The UK Team




Geoffrey de Jager – Chairman

Geoffrey de Jager

Geoffrey was born in Oudtshoorn, South Africa in 1950 and educated at Kingswood College in Grahamstown. He graduated from Rhodes in 1973 with a B.Com and from Natal University in 1975 with an LLB and immigrated to the UK in 1987.

Geoffrey began his working life as a lawyer and then moved into merchant banking. In 1982 he along with GT Ferreira, Laurie Dippenaar and Paul Harris, became one of 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.

Geoffrey founded Sharp Interpack Limited, a UK food packaging manufacturing company which, by 2010 when it was sold to Groupe Guillin SA, had captured more than 60% of the UK food packaging market.

On 14 April 2012 Rhodes University conferred on Geoffrey the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. In 2013 he was made Life President of Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly Oxford Philomusica). In recognition of his being a considerable benefactor of Trinity College Oxford and Oxford University, Geoffrey was elected an Honorary Fellow at Trinity College, and made a member of the senior common room of Christ Church and a member of the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors of Oxford University. Geoffrey’s main interest remains education and through his private company, Anglo Suisse Investments Limited, he has supported various UK registered educational institutions. He spends much of his time in charitable work helping disadvantaged children; 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.

Geoffrey is a:

  • Chairman and Trustee of Classics for All (CfA). CfA intends to make Classics available to all state schools across the UK. CfA provides state schools with the most effective resources for the task and trains the staff at these schools to teach Classics to the highest standard;
  • Trustee of The Living Well Trust, a recent initiative from the LOC (London Oncology Clinic) 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;
  • Trustee of The Gunmakers’ Company Charitable Trust which was set up to promote, for the public benefit, the improvement of special craft and technical skills employed in the gun and allied trades and in associated crafts, by the provision of scholarships for the advancement of education of persons involved in these trades and crafts;
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the Global Leadership Foundation;
  • Member of the Trinity College, Oxford, Remuneration Committee;
  • Trustee of the Oxford Festival of Arts (formally the MCS Arts Festival, Oxford);
  • Patron of many arts organisations, including the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford where he is Honorary Life Member of the Elias Ashmole Group. He is also a Patron of Garsington Opera and the Scottish National Galleries.

Geoffrey is married to Caroline and they have four children. They reside in Oxford & London and spend time in Switzerland. He enjoys music, opera and skiing and is occasionally seen on a golf course.

Mike Simson – Treasurer

Mike SimsonMike 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.

Bill Vickery

Bill Vickery - 100pxBill was at Rhodes in 1968 and studied a BA, majoring in Geography.  After leaving Rhodes, Bill travelled extensively in his career path, starting offshore, North Sea, going to Amsterdam and then managing a small crude oil refinery located in Antigua, West Indies, at the same time holding a position as General Manager for Natpet Ltda in San Jose, Costa Rica and Assistant to the President of the InterMaritime group of companies based in Geneva, Switzerland.  He travelled extensively in the Caribbean, Central and South America.    Before becoming the owner of V3 Print in 2000, he was in Qatar for 11 years, AK Group, Managing Director for an Oil Trading, Agency and Construction business owned by Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Khalifa bin Ali (member of Qatari Royal Family) employing 1200 based in Doha, Qatar.  He managed term refined product offtake agreements with Qatar Petroleum, main agency agreements and major construction projects. Finally settling in the UK, Bill is very content managing his business, V3 Group, which provides design, print and business services located in Kingston, Twickenham and Weybridge employing 14 staff.

Tony Granger

Tony GrangerTony 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.

Chris Butler – Professorial Fellow in Primary Healthcare

Chris Butler - 100pxChris Butler is a Professorial Fellow at Trinity College, Oxford, and a Professor of Primary Care at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford and Professor of Primary Care Medicine at Cardiff University, Wales. His main research interests are in common infections (especially the appropriate use of antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance), and health behaviour change (especially motivational interviewing in health care). He has helped lead 14 large clinical trials in primary care.

After his BA at Rhodes University, Chris trained in medicine at the University of Cape Town, and then did hospital work in Cape Town and at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane. He did doctoral work at the University of Wales College of Medicine, and studied Clinical Epidemiology at The University of Toronto. He was appointed as a lecturer then senior lecturer at the University of Wales College of Medicine and then Associate Professor at McMaster in Canada. He returned to the UK where he was Director of the Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health at Cardiff University for about ten years.

Chris is an inaugural National Institute of Health and Social Care Research Senior Faculty member, served as a Research Excellence Framework Panel Member, serves on the Medical Research Council Efficacy and Mechanisms Evaluation Board, and holds honorary Professorships at McMaster University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has published nearly 200 indexed research papers, and has helped win over £140M in research and research infrastructure funding. He has remained clinically active and practices as a GP in Mountain Ash in South Wales.

Professor Steve Olivier

Steve OlivierSteve 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.

Caroline Rowland

Caroline RowlandCredited 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.

Tim Newsome

Tim Newsome - 100pxTim was born in the United Kingdom and his parents emigrated to South Africa in 1955. After an education at St John’s, Tim graduated from Rhodes University with a BCom Degree in 1973 and subsequently obtained an LLB from the University of Witwatersrand in 1978 . Tim practised law in South Africa where he was a partner at Damant Bostock until he emigrated to the UK in 1987. Tim requalified as a UK solicitor after requalifying at the College of Law in Guildford. Tim has spent the rest of his career at RadcliffesLeBrasseur where he was first admitted as a partner in 1994 before he was appointed as Senior Partner from April 2009 which is the post he currently holds.

Tim lives in Twickenham with his wife. Tim has a number of interests outside the law and still enjoys playing tennis and the occasional round of golf. When not in Twickenham, Tim tries to spend as much time as possible in the South of France.


Old Rhodians also offer their services on a voluntary basis to the Trust.

Ian Davidson

ian DavidsonIan was in Botha and graduated with a BA (Economics and Legal Theory) in 1980.

Ian is a digital activist and communications  specialist. He has spent over 25 years in the PR, Branding, Advertising and Digital fields. He has worked with 100’s of brands and project managed 100’s of web-based solutions for clients in South Africa, the UK and US. He kindly volunteered his time to help us build this website.

Ian now lives in Cape Town, where he operates as an independent communications consultant.