ABOUT

History

For almost two decades, the African Alliance Group has been building a substantial pan-African investment banking platform.

We understand the need to build African markets from small or non-existent platforms to expand the base that will enable Africa to take its place among mainstream developing markets and capitalise on its abundant resources.

We build unit trusts where there are none, create bond markets and yield curves to price capital, research equities and bonds, manage pension funds and raise private equity for opportunities. Our trading funds aim to eliminate price inefficiencies, and our advisory business partners with local and international capital to create economic value.

After starting in Swaziland, our model has expanded to most parts of Africa. We are committed to building and developing local talent – this is a core value and the most essential ingredient of our success. We are equally committed to establishing and adapting our model to the rest of the continent over the next two decades.

In a world focused on short-term gains, our long-term commitment to build markets and people where we operate sets us apart. We understand that pioneering work is lengthy and difficult. Importantly, our shareholders fully support our long-term, multi-generational vision.

 
 

Vision and values

African Alliance vision

To build the largest and most client-centric investment banking group in Africa – 20 fully autonomous investment banks in 20 countries in 20 years.

 

African Alliance core values

  1. Deliver world-class customer service

    • Place customers first – without customers we cease to exist

    • Know our customers and understand their changing needs

    • Treat our customers the same way we would like to be treated

  2. No excuses

    • Be proactive and resourceful – 'Find a way!'

    • Deliver on our promises with integrity – be driven by results

    • Be courageous, make the impossible possible

  3. Raise the bar

    • Achieve the unthinkable

    • Excellence in execution, benchmarked against world-class standards

    • Zero tolerance for mediocrity

  4. Pioneering

    • Aggressively seek out new opportunities

    • Build new businesses and financial markets

    • See opportunity in adversity

  5. People focus

    • Treat colleagues with respect and dignity

    • Use our talents and work in teams to pursue ideas

    • Own our personal growth and development

Ownership​

The de Castro Family Trust owns 100% of African Alliance Holdings which, in turn, controls African Alliance Limited.

While the de Castro Family Trust holds 100% of the parent company, African Alliance staff hold significant stakes in the underlying companies. This aligns group and individual interests and is a distinct advantage in retaining top-calibre people in this competitive field. You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialise correctly.​

 

Holding Company Directors

David Karran

David has been a director of African Alliance since 2005. David has also been the managing director of international fiduciary business, IQE, since 2001.

 

David began his career in public sector accounting and audit following which he joined one of the largest independent insurance groups on the Isle of Man where he was a director of the trust and captive management companies.

 

David is a Member of the Association of Accounting Technicians and the Institute of Directors. David sits on a number of boards of substantial companies and is a director of IQE's corporate trustee company. David is a British citizen.

S’thofeni Ginindza

S’thofeni joined African Alliance in 1995. As a group partner, he is responsible for a number of group operations. He is also a senior director and chairman of a number of subsidiaries.

 

Prior to joining the African Alliance group, S’thofeni worked as an economist for the World Bank and later as an economist for SwaziBank. He is a director of several external companies, including government entities, parastatals, and listed institutions. S’thofeni is a Swazi citizen.

Moira McHarrie

Moira has been a director of African Alliance since 2005. Moira has also been a director of international fiduciary business, IQE, since 2001.

 

Moira started her career in medical laboratory science before joining the fiduciary services industry in 1990. Before joining IQE, Moira was operations director of a large independent corporate services provider.

 

In addition to serving as a director and trustee for some of IQE's most substantial clients, Moira is responsible for IQE's relationship with its regulatory bodies. Moira is a British citizen.

Tony de Castro

Tony is the founder of the group and has been a director since inception.

 

Tony advises the group on strategy, drawing on his extensive experience in the banking sector spanning a wide range of banking disciplines. Tony is a Portuguese citizen.

 

Presence​

 

Corporate governance

We believe corporate governance is an essential part of a culture that enables us to meet our short-term objectives while striving to realise the long-term vision of the group.

