Jump to Geoffrey de Jager – Chairman
Jump to Mike Simson – Treasurer
Jump to Claire Collet – Secretary
Jump to Mike Chapman
Jump to Tony Granger
Jump to Mauray Jacobs
Jump to Andrew La Trobe
Jump to Lisa Macleod
Jump to Steve Olivier
Jump to Caroline Rowland
Jump to Nevin Weakley
Jump to Carmel Weitzmann
Geoffrey de Jager – Chairman
Geoffrey was born in Oudtshoorn in 1950 and educated at Kingswood College in Grahamstown. He graduated from Rhodes in 1973 with a B.Comm and from Natal University in 1975 with an LLB. On 14 April 2012 Rhodes University conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. He is married to Caroline and they have four children.
He began his working life as a lawyer and was 25 when he turned down a partnership in order to take up a career in banking. Five years later, he with GT Ferreira, Laurie Dippenaar and Paul Harris were the founding directors of Rand Merchant Bank Limited where he remained as executive director until he immigrated to the UK in 1987. He has served on numerous boards including Rand Merchant Bank Limited, Lenco Holdings Limited and Malbak Ltd.
In the UK he co-founded two stock-broking firms which he sold by 1990. Thereafter, Geoffrey became involved in manufacturing in partnership with his twin brother Douglas. Together they founded Anglo Suisse Investments Holdings Limited an investment company focusing on manufacturing in South Africa, the UK and Australia which at its peak employed nearly 2,000 people.
In South Africa their activities were conducted through Lenco Holding Limited which was engaged in the manufacture of blow moulding PVC and plastic containers and injection-moulded caps for the packaging industry and also produced foamed styrene trays for the food industry and PVC cling film. One of Lenco’s subsidiaries, House of Monatic, which manufactured clothing, was one of the first companies in South Africa to be sold to a Black Empowerment group when it was sold to Brimstone Investment in 1997. The brothers sold their investment in Lenco in 2003.
Their UK interests were held via Sharp Interpack Limited, a manufacturer of rigid thermoformed plastic packaging. Under Geoffrey’s stewardship Sharp Interpack took the strategic decision to move out of the PVC segment of the market it was serving, although this constituted more than 50% of Sharp’s turnover and instead moved into PET. Sharp was one of the first companies in the UK to be able to process food grade packaging from recycled materials, which met health standards, culminating in it outclassing notable global names when in 2009 it received the top award for its commitment to health, safety and the environment in the prestigious Best Factory Awards and was also highly commended in the “Best Household and General Products Plant” category in Britain. By 2010, when the business was sold, Sharp had captured more than 60% of the UK food packaging market.
Since retiring, Geoffrey has remained interested in manufacturing and gives his support to several businesses from high tech pioneering in the extraction and analysis of DNA to a family owned bespoke English furniture manufacturer.
Geoffrey’s main interest remains education and through his private company he has supported various UK registered educational institutions and he spends much of his time in charitable work helping disadvantaged children. For instance Geoffrey is a Patron of the Sparrow Schools Foundation in Johannesburg, which provides remedial and special needs education to disadvantaged children between the ages of 7 and 14.
He is a Trustee of the Oxford Philomusica which is the Orchestra in Residency at Oxford University and collaborates with the Faculty of Music in educational programmes for the student community. The Orchestra provides performance opportunities and tuition to hundreds of talented young musicians and is firmly committed to education and community work. Geoffrey also serves on its Finance and General Purposes Committee.
Geoffrey is a Patron of many arts organisations, including the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, Garsington Opera & Grange Park Opera.
Geoffrey is a Trustee of The Living Well Trust, a recent initiative from the LOC which aims to support patients above and beyond their treatment and recognises the importance of creating a programme of follow up care, to make the patients’ lives easier and address some of their concerns.
He presently serves on the Rhodes University Trust (UK) having become its Chairman in 2011 and is a Governor of Rhodes University. In recognition of his being a considerable benefactor of Trinity College Oxford and Oxford University, Geoffrey has been elected a Sir Thomas Pope Honorary Fellow at Trinity College and a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Circle of Oxford University. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Leadership Foundation.
Geoffrey enjoys music, opera, collecting art, sailing and skiing and is occasionally seen on a golf course. He lives in Oxford and also spends time in Switzerland.
Mike Simson – Treasurer
Mike was in Botha House and received his B.Com (hons) from Rhodes in 1980 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloittes in Johannesburg. In 1984 he had an 18 month secondment to the London offices of Deloitte which turned into a 6 year assignment mainly in the firm’s corporate finance department. Since then he has been a director of fully listed group, Princedale and following its take-over worked for the acquirers, Chicago based industrial Group, Marmon on M&A. He is now a director of Buckingham Corporate Finance and also a non-exec director of Hallam Plastics. He is an avid golfer, bad skier and a rugby fan. He lives near the Thames in Chiswick and if he had more time would like to row again – the sport he fell in love with at Rhodes.
Claire Collet – Secretary
Claire Collet graduated from Rhodes University with a Social Science degree in 1987 and from UNISA with Honours in Psychology in 1992. She also holds an accounting qualification.
