Q1 2022 - (released May 2022)
SA's quarterly Private Equity & Venture Capital magazine
by Michael Avery
SAVCA CEO Tanya van Lille announced in April that she’ll be leaving the industry association after five years at the helm.
I first met van Lille when she stepped into the large shoes vacated by her predecessor, Erika van der Merwe, who relocated to the Netherlands, where she now works with Robeco.
I recall our first coffee at Fab in Parkhurst, the powerlifter with the piercing blue eyes declined the ice cream croissant, and spoke with anxious anticipation at the challenge that awaited her, stepping out of academia at the Gordon Institute of Business Science and into the operational role of growing and fostering the industry’s relationship with investors, regulators and the broader public, as well as ensuring that it continued to progress its journey of increasing inclusivity.
She has certainly powerlifted the profile of the industry through the launch of several key industry initiatives during her term; among them, the Venture Capital (VC) Conference, which has grown year-on-year since 2019, fast becoming a calendar favourite. She also launched the SAVCA Industry Awards in 2018, showcasing the industry by recognising portfolio companies that have made a real impact in their communities, and on job creation.
During her tenure, the industry has also made critical strides along its transformation journey, where SAVCA, together with support from FNB and the SA SME Fund, created the SAVCA Fund Manager Development Programme, the first of its kind on the African continent.
With the industry in fine fettle following the tumult of the COVID pandemic and looking to capitalise on growth opportunities in the region as economies look to rebuild, it’s a good time to pass the baton on, but Tanya will be sorely missed.
The team here at Catalyst and DealMakers wish her well as she searches for her next big lift.