Our goal has therefore been to foster a culture of good governance, recognising that it is key to the sustainability and integrity of the group and central to the health of our economies and their stability. Our approach focuses on the four pillars underpinning corporate governance:

  • Group compliance
    Complying with governance and regulatory standards across our African footprint needs a sound professional compliance function. This established function offers sound guidance and advice to the group, and its monitoring activities ensure that any improper conduct or failure to comply with regulatory requirements is immediately addressed. Group compliance policies and guidelines are aligned to industry best practice.

  • Group internal audit
    Continual and rapid changes as well as the complexity of our business, organisational dynamics and the regulatory environments in which we operate require an established, effective internal audit function. Our group internal audit function consistently evaluates the efficiency of control systems and contributes to ongoing effectiveness through sound management reporting.

  • Enterprise risk management
    Corporate scandals and diminished confidence in financial reporting among investors and creditors have again emphasised the need for a structured and disciplined approach to understanding and managing business risks. Integrated enterprise risk management addresses this need and the group risk committee is responsible for entrenching this culture throughout the group.

  • External audit
    Our primary focus is to ensure our accounting records are accurate, complete and compliant with International Financial Reporting Standards. We rely on KPMG's superior functional capabilities, in-depth industry knowledge and experience in meeting this essential requirement.

Delegation of authority

The group has adopted a delegation-of-authority framework that sets out the authority levels and responsibility allocated to board committees, executives and management. This framework strengthens corporate governance as responsibility and process for all levels of activity within the business are clearly identified and controlled.

Although privately held, the group conducts its business in line with international corporate governance best practice.

 

Policies

Please Contact Us for copies of our corporate governance policies.

Operating structures

Board of directors

In discharging its responsibilities, the board of each group company relies on management and various committees to ensure compliance with policies and procedures established to achieve the objectives of each group company's stakeholders and adhere to sound corporate governance. The board is also encouraged to seek independent professional advice where necessary to ensure its responsibilities are properly discharged.

 

The boards of the group's companies are represented by executive and non-executive directors.  Non-executive directors bring external judgement on issues of strategy, performance, minority rights protection where applicable and expertise on relevant markets. A non-executive chairman provides discerning leadership to the board, enabling members to properly fulfil their duties in ensuring the highest levels of accountability and business integrity.

 

The CEO plays a significant and strategic role in the company's operational success and drives the group to achieve its financial and operating goals.

 

Working committees

The directors are assisted in performing their duties on group company boards by appointing working committees. The main board delegates responsibility for implementing group strategy to executives and management. Management is also responsible for establishing and implementing effective systems of internal control and risk management to ensure business is conducted responsibly, and for supporting implementation of group strategy

These committees advise the board on specialised and technical aspects, and support the board in ensuring its oversight responsibilities are effectively discharged.

Technical advisory committee

Each business silo has a technical advisory committee comprising senior management of that business. Independent non-executive members are invited to join these committees, adding independence and suitable industry expertise. These entities act as advisory committees to the group and are responsible for:

  • Providing strategic, technical, advisory and operational services to the African Alliance Group

  • Advising on implementing group strategy

  • Considering broad business management issues

  • Monitoring internal controls and risk management

  • Advising on measures to be taken regarding performance of business units and communicating business decisions and strategy to the various business units

  • Providing administrative, accounting, secretarial and human resource management support relating to the group

  • Developing and implementing business and information technology systems, procedures and controls

  • Monitoring compliance with all regulatory and legal requirements relating to the business of the group.

Country executive committee

The country executive committees are involved in the day-to-day activities of the business, responsible for monitoring and reporting to the technical advisory committee on internal controls and management while ensuring the effective implementation of related decisions. They operate as a medium of communication and co-ordination between the business units, the technical advisory committee and the boards of the various business units.

 

Risk committee

The quality, integrity and reliability of the company's risk management are delegated to the group risk committee.

The committee's objective is to assist group boards in discharging their duties on corporate accountability and the associated risk in terms of management, assurance and reporting. The committee reviews and assesses the integrity of risk control systems and ensures risk policies and strategies are effectively managed. It sets out the nature, role, responsibility and authority of the risk management function within the group and outlines the scope of risk management work.

The committee will monitor external developments in corporate accountability and reporting specifically associated risk, including emerging and prospective impacts. It provides an independent and objective oversight and review of information presented by management on corporate accountability and specifically associated risk, and considers reports by management, internal audit and compliance and the group audit committee to the board on financial, business and strategic risk.

