FTI Consulting absorbs Econex to its South African Economics Consulting practice

22 March 2019 Consultancy.co.za

Global business advisory firm FTI Consulting has made yet another move to expand its operations in South Africa, this time through the acquisition of economics consultancy Econex. The eight-member Econex team will work in the firm’s Economic & FInancial Consulting vertical. 

Forensics, litigation and economic advisory are some of FTI Consulting’s areas of specialisation, all of which are essential services in the current South African environment. Not only is the country grappling with slow economic growth, but domestic economic crime has also hit an unprecedented high.

As a result, FTI has been rapidly expanding its operations in recent years. The firm first launched in South Africa with its Strategic Communications vertical in 2005, and later added its Economic & Finance Consulting division in 2015. In 2017, FTI launched its Forensic & Litigation Consulting practice in South Africa.

Since then, the firm has made a number of additions to its personnel in the Forensics & Litigation practice starting with Kevin West as a Senior Managing Director in late 2017 and three additional Senior Managing Directors last year. The latest additions now come to its Economics & Financial Consulting vertical.

FTI Consulting absorbs Econex to its South African Economics Consulting practice

Eight professionals have now joined following the absorption of competitions and applied economics advisory firm Econex, including Nicola Theron, who was formerly Manging Director at Econex and will now serve as Senior Managing Director at FTI. Econex was founded in 2005, and offers a wide range of services that pertain to navigating complex regulatory environments to facilitate strategic decision-making.

The acquisition is accompanied by the appointment of Liberty Mncube as Managing Director and Lead for FTI’s Economic and Financial Consulting team in Johannesburg. Mncube was previously the Chief Economist at the Competition Commission and has been a Professor of Economics at a number of high-profile South African Universities.

Commenting on the appointments, Head of FTI Consulting in South Africa Petrus Marais said, “The arrival of Professor Theron and her team represents a clear statement of our aspirations in this rapidly developing market and, combined with the diverse range of expertise we are now able to offer, will enable us to continue our strong growth across the region.”

Theron herself added, “I am delighted that we are joining with FTI Consulting and very excited by what the future holds. The business, legal and regulatory landscape in South Africa is evolving at pace, and companies require ever more sophisticated support and advice. Our combined services, allied with FTI Consulting's large international network of offices and experts, will therefore enable us to provide the best possible service to our clients.”


Palesa Madumo and Tshepo Sefotlhelo take the helm at Vuma Reputation Management

18 April 2019 Consultancy.co.za

Two years after a change in ownership, South African public relations consultancy Vuma Reputation Management has announced a change in its senior leadership. Palesa Madumo and Tsehpo Sefotlhelo take over as joint CEOs at the firm to replace incumbent CEO Janine Hills.

Vuma was established in 2005, and has grown into a successful public and reputation management firm. The firm’s services include media training, stakeholder management and crisis communication, among others. In 2017, the firm underwent a change in ownership to improve its compliance status with the B-BBEE framework.

Janine Hills, who founded the company in 2005, has now stepped down from her position as CEO. Hills is a former executive in the hospitality sector and has also worked for telecom giants Vodacom in the past. Her goal with Vuma was to leverage her nearly three decades of experience to helo firms across South Africa with managing challenging economic scenarios.

Now, Hills believes it is time for her to step down from her position at the helm. She will be replaced by Palesa Madumo and Tshepo Sefotlhelo, who will act as joint CEOs. Madumo holds a degree in Management from Stellenbosch University and has over 15 years of professional experience.

Palesa Madumo and Tshepo Sefotlhelo take the helm at Vuma Reputation Management

She has communications consultancy experience, and has been the Head of Group Communications at Business Connexion. Sefotlhelo is also a highly experienced professional, having worked in the media relations domain for a number of years, including at Ogilvy public Relations.

He was a Business Director at Ogilvy, and will now take over at CEO. He holds a degree in marketing from the University of Johannesburg. As the new CEOs take over, Hills will remain on the board of Vuma, where she will continue to play an active role in organisational decisions.

“A good leader knows when to pass the baton to the next generation of leadership. It is time for the Executive Directors to take over and I am confident that they are well equipped to take Vuma Reputation Management to greater heights,” said Hills.

“We would like to thank Janine for her vision, leadership and confidence in our capabilities to lead Vuma following her years at the helm. This is a great example of what can be achieved through a true commitment to transformation. Having been in the business for years, Palesa and I have the skills and experience to scale the company and ensure its sustainability into the future,” added Sefotlhelo.


Madumo said of her promotion, “Working off an excellent foundation makes our roles - to continue providing excellent service to our valued clients and stakeholders and ensuring that the organisation has skilled and happy people working in it, an exciting prospect.”