Our People

Meet the team behind our pioneering products and solutions.

  • Jake
    Shepherd

    Co-founder and Technical Director
  • Michael
    Shapiro

    Managing Director
  • Darryl
    Govender

    Head of Cloud Services
  • Steyn
    Basson

    Divisional Director
  • Tom
    Wells

    Chief Innovation Officer
  • Archana
    Arakkal

    Machine Learning Engineer
  • Jeanette
    Fevrier

    Senior Software Developer
  • Marais
    Neethling

    Head of Customer Success
  • Tjaard du Plessis

    Head of Digital and Emerging Technology
  • Luke
    Machowski

    Specialist Product Architect
  • Pierre
    Aurel

    Product Manager: Payments
  • Elmarie
    Grant

    Head of Synthesis Academy
  • Aimeé
    McNamara

    Human Resources Manager
  • Darren
    Bak

    Head Solutionist
  • Gareth
    Corbishley

    Financial and Commercial Director
  • Carl
    Singleton

    Head of Business Development
  • Walter van Wyk

    Head of Managed Services
  • Sue-Ann Huyser

    General Manager
  • Howard Feldman

    Head of Marketing & People
  • Kim
    Furman

    Marketing Manager

Jake
Shepherd

Co-founder and Technical Director

Jake Shepherd is the Technical Director at Synthesis. He co-founded Synthesis Software Engineering together with Dr Jack Cohen in 1997, bringing with him a passion for programming that began when he got his first computer, a Commodore Vic20, and taught himself to program first in Basic, and then in assembly language. His current focus is on providing technical direction to the Synthesis team, while managing project deliverables and the direction of the product architecture. Jake is recognised for mentoring Synthesis team members, and developing their skills to enhance the company’s capability. Jake holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Michael
Shapiro

Managing Director

Michael Shapiro is the Managing Director of Synthesis. Before joining Synthesis in 2004, Michael held various positions at Internet Solutions, Dimension Data and Miraculum. With a strong interest in the FinTech sector, and how technology and information security is shaping financial services, Michael’s current focus is on leading the strategy, marketing, sales, entrepreneurship, and customer satisfaction for Synthesis. Michael holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Darryl
Govender

Head of Cloud Services

Darryl Govender is the Head of Cloud Services at Synthesis. Since joining Synthesis in 2014, Darryl has maintained a strong and committed focus to customer delivery while encouraging ownership and accountability within the company. His current focus is on managing a fast growing and competitive business unit that has helped some of the country’s largest financial and retail institutions realise competitive differentiation with cloud computing. He is recognised for growing the internal team and accelerating their expertise in cloud, and has helped Synthesis achieve AWS Premier Consulting Partner status, backed by over 140 employee AWS certifications, five of which he holds personally.

Steyn
Basson

Divisional Director

Steyn Basson is the Director of Integration and Products at Synthesis. Since joining Synthesis in 2002 straight out of university, Steyn has gained significant experience in the markets and regulatory reporting spaces, especially as they relate to the integration of multiple diverse platforms. With a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of product development, his current focus is on products related to regulatory reporting, as well as market integration. Steyn is recognised for his ability to drive product strategy to market from start to finish, as well as his ability to troubleshoot complex scenarios. Steyn holds and MSc in Computer Science from the University of Johannesburg.

Tom
Wells

Chief Innovation Officer

Tom joined Synthesis in 2004, bringing with him a background in simulation and command & control systems having spent the prior years at African Defence Systems. Tom guides the technical strategy and leads the innovation area at Synthesis, with his current focus on building distributed, hyper-scale, data driven and real-time platforms. Tom holds a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science (Information Systems) from Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

Archana
Arakkal

Machine Learning Engineer

Archana Arakkal is a Machine Learning Engineer at Synthesis. She joined Synthesis in June 2018, bringing with her four years of experience in product engineering, cloud research and development and product implementation. Her current focus is on artificial intelligence (AI), AI education and responsibly getting AI systems into production. She is recognised for her AI expertise. She holds a Masters in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and she holds numerous certificates, including in Big Data and AWS.

Jeanette
Fevrier

Senior Software Developer

Jeannette Fevrier is a Senior Software Developer at Synthesis. She joined Synthesis in 2011, bringing with her a wealth of Agile project experience from a diverse range of development projects, including solutions for online banking, trade finance, VAT reclaim, and credit facility systems. Her current focus is on using cutting edge technology to create digital solutions that harness the power of cloud computing. She is recognised for being innovative, and focusing on collaborating closely with clients to ensure that end product adds true business value. Jeannette holds a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science from the University of Greenwich in 2010.

Marais
Neethling

Head of Customer Success

Marais Neethling is Head of Customer Success at Synthesis. He joined Synthesis in 2010, first as a Senior Software Developer, before turning his attention to customer relationship management and business development. Having delivered a number of successful projects in the areas of regulatory reporting and payments, Marais has rekindled an old passion, machine learning, and his current focus is on applying his knowledge and experience to help customers build software that unlocks the optimal human-machine synergies to deliver real value. Marais holds an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Pretoria.

