La Mancha Holding is managed by an experienced board blending years of experience in business and finance, mining, compliance and regulatory oversight aspects. The board is chaired by Naguib Sawiris, a renowned investor in mining, telecoms and real estate. Mr. Sawiris gives a strong entrepreneurial impulse and considerable business acumen to the whole organization. The Board is assisted by senior advisors with considerable experience in mining, who meet on an ad hoc basis to discuss investment opportunity and mining sector related topics. Some of the advisors also serve on the board of portfolio companies as La Mancha nominees.
Naguib is one of the most reputed industrialist and entrepreneur in Africa and Middle East and perpetuates the Sawiris dynasty founded by his father Onsi Sawiris. Naguib joined the Orascom family group in 1979. Since then, he continuously contributed to the growth of the company into what it is today – one of Egypt’s largest conglomerates. In 1998, Naguib founded Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) and was the man behind Egypt’s first internet service provider and its first mobile operator Mobinil. He developed the group and its parent company, Wind Telecom internationally, launching, acquiring and managing telecom operations in 28 countries, including Italy and Canada, to eventually create the 6th largest mobile operator by subscribers worldwide, through the merger of Wind Telecom VEON in 2011.
Naguib is the Chairman of La Mancha Holding, which he took private in 2012 with the vision to bring operational efficiency and ambition to a sector dominated by smaller junior companies. In 2015, he took the strategic decision to vend-in La Mancha’s key assets for publicly stakes into two regionally focused junior miners, Evolution Mining and Endeavour Mining, effectively turning La Mancha into the largest shareholder in each of the two companies. Over the next few years, Naguib used his board positions and La Mancha’s strategic influence and capital to grow each of the two companies into multi-billion global mid-tier businesses operating at some of the lowest all-in sustaining costs within the industry. In 2018, Naguib decided to expand La Mancha’s team and portfolio into new investments in the gold sector.
Naguib holds a diploma of Mechanical Engineering with a Masters in Technical Administration from the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH). He is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, industry awards and civic honors, including the Honor of Commander of the “Legion d’Honneur” (the highest award given by the French Republic for outstanding services rendered to France). In July 2011 Mr. Sawiris was awarded the Honor of Commander of the Order of the “Stella della Solidarietà Italiana” (Star of Italian Solidarity) for his outstanding contribution to the Italian economy.
Jim Askew is a mining engineer with more than 45 years of international and technical expertise. He served as Chief Executive Officer and board member for a number of publicly listed mining companies, and brings a wealth of experience in the design, construction and operations of both open pit and underground mines. Jim has been participating into La Mancha’s story since 2015, as a Board member of Evolution Mining and Endeavour Mining
Jim is currently Chairman of Syrah Resources and a non-executive director of Evolution Mining and Endeavour Mining. He previously served on the boards of multiple natural resource public companies, including as non-Executive Chairman at OceanaGold Corp., non-Executive Chairman at PMI Gold Corp., Chairman at Sino Gold Mining Ltd., Chief Executive Officer and Director at Rayrock Resources, Inc., Managing Director at Black Range Minerals Ltd., Managing Director at Golden Star Resources, Managing Director at Golden Shamrock Mines Ltd., and non-Executive Director at Ausdrill Ltd., Yamana Gold Inc. and West Witwatersrand Gold Mines Ltd.
Jim’s commodity exposure has primarily been in precious metals, base metals, and uranium developments and operations, across all major continents. Having served as a board member of over 30 publicly listed natural resource companies internationally, he has broad experience of the issues relating to publicly listed exploration and mining companies.
Jim is a fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a Member of Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., and Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He received his undergraduate degree and a graduate degree from the University of Melbourne. In 2018, he was awarded the Presidents Medal of the Aus. I.M.M. for services to the global mining industry.
Ian has over 45 years of experience in the global natural resources industry. This has covered exploration programmes, operational management, capital projects, strategy, business development and corporate leadership in global businesses, across 5 continents, with multiple commodity exposure.
Over the past 11 years Ian served on the boards of Orica Ltd, Ivanhoe Mines, Endeavour Mining, Hummingbird Resources, Petmin Ltd and was Chairman of the Blackrock World Mining Trust. He is currently Non-Executive Chair of Polymetal International plc, the FTSE100 Russian based precious metals producer and is also a Non-Executive Director of BHP.
Ian began his mining career as a geologist in 1975. He joined Anglo American in 1979, was promoted to Technical Director of the gold and uranium division in 1996. In 1998, he became Executive Director – Business Development and Executive Officer, African International Operations of AngloGold. He then joined Gold Fields as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer in 1999, and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in 2002. In 2008, he joined Anglo American as Chief Executive Officer of Anglo Coal where he was responsible for international operations until he retired in 2009.
In addition, in 2006, Ian was a Co-Founder and is now a Director of the Leadership for Conservation in Africa (LCA), a not for profit organisation that promotes sustainable development opportunities, linked to conservation efforts, for people across Africa.
