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Governance

Accelerate understands that good governance is about making the right decisions for the business and its various stakeholders. To flourish, an organisation needs a corporate governance framework that guides its business and reassures stakeholders that the correct checks and balances cement ethical conduct.

Accelerate Property Fund started as a private venture and became a listed company during December 2013. From the outset, the business’s governance structures and practices were rigorous and designed to instil confidence by creating and protecting stakeholder value.

It is important to understand that creating transparent and effective governance in the organisation is not a once-off exercise. It requires an ongoing review of existing processes and practices against board and company objectives, while demanding that an organisation adapt and adjust to the external operating context and evolving best practice.

Implementing the King Code of Corporate Governance for South Africa, 2016 (King IV) within the business has offered us an opportunity to revisit our governance framework. Through this process, our commitment to creating fit-for-purpose governance structures that adhere to the highest standards has once again been affirmed and entrenched throughout the organisation.

The board of directors is responsible for the overall direction and supervision of the company, with general management delegated to the executive members. The executives and certain senior management are responsible for the asset management function, which in turn directs the property management function.

Company structure 

Chairman
Tim Fearnhead

Investment committee
Dr Gert Cruywagen

Audit committee
Dr Gert Cruywagen

Chief executive officer
Michael Georgiou

Remuneration committee
Francois Viruly

Social and ethics committee
Kolosa Madikizela

Chief operating officer
Andrew Costa

Internal audit
LM consulting

Accelerate Europe

Chief financial officer
Dimitri Kyriakides

Asset management
Dimitri Kokinos

Company secretary
Joanne Matisonn

Investor relations
Articulate Capital Partners

Executive Directors

Mr Michael Georgiou

Chief executive officer

Appointed: 1 January 2013

Mr Georgiou owns one of the largest private property portfolios in South Africa. In a property career spanning 20 years, he has successfully acquired and/or developed over 100 properties, including prominent properties such as Fourways Mall Shopping Centre; Cedar Square, Fourways (award-nominated); Loch Logan Waterfront Shopping Centre, Bloemfontein (award-nominated); Windmill Casino Hotel and Retail Complex; the Fort Drury Complex and Sediba Building for Department of Public Works; and College Acre Development for Liberty Holdings Ltd and First National Bank, a division of the FirstRand Group. Mr Georgiou has a wealth of property knowledge and is respected as a market leader by his peers in the property industry.

Mr Andrew Costa

Chief operating officer

BCom, LLB

Appointed: 1 April 2013

Before his appointment to the board, Mr Costa spent nine years at the corporate and investment banking division of Standard Bank Group Ltd, where he was a director and head of debt capital markets. He was responsible for raising finance for numerous blue-chip South African companies as well as multinationals. Mr Costa was a member of Standard Bank’s focus team that advised on the Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003, the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999, and the JSE Debt Listings Requirements. Prior to this, Mr Costa was a partner in the corporate law department of attorneys Cliffe Dekker Inc. and specialised in mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings and competition law.

Mr Dimitri Kyriakides

Chief financial officer

Appointed: 1 January 2013

Mr Kyriakides qualified as a chartered accountant in 1981, and joined Pick n Pay Stores Ltd as chief regional accountant for the Pretoria hypermarkets. In 1986, he joined a firm of chartered accountants in Pretoria as an audit partner, and in 1989 Mr Kyriakides moved to Johannesburg as an audit partner at Myers Tennier & Co. In 1995, he purchased an interest in a manufacturing concern, which he managed, and eventually disposed of in 2006. In 2009, Mr Kyriakides joined the Georgiou family to assist with the management and administration of their Johannesburg-based properties, gaining experience in all facets of the commercial property industry.

Non-executive directors

Mr Tim Fearnhead


CTA (Wits), CA(SA), Diploma in Advance Banking (UJ)

Appointed: 1 June 2013

Mr Fearnhead is a chartered accountant and was a partner at Deloitte for 21 years. He joined Nedbank Ltd in 1997, where he held a number of senior financial management positions. He retired from Nedbank in 2006. Mr Fearnhead is currently an independent consultant and financial trainer. He holds a number of non-executive board and committee positions and is a trustee on numerous trusts.

Ms Kolosa Madikizela


Master of Technology Degree in Construction Management

Appointed: 1 June 2013

Ms Madikizela is the Cape Regional Manager and executive director at Pragma Africa, an engineering organisation specialising in physical asset management. Ms Madikizela’s 12-year career spans the construction, property development and engineering sectors where she has occupied senior management and executive level positions at various multinational organisations, including Shell SA, Life Healthcare Ltd and most recently at Aveng Water. Prior to joining Aveng Water, she was the chief executive officer of Nexus Facilities Management Company, with a focus on the telecommunications sector.

Prof Francois Viruly


MA in Development Economics, BA (Hons) in Economics, BA (Economics and Industrial Sociology)

Appointed: 1 April 2014

Prof Viruly is a property economist with over 20 years’ experience in the analysis of the South African property market. He lectures in urban economics, property development and portfolio management at the University of Cape Town’s School of Construction Economics and Management. Prof Viruly held the position of chief economist at the Chamber of Mines and was head of research at JHI Professional Services, and more recently Head of School of the School of Construction Economics and Management at the University of Witwatersrand. He is presently an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Abel Mawela

Mr Abel Mawela


BCom (Hons), MBA
Mr Mawela is the Managing Director of Molodi Consulting Services, and has held various leadership and financial oversight roles in private and public sector organisations. A member of the Chartered Institute of Government Finance, Audit and Risk Officers and the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa, Mr Mawela has extensive experience in corporate governance, including board memberships and audit, risk and finance committee roles in organisations as diverse as the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC), the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA), the Automotive Industry Development Corporation (AIDC) and The South African Board for Sheriffs, among others.

