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New CEO takes the helm at GroFin

Port Louis, Mauritius. GroFin, an impact-first SME financier, is excited to announce that Brienne van der Walt has started his tenure as the company’s new CEO.

Brienne joined GroFin as Chief Investment Officer before succeeding Guido Boysen as CEO, who served GroFin since 2007.

Brienne says he is excited about his new role and optimistic about what the future holds for GroFin and its clients.

“I am honoured by the opportunity to lead a company driven by the objective to make a real and positive impact on people’s lives. GroFin finances SMEs, but ultimately, we invest in communities.”

GroFin improves people’s lives through empowering entrepreneurs with the financing and support they need to grow sustainable businesses that create jobs. The company has sustained nearly 91 000 jobs by financing over 700 SMEs in Africa and the Middle East.

“Many of the problems so prevalent in the countries where we operate – whether it is unemployment in Africa or political instability in the Middle East – create negative ripple effects around the world. Job creation remains one of the most powerful forces to counter this,” Brienne adds.

Jurie Willemse, Chairman of GroFin, says Brienne is a dynamic and values-driven leader with relevant experience and insight.

“Brienne brings the qualities GroFin would look for in a CEO. I am confident he will lead GroFin to even greater success in achieving our founding objective to develop successful SMEs at scale, in order to create jobs and measurable impact.”

An entrepreneur himself, Brienne has over 20 years of experience in corporate and business banking, financial services, and public sector consultancy. He has extensive knowledge of the African SME sector and is available for telephonic media interviews, or to provide media comment, on the following topics:

About GroFin

GroFin is a specialist, impact-driven SME financier. As a pioneering private development finance institution, GroFin combines medium-term loan capital and development assistance to grow small and growing businesses (SGBs) in emerging market. Since its inception in 2003, GroFin has invested in over 700 SMEs and sustained over 90 900 jobs. We have the support of 34 international finance institutions, development organisations, and private funders with committed capital of nearly $500 million. Headquartered in Mauritius, GroFin operates in 15 countries across Africa and the Middle East.

Media enquiries:
Mari Blumenthal
GroFin Content Specialist

Email: mari.blumenthal@grofin.com

Brienne van der Walt appointed as successor to Guido Boysen

GroFin today announced that Brienne van der Walt, currently Chief Investment Officer, has been appointed as its CEO, effective 13 January 2020, to succeed Guido Boysen who will relocate back to Europe.

Jurie Willemse, GroFin Chairman said: “Guido’s drive combined with his commitment to serving the best interests of the company, have materially strengthened GroFin. He leaves a strong company well placed for future success. I’d like to thank him for his contribution to GroFin.”

“I am excited about the future of GroFin as Brienne has the qualities that we looked for in a CEO. He is a multi-disciplinary thinker with broad experience, shows intellectual curiosity, is entrepreneurial, yet objective.  He has strong technical skills and great business insight. He is a strong, dynamic and values-driven leader. The Board warmly welcomes Brienne to the role and wishes him every success.”

Guido Boysen, GroFin CEO said: “I congratulate Brienne on his appointment and look forward to working with him during the transition period. Brienne is a proven leader that shows appreciation for people, he builds respect and trust and his appointment is well supported by fellow team members.”

“It has been an honour to lead GroFin over the last years. Throughout this time, I have been humbled by the commitment and hard work of our people, and their passion for creating a truly purpose-driven company. I am very grateful to them, as I am to GroFin’s supportive investors and other stakeholders, with whom we have worked to build our unique business”.

Brienne van der Walt said: “It will be a great privilege to lead GroFin, a truly pioneering impact first SME financier full of talented people. I have seen first-hand the many ways in which GroFin finance and business support improve people’s businesses, positively impacting so many lives every day.”

“I’d also like to extend my gratitude to Guido for his leadership of GroFin and look forward to working closely with him during the transition.” 

Guido Boysen’s tenure as CEO ends 12 January 2020. He will support the transition process in the first half of 2020 and will leave the company at the end of June.

A successor to the role of Chief Investment Officer will be announced shortly.

About GroFin

GroFin is a pioneering private development financial institution specialising in financing and supporting small and growing businesses (SGBs) across Africa and the Middle East. We combine medium term loan capital and specialised business support to grow SGBs in emerging markets. By successfully combining medium term loans and specialised business support delivered through our local offices, we have invested in over 700 SMEs and sustained over 90,900 jobs across a wide spectrum of business activities within the 15 countries in Africa and Middle East that we operate in. GroFin has its headquarters located in Mauritius.

Media Enquiries:
Marketing & Communications Department
Email: media@grofin.com

GroFin Executive Transition Announcement

GroFin and its Board of Directors are announcing that effective 12 January 2020, Guido Boysen, Chief Executive Officer, is leaving the company to begin the next chapter of his career.  Over the past 12 years, Guido has played an instrumental role in establishing a culture of mutual respect, collaboration, and innovation within GroFin and among our stakeholders in the SME development and impact community.

We are grateful for his tireless efforts in helping GroFin grow and develop from its early years. Guido effected extensive change throughout GroFin and the SME development finance sector by implementing a benchmark SME risk finance system for the underserved.

“I am deeply inspired by how far GroFin has come and how many lives it has touched. The knowledge that now is right time for the next chapter in GroFin’s journey has helped me to make this difficult decision. I believe now is the time to secure GroFin’s future through new leadership, a fresh investment focus and boundless passion. There will always be challenges, but I am confident that GroFin is now poised to enter an exciting period in its history,” said Boysen.

“I will focus my remaining time with GroFin on facilitating a smooth transition to new leadership and support the implementation of the company’s medium-term Strategic plan. I also want to thank an outstanding GroFin team and our community of investors, funders, and advocates whose commitment and passion helped fuel our progress and demonstrable impact”. 

Jurie Willemse, GroFin Founder and Chairman, said:

“Guido and I share a passion and commitment for the mission of GroFin, and we both recognise the need for the business to continue to evolve. I am grateful for what Guido has contributed during his time with GroFin and he has played an instrumental role in getting GroFin to this point. We will miss Guido, but he leaves GroFin well positioned for further development and growth and we sincerely thank him for his leadership and great contribution to the company. The Board and senior team are committed to continuing to move GroFin and its mission forward as we have done for the last 15 years.”

An announcement regarding the appointment of a new CEO will be made in due course. If an appointment is not made by 1 January 2020, Chairman Jurie Willemse will lead GroFin in an executive capacity in the interim.

About GroFin

GroFin is a pioneering private development financial institution specialising in financing and supporting small and growing businesses (SGBs) across Africa and the Middle East. We combine medium term loan capital and specialised business support to grow SGBs in emerging markets. By successfully combining medium term loans and specialised business support delivered through our local offices, we have invested in over 700 SMEs and sustained over 88,150 jobs across a wide spectrum of business activities within the 15 countries in Africa and Middle East that we operate in. GroFin has its headquarters located in Mauritius.

Media Enquiries:
Marketing & Communications Department
Email: media@grofin.com