Ian graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Geology from London University, supplemented 6 years later by an MSc in Mineral Production Management from the Royal School of Mines, at Imperial College. He also participated in the Management Development Programme through the University of South Africa and The Advanced Management at Templeton College Oxford.
Ms Wafaa Lotaief
Ms. Wafaa Lotaief is the President of Gemini Holding. She has worked with the Orascom group for more than three decades. Since November 2011, she has been appointed as President of Gemini Holding, a global asset management company, at large, serving the group to build, support, and control a diverse group of assets, as a thriving business enterprise.
Before her current position, she served in various roles in the Orascom Group of companies since 1983. Over the span of these 30 years, she has had extensive experience in management and corporate services.
From June 1999 until November 2011, she was the Group Human Resources & Administration Officer of Orascom Telecom Holding (0TH). In this Executive Committee level role, she has actively participated in and extensively contributed to the start-up, development and growth of 0TH to be the leading regional telecom player serving over l00 million subscribers through over eight countries in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Canada. Her areas of responsibilities encompassed the global human resources and corporate services domains of the Group in addition to supporting its expansion through her continual participation and support to the Investment Committee’s strategy formulation and implementation.
Hassan Abdou is an experienced CEO, investor, entrepreneur and operations manager with 30 years of work experience. He first joined the Sawiris group in 2003 as Chief Executive Officer of Weather Investments II and Gemini Technologies overseeing a diversified portfolio of investments. In 2005, he led the buy side team and was instrumental in the largest LBO in European history when Weather Investments bought Wind Telecom of Italy for a total amount exceeding 17 billion Euros. Wind Telecom was operationally and financially restructured and sold as part of a larger telecom asset in 2010. In his tenure with the group he ran several major acquisitions and exits for the family. In 2017, Mr. Abdou rejoined the Sawiris group in the position of Executive Chairman of the family office Gemini Holdings.
In 2011, Mr. Abdou was appointed to the Advisory Board for the Business School of the American University in Cairo and is on the management and advisory boards of various companies around the world. From 2011 until 2017 he was an independent, private equity investor doing various deals in the Middle East, Europe and the US. He began his career in 1991 in project management with ExxonMobil in the US and Europe and later as management consultant in the Boston Consulting Group’s New York office. He later went on to be Fund Manager of the Horus Private Equity Fund in Egypt and Chief Investment Officer of EFG-Hermes Private Equity.
Hassan received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Wharton.
Fabio Ceccarelli is serving as CFO of Orascom TMT Investments Sarl the Holding Company of Orascom group. He joined the Orascom Group since 2005. OTMTI Group is primarily involved in GSM, Media and Technology and Cable operations, having recently expanded into new segments such as Financial Services, Real Estate, Energy, Agro-industries and Entertainment and Logistics.
He has several years of experience in finance with roles of responsibility in Luxembourg and in Italy where he developed competences in Corporate Finance, Treasury, Accounting, Tax and IT. He is/has been CFO in operating companies (ICT, technological plants and services), chairman of DADA (2017) – an SME Italian listed company – and Board member in several holding of participations, as well.
His previous experience includes ENEL SPA (1990-2003) with different roles and the participation to the privatization process of the group and as CFO in the launch of a successful newco specialized in beyond the meter services. He began his professional experience with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in 1987. In 2003 he joined WIND Telecomunicazioni Spa with responsibility of Treasury Department., directly taking part to the acquisition of WIND by Sawiris/Orascom Group of 2005.
Fabio holds a master’s degree in Macroeconomics and Internal Audit and speaks all major European languages (IT, FR, EN, GE).
He is currently Board Member in several investing companies whose business is ranging from ICT industries, gold mines industries, real estate and other, and member of the Audit Committee as well.
François Bourgon has served as an independent director for more than seventeen years on the boards of various Luxembourg regulated and unregulated investment vehicles with promoters ranging from Private Equity firms to quoted multinational companies.
He also serves on the Luxembourg boards of Orascom Group’s SPVs since 2008. His previous experience includes Union Bancaire Privée Luxembourg, a swiss wealth management bank, and Deloitte Luxembourg as manager within the corporate services department.
Fourteen years ago, he founded Adomex, a regulated domiciliation agent and family office, and is acting as its CSSF agreed managing director.
François holds a master’s degree in law from Strasbourg University.
Board Member & Treasurer
Riccardo Marsili is Group Treasurer at La Mancha and Corporate Finance Director at ORASCOM TMTI Sarl since June 2018.
From 2011 to 2018 he was Corporate Finance Director of Wind Acquisition Finance S.A. He served as Treasury Manager at Wind Telecom S.p.A. from 2008 to 2011. At Wind Telecomunicazioni S.p.A. (telecom company, currently “WindTre S.p.A”) he was responsible for the Capital Markets department from 2006 to 2008 and for the Treasury department from 2005 to 2006.
He holds a Business and Administration degree from “La Sapienza” University of Rome. He is fluent in Italian and English.
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.