CEO, Dr Martyn Davies

Martyn DaviesDr Martyn Davies was selected in 2010 as a Young Global Leader, an honour bestowed by the World Economic Forum each year to recognise the most distinguished young leaders nominated below the age of 40 from around the world.

Martyn is the Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Advisory (Pty) Ltd. He has provided business strategy solutions on behalf of listed and multinational clients in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. He was ranked the # 1 analyst in South Africa in the "Other African Economies & Markets" category as awarded by the prestigious Financial Mail in its Annual Analysts of the Year awards in 2007.

Martyn is the Director of the China Africa Network at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), University of Pretoria, South Africa and is a faculty member of the school.

He has written over 200 articles in academia and the press and is a regular commentator for the international media and has been selected as a regular contributor to China's CCTV-9 news channel. He has published a number of book chapters in political-economic publications and is a regular presenter at international conferences that include Chatham House, the African Development Bank, the OECD, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the European Commission, the School of Oriental & African Studies, the South African Parliament and the World Bank.

Martyn has chaired both public and private sessions at the World Economic Forum both in Africa and China. Since 2008, he has participated in the WEF's Industry Partnership Meeting for Mining & Metals – an advisory body to the WEF providing strategic advice to leading global extractive industry companies. In October 2008, he was appointed as an advisor to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) for its Global Development Outlook project.

He is an Advisor to Mastercard and is a member of the company's Africa Knowledge Panel. He is also a member of the Premier of Limpopo Province's Employment, Growth and Development Advisory Council which advises the Premier on economic related matters.

Martyn holds a BA degree in Law, an Honours Degree in International Relations (cum laude), a Master's Degree in International Relations (cum laude) (University of the Witwatersrand), a Diploma in Asian Studies (Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea), and a PhD in International Relations (University of the Witwatersrand) – all completed by the age of twenty-five. He also has a certificate from Harvard Business School for its "Making Markets Work" course.

Director, Abdullah Verachia

 Abdulla Hassen Verachia is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa. Abdullah previously practised at the second oldest and one of the most established law firms in South Africa. In this position he advised a number of clients on corporate, civil and criminal law matters and also gained extensive experience in commercial and civil litigation.

Abdullah is a Director at Frontier Advisory In this position he has provided business strategy solutions on behalf of listed and multinational clients in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. He has also advised numerous South African companies on their internationalisation strategies with various Asian economies.

Abdullah has headed up research, strategy and consulting assignments in an array of sectors including banking, finance, insurance, legal, audit, FMCG, retail and automotive. He has also headed up consulting assignments on behalf of a number of South African Industrial Development Zones and Investment Promotion Agencies.

He has also advised and engaged with a number of Indian companies entering Africa. He has participated in numerous high profile Asia-Africa initiatives, private meetings, conferences and delegations and served on a number of initiatives including the South African-India CEO's Forum and the Brazil-India-South Africa (IBSA) heads of state summit. Abdullah is also a regular media commentator for a number of publications including CNBC Africa, SABC, Moneyweb, Business Day, SAFM, 702, Al Jazeera, Financial Times, Reuters and the Sunday Times.

Abdullah has also led numerous international delegations on global executive programmes and international investment missions to numerous destinations in various countries including China, India, Dubai, Kenya, Germany, Denmark, London, Malaysia, Singapore and the US amongst others.

Abdullah presents extensively both locally and internationally, on an array of subjects, including global economics and politics and emerging market strategy. Abdullah serves as adjunct faculty member at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. Abdullah also lectures at the University of Stellenbosch Business School as well as the Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management.

He has also presented around the world including in Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Singapore, Malaysia, Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen, London and New York.

Abdullah has been recognised as a visionary young leader who has played an active role in South African society for a number of years. He was previously the Mpumalanga youth leader of the year and was also chosen as a finalist for the South African Youth leader of the year award. Abdullah has been awarded numerous accolades for public speaking and debating and has represented South Africa both locally and internationally on various platforms in this regard. Abdullah speaks Zulu and Gujerati and reads Arabic.

Head of Research, Hannah Edinger

Hannah EdingerHannah Edinger is Head of Research at Frontier Advisory. In this capacity, Hannah oversees project execution, and is responsible for finalising all research products and projects of the company.

Hannah also holds the position of Research Fellow at the China Africa Network at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria in South Africa – South Africa's leading think-tank on China-Africa relations.

She has project management and research experience in a number of African and Asian economies, in particularly the mining, agriculture, trade, manufacturing & industry, infrastructure & construction, financial services, ICT, power and energy sectors.

She has also led delegations on international trade and investment missions, and has been assisting in advising a number of South African companies on their internationalisation strategies into Africa and Asia.

Beyond heading research assignments for largely South African corporates, Hannah has headed research teams for the Da Vinci Institute and the United Nations Development Programme, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI). She has also formed part of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) network and completed research for the Department for International Development (DFID), and the Rockefeller Foundation. She also collaborates with the Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa (tralac) in researching trade and industrial policy related issues.

Hannah has authored, co-authored and edited various articles, book chapters and research publications. She also provides regular commentary on China's economic role in Africa, both locally and internationally in the print media and on CNBC Africa and the SABC. She also previously was a columnist for a leading South African newspaper, The Business Day.

She regularly presents locally and internationally to corporate, academic and development audiences. She has previously lectured at the University of Stellenbosch, and upon invitation at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), at VU University in Amsterdam and at the Institute for West Asian and African Studies in Beijing.

Hannah holds a BComm degree, majoring in Economics and Statistics, a BComm Honours degree in Economics (cum laude), and a MComm degree in Economics (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Hannah has also completed a one-month academic exchange programme at the Institute for West Asian and African Studies (IWAAS) in Beijing.

Hannah is fluent in German, English, Afrikaans and studying Mandarin.

Head of Strategy, Matthew Birtch

Senior ManagerMatthew Birtch is Head of Strategy at Frontier Advisory where he heads up the strategic advisory arm of the business and is responsible for business development as well as overseeing project execution. Matthew has extensive experience within strategic advisory. Having lead large local and international transformation engagements in Europe , Middle East and Asia within multiple industries, working in some of the globes top Management Consulting houses, he has not only performed strategy creation but implemented wide scale change accordingly, improving businesses bottom line and efficiency.

Matthew has also worked for one of the big four Assurance and Advisory firms where his focus was in strategy and finance . Working again on listed companies Matthew provided solutions around the assessment of the viability of deals including reviews of pricing the transaction, financial and commercial analysis/due diligence of corporate entities participating in the deal and structuring of debt including senior, mezzanine and preference share structures and assessment of debt serviceability.

Matthew holds a BA degree (Rhodes University) and has completed his PDM in Finance (WITS business school). He then went on to complete his Masters in Philosophy specialising in Applied Corporate Ethics. He is also a graduate of the Gordon Institute of Business Science where he completed his MBA and won the Murray and Roberts prize for the Macro Environment of Business.

He has lived and worked in Europe ,Middle East and Asia where he continued to provide solutions to some of the public and private sectors most challenging problems. He has facilitated and chaired union negotiations as well as many acquisitions and disinvestments. He is currently in the process of publishing his research in Corporate Strategy and Ethical Finance.