Derek Thomas | Development Economist

Derek Thomas, Development Economist, Letsema

Derek Thomas is the co-founder, shareholder and CEO of Letsema Holdings (Pty) Ltd. Letsema is a privately-held investment holding company with long-term interests in management consulting, third-party investment management and proprietary investments. 

Over 20 years with the group, Thomas has led each of the firm’s operating divisions.

Thomas serves on the boards of various private companies and is Chairman of the Board of Transpaco Limited (a JSE-listed packaging company). 

Thomas holds two Master’s Degrees in Economics, from the University of London and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), respectively. He is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Africa Leadership Initiative, South Africa. He is also a member and moderator of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Over the last three years, his moderating focus has been directed at the design and delivery of an initiative for young South African leaders, (YALI) modelled on the successful AGLN programme. Thomas also enjoyed a season of being the presenter of Think Big, a TV show focused on promoting entrepreneurship in South Africa; the show was screened on SABC 3 during 2014 and won an industry award (SAFTA).

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