SAVCA ESG Masterclass 2024

Getting to know our ESG Masterclass Series Facilitators

In light of our upcoming ESG Masterclass Series, we're taking a short walk in the shoes of this year's facilitators to get their take on the importance of ESG and to get a feel for what this year's delegates can expect from the course.

Read what they had to say below.


Simon’s area of expertise is on climate change where he has supported corporates and financial institutions integrate climate change into business processes. For the last 5 years, he has primarily worked with private equity and DFIs across emerging markets address the risks and opportunities of climate change.

1Why ESG is important, especially as it relates to private equity and the South African economy? Specifically in the context of climate change, South Africa is facing physical risks (from changing weather patterns, for example) and transition risks (from the carbon tax, for example). But there are also opportunities, such as investing in renewable energy or electric vehicles. This is why it’s important for fund managers in South Africa to be proactive on this topic.

2. Why are you passionate about learning and development? With 20 years of experience and having observed a massive shift in how ESG is perceived, I am excited to build capacity of people looking for knowledge on these topics.

3. What can delegates look forward to in this series and what are you most excited about as it relates to the training? A combination of practical experience working with private equity fund managers in developing markets with insight into what leading DFIs in Europe are expecting.


Pravir is a corporate tax specialist who started his career at KPMG South Africa more than 10 years ago. One of his specialities is in the private equity space, whereby he assists clients in the industry from a governance perspective to prepare tax certificates for their investors as well as assisting with performing tax diagnostic across portfolio companies with a view of identifying both risks and opportunities from a tax perspective and applying those learnings on a portfolio basis. I have also assisted clients with the performing of tax due diligences as well. One of his key accomplishments, which is linked to the ESG agenda (specifically the Social Pillar), is his involvement in developing the KPMG Learnership Incentive Tax Tool which aims to assist clients in claiming the learnership allowance (training allowance) by bridging the gap between the HR and finance departments within a company.

1.  Why ESG is important, especially as it relates to private equity and the South African economy? The underlying principles of ESG and what it stands for can lead to both financial returns and positive impacts on society. If done effectively and consistently the impact can be massive on society. As players in the private equity industry, we can assist in ensuring that ESG principles are considered and implemented consistently across the board having a compounding effect on society and considering learnings as we progress from one investment to the next.

2. Why are you passionate about learning and development?
My dad was a high school teacher who taught subjects related to natural sciences. He strongly believed in the value of education and the change that it could make. I strongly also believe that education is a key differentiator and can make such a big difference in society. By effectively empowering people with knowledge, you firstly equip individuals with the understanding of the issue at hand and secondly you get their buy in, so they go out and be ambassadors of the knowledge you are trying to share.

3. What can delegates look forward to in this series and what are you most excited about as it relates to the training? In my view, the exciting part of this series is the knowledge sharing and demystifying of the ESG concept, which hopefully has the effect of helping the industry, to have a true impact on society. By helping to educate the wider industry this could lead to more opportunities where the underlying principles of ESG can be incorporated into everything that we do.


Martine has worked across the not-for-profit, government and corporate sectors. She has experience working in various international markets including Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and South Africa. Martine is currently the Global Financial Services ESG Executive. Reporting to the Global Head of Financial Services, Martine has been responsible for the development and execution of KPMG’s Go-To-Market strategy for ESG in Banking, Insurance, Private Equity and Asset Management.

1. Why ESG is important, especially as it relates to private equity and the South African economy? Private Equity firms can take a longer-term view than other industries and can really act as a driver for E-S and G factors. Unlike other cycles (like the political cycle) which is typically 4 years or shorter, PE firms can be much more future focused, which can help to unlock long-term value. For example, PE funding can give businesses the capital to try new or innovative approaches, hire new talent, or develop infrastructure assets to name a few. All of these contribute to E-S and G outcomes.

2. Why are you passionate about learning and development? I’m always curious to learn new things, especially in a space like ESG which is constantly evolving. There are so many passionate people in this space, and so many avenues to get different perspectives, including social media and print. We really live in the information age. I’ve done courses in sustainability through Hong Kong University, Cambridge, Wharton and now WBCSD, and they are all completely unique and reflect the considerations of the markets in which they originated. At KPMG we say that our consultants need to have a ‘growth mindset’ and it’s something I think about every day. One can never be bored if one is constantly curious.

3. What can delegates look forward to in this series and what are you most excited about as it relates to the training? This space is evolving so no two lectures on the same topic will be the same from one quarter to the next. The way we think about, contextualise topics or the examples we use will be fresh and exciting as the ESG space evolves at pace. ESG also provides a new lens through which to view a business function – tax, strategy, operations – they all require an ESG upgrade, which can help to innovate whilst driving value for the business.