OUR TEAM

Julian Gwillim

Tracey Peterson

Rio Matlhaku

Janet Parker

Cecilia Pinto Taylor

Michelle Copans

Dan Maré

Thomas Mclachlan

Andile Simelane

Michael Rubenstein

Mpho Dingalo

Ritz Pucci

Phillemon Mosala

Gabriella Hurle-Hill

Esme Arendse

Alan Arguile

Nikki Catrakilis-Wagner

Webster Malido

Erene Kairuz

Troye Brady

Julian Gwillim

Julian is the founder of Aprio Strategic Communications and has over 30 years’ extensive experience in managing communication programmes with a particular focus on reputational enhancement campaigns.

Aprio has a team of 22 experienced communicators located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and is one of South Africa’s leading communication advisory group’s working across key sectors of the corporate environment offering multi-stakeholder campaigns, crisis and issue management, and specialist investor relations.

Julian has extensive corporate and agency experience in South Africa and North America and has served as communication advisor for several JSE-listed companies and multinationals. His recent IPO experience includes Multichoice, Bidcorp, Long4Life, Dischem, Quilter/Old Mutual Wealth and Cartrack, together with major transactions such as Old Mutual’s managed separation, Barclays’ sell down of Absa, and Walmart and Starbucks’ respective entries into South Africa, among various other corporate actions.

Tracey Peterson

Tracey has over 25 years’ experience in communications and provides a varied range of services in communications, employee well-being and social development. These include media relations, internal communications, publications, writing and stakeholder engagement.

 

She is also experienced in managing HIV/Aids in the workplace, having designed, implemented and managed the award-winning programme at diamond mining company, De Beers. This experience was extended to the design and implementation of a community HIV/Aids programme, which sought to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the host and labour-sending communities important to the company, and was acknowledged nationally and globally for its foresight and impact.

 

Tracey also managed the Corporate Social Investment programme for De Beers, while being accountable for the broader social responsibility of the company in South Africa. She has been responsible for conceptualising and designing the strategy, message formulation and writing and annual stainable development reporting and more recently, integrated reporting.

Rio Matlhaku

Rio began working in public relations in 2001 at Beachhead Media & Investor Relations, which later became Financial Dynamics.

 

His strength lies in financial public relations, with wide-ranging experience with clients such as Alexander Forbes, Discovery Group, the Financial Planning Institute, Nedbank, Assupol Life, Airports Company of South Africa, Centre for Development and Enterprise, Blue Catalyst and Samancor Chrome. Rio was also part of the team that re-launched the South African Competition Commission.

 

Before joining Aprio, Rio was with The Communications Firm, which is one of South Africa’s majority black-owned public relations companies with a reputation for its impactful communication strategies for various government departments, as well as on accounts including ArcelorMittal South Africa and Afrisam.

Janet Parker

Janet has more than 20 years of media and communications experience. For 16 years she was a financial journalist at the respected financial daily Business Day, where she ran the flagship Opinion & Analysis pages for 10 years. Prior to that she was Editor of the-then Management & Leadership page, Editor of the Companies & Markets section and a writer.

 

Before Business Day, she wrote numerous scripts for broadcast TV – documentaries, magazine programmes and a children’s education series – as well as a number of scripts for corporate videos and internal communications video newsletters.

Cecilia Pinto Taylor

Cecilia is a highly skilled communications specialist with more than 30 years’ in-house and consulting experience spanning international trade, strategic communications and media relations. Having started off in academia, Cecilia’s in-house communications experience was defined at Nedbank, where she was head of media relations for 11 years before joining a global corporate relations firm as a director.

 

During her time as a communications consultant, she has worked with major financial services firms including Investec, Liberty and Barclays Africa as well as other leading corporates such as Massmart and Lonmin, advising on media relations, reputation and issues management, crisis communication, stakeholder research and engagement and executive profiling. Current clients include high-profile organisations from across the business spectrum. Cecilia holds a BA Honours Degree in Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand and completed a Senior Management Development Programme through Wits Business School.

