandmark, Werner optimised the balance sheet, steering two major acquisitions. His multifaceted experience and results-driven track record make him invaluable in finance and business sectors. Werner’s journey reflects adaptability, strategic insight, and unwavering commitment to excellence.

Michael Christie

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2004, he participated in the PWC overseas secondment program and worked in the USA. Michael then spent two years as a consultant in the UK before returning to South Africa where he has worked in various privately owned and multi-national entities.

Michael’s South African work experience post-qualifying includes manufacturing, engineering (structural steel), cleaning, construction, automotive, alternative building technologies (ABT), renewable power, retail, property development and property leasing where he fulfilled various accounting and general roles in Managerial and Directorship positions.

johan zietsman

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 teams 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.

Mmusho Mokgwetsi

Following the completion of his LLB studies at the Nelson Mandela University, Mmusho went on to work at the University’s Faculty of Law.

He then completed his articles of clerkship at Joubert Galpin Searle, where he gained invaluable experience in his pursuit of becoming an Attorney. He is currently studying towards a Master’s degree through which he has been able to refine his legal research skills and which further bolsters his ability to conduct in-depth research and implementing different methods of solving legal problems. He is an admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa and joined ABI in January 2022 as the internal legal advisor.