Who we are

Our credentials

Founded in April 2017

Worked with over 100 business owners since inception

R2 Billion in deal value concluded in the last 6 months for our clients

Extensive local and international network

Founded in April 2017

Worked with over 100 business owners since inception

R2 Billion in deal value concluded in the last 6 months for our clients

Extensive local and international network

Transformation from Deal Leaders Africa to Deal Leaders International

Global reach

Deal leaders are members of the following networks:

Pandea Global M&A Network

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Andrew Bahlmann

Chief Executive: Corporate & Advisory

My business career began the year after I graduated from high school, when I started and ran my own company. Six years later, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant and sold the business. I then spent a year in New York managing a large South African insurer’s operations in Bermuda.

After that I returned to South Africa to take up the position of Chief Financial Officer of WesBank’s Corporate Division. There I oversaw the implementation of enhanced profitability structures, which yielded positive growth for the Corporate, Fleet and Motor Divisions and contributed to a R114 billion balance sheet. This role took me along an incredible learning curve, where I developed an understanding of the dynamics involved when large companies invest and grow through negotiation and acquisition. Having completed numerous successful acquisitions and disposals of businesses and working alongside some of the largest international motor manufacturers like Toyota, VW and General Motors, my exposure to the international mergers and acquisitions market has proven to be invaluable in my current role.

I left Wesbank to launch my own consultancy, IntelStrat, which fostered the development of ‘entrepreneurial DNA’ within both large corporations and SMEs. The biggest insight I gained there was identifying and understanding the areas that business owners need to focus on to maximise the value of their businesses.

Through my involvement in the extensive international networks I have built over the past few years, I’ve found that my experience on both sides of the table has allowed me to form authentic connections with both clients and acquirers alike.

As a Shareholder, Director and the Chief Executive:Corporate, I have concluded a significant number of successful transactions across multiple industries and countries.

Rick Grantham

Chief Executive: Mid-Market

After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I spent a number of years running large production operations for various corporates. I obtained an MBA in 1998, then did a stint in banking before embarking on my entrepreneurial journey.

My initial step in this direction saw me running an educational television business that delivered video-based training to the Ethiopian government. This led me to make my first business acquisition, a TV broadcaster and production company. After five years I exited that business and founded a consultancy that assisted small businesses with developing and implementing their growth strategies. The knowledge and experience I had accrued up to that point enabled me to start a sell-side advisory business in 2012, in partnership with one of my clients. We developed a reputation for delivering incredible success in the sale of privately owned businesses.

My experience in engineering and manufacturing has given me an excellent base for understanding businesses in the industrial space. My MBA and subsequent work with US credit card bank, Capital One, as well as with Nedbank have expanded this experience into the financial sector and given me significant insights into the relationship between marketing and credit risk.

The broad scope of my business and operational experience, supported by my hands-on involvement in mergers and acquisition transactions have contributed significantly to my ongoing track record of success at Deal Leaders International.

Nicolas Souvaris

Deal Associate

As a Deal Associate, my role involves transaction planning, oversight, and execution.

I hold a BCom Honours degree in Monetary and Financial Economics from the University of Johannesburg and began my career as a Business Analyst building IT and financial solutions for corporates. My background and experience have provided me with key problem-solving skills, necessary to formulate effective solutions to business problems.

Prior to joining the team at Deal Leaders, I worked as in corporate finance for a boutique advisory firm, specialising in the areas of research analysis, operational and commercial due diligence, valuation and advisory services.

Tamryn Nel

Deal Associate

Having graduated with an Honours in Economics (University of Cape Town) and an MBA cum laude (Gordon Institute of Business Science), I am motivated by the positive role that mergers and acquisitions can have to drive deep, sustained change in the economy, and in shaping South Africa through the investment it channels.

After initially beginning my career in economic development before evolving into private equity and mergers and acquisitions, I have been afforded the opportunity to work closely with mid-market, owner-managed businesses throughout my career. This experience has provided me with unique insights into the intersection between macro- and microeconomic factors influencing long-term, sustainable value.

As a Deal Associate within the Deal Leaders International team, I support business owners when considering their exit and investor partnering strategies by managing the execution of transactions from inception to completion, assisting our clients to identify the best solutions and outcomes. My career to date has given me exposure to various environments where I have developed my skills in financial modelling and business valuation, strategic thinking and negotiation in the context of mergers and acquisitions, and transaction completion oversight.

Andries Louw

Deal Associate

As a Deal Associate, I play key roles in managing project life cycles, providing financial and valuation analysis, liaising with clients, project management and acquirer interaction. I began my career in the Financial Services industry during 2012, after completing my undergraduate degree in Investment Management.

