Julian is the founder of Aprio Strategic Communications and has over 30 years’ extensive experience in managing communication programmes with a particular focus on reputational enhancement campaigns. Aprio has a team of 22 experienced communicators located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and is one of South Africa’s leading communication advisory group’s working across key sectors of the corporate environment offering multi-stakeholder campaigns, crisis and issue management, and specialist investor relations. Julian has extensive corporate and agency experience in South Africa and North America and has served as communication advisor for several JSE listed companies and multinationals. His recent IPO experience includes Multichoice, Bidcorp, Long4Life, Dischem, Quilter/Old Mutual Wealth and Cartrack, together with major transactions such as Old Mutual’s managed separation, Barclays’ sell down of Absa, and Walmart and Starbucks’ respective entries into South Africa, among various other corporate actions.


Webster is a highly skilled corporate communications executive with deep experience in the financial services sector and an extensive wealth of knowledge of African markets. He previously served as Head of Communication for Absa Regional Operations (Absa Group’s businesses outside South Africa) where he oversaw the communication workstream in the successful rollout of the Absa brand in previously Barclays-branded African operations. Prior, he served as Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Barclays Bank Zambia (now Absa Bank Zambia) where he was a member of the country executive management committee.

Before pivoting into corporate communications, Webster worked as a business and political journalist and served as editor at The Post newspaper in his home country of Zambia, at the time the leading national daily. He was a non-executive director on the board of the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper between 2012 and 2015. Webster holds university degrees in mass communication and international business management.


Esme Arendse, the CEO, shareholder and director of Aprio Credence, is a seasoned reputation and communication strategist, with almost 25 years’ experience in corporate communications, the management of reputation risk and stakeholder engagement in large and complex multinational enter-prises.

Over the last few years Esme has specialised in advising executive teams on reputation risk and has led expert professional teams on major, confidential reputation risk issues. She works with companies to build capability and resilience for the management and mitigation of enterprise reputation risk. She has acted as lead reputation advisor for one of South Africa’s biggest corporate governance rehabilitation programmes, working alongside the client Exco, leading law firms, corporate finance and audit teams.


Our Botswana team is led by Country Managing Partner, Ulla Setswalo, who has garnered years of experience and leadership in the media and strategic communications field across both Botswana and the broader African region. She has previously undertaken consultancy work for Plato Institute in Greece. In recognising the need for integration and redefining corporate communication among the African countries, Ulla has a strong belief that it is time for Africans to efficiently take the lead in changing the narrative of the communications agenda for clients with a shared purpose.


Alan Arguile, director, founding shareholder and principal consultant at Aprio Credence, brings with him more than 30 years of stress-tested communications experience and a proven network of heavyweight communication, marketing, organisational development and other specialised consulting associates from around South Africa and the globe.

One of South Africa’s most experienced executive trainers, Alan has personally presented more than 1,400 media and crisis training sessions across the continent. He has provided counsel on more than 250 real-world crises across industries and sectors, and facilitated the reputation management elements of around 100 large-scale crisis simulations.


Thomas has had extensive background in Strategic Communications and designing Business-to-business communications solutions for clients in the UK and South Africa. He leads the Aprio Digital team in developing integrated strategies, supported by strong thought leadership, that get brands in front of the audiences, influencers and decision-makers that matter most to them.


Nikki, the CEO of Aprio IR, is an IR specialist with a thorough understanding of capital markets and investment finance. She began her career at the South African Reserve Bank as an international bullion dealer, subsequently gaining significant experience in treasury and corporate finance. Following her career in finance, she has held various executive Investor Relations roles across sectors. She has been ranked in the top three IR professionals in the Institutional Investor rankings in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and was a founding member of the IR Society of South Africa. Nikki has a post-graduate degree in Economics and a MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science.