Our Expertise

Unparalleled expertise in the design and implementation of industrial policies, economic and business strategy and major infrastructure programmes.

Alec Erwin

Chairman 

Alec Erwin has held senior positions in the South African government and labour and political organisations as well as in international trade institutions. He served as Minister of Public Enterprises (2004 - 2008), Minister of Trade and Industry (1996 - 2004) and Deputy Minister of Finance (1994 - 1996). As minister of Trade and Industry, Alec has architected South Africa’s current industrial development policy, which saw the implementation of the Industrial Development Zones (IDZ) and the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) to promote national economic growth and exports, in order to attract targeted foreign and domestic investments.

Alec was also previously the General Secretary of the Federation of South African Trade Unions (1979 – 1983) and the Education Officer for the Congress of South African Trade Unions (1986 – 1988). Alec was integral in creating the Institute for Industrial Education and later became an acting director for the Trade Union Advisory. 

He was a member of the African National Congress National Executive from 1994 to 2007. 

Alec was President of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (1996 – 2000). He has served on two WTO Disputes Settlement Panels, chairing the one Panel. These panels have dealt with the link between feed in tariffs and local content in the Ontario electricity system and plain packaging measures for cigarettes in Australia. He has also served as an advisor for the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. 

Alec is also a highly regarded academician, and has served in an advisory and leadership capacity on a wide variety of boards. He holds an Honours degree in Economics from the University of Natal where he was a lecturer in the Economics Department. He has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is currently an Honorary Professor at the University of the Western Cape. 

In 2011, Erwin was appointed by the President of Togo to serve on the Presidential Investment Advisory Council in Togo. He has previously served on the Honorary International Investment Council, appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria. 

Shireen Cosson

Chief Executive Officer 

Shireen is the Chief Executive Officer of Ubu Investment Holdings. She has worked in both the public and private sectors (IT, financial, chemical and transport) and has experience in funding applications, human capital, stakeholder engagement and general management with oversight of internal audit, knowledge management, governance, risk and compliance and administration.

She has a keen interest in transforming organisations, problem-solving, realising value from analytics and the building of efficiencies in processes. Shireen holds a BA from the University of Natal (1990) and an MBA from the University of Pretoria (2009). 

Cornelius Groesbeek

Telecommunications, Aerospace, Energy

Cornelis Groesbeek has led numerous high profile public and private projects in the telecommunications, aerospace, energy and defence sectors across the continent. He served as a Director on the Broadband Infraco and Denel Aerostructure boards.

He is credited with the establishment of Broadband Infraco State Owned Company and the completion of the 14800km WACS high capacity marine cable system linking 11 countries from South Africa to the United Kingdom along the west coast of Africa. 

Cornelius authored the South African Aerospace Sector Development Plan for South Africa and launched LinkAfrica, an organisation which builds and operates fibre optic networks using innovative deployment methods on various modes of infrastructure and GEI Synfuel, the first African Advanced Biofuel Project. 

He has originated over 12 solar energy projects in West and East Africa. He holds an Engineering Degree in Aeronautics and an MBA in Technology Management. 

Nico Kriek

Spatial Planning and Development 

With over 40 years of experience in key developments across the continent, Nico Kriek is a leading strategic urban planning and design expert. In South Africa he led and managed large scale projects including the Gauteng Spatial Development Framework (1998) and various revisions, the 2015 Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Spatial Development Framework and the 2008 Spatial Development Framework for Tshwane Metropolitan Authority.

He was the principal planner on major development projects such as the Gautrain Rapid Rail Development and includes work on several spatial development framework projects in and around Johannesburg including the Eastern Gateway Area, the Milpark Innovation Hub and the Diepsloot Precinct. 

Between 2008 and 2013 he was principal planner for the urban revival initiative in Port Harcourt, Nigeria as part of GIBB Consortium, developing a new planning and development framework including a Spatial Development Framework for the total urban complex, a comprehensive Development Plan for the new decentralised business area as well as detailed development guidelines for the city, including industrial areas, office and mixed use zones, residential areas at differing densities and development/activity nodes. 

He was also the principal planner for the Greater Accra Region Spatial Development Framework (2016-2017) and was involved in major development projects include Tanzania (Dar es Salaam Commuter Rail Project), Togo (Development Corridor Project), Swaziland (Sikhuphe Airport Urban Development Framework) and Zambia (mining town development). 

