De Beers Executive Committee Changes: Ventura, Rowley, Berridge See Alteration in Roles

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Announcing changes to its Executive Committee, De Beers Group today noted altered roles/designations for three senior executives: Neil Ventura, currently Executive Vice-President, Auction Sales, will become Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Innovation; Paul Rowley, currently Executive Vice-President, Global Sightholder Sales, will become Executive Vice-President, Diamond Trading; and Alessandra Berridge, currently Lead Legal Counsel for M&A at Anglo American, will become Executive Vice-President, Commercial and Partnerships.

All three appointments will be effective from February 1, 2018.

Ventura, who joined Beers in 1989, was appointed to his current position in 2007. “He pioneered the industry’s first successful physical spot sales of rough diamonds using online auctions – an innovation that has transformed the Auction Sales business – and has been a catalyst for change in selling and pricing practices across the industry,” De Beers said. Ventura has worked extensively in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Going forward, De Beers said, he will “leverage De Beers’ leading market insight and technologies to rapidly shepherd new ideas from concept to implementation”.

Rowley joined De Beers in 1983 as a trainee diamond sorter in the Rough Diamond Division; and was later sent to Kimberley on secondment for a year. He took up his current assignment in 2014, after spending seven years as Executive Director at the Diamond Trading Company from 2007 onwards.

“Paul’s expanded role will see him lead a newly consolidated diamond trading function encompassing Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales,” De Beers announced.

Berridge, on the other hand, presently leads the legal aspects of Anglo American’s portfolio restructuring and strategic transactions for De Beers. She was, earlier – from 2008 to 2013 — De Beers Group General Counsel. Prior to that, she was a partner at law firm Webber Wentzel. Berridge has extensive experience in M&A, disposals and other strategic transactions across a range of geographies, De Beers noted.

“Alessandra will lead a new function focused on managing De Beers’ commercial ventures and partnerships, including the organisation’s joint ventures with the governments of Botswana and Namibia,” the Company said.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, commented: “Our sustained success as a business will require us to maximise the performance of our core activities, while seeking new opportunities and ensuring our partnerships deliver long-term, mutual success. With these changes to our Executive Committee, we continue to shape a successful future for De Beers and its partners.

“In his 10 years heading up Auction Sales, Neil has transformed the business by constantly innovating and iterating. He has built a culture that is open to new ideas and encourages our people to actively seek out new ways of doing things. I’m looking forward to Neil continuing to spread that spirit across De Beers.

“Paul has not only led our Global Sightholder Sales business through the highly successful transfer of its sales activities from London to Gaborone, but he has also navigated the business through a range of different industry conditions and continued to build an increasingly customer-centric focus for Sightholder Sales. I am confident he will bring the same expertise, insight and customer focus to his broader role.

“Alessandra has been involved in many De Beers projects, including successive negotiations of the Botswana and Namibia joint venture and sales arrangements, the arrangements with De Beers’ empowerment partner Ponahalo in South Africa and the migration of De Beers’ sales function from London to Gaborone. I know she will bring a wealth of experience to this new role and I very much look forward to the contributions she, Neil and Paul will make as they take up their new positions.”

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