Our founding partners, Omar Ben Yedder and Desné Masie have between them over 40 years of senior level experience in media and financial markets with unrivalled networks in multiple jurisdictions. Supported by an advisory board of eminent business and political leaders and a global team of research and advisory associates, and by our Chairman Lord Peter Hain, we are passionate about helping our clients reach their objectives with cutting-edge advice and intelligence.
Dr Desne Masie, Chief Strategist
Dr Desné Masie is an economist and thought leader in international financial markets, specialising in investment funds, technology regulation and policy. She has held senior roles in academia, media and finance in the UK and South Africa. She is the Chief Strategist and Founding Partner at IC Intelligence and a fellow at the Wits School of Governance.
Dr Masie is also the editorial director of African Business magazine and a columnist for Business Day. She has considerable experience advising international investors and policy makers on political economy and global macro, market entry, sustainability and strategic communications campaigns particularly in EMEA. She was a senior associate in financial services at Global Counsel, the director of the Investec Investment Institute and the corporate relations manager of the Royal African Society.
She is an accomplished public speaker and author, and has provided insights to the Commonwealth, Invest Africa, the UK government, Jersey Finance, Prudential PLC, Newsweek, Forbes Africa, and UK Fintech Week. She was named in Innovate Finance’s 2017 Powerlist for her expertise on fintech and digital assets. Dr Masie holds an MSc in Finance & Financial Law from SOAS, and a PhD in Finance from Edinburgh.
Omar Ben Yedder, Chief Executive
Omar Ben Yedder is the Group Publisher and Managing Director of leading publishing, events and communications group IC Publications. The organization has over 50 years of experience in publishing magazines, country supplements, industry reports and market intelligence on Africa. It now offers a full suite of communications services as well as organises a number of key events across the continent.
Having previously been an Associate Vice President in the Equity Finance team at Merrill Lynch, Omar brought a new and dynamic approach to IC Publications. Under his leadership, African Banker magazine as well as IC Events were launched. Today the group also carries out communications advisory, media relations and contract publishing.
Omar’s work and personal interests include media, development economics, leadership and education. He has chaired the Africa Story Challenge competition, a programme driven by the Africa Media Initiative. He also sits on the board of Brand Africa. Omar studied Economics and Languages at Durham University and also is a Chartered Management Accountant.
Lord Peter Hain, Chairman
Born in 1950 and brought up in South Africa, he has been in politics for over 50 years. His South African-born parents, Adelaine and Walter, after being jailed and then banned for their anti-apartheid activism in Pretoria were forced to leave for exile in London in March 1966 after the Government prohibited all architectural firms from employing him.
Aged 19, Peter became a British anti-apartheid leader, especially in stopping all-white South African sports tours from 1969 onwards.
In December 2015 he received from South Africa the OR Tambo National Award in Silver for his ‘excellent contribution to the freedom struggle’.
In 2017-18 he exposed in the UK Parliament money laundering and corruption involving global corporates under then President Zuma and the Gupta brothers, and gave evidence to the Zondo Commission in November 2019.
In 2018 he chaired the Nelson Mandela London Centenary Exhibition Organising Committee.
In 2017 he chaired the Oliver Tambo Centenary UK Committee.
He is a Vice-President of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), successor to the British Anti-Apartheid Movement.
MP for Neath 1991-2015, he served in the Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown for twelve years, seven in the Cabinet.
As Secretary of State for Northern Ireland he negotiated an end to the conflict, bringing old enemies together in government in 2007.
In November 2015 he was introduced to the House of Lords.
The author of 22 books, including Mandela His Essential Life (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) his memoirs Outside In (London, Biteback 2012; his parents’ story Ad & Wal: values, duty, sacrifice in Apartheid South Africa (London, Biteback, 2014); and his thriller The Rhino Conspiracy (Jonathan Ball, 2020).
Chairman of the Donald Woods Foundation charity, Patron of the Canon Collins Trust and a Trustee of the Liliesleaf Trust and the Listen Charity, he teaches at GIBS and Stellenbosch Business Schools and has been Visiting Professor at the University of Witwatersrand Business School.