Michelle Copans

Michelle is a highly skilled communication specialist with over a decade’s experience in strategic communications and media relations. She has managed communication campaigns for a range of leading brands in mining, consumer, infrastructure, construction, finance, steel, petroleum, liquefied petroleum gas and retail industries.

 

She has worked closely with clients that include Wesizwe Platinum, Nestle SA, the Consumer Goods Council of SA, Business Process Outsourcing, Call Centre Industry Association, the Concrete Manufacturers Association, the Liquified Petroleum Gas Association South Africa, the Nepad Business Foundation, Business Unity of SA, ArcelorMittal SA, Total SA, Verimark, the Retail Congress Africa, the United Nations Foundation, Impala Platinum, RCL FOODS, Aveng, Capital Appreciation, TymeBank, Sorbet and Edcon.

 

Michelle has experience in writing editorial such as newsletters, corporate brochures, press releases and articles. She compiled the Wesizwe Platinum sponsored community newspaper, the Ledig Sun, for two years, and Aveng’s internal publications including Aveng News and Aveng World.

Dan Maré

Dan is an editor and writer with 13 years’ experience preparing a vast array of public and internal documents for South Africa’s most prominent companies.

 

He holds a Bachelor’s in Economics and an Honours in Philosophy.

Thomas Mclachlan

Thomas has had extensive background in Strategic Communications and designing Business-to-business communications solutions for clients in the UK and South Africa. He leads the Aprio Digital team in developing integrated strategies, supported by strong thought leadership, that get brands in front of the audiences, influencers and decision-makers that matter most to them.

Andile Simelane

Andile has worked with leading companies in assisting them to develop reputation strategies and implementing proactive communications strategies that support their business goals. He has a passion for strategy and has worked extensively on strategic reputation development, business development, media relations, stakeholder engagement and content development.

 

During his career, he has worked with some of the best local and global brands from a range of sectors – retail, mining, financial, renewable energy sectors, retail and consumer. His list of clients at Aprio has included Impala Platinum, Edcon, ABSA, Enel Green Power South Africa, AB InBev and MultiChoice.

Michael Rubenstein

Michael is a former senior marketer, brand strategist and communications specialist with over 25 years’ experience in marketing and general business management. He has performed a variety of marketing leadership roles in blue-chip companies such as SABC, Centurion Systems, BankservAfrica and Baker McKenzie.

 

He is also a marketing coach and has assisted various small and medium size businesses with development and implementation of marketing strategy. Michael is an accomplished business and life coach, writer, facilitator, public speaker and team motivator. During his career, Michael has rebranded four blue-chip national brands.

 

Over the years, Michael has specialised in building brands in blue-chip organisations, crafting marketing and communication strategies, and delivering solutions utilising various classical marketing and communications disciplines including services marketing, product marketing, B2B marketing, advertising, PR and corporate communications.

Mpho Dingalo

Mpho worked for Gold Fields in the Corporate Affairs Department for seven years, specialising in event management, content development, digital communications and stakeholder engagement. She has experience in social media management, collaborative platform development, website design, data and project management.

 

Her flair for working with visual materials and creative eye has seen her working in broadcast, travel and tourism, marketing research and advertising industries. Since 2014, she has worked with clients including Famous Brands, Pan African Resources, Total South Africa and Impala Platinum, Capital Appreciation, Long4Life and Richards Bay Minerals.

Ritz Pucci

Ritz is Aprio’s resident creative spark. Having been schooled in the performing arts, Ritz went on to study web and graphic design, social media management, software development and project-management solutions.

 

Ritz has been with Aprio since its inception, handling the company’s social media management and in-house design needs – a role that has grown considerably, both as Aprio has grown and given the explosion in social media and the emergence of new communications platforms.

