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 Leslie Maarsdorp

Leslie Maasdorp
Leslie Maasdorp is President of Bank of America Merrill Lynch for Southern Africa. He was appointed to this role in January 2011. From 2006 until 2010 Leslie served as Vice Chairman of Barclays Capital and Absa Capital, responsible for senior client coverage at CEO and Chairman level for the investment bank. In 2002 he became the first African to be appointed as International Adviser to Goldman Sachs International, a role he served until 2006.

Prior to his 10 years as a senior investment banker, he occupied several leadership positions in the South African Government. From 1992 he served as economic policy advisor to the Department of Economic Planning of the African National Congress (ANC). In 1994, at age 27, he was appointed Special Adviser to the Minister of Labour, Mr Tito Mboweni, in the first democratically elected Government of South Africa.

In 1999 he was appointed as Deputy Director General in the Department of Public Enterprises leading the restructuring and privatisation program of the Government.
In 2007 he was designated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, in recognition of his active and leadership role as a catalyst for change, through organised business in South Africa. He is passionate about education as the principal driver of long term prosperity for all. In this regard he is active in the education sector in South Africa and was appointed Chairman of Advtech in 2010. Advtech is one of the largest listed private education companies on the JSE and a leader in quality education, training and skills development.  Advtech owns several leading private institutions including Crawford Schools, Varsity College, Abbotts College, Vega, Trinity House, amongst others.
In 2012 he was appointed by the Government as a non-executive director of Telkom.
He also serves on the Board of the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), the non-profit social investment fund set up by George Soros. In 2009, Leslie was elected Vice President of Business Leadership South Africa, (BLSA) the umbrella body of big business representing the CEO’s and Chairmen of the top 80 listed companies in SA, a position he still holds.
During the 1980’s, he played a leading role in student and youth organisations campaigning for an end to Apartheid. He was elected as SRC President at the University of the Western Cape in 1986 after serving as Media officer of the SRC in 1985. In the 1985 and the 1986 State of Emergencies, he was arrested and detained without trial for 15 months. After graduating with distinction, he joined the trade union movement to become Regional Secretary of the Garment and Allied Workers Union.
Leslie holds a B.A degree in Economics and Psychology from the University of the Western Cape and a Master of Science degree in Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.


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