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Individual DealMaker of the Year

DealMakers Annual Gala Awards

At the end of each year, DealMakers calls on the corporate finance industry to submit their nominations for the Individual DealMaker of the Year.

With the assistance of the independent panel, and taking into account the number of nominations each individual has received, a shortlist of 3 - 5 nominees is announced. 

Information on the shortlisted candidates is then evaluated by the Independent Panel and they select a winner based on a variety of criteria, including but not limited to:

High profile deals/transactions |   Individual's contribution to the deal  |   Execution complexity  |   Peer recognition

2023 Individual DealMaker of the Year

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Nominations for the 2023 Ince Individual DealMaker of the Year are CLOSED. 

This is an individual award to the person judged by his/her peers and the Independent Selection Panel, to have provided an exemplary and outstanding service.

DealMakers’ Advisory Board knows that this award may be controversial but has concluded that individuals are entitled to recognition for the services they provide to an expanding and vital element of the South African economy. This award is not confined solely to those who work for corporate finance firms or units.

Companies and units are asked to nominate individuals from their own firm by way of detailed motivations. For each individual nominated from their own team, firms must nominate a peer within the M&A industry.


From these nominations the Independent Selection Panel produces a short list. Biographical information on each candidate, along with the formal nominations, is collated for the Panel.

The Individual DealMaker of the Year will receive a framed certificate, a one‐ounce platinum medal especially minted for the occasion, and a floating trophy appropriately inscribed.

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The winning DealMaker will be announced at the ANSARADA DealMakers Annual Gala Awards which will take place on Tuesday 13 February 2024 in Sandton, Johannesburg.

2022 Individual DealMaker of the Year

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Johan Holtzhausen

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Arie Maree (Ansarada), Marylou Greig (DealMakers), Johan Holtzhausen (PSG Capital) and Andile Khumalo (Ince)

During 2022 Johan, who has been at the forefront of South African dealmaking for the past 24 years, led his team in the PSG Group restructuring which involved the unbundling to shareholders of its six JSE-listed companies, two of which were dual-listed (R19,4bn), a scheme of arrangement for the repurchase of PSG shares, representing the unlisted portfolio, (R3,15bn) and the concurrent delisting of the group. His notable transactions from the past few years include the 2019 Brunswick Deal of the Year awarded to PepsiCo for the acquisition of Pioneer Foods (R23,6bn) and PSG Group’s unbundling of its 28.11% stake in Capitec (R28,9bn). This is the second year that Johan, who is the Managing Director of PSG Capital, has been shortlisted for the Ince Individual DealMaker of the Year. 

Comment from the Independent Panel: The panel recognised Johan’s deep involvement at both strategic and execution levels in the PSG unbundling and delisting, noting that ‘his fingerprints are all over this transaction’.

Other nominees for 2022 were:

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Charles Young (Bowmans)
Partner and Head of Mining at Bowmans, Charles has led many high-profile and intricate transactions in the African resource sector. He led the team on behalf of NYSE-listed Ardagh Group on its entry into the African glass-packaging market with its acquisition of Consol, in a deal valued at $614m (R10bn). In another complex cross-border deal, Charles led the team representing Yamana Gold on its proposed acquisition by Gold Fields in a transaction valued at $6,7bn (R103,85bn). He advised Harmony Gold Mining on its acquisition of AngloGold Ashanti’s remaining operations in South Africa for $300m (R2,96bn), Orion Mine Finance on a complex $200m gold streaming arrangement and a $100m platinum streaming arrangement with Platreef Mine, a subsidiary of Ivanhoe Mines.

Christo Els (Webber Wentzel) 
Christo has over 25 years of experience in the areas of corporate law and M&A, making the shortlist of candidates for DealMaker of the Year five times, and taking the title in 2011. He led teams in three transformational transactions during 2022, two of which have been shortlisted for the Brunswick Deal of the Year - the take private by the Manta Bidco consortium of Mediclinic International, and the Sanlam/Allianz joint venture of their insurance assets in Africa. In addition, Christo worked with Walmart on the acquisition of the remaining shares in Massmart. He also provided strategic advice on a number of matters, including Gold Fields’ proposed acquisition of Yamana Gold, and the disposal and repurchase programme implemented by Naspers and Prosus.

Michael Dempster (Standard Bank) 
In 2022 Michael, a corporate finance executive at Standard Bank, advised on two high profile and public M&A transactions in the local market – Walmart on its acquisition of the remaining stake in Massmart (R6,4bn), and Allianz on its joint venture with Sanlam, advising on the amalgamation of their respective African assets in a deal valued in excess of R33bn. The combined operations of Sanlam and Allianz will create the premier pan-African, non-banking financial services entity. Michael also advised the African Finance Corporation on its $100m (R1,7bn) equity investment from the Public investment Corporation, which is a catalyst for private sector-led infrastructure investment across Africa.

2021 DealMaker of the Year

Lydia Shadrach-Razzino

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Gold Medal Award

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Marylou Greig (DealMakers), Arie Maree (Ansarada), Lydia Shadrach-Razzino (ENSafrica) and Andile Khumalo (Ince

This was the second consecutive year Lydia was shortlisted for the Ince DealMaker of the Year Award. An executive in ENSafrica’s Corporate Commercial department, Lydia heads up the firm’s Private Equity team and co-leads one of the largest teams in the Corporate Commercial department. Her approach is highly client centric which results in arriving at sustainable, innovative and effective solutions for them. Lydia worked on a number of high-profile transactions announced in 2021. She led the team in the negotiations and represented Vodacom in the R41 billion Vodafone Egypt deal, shortlisted for the Brunswick Deal of the Year and on the sale of Ascendis Animal Health to Acorn Agri & Food, shortlisted for the Catalyst Private Equity Deal of the Year.

