Founder & CEO
Samantha has over 18 years of private equity and venture capital experience in the South African and United States markets and more than two decades’ investment and finance experience. Having invested in technology-related businesses for over 15 years, Sam uses this experience for the benefit of all portfolio companies, whether advanced innovators or those at the outset of their digital transformation journeys.
Prior to founding Sanari, 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 is currently on the board of Edulife, LightWare, Sensor Networks and Snapt. Prior directorships include Fernridge, JAYCOR, Clickatell, CQS Technologies, ATIO, Universal Industries and Top Driver. She has more than 50 cumulative years’ board experience.
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 charter holder and a director on the board of SAVCA.
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!