GSS Acorns

Our Profiles


Marjorie has over twenty years’ experience in financial services in global leadership roles. Most of her career was spent in the City of London. Additionally, she has worked in Canada, the Netherlands and South Africa.

She is a Past President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) , headquartered in the UK. She became the IFoA’s first president of colour, the youngest and third female in the organisation’s 160-year history.

Marjorie serves an independent non-executive director to insurance companies in South Africa and Nigeria. In this capacity, she chairs the risk management and actuarial subcommittees of the boards. 

She is a trustee of two social justice non-for-profit organisations active in Southern Africa. She is the chairperson of the Canon Collins Educational and Legal Assistance Trust which supports scholars who will powerfully influence positive societal change. She is a board member of the Legal Resources Trust which uses the law as an instrument to remove persistent and pervasive structural obstacles to human rights.

Her prior executive roles include being a member of the Group Executive Committee of Liberty Group in South Africa, playing the role of Chief Strategist and Chief Risk Officer of Old Mutual’s African Operations. She was the founding Executive Director of the African Leadership University’s School of Insurance, an industry driven initiative to deepen insurance talent on the African continent.

Marjorie is an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues . In her executive career Marjorie was typically the only ethnic minority (and woman) in her leadership teams. She has spoken extensively on the topic of diversity, with an emphasis on the benefits of cognitive diversity. She is the co-chair of a DEI strategy working group for the IFoA.

In the boardroom, she has worked with executive teams to shift the dial and develop cultures and practices of inclusion. She has co-created transformation strategies and roadmaps towards ensuring greater minority representation in firms.

Through her work as a leadership and life coach she demonstrates her passion for personal growth.  She works with clients to navigate their personal and professional lives authentically and overcome their barriers to success.

Marjorie trained as an actuary and holds a Sloan Masters of Leadership and Strategy from the London Business School.


Ian is a former MD of Control Data South Africa and Computer Sciences South Africa. Both were subsidiaries of US corporations.

In his subsequent 20 years of coaching, he has worked with executive and board teams on issues of diversity and team effectiveness as well as other strategic initiatives.

During his corporate career, he presented to Boards of Directors of major private and state owned entities including Eskom (the State owned electricity supply utility),  the CSIR (the national industrial and scientific research agency), as well as corporate enterprises in steel manufacturing and financial services.

Originally from the UK, Ian has a deep working knowledge of the critical aspects of the hiring, development, promotion and strategic deployment of talent from all social categories. This knowledge has been gained from his executive career as well as numerous years of coaching in the South African environment.

Ian has negotiated with governments, liberation movements, employers, trades union, students, commercial structures, academia, media, religious and secular activists, in order to create workable programmes for educating and training people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

In 2020, in collaboration with a small group of similarly qualified executives and coaches, Ian designed a programme for empowering non-executive directors. This programme expanded into a framework for improving the effectiveness of corporate and institutional boards through incisive coaching interactions. A key innovation in this framework is the notion of pairing non-executive with executive directors in assignments between board meetings.

Also in 2020, Ian and Lee Griessel piloted a 2 day experiential workshop to initiate senior IT professionals into the best practices leading to their full participation at executive committee level.


Chitupa began her early career in change management and business process engineering. She is now a seasoned coach with over fifteen years as a practitioner and coach in the financial services sector. Her speciality is culture development with a focus on leadership strategies, organisational sustainability and Energy!

As a senior executive, she headed up an M&A team with a telecoms company and then set up her own business consultancy and coaching business in South Africa with global clients including the Africa, India, Americas and Europe region. ​

Her career has seen her working in organisations where she has been the only black person in the organisation and the only woman.

Chitupa intricately understands the enormity of the challenges that women, people of colour as well as people of different nationalities have to literally wade through every day​ based on their "profile" in addition to dealing with all organisational work issues where they are expected to excel without the necessary equitable support.​

One of her happiest accomplishments was integrating an African business with a Belarussian business where many diversity issues were critical and needed to be properly addressed and resolved if the multi million business was going to excel in the International commodity market.​


Lee is an experienced leadership and executive coach. She was born in Swaziland and grew up within that culture in her formative years. At a very young age, she was exposed to several different cultures including a very rigid strict culture causing her to question fairness and diversity.​Lee spent much of her youth and late teens in Zimbabwe and experienced the changes there as the country went through significant shifts in government and ways of work.​

Lee has run her own coaching practice since 2007 and has many years of experience in the Corporate as well as small business environments.​  Lee has experience in the IT arena from programming, business analysis and project management and has enjoyed time in various industries. Lee has also had extensive experience in management and leadership and has been in various senior management roles. Her roles as businesswoman, mother, and entrepreneur allow her to have great insight into some of the areas that impact individuals in the workplace.

Lee focuses on supporting in CEOs to develop their leadership skills as well as supporting exco team members to develop executive presence. Her work in self leadership and team effectiveness enables teams to take ownership and build resilient cultures. 

Through this work, Lee has supported many initiatives that directly address diversity and inclusion issues in the workplace. Her skills, knowledge and lived experience  support her in working at many different levels.​

She has worked on cross border initiatives in many African countries, where cultural issues and ways of work were explored, and where leadership consciously created more empowering and inspired workplaces. Over the last 2 years, Lee has expanded her business and now does most of her coaching virtually. This has allowed her to engage with a diverse client base from many different companies, cultures, and countries. Lee now has clients in the UK, USA, Italy, Slovenia, India, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Canada, Morocco, Australia, and South Africa.

She has also supported interns from  disadvantaged backgrounds and supported organisations in developing and enabling many small businesses through their supplier development programmes.​