South African with Scottish heritage
Firecracker Marketing & Events
Brand and Marketing
icola is our co-founder and the network’s brand and marketing lead. She ensures our brand is strong and that the world knows about it. She humbly hails from Graaf-Reinet, home town of her great, great grandfather, the even greater Scottish missionary Andrew Murray. Raised in Cape Town, Nicola studied for her BSocSci degree at the University of Cape Town before heading to London where she worked for KPMG. She and her English husband moved to Sydney for 10 years where she worked as Direct Marketing Manager for WWF Australia and then Brand Manager at Vodafone. Home beckoned and upon settling back in Cape Town in 2009, she worked at Old Mutual as marketing manager for New Product Solutions developing a mobile banking solution for the mass market.
In 2012 Nicola and Claire co-founded successful, award winning event management and marketing agency, Firecracker. Africa Scotland Business Network is their third business. They also launched an open dialogue event series called Illumi.Nation in 2019.
Scottish - Stirling
Firecracker Marketing & Events
rave, fierce and proudly Scottish, Claire is our event manager, connector and co-founder. Stirling lass Claire was elected Deputy Head Girl of Alva Academy before graduating with honours in business from Strathclyde University in Glasgow. Glasgow is also where Claire excelled in sport, training at City of Glasgow’s elite swim team and representing Scotland in 100m and 200m butterfly. After surviving a head on car crash at 17, Claire took up her beloved football upon recovery, going on to represent two Scottish premier league teams and the Scotland national university football team.
Claire moved to South Africa in 2007 after working in Australia and USA after university. She currently travels between Scotland and South Africa and her husband’s homes in Botswana and Zambia. Claire’s solid reputation in the events industry has led her to designing and producing events for global brands, national and local government, as well as start ups and global NGOs. She launched Firecracker (a nick name her former boss gave her) with Nicola in 2012 which has grown into a thriving agency with clients on 3 continents.
Scottish – Glasgow
International Commercial Lawyer
Stephanie is the network’s non-executive director. She’s an English law qualified solicitor with over 15 years’ experience advising clients on the structuring, negotiation and delivery of construction, infrastructure and technology deals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Stephanie was born and educated in Scotland and like Claire, she also swam for her country. Grateful for the discipline and ambition the sport engrained in them, here in Africa, they draw the line at racing great white sharks.
Stephanie studied Law at the University of Glasgow before moving to London to pursue her career. She practised in the infrastructure teams at Berwin Leighton Paisner and Lovells before joining Nabarro (now CMS) where she was a Partner in the Infrastructure, Construction and Energy team and head of the firm’s Africa desk. She relocated to South Africa in 2015, although maintains a base in London, and now consults for a range of clients, including Bowmans in South Africa and Gunnercooke in the UK.
Stephanie also commits a proportion of her time to training and capacity building. In partnership with the University of Queensland (Australia), Stephanie has provided various training courses over the last 6 years for “rising stars” of public and private sector organisations across Africa. This has included capacity building on legal, commercial and procurement issues relating to infrastructure projects and PPPs, as well as negotiation skills training.
Scottish – Aberdeen
Craig Group International
Oil and Gas
teven, an Aberdonian through and through, is the Director of Africa Operations for the Craig Group, procurement and logistics specialists for the energy and marine sectors. He was educated at Robert Gordon University graduating with a MSc International Business, a Diploma in Purchasing and Supply Chain Management and a BA Hons Business Studies. He joined Norwegian oil service provider Aker Subsea in 2005 gaining valuable North Sea supply chain experience before joining the family business Craig Group Ltd in 2010.
He moved to the Cape Town office (Craig International Supplies PTY Ltd) on a trial basis initially in 2012 and hasn’t looked back! Steven moved from GM of African operations to directorship in 2018. The Craig Group are procurement and logistics specialists for the energy and marine sectors with particular emphasis on Angola and South Africa. They also support Mozambique, Congo, Gabon, Ghana and Nigeria.
South African with Scottish heritage
Businessman / Investor
oy is our big picture thinker, business and strategy brain. With a successful career in the South African Navy spanning 21 years, several medals and distinctions, an MBA and with a growing family, Roy decided it was time to spread his wings into business. In 2006 he retired from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) as a full commander to begin a career in the private sector. That has since given rise to Green Cell Technologies, a company that is breaking barriers, preconceptions, and forging new ground in biotech. Roy, who has earned an unwavering reputation as a trusted and principled business man in Africa, has created and patented future-leading tech on a number of fronts, including safeguarding food security - for the world.
