Robin Vela, Chairman
Robin is the Chairman of Lonsa Group Limited. Robin is also the former Chairman of the National Social Security Authority of Zimbabwe and First Mutual Wealth (Private) Limited, institutions with over US$2.2billion and US$350 million of assets under management respectively. A professionally qualified and experienced Investment Banker, Robin is Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the UK Chartered Securities Institute. Robin was appointed to the ICAEW Member’s Advisory Board for Africa in 2016.
Robin was named the Megafeast Business Leader of the Year in Zimbabwe in 2017. Robin is also a member of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa and was past Patron of the African Institute of Petroleum. Robin is a former appointed consultant to the World Bank, IFC and Sanlam Investment Managers in Swaziland. Robin founded and led a Johannesburg and London Stock Exchange listed entity; co-founded two separate UK equity investment funds and worked for top- tier bulge bracket financial institutions in the City of London as a senior private equity/investment banking executive for more than 20 years. He has a proven track record of leading and closing corporate and investment related transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa and the City of London.
Robin has been instrumental in power, energy and Oil and Gas projects in Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa, DRC, Malawi, Egypt and Nigeria. Robin has held numerous directorships including of Create Ventures Limited, NSSA, Sac Oil Holdings Limited, First Mutual Holdings Limited, First Banking Corporation Holdings Limited, and Lonsa Group Limited. Robin has an Honours degree in Economics and Accounting from Bristol University.
Mogens Schmidt, Director
Mogens is co-founder of Emerald Capital Management (“Emerald”), a London based private equity sponsor targeting European small and mid-cap transformational growth equity transactions.
He currently sits on the board of Verida Credit, a Romanian primary mortgage institution funded by the US International Development Finance Corporation in Washington DC (the former OPIC).
Mogens has more than 30 years experience in investment banking, strategy consulting, interim management and most recently private equity. Before Emerald he was founding partner of the Argo Capital Partners Fund 1 targeting growth equity transactions in Africa, East Europe and Central Europe. He executed US$150m of equity investments across 10 transactions as both investment and operating partner working intimately with portfolio companies beyond board roles navigating commercial and operational opportunities and challenges.
His principal investment experience includes financial services, pharmaceuticals, IT Services, commercial real estate development, telecoms, agriculture and aviation.
Earlier he worked at BG Kapital Partners retained by Morgan Grenfell Private Equity and Bank of America Capital originating and executing Nordic transactions.
He also established and had overall responsibility for the European Private Equity Group at KPMG Corporate Finance with offices in London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris. In this capacity he was involved in most of the firms large MBO/LBO mandates advising either management teams or private equity houses.
His career in London started at Scandinavian Bank Group Plc (now Enskilda Securities) after which he moved to strategy, profit improvement and restructuring consulting and also held several interim management roles in these areas.
Mogens is a Danish passport holder and studied at Copenhagen Business School before obtaining a scholarship to Washington State University. He completed his Masters in Management at ESCP Business School studying one year each at campuses in UK, France and Germany.
Gaudencia Matongo, Executive Director
Gaudencia Matongo prior to joining Lonsa in October 2003 worked for the African Management Services Company (AMSCO), a special purpose vehicle of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), IMF & World Bank. AMSCO’s primary mandate was to help African Companies become globally sustainable.
She worked as a Projects Associate to help improve the quality of Corporate Management and Governance in sub-Saharan African countries particularly in the context of Private Sector Development. She also sat on the local internal UN Projects Approval Committee.
Gaudencia overseas the day-to-day operations & administration of the Lonsa Group. She is a holder of an Advanced Project Management certificate from the University of Cape Town and a Diploma in Business Management from the London School of International Business.