George Cavaleros

Mr George Cavaleros


BAccSc, MCom (Applied Risk Management)
Mr Cavaleros retired from Deloitte & Touche after a 30-year career with the firm and is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. Motivated by an interest in investments, governance, risk management, as well as internal audit and controls, George obtained membership of the US-based CFA Institute, the Institute of Internal Auditors and the South African Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
Previous board roles include Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee of a Cape Town-based medical scheme, and Deputy Chairman of the University of Cape Town audit committee.

Dawid Wandrag

Mr Dawid Wandrag


Dawid Wandrag is a non-executive director of Accelerate Property Fund.

Retired after a 35-year career in the South African banking sector, David was part of the team tasked with establishing RMB Private Bank. He also held leadership positions in many of South Africa’s leading financial institutions during his career. 

His special interest in real estate, new developments and redevelopments saw him gain experience in financial modelling and analysis, development and construction, funding and debt structures. Leadership roles include Head of Credit Risk, Valuations, Legal Risk and Recoveries at Rand Merchant Bank, Chairman of the Group Wealth Committee, and the Group Property Finance Credit Committee at the Firstrand Group, among others. 

He holds a B.Comm (Accounting) and myriad qualifications in banking and accounting. 

Accelerate Europe

Mr Patrick Kirwan

Managing director (Europe)

Mr Kirwan has been living and working in emerging markets for more than 21 years. He is a pioneer of property development in Central and Eastern Europe, responsible for delivering the first modern shopping centres (Duna Plaza, Sopron Plaza and Nyír Plaza) and the first modern logistic buildings (Geodis Hungary and Romania) in the region and HQ office buildings (GE and Unilever) and five star hotels (Le Meridien, Budapest).
He has developed, invested in, acquired and sold properties with a value of over EUR1 billion in CEE and USD1.3 billion in sub-Saharan Africa. He is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He graduated from the University of Heriott Watt, Edinburgh.

Mr Charlie Bellhouse

Managing director (Europe)

Mr Bellhouse has over 15 years’ experience in commercial real estate, working predominantly in Central European markets and specialising in structuring investment transactions, joint ventures and asset management platforms.
To date, he has worked on over EUR2 billion of commercial investment transactions across Europe including close to EUR1 billion in the specialist net lease sector, working with large multinational corporates and net lease specialist investors.
Mr Bellhouse holds a Masters degree from the CASS Business School and is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Mr Nicholas Aplas

Managing director (Europe)

Mr Aplas is a qualified chartered accountant with 20 years’ experience in corporate finance, capital management and business change having worked across audit, management consulting, and financial services.
He has been chief operating officer at IKOS – a European investment management company, and Old Mutual, where he worked in corporate finance. Select projects include the group’s GBP4 billion hostile, cross-border takeover of Skandia, and setting up and running the finance function for the Asia-Pacific business unit. He is also a member of the black economic empowerment transaction.

Giving back to our communities is an integral part of our business. As a company, we provide resources, both financial and non-financial, to educational initiatives with the aim of stimulating and supporting social economic upliftment in these areas. In keeping with this focus, Accelerate identified four schools with the aim of establishing a supportive relationship and upgrading infrastructure so that learners can focus on their academic careers.

The schools are Muzomuhle Primary School, Diepsloot West, Diepsloot Secondary no 3 and Diepsloot Combined School, all of which are located within Diepsloot, a community within our Fourways node.

Muzomuhle Primary School: A primary school with a high enrolment rate and more than 2 000 pupils. The school predominantly comprises prefabricated buildings in good condition, but it requires additional space. Accelerate funded the construction of a new classroom provided 90 new chairs and 30 new primary school desks.

Diepsloot Secondary No 3: The entire school is made up of prefabricated structures in good condition. To give the hard‑working grade 12 learners a memorable send-off experience for the second year running, Accelerate arranged a matric farewell dance. Our team organised invitations, venue hire and decoration, a DJ, and food. It was truly a touching experience where Accelerate staff were able to get involved.

Diepsloot Combined School: A primary and secondary school comprised of formal and prefabricated buildings. During the year, Accelerate revamped the grade R classroom and play area. We patched the walls and painted and supplied the play area with shade cloth as there was no shade at all in the area.

Over and above these initiatives, we wish to provide bursaries for two to three candidates from Diepsloot for their university studies on an annual basis. In addition we provide bursary funding to property studies students. The committee members and directors will mentor the bursary recipients and monitor their progress throughout their studies.

Confirmation

The committee’s mandate also encompasses monitoring ethical standards within the company. The committee confirms that no material breaches took place. The committee confirms that it complied with its terms of reference for the year under review.

Social investment and philanthropic areas unpacked

Employees
We aim to make a difference in the lives of employees and their families, providing them with income, educational opportunities and skills development. We believe that employees are core to our success, and that providing an environment in which they can reach their full potential benefits them and the company.

Education
Accelerate recognises that an investment in education is an investment in the future of South Africa, one that yields sustainable returns and has the potential to create meaningful value for generations to come. Our aim is to build sustainable relationships with education facilities in the areas in which we operate, and work to help them provide top‑quality education.

Social development
Accelerate believes that investment into social entrepreneurship, particularly among women and youth, has far‑reaching benefits for the country, the communities in which we operate, and the company itself. We aim to uplift individuals who have the potential and the desire to make a difference in their own environment. We do this through job creation, training programmes, and skills development within local communities.

Environment
Accelerate recognises that our services could harm the environment if not well planned and executed. As such, we aim to exercise all aspects of our operations with utmost respect for environmental sustainability, adhering to all required environmental considerations.

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