Meet the team

The unique experience of each of our team members contributes to our collective insights

Since our establishment in 2008, we have successfully continued to grow our range of funds, our number of clients and our assets under management. This is evidence of our ability to build a winning team. Each of our staff members add to the collective experience of the team across a range of market conditions and investment cycles and contribute to our cumulative insights in their own unique way.

Directors

Executive directors

Louis van der Merwe

Chief Executive Officer

Head: Institutional Business
B.Com. (Investment Management)

Louis is one of the founding members of Truffle. He joined Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) in 1988 after graduating. Louis started trading in the fledgling equity derivatives markets in 1989 and found his niche in arbitrage and structuring activities in the equity market. He headed up the equities division of RMB until 2002, where he was responsible for the proprietary trading, structuring, stockbroking, commodities, scrip lending and futures clearing activities. During this time, Louis served on the RMB Board, as well as on the Executive Committee of the JSE and SAFEX. He left RMB in 2002 to take up the position of CEO of RMB Asset Management, one of the largest asset managers in South Africa, managing assets in excess of R200 billion at the time. He left RMB Asset Management in 2008 to start Truffle with Hannes van der Westhuyzen.

Hannes van der Westhuyzen

Fixed Income Portfolio Manager

CA(SA)

Together with Louis van der Merwe, Hannes founded Truffle in 2008. He began his career at Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) in 1989 on the money market desk, where he was instrumental in starting the forward rate agreement market in South Africa. After a couple of years, Hannes joined stockbroking company Huysamer Stals, where he became a director and specialised in trading hybrid instruments between equity and the interest rate markets. In 1996, Hannes was approached by start-up company Mettle (formally known as Boland Financial Services) to take on the role of treasury specialist. The role involved maintaining a close working relationship with Boland Bank and in 1997 he was asked to take over as treasurer of Boland Bank. Through takeovers and mergers, Hannes became the treasurer of NBS Boland Bank and later BoE Bank, which was taken over by Nedbank in 2003. In 2005, he was appointed Head of Global Markets and an EXCO member of Nedbank Capital.

Charles Booth

Chairman of the Investment Committee

B.Sc. (Chemical Engineering), MBA, CFA

Charles joined the Truffle team in 2009. After graduating as a chemical engineer in 1973, he worked in the oil industry for five years. In 1979, Charles began his career in financial services as an equity analyst on the Allan Gray Investment Council. After three years, he moved to stockbroking and for the next 12 years was Head of Research and a director of Simpson McKie Inc. (now HSBC) and JD Anderson (now UBS). In 1993, Charles joined RMB Asset Management at the time of the merger with Momentum. He was appointed CIO in 2002, when Louis van der Merwe became CEO. Charles retired from RMB Asset Management in 2008. Following a short sabbatical, he joined Truffle to develop the traditional asset management capability as well as provide support on alternative investments.

Iain Power

Chief Investment Officer

B.Com. (Hons) (Investment Management)

Iain has been part of the Truffle team since 2010. He began his career at RMB Asset Management in 1993. In his 16 years with the company, Iain held various positions, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors and the Management Board, and fulfilling the role of a senior investment professional in the equity team. Iain’s move to Truffle was part of his decision to move from the corporate environment into a smaller owner-managed asset management business where he could be part of building a larger concern.

Jonathan du Toit

Portfolio Manager

Head: Alternative Investments
CA(SA), CFA

Jonathan joined Truffle in 2010. He completed his articles at Deloitte & Touche and was placed first in South Africa in the CA(SA) board exam. Jonathan moved to the North American office of Deloitte & Touche in 2006 where he gained further experience, and in the middle of 2006 he joined Orbis Investment Advisory Ltd in London. His role at Orbis (and later Allan Gray) required a significant amount of travel to Japan and Asia, since he was responsible for analysing global financial stocks. Jonathan was excited by the opportunity of joining a small boutique investment firm based in South Africa where he could help build the business as a part-owner.