Caroline Richardson

Urban Planning 

Caroline Richardson has a wide range of consulting experience locally and on the continent in research, strategy formulation and programme management in urban planning, economic development, and environmental management and property sectors.

Caroline managed a project facility at the Department of Public Enterprises with oversight of projects in ICT, renewable energy, transport, aero structures, mining, forestry and property sectors. Between 2014 and 2017 she was responsible for project coordination related to the Togo Transport Corridor, a property development in Togo, the Nigerian Automotive Development Programme and assisting with implementation aspects associated with Ubu’s energy projects. She currently consults on consults on various aspects of SOE strategy 

Caroline holds a Masters in Development Planning from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. 

Portia Derby

Director 

Portia Derby has occupied senior positions in the South African government during a period of major economic reform. She is a former Director-General of Public Enterprises (2005 - 2009) responsible for Corporate Strategy and Structure of the Investment Portfolio (2004 - 2005) and former Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Trade and Industry (2002).

During her tenure as Director-General of Public Enterprises Portia provided strategic direction to state-owned enterprises. This exposure has provided her with a deep understanding of the critical infrastructure problems challenges in South Africa. 

Portia’s career in government started at the National Institute for Economic Policy (NIEP), as a financial researcher where she played an integral role in working on the quantification of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). Portia was also part of the founding team of the national Investment and Trade promotion agency, from 1997 to 2001, and later became its Chief Operating Officer. 

Portia currently serves as a non-executive director of Metair Investments and was appointed by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan as a non-executive director of Safcoal. 

Chris Loker

Finance

Chris Loker is a Fellow of the Institute of Life and Pension Advisors and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). He was Head of Retail Banking for Investec and the 20twenty internet bank. He has more than 20 years’ experience in consulting on planning, turnarounds, business modelling, strategy, and customer experience. He has extensive finance, banking, financial service and investment experience and is also involved in a number of entrepreneurial ventures.

Chris was responsible for developing the Western Cape Government Economic modelling for fibre internet infrastructure and free wi-fi for schools, government buildings and entrepreneurial districts together with former township areas, a National Business Model for Heritage Tourism in conjunction with UNESCO and other African countries. 

For the City of Cape Town he provided Capital provision advice for rollout of Solar Water Heating Programme and for the Department of Public Enterprises he developed a financial model for consolidation of State Owned Enterprises into a single holding company. 

Chris holds a Bachelor of Business Science from the University of Cape Town and has a Diploma in Financial Markets and Instruments. 

Cliff Stanley

Energy 

Cliff Stanley has initiated and developed energy projects for over 25 years and participated in the development of over 4GW of power generation for government and private sector clients globally. He has extensive international experience in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Morocco, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Greece, France, Germany and the United Kingdom in combined cycle and open cycle gas turbine power stations; coal fired power stations; oil and gas fired thermal power stations; large internal combustion engine based power stations; biomass power stations; hydroelectric generation; fast start diesels and liquefied natural gas (LNG) re-gasification including the Energy Bridge Re-gasification Unit.

Cliff Stanley’s work covers most aspects of project development including planning, site selection and negotiations which span the project life cycle, including early stage financial modelling for pre-feasibility studies, detailed financial modelling of power projects and finance agreements as well as various other agreements (power purchase, connection, use of systems agreements, gas sales and purchase, gas transportation, operations, maintenance, long-term service and EPC agreements). 

Cliff Stanley is a Chartered Chemical Engineer and holds a PhD in Coal Energy. 

Gouws Wilson

Transport Economics/Engineering

Gous has over 30 years of transport development in Africa, specialising in railway business management and engineering, transport economics and project management.

Since 1998, he has led prominent port and railway projects nationally and internationally. His expertise includes: railway systems management – integrating operational, infrastructure and business solutions, railway business management, including advice to railway organisations on concession transport and investment strategies. 

Gous is an expert in the development of rail transport plans for local, provincial and national transport authorities and railway engineering including maintenance management, as well as mechanised renewal and maintenance methods as well as contract management – procurement and management of railway related labour intensive contracts, mechanised rail profiling, track maintenance and major component replacement contracts. 

He has extensive experience in the project management of construction projects and property management including the provision of civil and electrical maintenance services on buildings, bridges and structures. 

Get in touch

Stonehouse, Ground Floor
Stand no 1021, 94 Sovereign Drive
Route 21 Corporate Park
Irene, X31

PHONE +27 (0)12 345 1793
EMAIL info@ubuholdings.co.za