De Beers Group announces changes to executive committee

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The De Beers Group has announced three changes to its executive committee.

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.

In his new role, Ventura will leverage De Beers’ leading market insight and technologies to rapidly shepherd new ideas from concept to implementation. He joined De Beers in 1989 and was appointed executive vice-president, auction sales, 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.

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Rowley’s expanded role will see him lead a newly consolidated diamond trading function encompassing sightholder sales and auction sales. Rowley joined De Beers in 1983 as a trainee diamond sorter in the rough diamond division. Between 1986 and 1987, he was seconded to Kimberley, before returning to London to take up a role in the purchasing department. Rowley was appointed Executive Director at the Diamond Trading Company in 2007, and became executive vice-president, global sightholder sales, in 2014.

Elsewhere, Berridge 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. In her current role, Berridge leads the legal aspects of Anglo American’s portfolio restructuring and strategic transactions for De Beers. Previously, Berridge was De Beers Group general counsel from 2008 to 2013. Prior to that, she was a partner at law firm Webber Wentzel.

De Beers Group chief executive officer, Bruce Cleaver, says: “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.

Each of the three appointments will be effective from February 1 2018.

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