Derek is an accountant by profession. After six years of balancing books at Kohler Packaging, however, he wanted to learn more about business. After a stint as a Sales rep and then Product Manager, Derek was recruited to join the Tongaat Foods Group. When not working, Derek enjoys a game of golf and watching his daughter and two sons playing sports. Derek used to be runner and has completed 50 marathons and ultra-marathons. Derek joined the world of banking and credit cards in 1993 when he was offered a position in a small family-owned company. One of their businesses was Africard. They produced 350 000 cards per month in those early days and employed about 20 people. When Altech bought Africard in 2001, Derek’s 90 employees were producing up to two million cards a month.
The acquisition was perfectly timed. Africard needed the technology expertise and backing of a large group to move the business forward, while Altech wanted to develop its own card producing capability for the local market. Shortly after the acquisition, Altech consolidated its card-related businesses into Altech Card Solutions under Derek’s leadership.
In January 2004, Altech Card Solutions acquired the switching operations of AST (now Gijima AST). This was their first major entry into the annuity income stream environment. Up until then, their only annuity was from repairs and maintenance and software development for point-of-sale devices. This allowed them to compliment the services provided by the banks by offering the customer additional value-added services. The subsequent acquisition of Namitech by Altech triggered a series of organisational changes. The net result was that Altech Card Solutions moved away from producing cards and into providing information and cryptographic security solutions. The company also began to host infrastructure on behalf of third parties as well as providing a full suite of managed security services