Non-executive directors

Alida de Swart

CEO - RMI Investment Managers

B.Com. (Hons) (Investment Management)

Alida started her career at RMB in 1999 as part of the derivative structuring business. She later had the responsibility of establishing the institutional structuring business and financial markets research team. In 2008, Alida was appointed as the Head of Sales and Structuring for fixed income, currencies and commodities, and then Head of Financial Institutions for global markets in 2014. She joined RMI Investment Managers in 2016 as Head of Distribution and Marketing and assumed the role of CEO in 2018.

Andre Rousseau

COO - RMI Investment Managers

B.Com. (Hons), M.Com.

Andre has spent most of his career in the asset management industry, holding senior operational positions in large asset managers, such as RMB Asset Management and Momentum Asset Management. He joined RMI Investment Managers in 2015 as Chief Operating Officer, following his role as the Insurance and Investment Management Industry Leader for Deloitte Africa.

Investment team

Portfolio managers

Louis van der Merwe

Chief Executive Officer

Head: Institutional Business
B.Com. (Investment Management)

Louis is one of the founding members of Truffle. He joined Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) in 1988 after graduating. Louis started trading in the fledgling equity derivatives markets in 1989 and found his niche in arbitrage and structuring activities in the equity market. He headed up the equities division of RMB until 2002, where he was responsible for the proprietary trading, structuring, stockbroking, commodities, scrip lending and futures clearing activities. During this time, Louis served on the RMB Board, as well as on the Executive Committee of the JSE and SAFEX. He left RMB in 2002 to take up the position of CEO of RMB Asset Management, one of the largest asset managers in South Africa, managing assets in excess of R200 billion at the time. He left RMB Asset Management in 2008 to start Truffle with Hannes van der Westhuyzen.

Iain Power

Chief Investment Officer

B.Com. (Hons) (Investment Management)

Iain has been part of the Truffle team since 2010. He began his career at RMB Asset Management in 1993. In his 16 years with the company, Iain held various positions, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors and the Management Board, and fulfilling the role of a senior investment professional in the equity team. Iain’s move to Truffle was part of his decision to move from the corporate environment into a smaller owner-managed asset management business where he could be part of building a larger concern.

Charles Booth

Chairman of the Investment Committee

B.Sc. (Chemical Engineering), MBA, CFA

Charles joined the Truffle team in 2009. After graduating as a chemical engineer in 1973, he worked in the oil industry for five years. In 1979, Charles began his career in financial services as an equity analyst on the Allan Gray Investment Council. After three years, he moved to stockbroking and for the next 12 years was Head of Research and a director of Simpson McKie Inc. (now HSBC) and JD Anderson (now UBS). In 1993, Charles joined RMB Asset Management at the time of the merger with Momentum. He was appointed CIO in 2002, when Louis van der Merwe became CEO. Charles retired from RMB Asset Management in 2008. Following a short sabbatical, he joined Truffle to develop the traditional asset management capability as well as provide support on alternative investments.

Jonathan du Toit

Portfolio Manager

Head: Alternative Investments
CA(SA), CFA

Jonathan joined Truffle in 2010. He completed his articles at Deloitte & Touche and was placed first in South Africa in the CA(SA) board exam. Jonathan moved to the North American office of Deloitte & Touche in 2006 where he gained further experience, and in the middle of 2006 he joined Orbis Investment Advisory Ltd in London. His role at Orbis (and later Allan Gray) required a significant amount of travel to Japan and Asia, since he was responsible for analysing global financial stocks. Jonathan was excited by the opportunity of joining a small boutique investment firm based in South Africa where he could help build the business as a part-owner.

