Who we are

The brain behind Quintessence is a company called f(x) Software Development, founded in 2004 by investment managers and software engineers. f(x) comprises development, consulting and marketing divisions. Our team of financial, mathematical and software development experts allows us to provide an industrial-strength decision support platform that seamlessly integrates with all aspects of the investment and research process.

The Management Team

Nico Christodoulides


Nico heads up Business Development. He has a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and over 25 years’ experience in the investment management industry. His work has primarily focused on providing quantitative and fundamental research solutions to investment professionals.

Nico loves abstract mathematics. In his spare time he dabbles in carpentry and likes to read widely, including politics, science and philosophy.

    Desmond Nyenes


    Desmond is responsible for defining the product vision. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and computer science, and more than 20 years’ experience in delivering front office solutions to the investment management industry.

    Desmond loves reading, focusing on science and avoiding politics in order to maintain a serene outlook on life. He also enjoys playing golf and keeping fit.

      Alexandra Albers

      Head of Client Operations

      Allie is our implementation project manager. She oversees project work to ensure that the best systems are implemented for our client's investment process needs. Allie holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) in Information Systems Management.

      Allie is passionate about social causes, especially those involving children and animals in need. For relaxation, she spends time at the beach with her dogs.

        Ludwich Maartens

        Head of Data Engineering

        Ludwich is the Head of Client Implementation and Support. He has a postgrad in Business Administration, is passionate about developing and empowering people, and believes that if you look after your people well, they will look after your clients. His experience is centred around the building of highly effective teams within operational structures that enable an organisation to grow and flourish.

        Ludwich is a family man at heart, enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, and staying fit through adrenaline sports.

          Lawrence McKellar

          Head of Software Engineering

          Lawrence is responsible for product development. He has over 25 years of experience in computer software engineering, having gained experience working on world class products both in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

          Lawrence loves spending time in nature with his wife and daughter. He is passionate about his spiritual life and actively practices various forms yoga and meditation.


            John Nel

            Head of Client Solutions

            John helps clients leverage the power of Quintessence throughout their business. He has a Business Science degree and is a CFA charter holder. He previously worked for Aylett & Co. Fund Managers for 5 years, finally running their Operations and IT.

            John is a mentor with SAYes and enjoys hiking in our beautiful mountains.

              Alice Santos

              Business Support Lead

              Alice supports the executive team and our business with Office Management, Human Resources, Legal and Accounts. Alice has over 20 years’ work experience, much of which has been in the financial and asset management arena.

              Alice loves travelling and is a keen landscape photographer.

                Micaela de Castro

                Technical Team Lead

                Micaela is part of the team of data engineers. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Statistics. Micaela strives to understand our clients' unique investment management and research processes, and then implementing solutions that are tailored to their needs.

                Micaela’s favourite thing to do in her free time is to travel and spend quality time with her family.

                  The Client Support Team

                  Heinrich Linnert

                  Quality Assurance Lead

                  Heinrich is the link between the data engineering and development team. Some of his functions include testing new releases, managing bugs and assisting the data engineers with the maintenance of clients data in the back-end. He has a Bachelor of Science Honours (B.Sc Hons) degree in Applied Mathematics.

                  Heinrich loves solving problems, be they related to business, engineering, economics or science.

                    Melanie van Wyk

                    Support Desk Manager

                    Melanie is responsible for front line support and escalation, as well as process optimisation to ensure we work smarter, as well as faster. She has 7 years of IT project management experience and holds a certificate in Project Management. She believes in building strong relationships with both clients and colleagues.

                    Melanie is mother to one boy and one cat. In her spare time she can be found either baking and decorating cookies, or at a kiddies birthday party.

                      Michelle Penderis

                      Project Manager

                      Michelle has joined our implementation team as a Junior Project Manager. She Loves working with people, staying organised and ensuring that solutions are delivered according to plan . Michelle holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) degree and has her Honours in Industrial Psychology.

                      Michelle loves the outdoors and is always up for a hike or new adventure. She also loves travelling, reading and enjoying wine with her family and friends.

                        Abdul-Malick Abrahams


                        Malick is one of our technicians. He is responsible for all things hardware and software related at f(x), in particular ensuring that software implementations run smoothly at clients.

                        In his free time, Malick is a keen pigeon racer, following a family tradition started by his grandfather.

