We combine diverse individuals with a wide range of expertise spanning technical, finance and business disciplines, various industry backgrounds, and most importantly diverse cultural backgrounds and personalities. Our values emphasise internal promotion, respect, transparency, team work above individual performance. We are proud of our team, of the way our individual strengths combine, where together, we are bigger than the sum of our individualities.
Chief Operating Officer
Iona has 18 years of finance and fund operations experience, and worked closely with Karim for 14 years. At La Mancha Iona is in charge of and oversees all middle and back office functions as well as compliance.
Prior to joining, from 2018 to 2020, Iona was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for Commodities World Capital, a hedge fund manager trading options and futures across the commodity index.
From 2012 to 2018 Iona was the Chief Operating Officer of Digital World Capital LLP, an alternative asset manager specialised in the L/S equity and credit investment in Telecom & Media where she worked alongside Karim. In addition to her role at DWC LLP, Iona was also CEO at World Capital Services, the fund’s operations platform of the group, which serviced four fund managers and a number of managed accounts, with >$650m of combined AuM at peak.
Prior to Digital World Capital, Iona joined the Orascom Telecom and Wind Telecom group in 2004, and became the CFO of Orascom Telecom Services Europe, the company’s corporate finance arm in 2008, where she was overseeing administration, HR, accounting, reporting and tax.
Iona holds a BA Hons in Modern Languages from the University of Strathclyde. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
Benita de Villiers
Benita has 5 years of auditing and accounting experience, gained with international accounting and audit firms. She joined La Mancha in 2020 and is responsible for accounting, budget control, reporting and audit process management.
Prior to La Mancha Benita was a relationship manager and a fund accountant at Intertrust Luxembourg. At Intertrust, Benita assisted European private equity clients in the launch, accounting and reporting and liquidation of funds in the real estate sector.
Previously, Benita was an Audit Senior at BDO Cape Town, in charge of audit fieldwork for clients in various industry. Benita started her career with Grant Thornton Cape Town in 2016 as an Audit trainee accountant.
Benita has a Bachelor’s in Business Management Science as well as a Bachelor’s in Accounting. She is a registered Chartered Accountant (SA). She is fluent in both English and Afrikaans.
Xavier has 4 years of auditing and accounting experience, gained with international accounting and audit firms. He joined La Mancha in 2021 and is responsible for daily book-keeping, overseeing monthly and quarterly investor reporting, financial reconciliations, producing financial statements, and assisting with audit support.
Prior to La Mancha Xavier was a fund accountant at Alter Domus Luxembourg. At Alter Domus, Xavier assisted European private equity clients in accounting and reporting of funds in the IT sector.
Previously, Xavier was an Audit Senior at BDO Cape Town, in charge of audit fieldwork for clients in various industries. Xavier started his career with Grant Thornton Cape Town in 2017 as an Audit trainee accountant.
Xavier has a Bachelor of Commerce Accounting from the University of the Western Cape. He is fluent in both English and Afrikaans.
Accounting & Reporting
Iryna has over 9 years of finance and administration experience. She joined La Mancha in 2020 and is involved with the day to day booking of cash movements, assisting with the month closing processes, accounts payable/receivable, bank reconciliation and other daily administrative tasks.
Prior to La Mancha Iryna worked in Job Today as a Financial and Administrative Assistant where she was responsible for following up on the aged debtors, day to day bookkeeping and supporting in month end processes. Prior to Job Today, Iryna held a variety of roles including office management, data analytics and PR.
Iryna has a degree in Applied Statistics in Economy from Dnipropetrovsk State University and is fluent in English, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and French.
Tax & Legal Counsel
Katarzyna has over 5 years of experience in tax and corporate law. She joined La Mancha in 2020 and is responsible for international tax structuring & reporting as well as advising on legal matters concerning investments.
Before La Mancha, Katarzyna was an Associate at GSK, where her practice focused on international tax law. During her tenure, she was seconded to the international commercial arbitration department. Prior to GSK, she worked at PwC Luxembourg where she advised regulated investment fund clients. She began her career within the M&A department of Deloitte, Warsaw and completed a traineeship at European Parliament in Brussels prior to this.
