Executive Directors

Izwe Loans - Lance Cleaver

Lance Graham Cleaver

Managing Director, Africa

With 20 year’s senior management experience in the formal retail and micro lending industries, Lance is one of the most experienced people in SA when it comes to this sector. His main contribution entails the development of business models to transact successfully in the unsecured lending markets.

Lance held a senior position in Altfin which was a pioneer in the South African micro finance industry in the early 90’s. He then joined African Bank in a senior capacity and was a member of the executive and credit committees responsible for over R6 billion of annual turnover. In 2004, he left African Bank to found Izwe. Lance is the current Managing Director focusing on growth in Africa and owns a significant share in Izwe.

Izwe Loans - Bruce Wolpe

Bruce Wolpe

Managing Director, SA

As one of the founders of Izwe, Bruce Wolpe’s strengths lie in a sound application of financial discipline. After working as a financial consultant in the areas of feasibility studies and due diligence work, Bruce joined Glicks Furniture Group in 1998 and later became the Financial Director. He played a strategic role in the sale of Glicks to Renaissance Retail Limited, the purchase of Dial-a-Bed and the sale of Renaissance to Relyant Retail.

Bruce left Glicks in 2001 and joined Infinex as Chief Financial Officer at group level and ultimately jointly acquired the business. Bruce recently assumed joint responsibility for SA in addition to his original Financial Director role which oversees the accounting and treasury functions. Bruce also owns a significant equity share in the business.

Izwe Loans - Rayanne Jacobson

Rayanne Jacobson

CEO, SA

As the most recent appointment to Izwe’s executive team, Rayanne brings a strong and proven capability of strategic project management and operational leadership accumulated over a 17 year career at Investec Limited (a specialist financial services company listed in JSE and LSE). Her experience straddled many areas over the global bank, having initially joined in 1996 to occupy the role of Group Strategist.

Thereafter, she commenced the Investor Relations division and led numerous key projects undertaken by the Group (including various offshore acquisitions and share schemes) culminating in the dual listed company structure implemented in July 2002. Between 2002 and 2012, Rayanne switched into more of an operational role, leading the Group Finance team; Group Capital Management and Basel II implementation and finally Group IT and Operations.

In April 2013, Rayanne joined the Board of Izwe as a non-executive director with the intention of imparting her corporate experience onto the Group as it transitioned from a smaller to a more meaningful player across Africa. From September 2013, she joined the executive team to support Lance and Bruce in the strategic management of the Group, with primary responsibility for South Africa.

Non-executive Directors

Izwe Loans - Avram Levy

Avram Levy

Non-executive Director

After completing a Business Science degree at the University of Cape Town in 1991, Avram qualified as a chartered accountant in the United Kingdom, with Coopers and Lybrand (UK), involved primarily in corporate finance.

Avram moved back to SA in 1996 to become involved in a family retail business which was subsequently sold. He then co-founded Credit Direct in early 1999. Credit Direct was a lending/leading brokerage, which sold products on behalf of what is now, African Bank. The business was extremely successful and was sold to African Bank in May of 2000. At the time the business was producing volumes of approximately ZAR50 million per month and accounted for approximately 25% of the bank’s turnover. As a condition of the sale, Avram joined African Bank’s management team and was responsible for bedding down the Credit Direct business with the African Bank infrastructure. This was successfully achieved and the business today accounts for a significant portion of African Bank’s turnover.

In 2002 he formed Interactive Capital with Wayne Brett and in June 2010 founded Principal Partners. Izwe is a key investment for Principal Partners and Avram plays a very active albeit non-executive role in the business.

Izwe Loans - Rob Fihrer

Rob Fihrer

Non-executive Director

Rob founded Capricorn with Geoff Snelgar and Gavin Chadwick in 2003. Rob is responsible for sourcing and evaluating transactions, performing due diligence investigations and managing portfolio investments. He is also responsible for the day to day management of Capricorn Fund Managers, as well as fundraising and investor relations.

Prior to founding Capricorn, Rob spent nine years at Gensec Bank, where he gained extensive experience as an equity trader, bond and equity portfolio manager and corporate financier. Rob was responsible for setting up a series of very successful proprietary hedge funds with Gensec Bank. In additional to managing the proprietary capital of Gensec Bank, he also assumed the responsibility of managing the pension fund assets on behalf of Gensec Bank and its employees.

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