Chris Wilson, Group Human Resources Officer, SAFAL Group

Chris is a top-notch Human Resources generalist, he has worked within Human Resources for over 35 years and has built up a formidable reputation as an Executive HR Practitioner, both within Africa, the Middle East and internationally.

He joined the Safal Group in February 2008 and is currently based in Durban, South Africa. His overarching responsibility is to provide executive leadership and direction in developing, standardising and directing the Group HR processes, strategies, policies and deployment of the best practice programs to drive the Human Capital Management and HR Development agendas. Currently he is also a non-executive Board member on five Safal Group Companies in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Sarah Roe, Co-Founder - Global Career Company and Chairman of Friends of Education Africa UK

Sarah graduated with an MA in Anthropology and African Studies which has been a lifelong interested since she spent time in Africa as a young girl. Her early career was very international working in advertising and publishing within recruitment and education. She helped create employer branding propositions for graduate recruiters such as Procter & Gamble, Barclays, Kingfisher, EY and KPMG. She went on to co-found Global Career Company with Rupert Adcock and has enjoyed the challenge of growing a business whilst also growing a family including 4 young children. Alongside her business career, Sarah has worked closely with Education Africa, a South African based charity working to bring a quality and relevant education to the most underprivileged children in the country, for the last 12 years. Sarah became Chairman of Education Africa UK in 2017.

Matthew McDonnell, Senior Consultant, Willis Towers Watson

Matthew is a Senior Consultant in Towers Watson’s Organisational Surveys and Insights Practice, based in London. He has been with the firm for 15 years, and has designed and implemented employee engagement and culture research projects across a range of major global organisations across retail, FMCG, Finance, Media, Mining sectors.  He has in depth experience helping them identify and prioritise actions to improve their business performance through their people.

He has also worked on several survey engagements across Africa presenting results and working with local management teams in a variety of markets to understand some of the organisational challenges they have and implement action plans following employee survey results

Matthew is a chartered Occupational Psychologist. 

Martino Vincenzo Ottimofiore, Portfolio HR Manager Africa, Middle East, Black Sea & Southeast Asia, APM TERMINALS

Experienced HR generalist with a broad international background in economics, finance, development studies, and nonprofit management. Work experience in 5 continents and business-level fluency in English, German, Italian, and Spanish, as well as good understanding of French. Focus on strategic business partnering, talent management, diversity & inclusion, leadership development & coaching, and international compensation & benefits. Strong in oral/written communication and facilitation, specific interest in emerging markets, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa. Globally mobile.

Specialties: HR Business Partnering, strategic talent management, global workforce mobility, expatriate management, international compensation & benefits, economic development theory, oral & written communication, facilitation, performance management.

Dr. Benedict Oramah, President, AFREXIMBANK

Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah assumed the position of President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) on 21 September 2015.

He was previously the Executive Vice President in charge of Business Development and Corporate Banking from October 2008. In that position, he supervised the business development departments and units of the Bank, namely, Trade Finance and Branches; Project and Export Development Finance; Syndications and Specialized Finance; and Corporate Finance and Advisory Services. He also supervised the Research and Knowledge Management department and assisted the President in overseeing the Strategic Planning and International Cooperation functions. Dr. Oramah joined Afreximbank as Chief Analyst in 1994 and was promoted to the position of Senior Director, Planning and Business Development in 2007.

Prior to joining Afreximbank, he was an Assistant Research Manager at the Nigerian Export Import Bank from 1992.

Dr. Oramah holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics, obtained in 1987 and 1991 respectively, from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He received a B.Sc. degree, also in agricultural economics, from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1983. He has published a book, “Foundations of Structured Trade Finance”, and has written more than 35 articles on a wide range of African economic, trade and trade finance issues.

He is a regular speaker in trade and trade finance conferences around the world. Dr. Oramah serves as Chairperson of the Africa Chapter of the International Factors Group (IFG) and is on the Board of the IFG and the Editorial Boards of Trade and Forfaiting Review and the Journal of African Trade. He is also a member of the Consultative Board on World Cocoa Economy of the International Cocoa Organization.