Comment from the Independent Panel: This year’s panel fulfils last year’s panel’s prediction that Lydia is a future winner. Winning deals do not always result in one of the key advisers being crowned Top DealMaker, but this year, everything Lydia and her team touched turned to gold! Most of her significant deals did well, with two of them winning their categories. Triple gold for this consistent contender, who seems to have become a master at solving complex structures and translating them into practical agreements.

Other nominees for 2021 were:

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Ferdi Vorster (Rand Merchant Bank) 
A member of the Rand Merchant Bank team since 2007, Ferdi’s strong technical skill and his ability to develop deep and enduring client relationships earned him a place on the nominee shortlist in 2013. He led several market-leading transactions during 2021, most notably acting for Distell, originating, planning and executing the proposed multi-jurisdictional deal with Heineken International, a deal shortlisted for the 2021 Brunswick Deal of the Year. In addition, Ferdi led the execution of the acquisition by Karooooo of locally listed Cartrack and worked on the sale of its 68.3% stake in Tanzanian listed Tanga Cement by AfriSam to German multinational HeidelbergCement.

Jesse Watson (Webber Wentzel) 
This is the third time Jesse has been shortlisted for the Ince DealMaker of the Year award, previously in 2018 and 2019. His unwavering vision, consistency, leadership and overall contributions to the majority of the high complex and high-profile deals has earned him wide recognition. Jesse, a partner in the Corporate Practice at Webber Wentzel, was the matter lead in the Prosus/Naspers voluntary share exchange offer which has made the shortlist as nominee for the 2021 Brunswick Deal of the Year. The transaction, which spanned nearly two years, involved providing strategic advice in relation to the deal structure while managing specialist teams and leading regulatory and other stakeholder interactions.

David Tudor (Naspers/Prosus Group) 
David was nominated for the Ince DealMaker of the Year award as he has, as in house counsel, led the many complex multi-jurisdictional transactions that have been such an integral part of positioning the Naspers/Prosus companies as the giants that they are today. In 2008 he was appointed as Naspers and MIH Group Senior Counsel. In this role he led the legal teams for the group's M&A activities in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. David went on to become General Counsel of the Allegro Group (a subsidiary of MIH) and was subsequently promoted to the position of General Counsel: Global Transaction eCommerce at Naspers.

2020 DealMaker of the Year

Anthony Knox

Gold Medal Award

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Anthony Knox (Merrill Lynch) has over 15 years of investment banking experience. Over the past three years Anthony has played an instrumental role in executing some of SA’s highest profile deal, the most notable being Sasol’s disposal of a 50% interest in its Lake Charles Chemicals Project, the disposal of a 34.4% stake in Alexander Forbes by Marsh & McLennan, Old Mutual’s Managed Separation and as independent expert in the unbundling of FirstRand.

Other Nominees for 2020:​

Cobus Human

Cobus Human (One Capital) has been in corporate finance for over 22 years and in 2015 was the recipient of the Individual DealMaker award for 2014. During 2020 Cobus worked on a number of noteworthy transactions including the take private of Peregrine by Capitalworks, the hostile takeover defence in relation to Quantum Foods by Country Bird and the placement of domestic medium-term notes in respect of Northam during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Lydia Shadrach-Razzino

Lydia Shadrach-Razzino (ENSafrica) has 20 years’ experience and heads up the firm’s Private Equity team and co-leads a large team in the Corporate Commercial department. During 2020 Lydia worked on several notable transactions - the acquisition of JET by The Foschini Group and the company’s R3,95 billion capital raise and the unwind by Anheuser-Busch InBev of its BEE transaction SAB Zenzele, deals which have been shortlisted in the 2020 DealMakers category awards.

2019 DealMaker of the Year

Jako van der Walt

Gold Medal sponsored by

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Other Nominees for 2019:​

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Jesse Watson

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Johan Holtzhausen

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Kevin Trudgeon

2018 DealMaker of the Year

Martin Kingston


Gold Medal Award

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Neal Froneman - Sibanye-Stillwater, Steven Engelsman - Ince, Martin Kingston - Rothschild & Co, Marylou Greig - DealMakers and Sam Riley - Ansarada

Other Nominees for 2018:​

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Glynn Potgieter

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Jesse Watson

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Sainesh Vallabh

2017 DealMaker of the Year

Neal Froneman


Gold Medal Award

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Steven Engelsman (Ince) , Arie Maree (Ansarada), Neal Froneman (Sibanye-Stillwater), Richard Stewart (Sibanye-Stillwater) and Marylou Greig (DealMakers) 

Other Nominees for 2017:​

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Anthony Bayne

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Garth Willis


Gary Hudson

2016 DealMaker of the Year

Piet Ferreira

Gold Medal Award

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Arie Maree (Ansarada), Charl Keyter (Sibanye Gold), Michael Walters (Ince) and Flint Macgregor (Citigroup) who collected the award on behalf of Piet Ferreira (Steinhoff)

Other Nominees for 2016:​


Andrew Brooking

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Richard Stout

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Colin du Toit

2015 DealMaker of the Year

John Gnodde

Gold Medal Award

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Individual DealMaker of the Year
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Marylou Greig (DealMakers), Steven Engelsman (Ince), Neal Froneman (Sibanye Gold) and John Gnodde (Brait)

Other Nominees for 2015:​


Christo Els

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Paul Roelofse


Fradreck Shoko

2014 DealMaker of the Year

Cobus Human

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Gold Medal Award

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Steven Engelsman (Ince), Cobus Human (One Capital), Charl Keyter (Sibanye Gold), Daryl Wray (Cell C) and Marylou Greig (DealMakers)

Other Nominees for 2014:​

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Christo Els

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Paul Bondi

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Clive Potter

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