About Section

Our People

Nathan Lazarus

Nathan graduated from the University of Witwatersrand with a Bachelor of Commerce. Initially he was seconded to an insurance brokerage in Southern Rhodesia for 10 years and travelled extensively in Africa during that period.

In 1962, Nathan started the “Nathan Lazarus Insurance Group” with branches in all the major cities in South Africa and became the largest privately owned insurance brokerage in South Africa.

In 1979, Nathan sold the brokerage to the Alexander Howden Group in the UK. The group became known as Alexander & Alexander, then Price Forbes Sedgwicks, today Alexander Forbes.

Nathan founded RAM because of a gap in the market relating to the delivery of high-value diamonds and jewellery as well as his vast background in the insurance industry.

Nathan presently lives in Cape Town and, in addition to his responsibility as Chairman, runs the Cape Town office.

David Lazarus

Executive Chairman
David is an industrialist and international entrepreneur. David spent the formative six years of his career at Lloyds of London as an accredited Lloyds Broker attending to Insurance and Re-Insurance.

Thereafter David was the executive director of various food manufacturers and distributors in Botswana. Following the sale of his stake, David joined RAM as a Joint Managing Director.

David is a member of the World Presidents Organisation.

In 2014, David successfully completed the President’s Program in Leadership at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Graeme Lazarus

Managing Director
Graeme graduated from the University of South Africa with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Accounting Science (BCompt Honours) in 1993.

From 1991 to June 1994 Graeme served his articles with Kessel Feinstein Chartered Accountants (currently Grant Thornton). In 1994 he joined his father Nathan who had then just founded RAM. Graeme has been integrally involved in the successful growth and expansion of RAM from inception.

His overall responsibilities have ensured that he has a handle on every aspect of RAM’s business, including, Information Technology, Sales and Marketing, Operational Processes and Finance.

Graeme is a member of the Young Presidents Organisation.

Alan Da Costa

Group Legal Counsel
Alan previously served as an Executive Committee member and director at Werksmans Attorneys, one of South Africa’s leading law firms.

His experience covers multiple legal areas including Banking, Trade Finance & Security, Building & Construction, Collective Investment Schemes & Hedge Funds, Companies & Close Corporations, Corporate, Due Diligence Investigations, Empowerment Transactions, International Transactions, Listings/ Flotations, Stock Exchange & Public Documents, Mergers, Acquisitions & Management Buy-Outs, Mining, Energy & Resources, Notarial Bonds & Deeds, Property, Restructuring of Corporate Entities, Small Business & Franchising, Trademarks & Copyright, Wills & Trusts.

Alan graduated at the University of Witwatersrand in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Bachelor of Law Degree. He is also an admitted Attorney and Conveyancer in the High Court of South Africa.

Ian Freeman

Group Chief Financial Officer
Ian graduated from the University of Witwatersrand with a Certificate in the Theory of Accountancy. He is a Chartered Accountant and is the Financial Director at RAM.

Ian’s initial commercial experience commenced at the Schlesinger Organisation where he was the chief accountant.

On the sale of the Schlesinger to Anglo American, Ian was Management Accountant at Anglo American Properties.

In 1970, Ian joined Dan Perkins as Financial Director and steered the company through its listing on the JSE. On the sale by the Jacobson family of their interest in Dan Perkins to the McCarthy Group, he remained with the Jacobson family and guided them through the listing of RACY on the JSE. Ian was introduced to David Lazarus and was offered a position as Financial Director of Bolux in Botswana. In 2000, Ian accompanied David on his move to RAM.

Gail Claire Mkele

Executive Director
Gail is registered as a member of the South African Pharmacy Council. In 1986 Gail graduated at Rhodes University with a Bachelor of Pharmacy.

In 1993. Gail received a MSc (Med) Pharm (cum laude) from MEDUNSA.

In 2002 she received a Certificate of Practical Project Management from the UNISA School of Business Leadership.

In 2008 she was registered as an assessor with the Assessment College of South Africa under the categories of South African Pharmacy Council A10253 and ETDP SETA – AMK76550.

In the same year she was registered with the Assessment College of South Africa as a Moderator with ETDP SETA – MMK7655.

In 2010 she completed the Design and Develop Outcomes-based Assessments with the Assessment College of South Africa. From July – November 2015 she completed the course of Online Rational Medicine Use with the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

Gail presently lives in Johannesburg and is based at the Isando Head Office.

Karl Xhanti Socikwa

Non-Executive Director
BComm LLB (Rhodes), MAP (Wits), AMP (Harvard)

Karl Socikwa is the chief executive of Sanlam Sky Solutions, a business unit within the Sanlam Personal Finance cluster. Sanlam Sky Solutions provides simple and affordable financial solutions to the South African entry-level market. This business consists of 62 sales branches and 106 client care offices, conducting business through over 400 brokers and over 3 400 tied agents, all dedicated to meeting the financial needs of clients and their families.

Prior to his appointment as CE in May 2017, Karl was Chief Executive of Transnet Port Terminals from November 2009. At Transnet, Karl served as Group Company Secretary, Group Executive (Commercial), Head of Restructuring and CE of Transtel (Transnet's telecommunications division whose core assets were disposed to form Neotel). Previously Karl practiced as a lawyer with Deneys Reitz Attorneys, predecessor to Norton Rose Fulbright.

Karl holds bachelor of commerce and bachelor of law degrees from Rhodes University. His other professional qualifications include Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme, the Telecommunications and Marketing Strategy Programme through INSEAD in France, and Wits Business School’s Management Advancement Programme.

He serves as a director on a number of Boards of Private Companies and is a Governor on the Board of Governors of his alma mater Rhodes University.

Staff initiatives

We believe in nurturing talent within our company. We also embrace transformation, and firmly believe in rewarding hard work and recognising effort.

In order to create an environment where staff are encouraged and empowered to reach their full potential, we introduced “High Five”, a recognition program implemented in partnership with WOW! HR Communications.

High Five rewards excellence in the work place, fosters good morale, creates a framework for building relationships between staff and management, and continually reinforces the company’s core values of trust, teamwork, honesty, loyalty and pride.

The program was launched in 2010 and has been a continuing success.
Coronavirus ESP Certificate