16 September 2021: Business Partners Limited, a specialist finance company for formal small and medium owner-managed businesses in South Africa and selected African countries, has appointed two executive directors, Rayna Dolphin and Jeremy Lang. Their appointment coincides with the rollout of a five-year strategy that will shape the immediate future of the company, with both executives set to play a pivotal role in its new direction.
In addition, the appointment of Dolphin as the company’s first female executive director marks a landmark in the history of the firm – a step that aligns with the year-on-year rise of female representation on the boards of JSE-listed companies in South Africa. According to the Women on South African boards – facts, fiction and forward thinking report by the University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa ranks third in the world in terms of female presence on boards (with 24.6 percent). With Dolphin’s appointment, Business Partners Limited joins the few companies who are taking an active stance towards better representation on executive teams and contributes to UN Sustainable Goal 5: Gender Equality.
“There has never been a more critical time for companies such as ours to promote entrepreneurship in South Africa. We are faced with harsh realities – mounting inequality, a record-high unemployment rate, civil unrest and an ever-increasing skills development gap – nevertheless, we are confident that we can contribute to alleviating these challenges. We are aware that we have our work cut out for us, however our company has consistently risen to the challenges of the past four decades and has contributed to the facilitation of 671 000 jobs in the process,” says Business Partners Limited Managing Director, Ben Bierman.
“With the addition of these two executive directors, we know we have already made great strides towards achieving new milestones,” adds Bierman.
Dolphin has almost two decades of experience in financial services at multinational corporations. She holds a BCom degree and Post-graduate Diploma in Accounting from UCT, is a qualified chartered accountant and has also completed an MBA. Her career began as an auditor of financial institutions at Deloitte. She then moved on to spend several years abroad, working in the transaction advisory and internal audit sector. Domestically, she has held managerial positions in finance and operations for The Liberty Group.
Dolphin was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer at Business Partners Limited in June 2020 and is responsible for treasury management, financial accounting and reporting, strategic planning as well as measuring and tracking company performance.
“My vision for the executive director role is to support Business Partners Limited in fulfilling its purpose and achieving the organisation’s strategic goals whilst ensuring that the company can continue to effectively finance and support entrepreneurs for another forty years and beyond. I’m honoured to accept this appointment and am committed to leading a team that is driving one of South Africa’s most pivotal sectors forward,” she says.
Lang holds the position of General Manager at Business Partners Limited and has over 17 years of experience in the financial services industry, 14 of which have been in the employment of Business Partners Limited. During his time with the company he has managed its investment activity across the Free State, Gauteng, North West and Limpopo provinces with exceptional results. His responsibility includes the overall management of three Regional Investment Funds and nine area offices as well as the post investment management and legal collections functions.
Lang has held various operational and leadership roles including Senior Investment Manager, Area Manager, and Regional General Manager, and has been a part of the executive management team of Business Partners Limited since 2016. He holds a BCom degree from UCT, is an AGA (SA) and has completed the Executive Development Programme at Stellenbosch University.
“My vision is to have a positive and long-lasting impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem by firstly, enhancing the Business Partners Limited offering through innovative financing, support and technical assistance for entrepreneurs resulting in growth and job creation. And secondly, by building on the successes already achieved by Business Partners Limited by making finance and business support more accessible to entrepreneurs in an efficient manner,” Lang says.