Saul Miller

Portfolio Manager

M.Bus.Sci., Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries (FFA)

Saul has been part of the Truffle team since 2016 and has over 20 years’ experience in investment and portfolio management. He spent over a decade working for RMB Asset Management, managing a range of equity and balanced funds that won numerous unit trust industry awards. Saul then moved to Argon Asset Management, where he was Head of Equity for over four years. During this period equity assets under management grew rapidly from around R8 billion to over R20 billion and investment performance comfortably exceeded benchmark returns. He was also responsible for implementing Argon’s equity investment philosophy and process.

Nicole Agar

Portfolio Manager

CA(SA)

Nicole joined the Truffle team in 2015. She completed her articles at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Nicole discovered her love for investments while working at Merchant Banking in London for three years. On her return to South Africa in 1997, Nicole joined RMB Asset Management, where she held various investment roles, including those of senior equity analyst and portfolio manager. She remained with RMB Asset Management, which later became Momentum Asset Management, until 2015, where her final position was Deputy Head of Equity Research.

Sophié-Marié van Garderen

Portfolio Manager

M.Com., CFA

Sophié-Marié has been part of the Truffle team since 2016, and has over 18 years’ investment experience as an equity analyst and fund manager. She began her career at RMB Asset Management as a trainee analyst and worked her way up to fulfilling the role of senior investment professional, doing equity research and co-managing various unit trusts. During this time, these unit trust funds won a number of Raging Bull and Morningstar awards. In 2011, Sophié-Marié joined Argon Asset Management, where she served a dual role as both equity analyst and co-manager of all the equity funds under management, before joining Truffle.

Hannes van der Westhuyzen

Fixed Income Portfolio Manager

CA(SA)

Together with Louis van der Merwe, Hannes founded Truffle in 2008. He began his career at Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) in 1989 on the money market desk, where he was instrumental in starting the forward rate agreement market in South Africa. After a couple of years, Hannes joined stockbroking company Huysamer Stals, where he became a director and specialised in trading hybrid instruments between equity and the interest rate markets. In 1996, Hannes was approached by start-up company Mettle (formally known as Boland Financial Services) to take on the role of treasury specialist. The role involved maintaining a close working relationship with Boland Bank and in 1997 he was asked to take over as treasurer of Boland Bank. Through takeovers and mergers, Hannes became the treasurer of NBS Boland Bank and later BoE Bank, which was taken over by Nedbank in 2003. In 2005, he was appointed Head of Global Markets and an EXCO member of Nedbank Capital.

Equity research

Thishan Govender

Equity Analyst

CA(SA), CFA

Thishan joined Truffle in 2014 as an investment analyst. He completed his articles at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the financial services and investment management division. Thishan joined RMB Asset Management as a junior equity analyst at the beginning of 2010. While at RMB Asset Management he worked on the RMB Small and Mid-Cap Fund and later covered larger industrial and financial companies. In late 2012, Thishan joined Kumba Iron Ore as a senior strategy analyst and served as a trustee on their Pension and Provident Fund, as well as a member of their Investment Committee.

Etienne Roux

Equity Analyst


CA(SA)

Etienne joined Truffle in 2013 as an investment analyst. He graduated in 2008 and went on to complete his training at Greenwoods, where he gained invaluable experience in the auditing of companies in various sectors of the market. He has successfully completed all the CFA exams and is in the process of registering as a CFA.

Investment trading

Theuns Lategan

Head of Equity Trading

B.Acc., M.Sc. (Finance)

Theuns joined Truffle in 2009. He was previously with FNB Commercial Leveraged Finance and FNB Africa: Credit.

Distribution team

Louis van der Merwe

Chief Executive Officer

Head: Institutional Business
B.Com. (Investment Management)

Louis is one of the founding members of Truffle. He joined Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) in 1988 after graduating. Louis started trading in the fledgling equity derivatives markets in 1989 and found his niche in arbitrage and structuring activities in the equity market. He headed up the equities division of RMB until 2002, where he was responsible for the proprietary trading, structuring, stockbroking, commodities, scrip lending and futures clearing activities. During this time, Louis served on the RMB Board, as well as on the Executive Committee of the JSE and SAFEX. He left RMB in 2002 to take up the position of CEO of RMB Asset Management, one of the largest asset managers in South Africa, managing assets in excess of R200 billion at the time. He left RMB Asset Management in 2008 to start Truffle with Hannes van der Westhuyzen.