While working for some of South Africa’s major banks and insurance companies, I gained valuable insight into business in Africa, as well as into numerous local industries.  Through my roles as Credit and Financial Analyst, I honed my skills as an analyst. This experience is part of what informs the articles I currently write on the latest developments in the South African economy.

Michelle Crellin

Head of Operations

My role within the Deal Leaders team involves contributing to the effective management of each transaction through the monitoring of project timelines and overseeing of the process. My role also includes implementing technology solutions and maintaining governance throughout the business.

I entered the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) industry in 2014 and experienced rapid growth in my career working on numerous M&A projects as a project manager which involved proactively managing relationships with clients, co-ordinating internal resources and liaising with prospective acquirers in search of acquisition opportunities. Through exposure to industry pioneers and working with highly skilled individuals, I have built up an exceptional databank of knowledge and key learnings to draw from.

Matthew Diepenbroek

Research Analyst

Our business model is predicated on offering our clients choice, thereby offering them control. This is achieved by bringing a wide range of acquirers to the table to ensure the best deal is achieved. I form part of the DLI research team tasked with identifying and engaging with these acquirers, with a particular focus on international industries and their respective players.

I chose to study a Bachelor of Business Science at the University of Cape Town, and subsequently complete my Honours in Economics, because it afforded me a broader understanding of the interplay between financial markets across the globe. This broad base of knowledge provides me with a platform from which I can explore various industries, understand the market sentiments within them and gain insights that allow me to better identify the right parties to bring to a deal, as well as a deeper level understanding of why a deal makes sense for both parties.

Gareth Jones

Research Analyst

My Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern History and International Relations from the University of Wales and my Master of Science degree in Globalisation and Development from the University of London have given me a thorough understanding of the relational component of commerce.

This foundation served me well during the six years when I served as a research analyst for a non-profit organisation. There, I conducted research on a variety of topics, including agri-business value chains, biotechnology and the fertiliser and agri-chemical markets.

Having enriched my knowledge with practical experience, I then moved into the mergers and acquisitions space, where, after working as a research analyst for a year at one firm, I joined Deal Leaders. Here, my primary focus is on identifying and initiating relationships with potential acquirers and investors.

Tshegofatso Modise

Research Analyst

In my role as Research Analyst at Deal Leaders, my key responsibilities include research support, prospect engagement and liaising between the deal team and prospective acquires.

My career journey includes working as a Junior Research Intern at MAS. There I conducted extensive qualitative and quantitative research into skills development and training policies in South Africa, with a focus on Higher Education and Training. In the process I developed sound critical and analytical skills. I have also served as a Real Estate Agent at Yellow Properties Real Estate in Rustenburg, where I was called upon to evaluate market conditions for clients and to mediate negotiations and legal processes, with the aim of securing fair and honest deals for my clients.

I discovered my interest in research while completing a Bachelor of Social Sciences Honours degree in International Relations through the University of South Africa. Through my education and practical experience I have acquired extensive knowledge in the area of social sciences research methodologies.

Rudolph Vermeulen

Market Engagement Specialist

After 18 years of analysing, advising on, buying and selling shares on exchanges across the globe, I joined Deal Leaders as Market Engagement Specialist

My educational background in Economics enables me to view and understand each deal with a unique perspective, which allows me to effectively communicate and build relationships with potential acquirers. I am passionate about connecting the right acquirer to the best opportunity where they will be able to unlock value.

Lorna Paterson

New Business Initiatives Co-Ordinator

I trained as a legal secretary and started my career with a stint in banking before taking on marketing roles in logistics and then in education.  I diversified in the education sector, completing courses in communication, training and management, and attained accreditation as an assessor and moderator.  I spent 15 years working as an independent facilitator, assessor, moderator and learnership coordinator on behalf of training providers servicing large corporate clients.

As a dedicated and organised team player I have gained skills at building and maintaining relationships across all levels through my ability to communicate effectively and efficiently.  My career activities have always been centred around my passion for people and my greatest satisfaction comes from connecting with and helping others.

I joined Deal Leaders in 2018 where my role has allowed me to connect and collaborate daily with diverse individuals. I am committed to making a positive difference and ensuring a favourable experience for those I meet.

Sarah Quiding

Finance & Admin Manager

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Economics and Business Economics, I have focused on developing my core skill set and enjoyed a career in project management, software development, marketing, and event management.

The foundation of my business acumen was built during the time I spent working in London at the BBC, Barclays Bank and Marks & Spencer’s as a Business Analyst. On my return to South Africa, I spent time working in systems development at Rand Merchant Bank.

As Finance and Administration Manager at Deal Leaders, my key responsibility is to ensure the smooth functioning of the office. This includes finances, compliance, marketing, social media, general admin and office culture. I am a highly organised individual, who is passionate about getting any task set in front of me done.

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