Education: LLB (Hons), London School of Economics (1993); MA in Economics and Business McGill University (1996), Harvard Executive Programme (2012)
Sonja started her 17 year career in 1997 in deal making in South Africa, Africa and internationally after completing her studies in the fields of law, economics and management. She was a Vice-President, Investment Banking, at Deutsche Bank where she worked in their Johannesburg, London and Tokyo offices on mergers and acquisitions, privatizations, IPO's, black economic empowerment transactions and financings. She was Executive Director of Women’s Development Bank Investment Holdings in 2002 to 2007, which built a portfolio of investments to benefit a rural women's empowerment Trust, Women's Development Bank, through acquisitions in large companies, including Bidvest Ltd., FirstRand Ltd., and Discovery Ltd.
In 2008 Sonja co-founded Identity Capital Partners - a Johannesburg based boutique firm focused on investing in established and growing businesses, advising government and corporate clients, and carrying out development fund management. Its investment portfolio includes insurance, telecoms, IT, transport, mining and energy sectors. Its advisory work includes transaction advisory, public retail offers, financings, transformation and empowerment policy. Identity targets its social impact through the Identity Development Fund which manages R145m million to fund women and youth entrepreneurs (where 53 businesses have been funded to date).
Sonja has 12 years experience of Board directorships including currently as Chairman of Aquarius Platinum South Africa, and Non-executive Director of RMB Holdings and Discovery Group (previously of Anglo American Platinum and Mr Price Group). She was also previously a Trustee of the National Empowerment Fund and a member of the Presidential Working Group on BEE.
Sonja has contributed to the debate on women’s empowerment, BEE, transformation, privatisations and the economy through publications, articles and interviews. She has been awarded and recognized by the Black Management Forum and the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals. She is a member of Graca Machel’s Pan African Women’s advocacy initiative, New Faces New Voices and she is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum (Class of 2010).
In her spare time she enjoys travelling, reading, art, and music.