Our Team

Justin is a social investment specialist with 20 years experience in supporting the deployment of private capital to create more and better jobs for vulnerable populations, often in fragile contexts. These investments have positively impacted hundreds of thousands of lives across a diverse range of countries in Africa and the Middle East. Prior to founding Innovest Advisory in 2015, Justin’s wide-spanning career history has included working for Youth Business International (patron HRH Prince of Wales) the United Nations Youth Employment Network (Chair UN Sec. Gen Kofi Annan) and Silatech Foundation (Chair former First Lady of Qatar and mother of the current Emir). He serves as a board member and adviser to a number of microfinance institutions and international charities engaged in supporting the livelihoods of low income communities. He is a non-executive director on the Guernsey domiciled $210 million impact investment fund, Partners Group Impact Investments(PGII).


Justin Sykes

Founder & Managing Director

Michelle brings over 25 years of legal, corporate finance and fiduciary experience to impact investment. Prior to joining Innovest in 2016, Michelle was a Senior Partner of a US law firm, specialising in corporate finance transactions, including initial public offerings, structured finance and M&A transactions. After relocating to the UK she established the UK subsidiary of a global legal and financial services firm serving international capital markets clients. Upon leaving commercial practice, Michelle served as an advisor and fiduciary of nonprofits and social finance initiatives, helping to facilitate the strategic deployment of philanthropic and social investment capital to achieve social change.


Michelle McMahon


Jo is an expert in socio-economic development in emerging economies, with over 15 years experience in international development, climate change and impact investing. She has considerable programme delivery experience in the sectors of water, infrastructure, energy, agriculture and climate change through her work with UK Aid (DFID), HNWIs, the Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund. During her time with PwC in London, Jo provided sustainability and climate change advisory to corporates. With 10 years working and living in Africa and South America, she has a deep understanding of sustainable economic development in this context.


Jo McDonnell

Impact Lead

Ali studied BA International Studies at Leiden University, specialising in the developing region of South Asia. Ali has spent time studying in Pune, India with a particular focus on the experience of women within the political, economic and cultural space of India. Ali has experience working in both the private and public sector in Guernsey, the Netherlands and non-profit organisations in India. Ali supports the Innovest team in Guernsey in various capacities including project coordination, communication and impact client support.


Ali Buckland

Communications and Project Officer

Dominique brings a background in development economics and development finance gained from South Africa, the UK and USA. She brings experience from corporate social investments where she took on a wide range of education initiatives and developed and headed a national bursary program for South Africa’s largest listed primary REITs. She has experience on the ground in developing impact architecture, including theories of change and impact measurement frameworks. Dominique has MSc Development Economics from SOAS University London, a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Finance from the University of Stellenbosch Business School and a BA in Economics from Colorado College, USA.


Dominique Wells

Impact Investing Analyst

British and Zimbabwean national, born in Zimbabwe and educated in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh law school. Nele trained as a commercial lawyer with a silver circle law firm and now specialises in private equity, structured finance and general corporate and commercial law with an offshore magic circle law firm. He has a strong professional interest in impact investing and ‘re-purposing offshore capital’ towards impact investments in Africa. Nele has been involved in the design and execution of a number of impact investment corporate transactions and structuring in the African Agribusiness sector as well as being a founder of two African owned and operated social enterprises – one a specialist trade finance house for African agribusiness SMEs called Genesis and the other Moolah! a FinTech solution to support access to finance for Dairy farmers in Kenya. Nele also holds a Lean Six Sigma Leadership qualification from the University of Oxford and a Social Sciences (Hons) degree from Edinburgh Napier University.


Nele Bhebhe

Non-Executive Director

Morgan has 15 years’ experience working in the international economic development space, spanning both the non-profit and corporate finance sectors. She began her career with the Soros Foundation Network, leading the spin-off of its extractives industry governance program into an independent economic policy institute called the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI). As NRGI’s Director of Finance and Administration much of her work focused on donor relations, grant-making, international operations and legal compliance. In 2015 should moved to South Africa and joined Absa Bank Group (formerly Barclays Africa Group) as their General Manager for Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting in Group Citizenship. She was part of the senior management team that designed the Bank’s shared value strategy. In addition to driving impact measurement and reporting frameworks across the business, she also supported their journey for integration of corporate sustainability approaches and ESG standards into business operations and corporate disclosures. She represented Absa on the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) Sustainable Finance Committee and the Positive Impact Finance Working Group, as well as on the South African National Business Initiative (NBI) Advisory Council for Environment and Society. Morgan has a degree in Government and Economics, and has worked on-the-ground in over 30 countries. She is a member of the Institute of Directors of South Africa (IoDSA).


Morgan Mandeville


Piers has five years’ experience as an Africa-focused strategic advisory consultant, supporting companies and development institutions investing and operating on the continent. He has a strong understanding of the political, economic, and commercial dynamics of various African jurisdictions, and brings this expertise to bear when advising clients on issues ranging from market entry to stakeholder engagement. Piers has undertaken consultancy projects in numerous sectors, and has particular experience in financial services and energy. Piers began his career at Lloyds Banking Group, latterly working in the debt capital markets business. He holds an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, a BA from King’s College London, and the CFA Society of the UK’s IMC. Piers is based in London, but frequently works from East Africa, particularly Uganda.


Piers Dawson


Brendan’s professional experience covers an international finance career achieving global sector and national leadership roles spanning over 32 years, 22 as a Partner with PwC, former CEO of PwC Channel Islands and Global Private Equity Leader within the PwC Global Asset & Wealth Management Leadership Team. Brendan acts as adviser and independent non-executive director for organisations that believe in long term value creation. He chairs Audit and Risk Committees for one of Jersey’s oldest firms and a number of private equity advisers. He also chairs the commercialisation of a European Biomedical innovative solution that solves a major global health challenge, working with the founder, Enterprise Ireland and NovaUCD. Brendan is a founding member and Chair of the Jersey Policy Forum and the Jersey Good Business Charter. He is Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and also an alumni of University of Cambridge Business Sustainability Leadership programme.


Brendan McMahon

Private Equity Funds Advisor


Dr Ben Taylor


Lee Sorensen


Dr. Atef Shabrawy


Reuben Coulter


Nisrin Metcalfe-Zerekli


Imogen Box


We Are Hiring!

Office Manager

As a small company working in an exciting sector, we value the right fit over formal qualifications or experience. We are looking for our next valued team member based out of our newly established Johannesburg office. The role is based in Morningside, Johannesburg. 

We are looking for someone to work closely with our team to help manage our office as our internationally based team grows. This is an opportunity to join an exciting early stage business that puts social and environmental mission at the centre of what we do. As a small team, the role would be varied with daily tasks including accounts, managing client relationships, HR management, developing internal systems, monitoring payroll, supporting events, communications, CRM management and general office support.

For more information see here


Let’s Talk

Get in touch and tell us your story

+44(0)1481 715507

Find Us



Johannesburg, South Africa