Founder and CEO

Samantha Pokroy

Founder & CEO

Samantha has 20 years of private equity and venture capital experience in the South African and United States markets and 23 years’ investment and finance experience. With extensive experience in the fields of technology and psychology, Samantha works with portfolio companies to unlock business potential through digital and human enablement.

Prior to founding Sanari in November 2013, she played a leading role in investments at Ethos Private Equity, which she joined in 2006. Before that she spent two years at a Chicago-based private equity firm (KRK, now Winona Capital), and worked in investment banking (JPMorgan, Financial Sponsors Group) and consulting (Stern Stewart) in New York.

Sam has capabilities across the private equity value chain with extensive board, sub-committee and strategic experience. Past and present portfolio company directorships include Edulife, LightWare, Snapt, Sensor Networks, Fernridge, JAYCOR, Clickatell, CQS Technologies, ATIO, Universal Industries and Top Driver.  She served on the board of SAVCA (South African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association) from 2015 to 2022.

Sam holds an MBA (Cum Laude) from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a BCom degree and a BA Honours degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is also a CFA Charterholder.

Get to know Sam better…

When asked why I left corporate to start Sanari, I always answer simply ‘because I wanted to build something’. For me it was never as much an option as an inevitability. That didn’t make it easy though!

My passion for what I do comes from growing up in an entrepreneurial family and realising the tremendous privilege I had of learning about business, and developing a love for business, at the dinner table. Realising not everyone has such exposure, my ambition is to promote entrepreneurship by sharing my experience with others who may not have had the access to opportunity or the assuredness to pursue a risky but rewarding path.

The most rewarding part of my job? Seeing potential being realised. Being at the intersection of cutting-edge finance, human behaviour, strategy, entrepreneurship and technology – I think I enjoy it a bit too much!