Phillemon Mosala

Phillemon started working in the public relations and communication industry when he joined Aprio in 2013. While working at Aprio, he has gained experience in media relations, social media management, engaging with the media, organising media interviews, compiling media reports, media monitoring, developing media campaigns, and compiling press releases.

 

Phillemon has worked on accounts including ArcelorMittal South Africa, Edcon, Khulisa Social Solutions, Precrete and Impala Platinum.

Gabriella Hurle-Hill

Gabby has experience in the digital marketing space, specialising in the automotive industry within southern Africa. She is eager to learn and gain experience to grow in her role within the Public Relations and Communications environments.

 

Gabby works on accounts that focus on the technology, consumer, entertainment and hospitality industries, working closely with clients including Consol Glass, Tiger Brands, YouKnow/Brandwatch, Riverstone Lodge and iOCO.

Esme Arendse

Esme Arendse, the CEO, shareholder and director of Aprio Credence, is a seasoned reputation and communication strategist, with almost 25 years’ experience in corporate communications, the management of reputation risk and stakeholder engagement in large and complex multinational enter-prises.

Over the last few years Esme has specialised in advising executive teams on reputation risk and has led expert professional teams on major, confidential reputation risk issues. She works with companies to build capability and resilience for the management and mitigation of enterprise reputation risk. She has acted as lead reputation advisor for one of South Africa’s biggest corporate governance rehabilitation programmes, working alongside the client Exco, leading law firms, corporate finance and audit teams.

Alan Arguile

Alan Arguile, director, founding shareholder and principal consultant at Aprio Credence, brings with him more than 30 years of stress-tested communications experience and a proven network of heavyweight communication, marketing, organisational development and other specialised consulting associates from around South Africa and the globe.

 

One of South Africa’s most experienced executive trainers, Alan has personally
presented more than 1,400 media and crisis training sessions across the continent. He has provided counsel on more than 250 real-world crises across industries and sectors, and facilitated the reputation management elements of around 100 large-scale crisis simulations.

Nikki Catrakilis-Wagner

Nikki is an IR specialist with a thorough understanding of capital markets and investment finance. She began her career at the South African Reserve Bank as an international bullion dealer, subsequently gaining significant experience in treasury and corporate finance. Following her career in finance, she has held various executive Investor Relations roles across sectors. She has been ranked in the top three IR professionals in the Institutional Investor rankings in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and was a founding member of the IR Society of South Africa. Nikki has a post-graduate degree in Economics and a MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

Webster Malido

Webster is a highly skilled corporate communications executive with deep experience in the financial services sector and an extensive wealth of knowledge of African markets. He previously served as Head of Communication for Absa Regional Operations (Absa Group’s businesses outside South Africa) where he oversaw the communication workstream in the successful rollout of the Absa brand in previously Barclays-branded African operations. Prior, he served as Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Barclays Bank Zambia (now Absa Bank Zambia) where he was a member of the country executive management committee.

 

Before pivoting into corporate communications, Webster worked as a business and political journalist and served as editor at The Post newspaper in his home country of Zambia, at the time the leading national daily. He was a non-executive director on the board of the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper between 2012 and 2015. Webster holds university degrees in mass communication and international business management.

Erene Kairuz

A qualified Chartered Accountant, Erene started her career at PwC as assistant manager in their banking and capital markets division after completing her articles. She has extensive Investor Relations experience having spent 8 years as part of Naspers’ IR team. Prior to that, Erene was a sell-side equity research analyst covering companies within the banking, industrials and construction sectors at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Erene holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Accounting degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. She has written her Registered Persons Exams with the South African Institute of Financial Markets.

Troye Brady

Troye has over 30 years’ experience working for companies like BHP Billiton, Samancor and Lonmin, and was also a rated resources analyst. While retaining a core strength in finance and the resources sector, he has since widened his scope to the industrial and retail sector. With more than 15 years’ experience as a stockbroker analyst, he has a good understanding of the IR process and the interaction between companies and the investment community.