Katarzyna graduated with an LL.M. in International and European Tax Law, and an LL.B. from Maastricht University and is finishing her second LL.M. in European Private Law from the University of Luxembourg. She completed the “Cours Complémentaires en Droit Luxembourgeois”.
Managing Director - Chief Executive Officer
Karim worked closely with Mr Sawiris for over 20 years, initially in telecoms, then as a fund manager and finally by joining La Mancha in 2018 as CFO, becoming CEO in 2019.
From 2011 to 2017, Karim was CEO of Digital World Capital LLP, an alternative asset manager specialised in TMT. At DWC Karim managed the Cross Comms fund, a long/short equity & credit investing in Telecom & Media securities, and advised clients on special situation investments.
From 2001 to 2011, Karim was a member of the Executive and Investment Committees of Wind Telecom and Orascom Telecom, where he was in charge of Corporate Finance. During this tenure, he raised US$68bn in debt and equity, and closed US$67bn in M&A transactions. In particular, Karim led the 2011 US$25bn merger with VEON, was one of the two executives responsible for the 2005 US$17bn Wind Telecom Leveraged Buy-Out and managed the 2009 EUR3.8bn debt restructuring of Wind Hellas in Greece. Karim joined Orascom Telecom in 2000, working on the acquisition of greenfield mobile licenses.
From 1995 to 1999, Karim was CEO of a Lebanese IT firm. He started his career in 1994 as a financial analyst in a Lebanese media group.
Karim currently serves on the Boards of Golden Star and Altus Strategies. He holds a Master’s in Management from the University of Paris IX. He is fluent in English, Arabic, and French.
Managing Director – Strategy & Investments
Vincent is a seasoned executive, with 30 years of corporate finance, business development and M&A experience in the mining, telecom, and energy sectors.
Vincent began working with Mr Sawiris in 2012 when he identified the opportunity to buy La Mancha and joined the company as Head of Strategy & Business Development. Between 2013 and 2015, he led La Mancha’s portfolio restructuring and contributed to the enhancement of its mines performance in Australia and Africa. Vincent identified and executed the combinations with Evolution and Endeavour, which positioned La Mancha as a leading private investor in the gold mining sector. From 2016 to 2019, Vincent was CFO and EVP Corporate Development at Endeavour where he reshaped the strategy, improved the mine portfolio quality, and enhanced the balance sheet to fund the organic growth. Endeavour’s market capitalization was quadrupled by the time he left at the end of 2019. In early 2020, he re-joined La Mancha to oversee investments and fund raising.
Previously, Vincent was at Orange (2006-2012) where he served as EVP M&A. He led the development of the group’s footprint in Africa and Europe and formed strategic partnerships with key European telecoms players. Prior to this, Vincent held various finance positions including with Orano (ex-Areva), Bull Information Systems and PwC. Vincent holds a MSc from Kedge Business School and is a Chartered Accountant.
Managing Director - Technical Services
Gérard de Hert
Gérard is an experienced mining executive with over 24 years in the industry. Beyond being a seasoned geologist, Gerard has considerable experience spanning from greenfield exploration to mining operations.
Gérard joined La Mancha in 2020 to formalise and oversee technical due diligence processes, and support portfolio company from a technical and geological expertise standpoint. From 2012 to 2020 Gérard was Senior Vice President of Exploration for Endeavour Mining where he contributed to the transformation of the company from a junior single asset producer to a >1mozpa multi-asset intermediate miner with 6 mines and 2 projects through his involvement in exploration and support of M&A processes.
Prior to Endeavour, Gérard was General Manager at Vale-ARM from 2010 to 2012, Chief Geologist at Teal Mining from 2007 to 2009, Regional Exploration Geologist at IAMGOLD Corporation in 2006 and Chief Mine Geologist at AngloGold Ashanti from 2002 to 2006 at the Sadiola gold mine. Gérard began his career at Randgold Resources Limited in 1997 where he worked on the Morila gold mines and Syama gold mines.