Simone Sharman

Head: Retail Business

B.Com. (Hons) (Investment Management), CFP®

Simone joined Truffle in 2018 and is responsible for retail distribution and marketing. She achieved the highest mark in South Africa for the Certified Financial Planner® board exam in 2017. Simone started her career in financial services at Old Mutual in 2011. Before joining Truffle, she spent five years at PSG Wealth as a financial planner and wealth manager.

Lebo Mathibeli

Client Relationship Manager

B.Com. (Investment Management)

Lebo joined Truffle in May 2017. During his studies he became a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, which is by invitation only and applies to the top 15% of college and university students and graduates, based on their academic achievements. At Truffle, Lebo looks after all aspects relating to client requests for information, including assisting with the preparation and distribution of client reports and minimum disclosure documents. He is passionate about people – he understands that an organisation’s most valuable asset is the client and subscribes to the ‘clients first’ approach.

Operations team

Craig Sampson

Chief Operating Officer

CA(SA), M.Com. (Taxation)

Craig joined Truffle in 2018. Craig spent eight years at Standard Bank providing securities services and solutions to asset managers, global banks, pension funds and the collective investment scheme (CIS) industry. From there he moved on to design, develop and implement fund administration operations for two Nigerian banks as well as a South African CIS management company. As part of this role, Craig was responsible for providing Truffle with an outsourced fund administration and management company service for many years. More recently, he advised Truffle on various product-related strategies, both from a structural and tax point of view. Craig has passed level 1 of the CFA exams.

Nicholas Crotty

Head: Quantitative Analysis

B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. (Mathematical Statistics), Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM)

Nicholas started an internship at Truffle in 2013 where he helped with managing data to be disseminated to clients. In 2014, Nicholas officially joined the Truffle team on the quantitative side of the business. He has passed all three levels of the CFA programme and may be awarded the charter once he has the required work experience. His current responsibilities at Truffle include developing tools to assist the investment team, calculating fund performance for attribution and contribution reports, and data management, including the order management on the trading system. Nicholas enjoys increasing efficiency via automation.

Jabulile Nhlapo

Junior Quantitative Analyst

Bsc (Hons) (Computational and Applied Mathematics and Pure Mathematics)

Jabu joined the Truffle team in May 2018, after graduating in March. As an enthusiastic new graduate, she was highly sought after and decided to start her career at Truffle. She provides support on the quantitative side of the business with attribution calculations and data analytics reporting.

Thelma Nell

Portfolio Administrator

B.Compt., Associate General Accountant (AGA)(SA)

Thelma, a senior administrator with over 25 years’ experience, has been part of the Truffle team since 2012. She has worked in administration in the stockbroking, asset management and hedge fund industries. Thelma has a passion for people and always goes the extra mile.

Simon Russell

Portfolio Administrator

B.Com. (Management)

Simon joined Truffle in 2016. He has over 20 years’ experience in the industry, which began in 1995 when he joined Old Mutual. After leaving Old Mutual, Simon worked for various asset managers and administrators in the UK for five years. On his return to South Africa, he joined Momentum, where he worked on the offshore side of the business. In 2010, he joined Momentum Collective Investments in the client care division, later moving on to premier servicing.

Nontsi Piliso

Receptionist, Personal Assistant

Certificate in Bookkeeping

Nontsi joined Truffle in 2016. Her responsibilities at Truffle include assisting the team with their administration needs as well as managing diaries and travel arrangements. Nontsi is looking to further her studies in 2019.

Caroline Moleleki

Tea Lady

Caroline provides a fundamental service to our staff and visitors. She takes great pride in her work and always greets everyone with a friendly smile.