                          Khulile Bhotile

                          Data Engineer

                          Khulile is a Quintessence data engineer at the company. He has a B.Com in Information Systems and Mathematics, where he graduated with 4 majors namely; Accounting, Information Systems, Mathematics and Corporate Finance and Investments. He is a strong believer and the embodiment of the philosophy that hard work can triumph over any challenges in life. He loves critical thinking, and implementing different strategies for complex problems. Khulile loves playing chess in his free time and listening to music. He believes that kindness and a warm smile go a long way in life.

                            Matthew Blackbeard

                            Data Engineer

                            Matthew has completed a Bachelor of Business Science degree in Actuarial Science. He enjoys solving complex problems and will always look to complete them to their fullest.

                            In his free time he enjoys hanging out with friends, hiking, surfing and gaming.

                              Francois Botha

                              Data Engineer

                              Francois forms part of our team of data engineers. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng) degree in Mechanical Engineering and has managed a variety of large scale projects. His analytical thinking and problem-solving skills empower him to create bespoke solutions for unique client needs.

                              Francois is an enthusiastic musician and has a high regard for positive relationships and people.

                                Mduduzi Cwele

                                Software Engineer

                                Mdu completed his BSc in Information Technology. His focus is on the front end of the software engineering process. In his free time he tinkers with weird tech stacks, does some animation work and playing indoor soccer.

                                  James Duffey

                                  Junior Software Engineer

                                  James studied Software Development at WeThinkCode_. In his free time he enjoys spending time with friends, gaming, doing research and staying up to date with tech.

                                    Lindelwa Khumalo

                                    Application Support specialist

                                    Lindelwa holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Econometrics.

                                    Lindelwa plays the violin, enjoys reading, and tutors IsiZulu.

                                      Max Matheussen

                                      Data Engineer

                                      Max completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, Applied Mathematics, and Mathematical Statistics. He loves getting into the intricacies of complex problems to ultimately find the most efficient and complete solutions.

                                      In his free time, Max likes reading focusing on fantasy and science. He also enjoys spending time with his two cats.

                                        Hiren Mavalall

                                        Data Engineer

                                        Hiren holds a Masters of Science (MSc.) degree in Chemical Engineering.

                                        Hiren enjoys all forms of sport, trying new food, watching Netflix and spending time with family and friends.

                                          Luke Parlabean

                                          Data engineer

                                          Luke is a client support data engineer. He enjoys building strong relationships and supporting various clients to implement software solutions to fit their specific business needs. He holds a degree in Computer Engineering and enjoys solving problems to get the most effective solution.

                                          In his free time, he enjoys playing water polo and spending time with friends and family.

                                            Sarah Saunders

                                            Data Engineer

                                            Sarah is one of our data engineers. She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. She likes making things neat, efficient and pretty, so working on reports is her favourite thing.

                                            Sarah enjoys hiking and working out to keep fit.

                                              Joel Saunders

                                              Data Engineer

                                              Joel has completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Mathematical Science.  He is currently enrolled in the CFA program, and is a level 1 candidate.  Joel has a passion for numbers, finance and statistics.  He loves to spend time outdoors playing football, kite surfing and generally staying fit and healthy. 

                                                Jordan Shrank

                                                Data Engineer

                                                Jordan is a part of the data engineering team. He holds a BCom. degree in Actuarial Science with Honours in Mathematical Statistics. Applying his quantitative aptitude to understanding our clients’ technical requirements, he ensures that solutions are seamlessly implemented and well supported.

                                                Jordan loves being outdoors – running and playing a variety of sport to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

                                                  Simon Sithole

                                                  Quality Assurance Engineer

                                                  Simon has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics. He enjoys reading biographies, watching movies and spending time with his family.

                                                    Emile van der Merwe

                                                    Data Engineer

                                                    Emile has completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Computing. He enjoys solving challenging problems in an efficient and timely manner. In his free time he enjoys spending time with friends, watching documentaries and gaming.

                                                      Anne-Marié Wolfaardt

                                                      Office Manager

                                                      Anne-Marié assists Alice in looking after all aspects of our business. She has over 20 years' experience in office administration, and holds a Professional Receptionist and Personal Assistant Diploma.

                                                      Anne-Marié's family is her passion. On weekends, when not being a soccer mom, she likes to fit in some hiking.

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