Gérard holds an MSc in Geology from the University of Louvain (Belgium) and an MSc in mineral exploration from the University of Leicester (UK). He is fluent in French and English.
Senior Mine Planning Engineer
Oscar has over 16 years of hands on experience in world class open pit and underground mining operations with multiple commodity exposures across Africa, Latin America, Europe and South Asia. Oscar joined La Mancha in 2021 to expand technical diligence capabilities, bringing a wealth of mine planning and engineering experience.
From mid-2020 to 2021, Oscar was Project Director at Raffaella Resources, a Tin and Tungsten project in Spain which he successfully advanced to Feasibility Stage. From 2017 to mid 2020, he was Senior Advisor for Mine Planning at the Guelb Moghrein Copper Mine in Mauritania for First Quantum Minerals. Prior to these senior management roles, Oscar gained technical experience in silver, lead & zinc at the El Escobal UG mine in Guatemala. His experience in gold came from the Masbate Gold Mine in the Philippines for B2Gold and his copper experience was gained with Rio Tinto in Spain and for Penoles in Mexico. Oscar started his career as a Mine Engineer at the Orcopampa UG Gold and Silver Mine in Peru.
Oscar holds an Executive Program in General Management (Spain), a Diploma in Economic Analysis and Investment Decision Methods in Mining (Colorado School of Mines) and a MEng Mining Engineering, (Madrid School of Mines).
Jack has 11 years of Geology and mining experience. He joined La Mancha in January 2021 and is responsible for assessing Geology and Mineral Resource Models.
Prior to La Mancha Jack was a Consultant Geologist for SLR Consulting (formerly RPA), where he performed countless due diligence reviews and audits on various projects across the world, and generated NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resources and Technical Reports for several clients.
Jack has previously worked for Micromine, a major Geological Software company, developing in depth knowledge of advanced resource modelling.
Jack’s resource skills are backed by solid geological exploration experience across Africa, the Middle East, and Australia, working for world class mining companies such as Barrick Gold Corporation.
Jack is an expert in manipulating geological models and has recently obtained a Citation in Geostatistics with the University of Alberta.
Jack holds a Master of Geology (MGeol) degree from the University of Southampton, UK, and is a Chartered Geologist (CGeol) with the Geological Society of London, as well as a registered professional geologist (EurGeol) with the European Federation of Geologists.
Valuation, Diligence & Mining
Andy has 9 years of mining experience, ranging from day to day production operations to investments reviews. At La Mancha Andy is primarily involved in reviewing investment opportunities, managing technical due diligence processes to incorporate technical and financial findings into financial models for individual assets, corporate models and mergers analysis.
Before joining La Mancha Andy worked for ArcelorMittal, in a business analysis and capital allocation review capacity for the Mining Executive Team. Andy’s principal responsibilities involved reviewing capital projects across ArcelorMittal’s global mining portfolio of 14 operating Iron Ore and Met Coal operations, with a specific focus on the Canadian, Brazilian, Liberian and US assets.
Prior to this he worked for a number of years as a Mining Engineer, predominantly for Glencore in their open pit and underground copper operations in the DRC, but also at smaller UK based operations.
Andy holds a Master’s in Metals and Energy Finance from Imperial College London, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mining Engineering from the Camborne School of Mines (University of Exeter).
Simon El Beze
Simon has over 8 years of mining and finance experience. He joined La Mancha in 2018 and is responsible for structuring and executing investment, financing and exit transactions. As part of the investment team, Simon also supports ongoing assessment of existing and new investments, and portfolio companies developments projects.
Before joining La Mancha, Simon worked at BMO and Société Générale practicing M&A advisory in their respective natural resource teams, advising mining and oil and gas companies on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions. Notable transactions Simon was involved with include: CITIC investment of C$723m in Ivanhoe, the restructuring of Glencore’s assets in DRC ($6.1bn), the buyout of Glencore’s minority partner in DRC for $960m, the sale of Nyrstar’s mining assets in the Americas for $185m, Endeavour mining C$144m equity raise and the spinoff of Lundin Petroleum international assets (C$440m). Prior to his banking days, Simon was a Research Analyst with Wood Mackenzie in their copper research team.
