Team ZAR X

The fast growing team started with the three co-fouders Etienne Nel, Geoff Cook and Graeme Wellsted.

Etienne Nel

Chief Executive Officer

B Comm – Investment Management

A career that spans over two decades in stock broking, Etienne entered the financial services industry in 1993 at First National Bank and subsequently held senior executive positions at HSBC Securities, Investec Securities Ltd and Barnard Jacobs Mellet Private Client Services. He then pioneered the “restricted over-the-counter (OTC) market" as CEO of Equity Express where he developed and established their existing OTC trading platform. Etienne founded ZAR X in March 2014. He is a member of the SA Institute of Stockbrokers.


Geoff Cook

Head: Markets and Regulations


Geoff’s extensive experience in dealing with the legal complexities in financial markets globally stems from having worked for the regulatory authority in the UK as well a number of global investment banks such as JP Morgan, Nomura and Commerzbank. The last position that he held was as Group Head of Compliance for Investec Limited where he worked for 12 years. Geoff was Chairman of the Compliance Institute of SA from 2007 to 2009.


Graeme Wellsted

Head: Listings

BA LLB, H DipTax , DipCo Law & CFP

Graeme’s legal and compliance background stems from his involvement in various sectors of financial services including the LISP, CIS, asset management, pension fund and life assurance sectors. He has dealt extensively with the FSB in his 20-year career as a legal expert in financial services and has been involved with developing and listing of complex financial instruments having worked at Momentum and Investec amongst others. Graeme is an admitted attorney of the High Court of SA.


Jim Brent

Chief Technology Officer

BSc Computer Science & Applied Mathematics

Jim obtained his degree in Applied Maths & Computer Science at the University of Natal before joining Accenture in 1988. With 20-plus years’ experience in the Financial & ITC Sectors, he has served as CIO & COO level at a number of Retail & Investment Banks and has worked in the Middle East, UK, South Africa & Zimbabwe, and has consulted on ICT solutions to the public & private sectors in various African states.


Ebrahim Ally

Chief Financial Officer

B Bus Sc. (Hons) – Finance, CA (SA)

Ebrahim began his career at KPMG (Treasury FSG Unit) in 2000 and then entered the asset management industry as an equity analyst and business development manager before moving into the telecomms industry as a business analyst for IBM. From 2009 to 2016, he served as Group CFO to a number of information technology and telecommunication start-ups in the internet and fibre space and was instrumental in the capital raising and eventual sale of the businesses.


Nicholas Harrison

Head of Systems Operations

B Comm (Hons) – Information Systems (Cum Laude)

As the Head of Systems Operations for ZAR X, Nick drives the innovative development of our world class “T+0” same day trading and settlement systems. After graduating from Rhodes University, Nick joined the custom software industry and was instrumental in developing the innovative OTC trading system used by Equity Express. Nick has several years of systems and operational experience within the financial services industry.