Before emigrating to the UK in 2000, Claire spent 6 years working as Student Adviser at the East London Campus of Rhodes University. During her time there the campus grew from approximately 300 students to over 1000 and it was here that she developed a real love and appreciation of Rhodes.
Claire currently works as a Departmental Administrator for Cambridge University’s Careers Service and also offers part-time administrative assistance to the Rhodes University Trust UK.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, dressing up and punting on the river Cam, a skill she has recently acquired and does with varying degrees of success.
Mike was at Rhodes from 1959 to 1963 having matriculated from Grey Port Elizabeth. He graduated with a BA and went onto to gain an MA at Oxford. At Rhodes he was Senior Student of Founders Hall and Chairman of the SRC. He represented SA Universities in Athletics, and gained an Oxford Blue, also for athletics before a quick fade. He lived in Canada and the USA where he was President and Vice Chairman of Wood Gundy, Inc. in New York. Subsequently he was Vice Chairman/Senior VP of the Bank, Montreal Nesbitt Burns International and Chairman of the Canada /UK Chamber of Commerce, Association of Canadian Investment Dealers and Canada Club. He is now retired as a French farmer in Provence and happy to give time to raise money for Rhodes. Mike helped found the Rhodes University Trust (UK) and was its first Chairman until 2005.
Tony was born in South Africa, and grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where he attended Sinoia High School. Many of his teachers were ex Rhodians and he didn’t need much persuasion to follow in their footsteps. He graduated from Rhodes in 1973 with a BA in law and economics, and then joined the British South Africa Police as a regular member, where he served as a detective in various divisions. During this time he graduated from UNISA in 1975 with a B.Comm and again from Rhodes with an LL.B in 1979. He was admitted to the Cape Bar in September 1980 as an advocate.
He later joined Old Mutual as a legal adviser and rose up to be head of Corporate Executive Services, before emigrating to the UK in 1987. He was President of the Institute of Life and Pensions Advisers (now FPI) in South Africa and is a dual qualified Certified Financial Planner CFPCM. in South Africa and the United Kingdom. He is also an FRSA – Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Commerce.
In the UK Tony has been active in consumer education in the financial planning areas of pensions, investments, education fees planning, estate planning and death taxes, business wealth strategies, succession planning, trusts and other areas and is the author of 14 books on financial planning. He has worked as MD/CEO of a number of UK financial services groups and now has his own financial planning business, servicing individuals and their families, corporates and trusts. Tony is responsible for many ‘firsts’ in innovation in UK financial services, including the establishment of the first Annuity Bureau to get clients the best deal for pension annuities; the first enterprise investment scheme fund approved by the Revenue in the UK and the first Trust Review Service.
Tony is widowed (his wife Joy worked at one time in the Fine Art Department at Rhodes), with two sons, James, a PE teacher and Chris, a doctor in the British Army. He still plays Golden Oldies Rugby (when they let him on the pitch), and enjoys walking, reading and creating new concepts in financial planning.
Like Rhodes Scholarships, Mauray’s roots lie deep in South Africa. A fourth generation South African she was educated at Roedean School, Johannesburg, and studied at Rhodes University, Grahamstown. There in 1964 she met Derek Jacobs, whose Huguenot ancestors landed at the Cape in 1688.
Mauray Thomson and Derek Jacobs married in 1968 and Mauray followed Derek, then a Rhodes Scholar, to Oxford. She supported herself by secretarial work – and fetched him from the sports fields and stag parties in the evenings.
In 1970 they returned to South Africa and that same year their first child Craig, was born. Hamish followed in 1972 and Debbie in 1977. Mauray established a home for Derek and the children and family life began. Derek was working as a Management Trainee for Metal Box and he quickly rose up the ladder, eventually heading Nampak and Metal Box. Mauray concentrated on raising their children, seeing to their schooling needs, encouraging their sporting activities, and instilling in them the ideals, values and principles that she and Derek believed in and honoured: honesty, integrity, strong work ethic, and fair play. They were a united family and she and Derek worked and played together all their lives. Mauray also travelled extensively on business with Derek and entertained frequently at their home.
A decision was taken by Derek and Mauray to relocate to England and in 1985 they moved to the UK. Once again Mauray was concerned with setting up a new home, dealing with new schools, and making new friends. Derek established his own business and Mauray helped him where possible. She also involved herself in charity work. Derek became Chairman of the Rhodes University (UK) Trust and Mauray was pleased to be able to support him in this position. Both were involved in their community. Work and family dominated but they found time to play tennis, golf and bridge. They also played a significant role in the affairs of their village, Russell’s Water.
Mauray’s grown-up family is far-flung; Craig, married and with children, lived in Moscow for many years, Hamish is in Shanghai and Debbie in England. Sadly, for all of them, Derek died in 2010.
Mauray’s global family honours the principles Derek stood for, and Mauray feels honoured to be able to serve the Rhodes University (UK) Trust.