Simon holds a Master’s in Metals and Energy Finance from Imperial College London and a Master’s in Engineering from Centrale Supélec. Simon is also fluent in French.
Valuation & Diligence
Ben has 6 years of experience in metals and mining. He joined La Mancha in 2020 and is primarily involved in reviewing new investment opportunities, supporting diligence processes, building financial models and valuations. Ben also supports ongoing assessment of La Mancha’s existing investments and portfolio companies development projects.
Prior to joining La Mancha, Ben worked as an investment analyst for private equity group CD Capital. He was responsible for reviewing new opportunities, diligence processes, valuations and financial modelling across a range of commodities including, gold, copper and PGM’s. Bens role also involved continuing assessment of CD Capital’s portfolio of development stage projects across the Americas, Europe and Africa.
Ben previously worked as a base and precious metals broker for a market making member of the London Metal Exchange, and also successfully ran an LME warrant trading book. Ben has also spent time working for MRI trading, a leading swiss based metals concentrate trader.
Ben holds a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Newcastle and a Master’s in Metals and Energy Finance from Imperial College London.
Valuation & Diligence
Ahmed has 12 years of experience in emerging markets, public policies, mining and telecoms. Ahmed joined La Mancha in 2019, initially to handle greenfield projects in Africa, then moving to the investment team to participate in investment reviews, and support diligence processes.
Prior to La Mancha, Ahmed was Project Director for Orascom Telecom, Media, and Technology at the time of the company’s transformation into an investment group. At OTMT, Ahmed took part in different M&A transactions in the agriculture and financial sectors.
Ahmed joined La Mancha for the first time in 2013 as Deputy General Manager of La Mancha Sudan, to manage the company’s presence in country and support the mines’ development. During his tenure he played a pivotal role in the completion of La Mancha sale of its shares in Ariab Mining in 2015.
Prior to joining La Mancha, Ahmed was an electrical and site engineer in several cement factories in Egypt including El-Arabia and Suez Cement. Ahmed completed an MBA at Maastricht School of Management and he holds a Bachelor’s degree in electrical power engineering. Ahmed is fluent in Arabic and English.
Michael is a corporate lawyer with expertise in M&A, capital markets and litigation, gained across EMEA, the US and Australia. He has been involved in M&A transactions totaling over $16bn, debt and equity capital raises totaling over $9bn, and numerous disputes from inception through to resolution.
Michael joined La Mancha as General Counsel in 2021 to support its investment team to negotiate, structure, and execute investments and divestments. Michael is also responsible for overseeing the group’s legal, regulatory and governance activities.
Prior to joining La Mancha, Michael was a lead in-house deal lawyer at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, one of the world’s largest energy and infrastructure investors. Prior to ADNOC, Michael was a corporate lawyer at Latham & Watkins and then WilmerHale in New York City specializing in M&A and capital markets transactions. Prior to New York, Michael worked as a commercial litigator at leading Australian law firm, Minter Ellison, in Sydney.
Michael was admitted as a legal practitioner in Queensland, Australia in 2005 and as an attorney-at-law in New York, USA in 2010. He holds a Master of Laws with Distinction from The Australian National University, where he graduated first in his class, and bachelor’s degrees in Arts, Business and Law.
Michał is responsible for the construction and development of La Mancha’s database systems in support of investment, middle and back office activities. He worked closely with Karim and Iona for 4 years at Digital World Capital.
Prior to La Mancha, Michał was Technology Manager at PwC, where he assisted international banking clients in cloud migration processes. From 2014 to 2018, Michał was Chief Technology Officer at Digital World Capital designing and implementing a suite of front to back office systems to support investment, risk management and back-office activities.
Prior to DWC, Michał was Senior Analyst Programmer at Citigroup in Dublin. Previously he held similar roles developing software for financial services clients such as CITCO Fund Services and Bank of Ireland.
Michał has a Master’s in Computer Engineering from Koszlin University of Technology and is fluent in Polish and English.