Welcome to Bridge
The day-to-day business operations are headed by five Executive Management Committee members. The Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Growth Officer and Chief Executive Legal Risk & Compliance.
The board comprises of three executive directors and two non-executive directors and retains full and effective control over Bridge.
Strong independent oversight is in place at all levels throughout Bridge. Various committees allow executive management and the board to evaluate the risks of the business environment, as well as the effectiveness of the management thereof.
The board's independence from the team responsible for the daily management of Bridge will be maintained by:
- Functioning board committees comprised mainly of non-executive directors;
- The non-executive directors not holding fixed term contracts;
- All directors, with prior permission of the board, being entitled to seek independent professional advice on the affairs of Bridge at Bridge's expense;
- All directors having access to the advice and services of Bridge Secretary; and
- The appointment or dismissal of Bridge Secretary being decided by the board as a whole and not by one individual director.
The board retains full and effective control over Bridge. The board intends to meet at least four times a year with additional meetings called, if necessary or desirable. Information relevant to a meeting will be supplied on a timely basis to the board ensuring directors can make informed decisions. The board is also responsible for monitoring the activities of the executive management.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Emile, CEO of Bridge, is a true entrepreneur with 19 years' experience in the micro-lending and unsecured credit industry in South Africa. He has been instrumental in transforming Bridge from a small family concern to a large public company, firstly as the Chief Operating Officer and for the last three years as Chief Executive Officer.
His prime responsibilities include aligning the company's different business units, his EXCO team and all employees and stakeholders with the strategic direction of the board, and ensuring that Bridge remains at the bleeding edge of a young and exciting industry with huge prospects for growth.
Apart from being an Executive Member of the Bridge board, he serves on various other Boards as a Non-Executive or Independent Director, amongst them the board of Micro Finance South Africa (MFSA), the representative body of registered and legal Microfinance Credit Providers in South Africa. He has also served as a councillor at local government level and is a member of the Institute of Directors (IOD).
He holds an MBA, a ND Mechanical Engineering and a ND Aeronautical Engineering.
Maritz currently holds the position of CEO of 1Surance. Appointed as a Non-Executive on the Bridge board in 2013, he also serves as Non-Executive Chairman of Onesys Financial Limited (UK), Non-Executive Chairman of Global Georgia, Non-Executive Chairman of FrameworkOne and Executive Chairman of Stradix Capital Limited (UK).
The holder of an MBA (Bond University, Australia), Maritz proved from an early age to be a risk taker and entrepreneur. In 1993, after his Military service, Maritz continued his entrepreneurial passion and later co-founded Bridge together with his father and brother.
His experiences in the unsecured credit market lead him to pursue similar opportunities in the United Kingdom and later successfully founded Onesys Financial Limited (UK). Maritz was intimately involved in successfully negotiating terms with the Government of Georgia, resulting in laws enacted for the benefit of South Africans taking advantage of investment and immigration opportunities in Georgia. He went on incorporating Global Georgia, an international company facilitating investments in Georgia. In recent years another opportunity presented itself in the insurance industry and once again Maritz decided to actively pursue this highly regulated industry, founding 1Surance.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE LEGAL RISK & COMPLIANCE AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Clifford, an Executive Director of the Bridge board, is an attorney who joined the board in January 2013. A Director of Coombe Commercial Attorneys Incorporated; he is a specialist in legislation surrounding the provision of financial credit as embodied in the National Credit Act, the Consumer Protection Act and other legislation governing the administration and governance of companies in South Africa.
Clifford is well-known for his submissions on the National Credit Act, which he made to the parliamentary sub-committee when the ground breaking legislation was making its way through the legislative process, and the development of business models for credit risk management.
Besides being a practicing attorney and conveyancer in South Africa, he has also been admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.
He holds an LLB from the University of Pretoria, a Master of Laws (Contracts) from the same institution and is an admitted conveyancer of the High Court of South Africa.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Michael de Klerk
Michael is an Executive Director of the Bridge board and holds the position of Chief Financial Officer at Bridge.
He is a qualified Chartered Accountant as well as a member of CIMAC.
After being appointed as CFO of Bridge in 2011 he joined the Board at the beginning of 2013 and brings extensive experience in the financial services industry. His core experience includes strategic financial management and business turnaround. During his career which includes management consulting and being appointed as CFO within FNB he has gained invaluable experience in scorecard development, product pricing and new product development.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Conrad, Chief Operating Officer at Bridge, is an experienced CA (SA) who spent eight years in senior and executive positions at KPMG before joining Bridge at the beginning of 2013.
As one of the highest rated performers in KPMG, Conrad gained extensive experience in areas such as project and financial management, process analysis, strategic planning and various others including audit, tax and general business advisory services.
His expertise was gained through a combination of leading highly experienced and skilled multidisciplinary teams through various high-risk and high-value projects as well as assignments, planning and implementing KPMG strategic initiatives.
CHIEF GROWTH OFFICER
Neels joined Bridge in 2013 and holds the position of Chief Growth Officer.
He has 20 years of business - SMME and corporate - experience and acquired an MBA from Bond University, the Gold Coast, Australia. His sound understanding of the business life cycle, combined with vast experience across a range of industries gives him the ability to obtain a competitive advantage through leading thinking and top leadership attributes.
Through understanding complex business environments and providing top class leadership and strategy inputs he has managed to attain and share in various top industry accolades.
Driven toward business excellence and achievement he brings with him a wealth of business experience and a history of top class leadership and strategic execution.
Frik van Staden
Frik is a Non-Executive Director of the Bridge board, who joined the board at the beginning of 2013 and currently fulfils the role of CEO of Global Georgia.
With 50-plus years of experience and a holder of a BComm degree, he started his career at the Land Bank. One of his career highlights was the role of General Manager at Rustenburg Citrus Co-operation and Malelane Citrus Co-operation.