English with Scottish heritage
az is our resident publicist and communications dynamo. Tenacious, enthusiastic and even more passionate about messaging, Kaz ignites enthusiasm and conviction into everything she does. She has a wealth of international communications experience, has headed up large Cape Town agencies and worked on a huge spectrum of consumer, business and technology brands. Her insights are crystal clear; her power of persuasion is salutary and her ability to get results is unequalled. Kaz’s strongpoints are strategic development and messaging, with the ability to identify opportunities and create the strategy and plans required to unlock these for clients. One such example, was bringing BBC Worldwide’s BBC Food to South Africa in the early 2000s to address the gap in the local market for chefs as celebrities. She opened the country’s first food-focused PR agency which represented a number of today’s household names. Kaz is a recognised and respected business writer in her own capacity aside from her crafting of newsworthy press releases that cut through the clutter. For those who find themselves in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, Kaz has many years of experience in handling crisis management and reputation matters, something we hope she won’t need to exercise on behalf of the network!
Scottish – Dalkeith
Financial / Investments
om is our numbers guy. Whether it’s budgets, planning or investing. Hailing fae Dalkeith, Tom entered the insurance industry in 1966 with Scottish Life in Edinburgh. In 1968 Tom immigrated to South Africa and took up a position with Norwich Union. After spending twelve years as an investment advisor, Tom co-founded an independent advisory company in 1986. In 2002, Tom started his own advisory company called Global Wealth Management, which focuses on helping South Africans make sensible and lucrative investments. Tom has a wealth of knowledge in the local and international markets, with a broad and well-established client base throughout the Western Cape.
Scottish / South African – Skye
Staghorn Scottish Outfitters
Businessman / Writer / Kiltmaker
ool, calm and charming, Will is our savvy advisor and human encyclopeadia. A Capetonian by birth, Will has spent much of the last 25 years back in the Mother City growing a most interesting hobby into a thriving enterprise. Staghorn Scottish Outfitting and Kilt Hire is the busiest kilt-making and kilt hire business on the African continent and with Will’s side passion business, Afro-Celtic Sporrans, now export their top-line kilts and sporrans worldwide. Will is also a musician, published author and a Fellow of the Commonwealth Free Arts Council.
He is currently – for the fifteenth year - chairman of the Cape Town Burns Supper Club, the largest Burns Night south of the equator. He’s also the guy responsible for twisting Claire and Nicola’s rubber arms into managing this sell out, annual event.
South African with Scottish Heritage
Titular Head Clan Armstrong / Businessman
icheil, a successful business man in the textile industry, he’s the Laird of Mungbyhurst and retired President of the Clan Armstrong Trust of Scotland. He is married to Lady Cherry Armstrong of Mungbyhurst and they are blessed with four daughters and one grandson. Micheil runs a well established and successful clothing manufacturing business in Cape Town but visits Scotland regularly, with a second home in Edinburgh. His ties to Scotland couldn’t be stronger as fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquities of Scotland and member of the Heraldry Society of Scotland.
DR JENNA ROSS
Scottish – Aberdeen
Nuffield Scholar / Agripreneur
veryone needs an over achieving scientist slash entrepreneur on their advisory board. Dr Jenna Ross' agricultural upbringing drove her passion to utilise science to address agriculture’s biggest challenges, making her the perfect person to drive innovation for CHAP, one of the UK Government Agri-Tech centres. Jenna completed a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Aberdeen in 2009, which focused on improving production efficiency of nematode products and developing new international markets. She then worked as a project manager for Becker Underwood (BASF), achieving her Level 5 Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Management & Leadership Diploma. In 2019, Jenna achieved Chartered Manager Fellowship (CMgr FCMI) status with CMI, acknowledging 10 years of continuous leadership development, and was selected as the winner of CMI Higher Education award. Jenna has also worked for NIBIO in Norway, and in 2013, spent a year’s secondment at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Tanzania. She also established her own research group in South Africa/UK, linking innovation and industry, and as such, spent 6 years living in Cape Town. In 2018, Jenna was chosen as a UK Nuffield Farming Scholar, travelling the globe to look at where her research fits into the bigger picture, and now holds the honorary position of Secretary for Nuffield Scotland.
Property & International Investments and Business Strategy
n international property expert, Lisa Bathurst has a demonstrated history of working in the international real estate industry. Skilled in Sales, Communication, International Business and Strategy, Lisa specialises in overseas property purchases and investments, particularly between Europe & Africa to structure and build international property portfolios. Lisa has spent the last few years leading Hurst & Wills, a bespoke property advisory in South Africa, sourcing international property for SA clients. Her passions centre around international experiences, and using that experience to create impact in projects in Africa.
Strategy, Tech, Mergers & Acquisitions
uyo has spent most of his corporate life as an entrepreneur and independent advisor specialising in Corporate Finance Advisory and Mergers and Acquisitions, after serving solid apprenticeship at two of SA's largest asset managers. As strategy and acquisitions lead for Gnosis Investments, Vuyo’s mandates have included establishing Gnosis’ technology strategy and investments focused on Fin-Tech and and Prop Tech, as well as establishing of Gnosis’ Umhlaba Commercial Property Fund. Dad of two Vuyo spends his spare time traveling and striving to find further significance through initiatives that make a difference.