The risk committee comprises the following members:

  • An independent non-executive member appointed by the board. The chairman is independent of any operating divisions or subsidiary companies which the committee is considering

  • An independent non-executive member appointed by the board

  • The group deputy chief executive officer

  • Participants from the group's strategic focus areas and business silos, namely asset management, securities, advisory and micro-finance

  • The group chief financial officer, group human capital manager, chief information officer and chief operating officers

  • The group legal and compliance officer and group risk manager.

The committee is responsible for the development of policies, procedures and risk management controls in African Alliance to ensure all business activities are properly managed and to promote effective and efficient risk management and internal controls at reasonable cost.

 

Audit committee

The audit committee advises and reports to the boards on financial matters, adequacy of the risk management process and systems of internal control, including internal financial controls, accounting systems and financial reporting, and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements to ensure the effective operation of the business.

The committee provides independent assurance on the quality and reliability of both the financial information used by the boards and financial statements issued by the company in reporting adequately to stakeholders.

In discharging these duties, the committee relies on management, the risk management, compliance and statutory function, as well as external auditors to ensure these functions and objectives are properly implemented and adhered to.

The internal audit function further offers a systematic, objective, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, internal controls and governance processes.

The committee is chaired by an independent non-executive director, which is vital to satisfy its objectives.

The overall objective of the audit committee is to assist directors in discharging their duties on safeguarding assets; operating adequate systems and controls; assessing going-concern status; reviewing financial information and annual financial statements provided to shareholders and others.
The audit committee is an advisory and not executive function. As such it does not perform any management functions or assume any management responsibilities. It plays an objective, independent and oversight role, and makes recommendations to the board for approval and final decision.

The audit committee comprises the following members:

  • Chairman – an independent non-executive member appointed by the board

  • Non-executive director of the group holding company boards

  • Chief financial officers of each business silo

  • Participants from internal audit.

Internal audit charter

To ensure the independence of the internal audit function within the group, the head of the internal audit function reports administratively to the deputy CEO of the group and functionally to the group audit committee. To assist the committee in understanding the risks to which the group is exposed and to facilitate an appreciation of the control environment, the head of internal audit liaises regularly with the committee. This includes attending audit committee meetings as required and submitting relevant reports.

The head of internal audit is accountable to the group directors and group audit committee to:

  • Provide an annual assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of group processes for controlling its activities, managing risks and ensuring good corporate governance

  • Report significant issues related to these processes, including potential improvements, and provide information on resolving these issues

  • Report significant issues related to governance processes of entities in the group, including potential improvements, and provide information on resolving these issues

  • Periodically provide information on the status and results of the annual audit plan and sufficiency of internal audit's resources

  • Co-ordinate with and oversee other control and monitoring functions (risk management, compliance, security, legal, ethics, environmental).

 

Deal committee

The deal committee is constituted to approve, in advance, deals and products that meet with requirements set by the committee to best serve clients and African Alliance by leveraging off the skills base in the group.

The committee is chaired by a member appointed for the meeting, and drawn from senior executives in the group. It is driven by the deal proposer within the group who is responsible for presenting the deal but may not vote on that deal.

Remuneration committee

The remuneration committee is chaired by the non-executive group chairman and comprises at least two non-executive members at all times, ensuring objectivity and independence in its function. The committee ensures that directors, senior executives and staff members of African Alliance are fairly rewarded for their individual contributions to the group's performance and to assure stakeholders that this remuneration philosophy is set independently of management.

The principal duties of the committee include:

  • Annually reviewing policies for senior executive and directors' remuneration

  • Reviewing the basis of calculating senior executive and directors' remuneration each year to ensure this is fair and reasonable

  • Reviewing current international industry practice and adjustments for local operating conditions

  • Evaluating different methods of remunerating senior executives and directors

  • Reviewing fringe benefits

  • Advising on and reviewing staff share incentive schemes and approving allocation of benefits to employees

  • Assessing shareholder sentiment on remuneration packages, where appropriate.

Contact Us

 
 
 

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