Episode #2: Women in Private equity.

Share this with a powerful woman in private equity. Share this as a powerful man in private equity.

Listen to (or watch) our podcast

Note from JH: Still need to upload audio for ep 2 to podcast host. Le’t just get the feel right and make sure that this is the way we are heading in. 🙂


Our Team

Ascension’s culture is about authentic leadership and collaboration. Ascension strives for the highest level of excellence, conducted with integrity and respect. We are people-focused and strongly believe in building genuine relationships. Our ability to leverage off one another’s diverse skills and experience to come to effective decision making gives us an edge. We care about people, communities, and the environment.

Naairah Motala CA(SA) is Chief Operating Officer and Director at Ascension Capital Partners. Naairah is responsible for the operational and financial management of the fund manager, including portfolio management of the investments. She also serves on the boards of portfolio companies.

Naairah’s background experience is in investment banking and corporate finance advisory, including experience working on B-BBEE transactions. She has previously worked at Rockwood Private Equity, EY Transaction Advisory and Rothschild & Co.

Throughout her career she has always had a love for mentorship and development. She developed the Ascension Accelerate Student programme which is targeted at historically disadvantaged students in their 3rd or 4th year of University. The programme seeks to mentor, empower, upskill and give young people access to the private equity industry through vacation work, which is typically an industry that professionals only get access to later in their careers.

Naairah is also a dressage rider, having gained her equestrian qualifications at the South African Lipizzaners. Naairah loves challenges and is currently studying Mandarin.

Naairah Motala

Chief Operating Officer

Tinyiko Ngwenya

Senior Associate

Tinyiko joined Ascension Capital Partners from Thesele Group where she served as an Associate. In her role, she was responsible for the financial modelling and initial due diligence for investment opportunities and served as a director on the boards of various portfolio companies. Prior to this, she served as a highly regarded Economist for the Old Mutual Investment Group. Tinyiko completed her articles and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2015 through Old Mutual’s TOPP programme. During this time, she rotated through Futuregrowth as a Credit Analyst, and Group Strategy and Corporate Finance in London.

Tinyiko is a CFA Charterholder and has a Sustainability and Climate Risk Certificate through the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). She completed her Executive Development Programme through the WITS Business School in 2022. Tinyiko serves as a member of the Audit & Risk Committee for the CCBSA Mintirho Foundation, and a member of the Finance & Infrastructure Committee of the Vaal University of Technology Council.

Outside of running marathons, Tinyiko enjoys spending time with her family and friends, developing a pipeline of women leaders through her non-profit, Bellona Women’s Network, and playing the piano.

Previous Episode

Episode 1: Meet the team.

Next Episode

Episode 3: Diving deeper.