Before joining the FT, MacLeod was Managing Editor at Business Day in Johannesburg, a newspaper operated by BDFM and part-owned by Pearson, the FT’s holding company. During her tenure at Business Day, which she first joined in 1995, she was also news editor, night editor and chief subeditor. Prior to that she worked at the Daily Dispatch, SA, as a local government reporter and features writer.
MacLeod graduated from Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, with a BA degree in journalism and anthropology (1993) and an Honours in anthropology (1994).
Professor Steve Olivier
Steve is Vice Principal and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Acting) at the University of Abertay Dundee in Scotland. He was educated at Rhodes, studying History, Philosophy and Physical Education, and gaining his PhD in 1996. He has worked at Rhodes, UCT, and the universities of Zululand, as well as Staffordshire, Edge Hill and Northumbria in the UK. As a senior executive of his current university, he serves on several Universities Scotland committees, and is the Chair of the Management Board of the Scottish Higher Education Employability Forum. He has overall responsibility for Research, Teaching, and Organisational Development at Abertay. In these areas he is concerned with research and knowledge exchange; teaching, learning and assessment strategies; quality enhancement and assurance; recruitment; and staff development. He has acted as Vice Chancellor, and previous roles include Head of Department; Dean; Depute Principal; and Pro Vice Chancellor. He is married to jennifer and lives across the road from the beach at Broughty Ferry, where he launches his surf ski on most days of the year to tackle the North Sea. As a former Rhodes Rugby captain and coach he went on to coach semi-professionally in SA and the UK at high levels. His participation in endurance events such as the Comrades Marathon, Duzi Canoe Marathon, SA Ironman Triathlon, and the PE-East London Surfski race has extended to current interests in mountain biking and snowboarding. A lifelong surfer, he still gets wet whenever possible, and he serves as a volunteer lifeboat crewman in the RNLI.
Credited by The Observer as being one of the ten most influential people in London’s Bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, Caroline Rowland is Founder and Executive Creative Director of New Moon, the company thought to have redefined the role of film in campaigning to win major sporting, cultural and business contracts.
Within six days of launching New Moon in 1996, Caroline received her first brief and within six weeks she had won three global brands as clients. Starting from the spare room with less than £1,000 in the bank, Caroline now employs a staff of 16 operating from landmark offices in the heart of London’s Soho and working in over 20 countries around the world.
New Moon’s defining moment came after producing the two films that underpinned the London 2012 Olympic Bid. In addition to playing a central role in telling the London Olympic Bid story, Sport at Heart and Inspiration, have been awarded 21 Awards between them, including the Grand Prix at both the International Visual Communication Awards and at the New York Festivals. And apart from the creative accolades, Inspiration was awarded the Clarion Award for Corporate Social Responsibility in Film in 2005.
Other significant projects have included supporting Sochi in its successful bid to host the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the campaign for Qatar 2022’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup and the winning PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Bid. In addition to being the most sought-after creative partner for cities and countries campaigning to host major events, New Moon has established a strong reputation for helping brands secure lucrative contracts through telling their pitch story in a persuasive and effective way. The stunning re-interpretation of W H Auden’s ‘Nightmail’ for the Royal Opening of St Pancras, the film Belief for the Beijing Olympic Games and films that secured the Accountancy Age ‘Firm of the Year’ Award and BBC Audit business for KPMG, have confirmed New Moon’s position as a valuable strategic partner to business and government.
In addition to bid campaigns, New Moon actively develops original content that gives brands the opportunity to activate their existing sponsorships of sport, education and the arts. Rather than delivering simply a commercial return, New Moon’s projects are anchored by the principles of social entrepreneurship. Every project aims to fulfil a humanitarian objective and as a Trustee of her alma mater, Rhodes University, Caroline contributes her time and experience to helping to create education and employment opportunities for young people in Southern Africa.
Caroline is an inspirational and engaging speaker and has addressed audiences as diverse as captains of industry to GCSE students. She has been described by BAFTA’s Academy Magazine as “hot young talent” in the British Film Industry and was an Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2007. A former competitive swimmer, Caroline is an enthusiastic horsewoman, golfer and keen skier.
Nevin was in Smuts, College and Walker Houses and graduated with a B.A. Honours degree in Economics prior to receiving an M.Sc Degree from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA from Strathclyde Business School in Scotland. Nevin now lectures in London in Finance. He represented Rhodes at rowing and rugby and in 2007 completed the Cape Argus Cycle Tour.
Carmel obtained a BSc and an LLB (with Distinction) from Rhodes University. Having graduated from Rhodes, she relocated to London, where she went on to study the Postgraduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School, obtaining the LPC with Distinction. She worked as a parelegal at international firms including Clifford Chance, Baker & McKenzie and CMS Cameron McKenna, and recently joined PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP. In her spare time Carmel enjoys going to concerts, theatre and exploring the many wonderful sights London has to offer.
Ian was in Botha and graduated with a BA (Economics and Legal Theory) in 1981. He now lives in Cape Town.
Prior to working in digital communications , Ian spent the best part of 15 years working in the PR, Branding and Advertising industry in South Africa, with companies such as Lintas and Ogilvy & Mather, as well as Aristos Marketing (his own business which he started in 1995). Ian very kindly volunteered his time to help us build this web site.