Meet our team
We are a group of individuals who believe in a shared vision – One World with Zero Barriers. We encourage robust discussion and celebrate diversity because it enriches us. We dream big and stay excited about helping our clients to fulfil their own dreams – whether they are running a thriving property management company or helping charities around the world to maximise their impact.
Johannes van Eeden
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
Johannes is a composer, poet and entrepreneur. He studied music, languages and philosophy at the University of Stellenbosch, where he won various first prizes in composition. Prior to founding Humanstate with his brother Jaco in 2001, Johannes built a marketing and distribution business with a presence in more than 16 countries, co-founded a leading contemporary music organisation, and worked as a music journalist and at the University of South Africa.
Johannes is based at our office in Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland.
Jaco van Eeden
FOUNDER & CHIEF SOFTWARE ARCHITECT
Jaco co-founded Humanstate and was instrumental in developing the original software platform. He studied theology, biblical languages and computer science at the University of Pretoria. After training in programming at Logos Research Systems, Jaco entered the consultancy market as a SAP HR consultant for EPI-USE Systems. He then moved to the company’s Atlanta office and worked in CRM, consulting at companies including Sun Microsystems, Applied Materials, Hilton Hotels, Webvan.com, Buy.com and Buildscape.
Jaco is based at our office in Sevenoaks, United Kingdom.
Eduard is a chartered management accountant. He completed his training at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and worked in various industries covering financial services, retail and construction. As financial controller, Eduard played a key role in setting up the UK financial operations of a large financial services group. As well as comprehensive experience in setting up and overseeing finance functions with sound financial control, Eduard has core knowledge in dealing with UK- and EU-regulated entities, including the preparation and submission of licence applications.
Eduard is based at our office in Sevenoaks, United Kingdom.
Johan le Roux
Johan’s appointment to the board of our international holdings company (with Michiel le Roux as alternate director) follows the investment by Rational Expectations in Humanstate. Johan completed a B.Comm degree in Institutional Investments at the University of Stellenbosch (2000), and spent 10 years working on the application of information-based strategies in retail credit before setting up Rational Expectations. He also serves on the board of many portfolio companies, as well as the JSE-listed Digicore Holdings Limited.
Johan van der Merwe
Johan joined the board following African Rainbow Capital’s investment in Humanstate. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Johan completed a Master’s Degree in Income Tax (University of Pretoria) and an M.Phil. in Finance at Cambridge University. He joined Investec Asset Management in 1997 and became their Global Sector Head of Resources in 2000. In 2002 he was appointed CEO of Sanlam Investment Management, later becoming CEO of the Investment Cluster responsible for all Sanlam Group investment businesses. He is now Co-CEO of African Rainbow Capital.
CHAIRMAN, GIVENGAIN FOUNDATION & GROUP ADVISOR
Frans is an admitted Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa as well as a diplomat, businessman and keen conservationist. He was CEO of WWF-SA, a founder member of the Peace Parks Foundation, a founder trustee of the SA National Parks Trust and an international board member of the World Wide Fund for Nature. He has advised on South African government tourism and conservation programmes, and was vice-chairman of the SA Wildlife College and chairman of the SA College for Tourism.
Frans is based at our office in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Philip de Bruin
DIRECTOR: 2001 - 2015
Philip de Bruin’s relationship with Humanstate dates back to 2001, when he joined the company as director. A long-time resident of the Italian enclave of Campione d’Italia in Switzerland, Philip co-founded EPI-USE Systems in 1994 – concluding, as its CEO, a software development and consulting partnership with SAP AG. Also under his leadership, EPI-USE expanded into an offshore holding group with more than 200 employees and subsidiaries in South Africa, the US, UK and Australia. Philip retired in 2015.
GIVENGAIN FOUNDATION DIRECTOR: 2009 - 2015
Maître Rochat graduated in law from the University of Geneva and obtained a Diploma in Comparative Legal Studies at Cambridge University. He was a member of the Geneva Bar. Domique was a practising lawyer since 1975 and partner at the Geneva office of Lenz & Staehelin since 1982, specialising in banking and corporate law. He was Vice Chairman of RBS Coutts Bank Limited in Zurich, Vice Chairman of the Boards and Chairman of the Audit Committees of Banque Audi (Suisse) SA and NBAD Private Bank (Suisse) SA, and served as a Non-Executive Director at Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA from September 8, 2010 to September 12, 2013. Dominique retired in 2015 and sadly passed away on 3 February 2018.