Elana’s career in the cultural industry spans more than 20 years. She has been instrumental in launching two of Africa’s most prominent museums, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) and Norval Foundation, and has contributed to the cultural ecosystem in Africa as a museum director, gallerist and cultural entrepreneur. Elana has a strong focus on philanthropic projects and currently is a trustee of the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust and Lalela, having been previously appointed as an advisory trustee of the Harvard Centre for African Studies board and the Gerard Sekoto Foundation.
Adrian is a hugely driven entrepreneur and businessman and is the founder and CEO of the Discovery Group. Discovery has, under Adrian’s leadership, evolved into a multinational financial services group. Widely acknowledged as a global leader in wellness behavioural change and its integration with insurance, the company is known for their Vitality unit – a massively successful lifestyle and health rewards and marketing programme launched by Adrian. He is also personally committed to a healthy lifestyle and holds a significant interest in collecting and appreciating art. Adrian is a founding investor in Aspire Art. He is committed to positive and clear-sighted leadership and brings invaluable business knowledge to Aspire.
Kevin is a corporate finance specialist with Bidvest Bank and has over 20 years of experience working with large listed companies. He is also a serious art collector, with an extensive and carefully assembled collection of his own. Kevin is passionate about the preservation and development of the art industries in Africa and raising the profile of African modern and contemporary art and artists abroad. His substantial business and finance knowledge together with his abiding interest in art led him to be instrumental in the original set-up of Aspire Art – initiating funding structures and streamlining financial elements of the company.
Ruarc is the founder and MD of Aspire and has deep and varied experience in the non-profit space, galleries, and auction houses. Ruarc started his career at Stephan Welz & Co in association with Sotheby’s where he rose to the position of Head of Art Department and Company Director. He held positions of Curator at VANSA (the Visual Arts Network of South Africa), Senior Specialist and auctioneer at Strauss & Co., and Senior Curator at Goodman Gallery before starting Aspire with the assistance and funding of Brian Joffe and Adrian Gore. He is a Board member of VANSA and is on the Board of Directors of Asele Institute. Ruarc holds a BA (Fine Art) degree from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town and an MSc (Curating and Criticism) degree from the University of Edinburgh.
Isaac is a founder and Chairman of Letsema Holdings. He was also an Executive Director at Barloworld Limited. An exceptional communicator, manager and business professional, Isaac is passionate about business being a catalyst for social change. He is the co-founder of the African Leadership Initiative, which focuses on the development of effective, values-based leaders in Africa and is Chairperson of the University of the Witwatersrand Council. Isaac is also a keen art collector and actively involved in arts in South Africa. In June 2020 he was appointed as a trustee of the Javett Arts Centre Foundation, which governs the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP).
Emile is an actuary with more than 25 years of experience. He was a partner at Deloitte before joining Discovery Health as Chief Actuary in March 2007. He now splits his time between the UK and South Africa, and takes responsibility for a range of actuarial and data science divisions in the Discovery Group. He was involved, for several years, in the leadership of the Actuarial Society of South Africa and the International Actuarial Association, in a number of roles. In 2014, the Actuarial Society of South Africa awarded him the Murray Medal – the highest award of the profession – in recognition of his contribution to the field. An established collector of contemporary art in all media, focusing on artists from Africa and its diaspora, Emile’s collection also includes, unusually, a large body of video art. His collection has been visited by many local and international museum groups, and written about in several publications. Emile has served on the Africa Acquisitions Committee of the Tate Modern for more than a decade, advising on the acquisition of works from Africa for the museum collection. He has donated artworks from Africa to several public institutions locally and internationally, and he lends works regularly for exhibitions.
Richard is a Partner in the Family Office Division of international wealth management and advisory firm Stonehage Fleming. In this capacity he manages the wealth and investments of high net worth individuals and international families. He assists clients with their day-to-day challenges regarding succession, governance and complex wealth requirements and chairs or facilitates family councils for a number of significant client families. Many of the individuals with whom Richard works collect art, and see it as an integral part of their family’s heritage and identity. Richard therefore has a substantial understanding of what art means and how it functions for many of Aspire’s own clients, and brings his experience to bear in his advisory role on the Aspire Art board.