Victor Williams, Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, Rest of Africa, STANDARD BANK

Victor Williams has been the Head, Corporate and Investment Banking, Rest of Africa at Standard Bank, since May 2015.  With the objective of building the leading Corporate and Investment Banking business in Africa, his responsibilities include strategy, business execution and financial performance for Standard Bank’s business with corporate, sovereign and portfolio investor clients in nineteen countries across sub-Saharan Africa (outside South Africa).

Victor has approximately twenty years of experience in financial markets, in Africa and in the United States, with extensive expertise in Executive Management, Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Finance.

In prior roles with Standard Bank, Victor was Executive Director and Head, Corporate and Investment Banking - Nigeria and Regional Head, Corporate and Investment Banking - East Africa.  He joined Standard Bank in 2011, having previously worked as an investment banker, specializing in mergers and acquisition, in the United States with Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo Securities.

Victor holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and bachelor degrees in economics (honors) and applied mathematics from Brown University.



Nigel Bastow, Sales & Client Services Director, Global Career Company

Nigel worked at Standard Bank for a number of years as Global Head of Resourcing, based out of South Africa and London, working extensively across the Bank's African offices. Prior to this, he headed up EMEA Resourcing for RBS and Barclays. Nigel comes with over 20 years’ experience hiring executive level appointments for these major banks and a variety of other leading organisations combined with a track record managing client expectations at the highest level.

Steven Teasdale, Group Head of Organisational Development, Change & Transformation - Discovery Group

Steven is currently leading the organisational development and transformation portfolio for the Discovery Group, where he is accountable for, amongst others, organisational design, workplace design, employee engagement, culture and transformation. Before joining Discovery, he occupied a number of executive roles at Tiger Brands, Eskom Holdings, covering the lead roles for areas such as Organisational Effectiveness, Leadership Strategy, Executive Talent Management and Group Learning Strategy & Enablement.  Over his career he has worked internationally for organisations such as Deloitte, Mercer, Hymans Robertson LLP and Aon in management consultancy and strategy roles.  Steve is deeply passionate about supporting organisations to become highly effective systems in the new world of work and firmly believes the role of leadership is the fundamental component to effectively executing organisational strategy.


Christopher Keane, Head of Human Resources Africa, AGGREKO

A progressive and pragmatic Human Resources professional, working at HR Director level, with 24 years of experience across all the major functional HR disciplines including: recruitment; training; compensation & benefits; talent & development and employee relations. Having managed teams in UK, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Russia I have a good appreciation of the complexities and sensitivities of working across different international cultures and environments. Underpinning this is a solid understanding of how businesses, people and systems work and a high personal energy around commitment to improve. I have the experience, ability, vision and the disposition required to lead successful international HR functions in their support of the business.

Crispin Marriott, Client Relationship Director - Willis Towers Watson

Crispin has been consulting in the Human Capital arena for over 25 years. He is a recognised global expert on Employee Engagement. Crispin has delivered and managed some of the world’s largest and most complex global cultural assessment and Engagement survey systems. He has personally delivered such survey systems for clients in over 40 countries worldwide.

Crispin has a particular interest in the effective design and interpretation of survey data in a cross-cultural context.  Notably, Crispin was responsible for creating the first ever national Norms of employee opinion in South Africa and other African countries where he has conducted employee research since 1991.



Benthe Legg, Africa Regional HR Director - Maersk Line

Benthe is the Africa regional HR director of Maersk  Line. She has vast experience in HR and her experience encompasses all aspects of Human Resource Management, HR Business Partnering with a regional outlook , day-to-day support to the Cluster Tops, Cluster HR Managers as well as global and region specific initiatives.

Education-wise, Benthe has excelled. She gained her Bachelor of Science (cum laude)  in Mathematics, Statistics and Psychology and has attended several executive education courses  including the Executive Leadership Development Programme, Wits Business School, HR Strategy in the Business, IMD,Human Resources Learning Programme (HRLP), The RBL Group.

Her professional interests include psychology and counselling. She has also worked in and headed up major change initiatives in Compensation and Benefits, Talent Development, Learning and Industrial Relations besides working as HR Business Partner in various roles at Shell.

In her free time, Benthe enjoys hiking, baking and  reading.