Tjaard du Plessis

Head of Digital and Emerging Technology

Tjaard du Plessis is Head of Digital and Emerging Technology at Synthesis. He joined Synthesis in 2012, bringing with a strong technical background and more than a decade experience in delivering software for large enterprises. His current focus is on levelling up businesses using emerging technology. Tjaard is recognised for his creativity and vision for reinventing the old. He's an agile, lean, and extreme programming evangelist who speaks at conferences and runs innovation workshops to help large enterprises with their digital transformation. Tjaard holds an MSc in Computer Science.

Luke
Machowski

Specialist Product Architect

Luke Machowski is a Specialist Product Architect at Synthesis. He joined Synthesis in 2014, bringing with him more than seven years of product development, machine learning, data analytics, and quality assurance experience. His current focus is on disrupting the traditional ways of doing Regulatory Compliance in the field of RegTech. He leads a team helping financial companies comply with reporting regulations, bringing new and novel techniques to a traditionally challenging field, utilising machine learning to reduce the drudgery of compliance, and generally moving the field of RegTech forward with the times. Luke is recognised for his deep analytical abilities, breadth and depth of programming languages, creative solutions to hard problems, his mentorship skills, and dependability in difficult situations. Luke holds an MSc degree in Engineering in the field of Machine Intelligence, and is currently working on his PhD in the field of Nano Version Control.

Pierre
Aurel

Product Manager: Payments

Pierre is a Senior Consultant at Synthesis Software Technologies and the Product Manager for Synthesis Cryptography and Payment products. Pierre joined Synthesis in 2018, bringing with him over 13 years of financial service industry experience, dealing with compliance, security and on-boarding initiatives in the UK, UAE and South Africa. His current focus is on cutting-edge innovation in the Payments and Crypto space. He is recognised for his payments and cryptography expertise, his exceptional work ethic and his unrelenting innovative thinking. He holds a BSc IT in Computer Science and an MBA from GIBS, where he completed his thesis on the topic of cybercrime. Pierre is proud of his involvement and the critical role he played during the planning and delivery of the 2010 FIFA World Cup when he was the IT Project Manager for FIFA Ticketing.

Elmarie
Grant

Head of Synthesis Academy

Elmarie Grant heads up the Synthesis Academy. She joined Synthesis in 2019, bringing with her more than 20 years of professional learning and development, coaching and instructional design experience. Having worked across a variety of industries (including IT, healthcare, marketing and legal services), she holds qualifications in project management, marketing and leadership and is an accredited trainer with the Institute for Leadership and Management (ILM) in London. She obtained her Baccalareus Artium in Psychology, Languages and International Politics from University of Pretoria. Elmarie’s current focus is developing Synthesis’s training offerings to accelerate competence in emerging technologies and create rapid learning experiences for both our employees and our customers.

Archana
Arakkal

Machine Learning Engineer

Archana Arakkal is a Machine Learning Engineer at Synthesis. She joined Synthesis in June 2018, bringing with her four years of experience in product engineering, cloud research and development and product implementation. Her current focus is on artificial intelligence (AI), AI education and responsibly getting AI systems into production. She is recognised for her AI expertise. She holds a Masters in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and she holds numerous certificates, including in Big Data and AWS.

Jeanette
Fevrier

Senior Software Developer

Jeannette Fevrier is a Senior Software Developer at Synthesis. She joined Synthesis in 2011, bringing with her a wealth of Agile project experience from a diverse range of development projects, including solutions for online banking, trade finance, VAT reclaim, and credit facility systems. Her current focus is on using cutting edge technology to create digital solutions that harness the power of cloud computing. She is recognised for being innovative, and focusing on collaborating closely with clients to ensure that end product adds true business value. Jeannette holds a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science from the University of Greenwich in 2010.

Marais
Neethling

Head of Customer Success

Marais Neethling is Head of Customer Success at Synthesis. He joined Synthesis in 2010, first as a Senior Software Developer, before turning his attention to customer relationship management and business development. Having delivered a number of successful projects in the areas of regulatory reporting and payments, Marais has rekindled an old passion, machine learning, and his current focus is on applying his knowledge and experience to help customers build software that unlocks the optimal human-machine synergies to deliver real value. Marais holds an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Pretoria.

Tjaard du Plessis

Head of Digital and Emerging Technology

Tjaard du Plessis is Head of Digital and Emerging Technology at Synthesis. He joined Synthesis in 2012, bringing with a strong technical background and more than a decade experience in delivering software for large enterprises. His current focus is on levelling up businesses using emerging technology. Tjaard is recognised for his creativity and vision for reinventing the old. He's an agile, lean, and extreme programming evangelist who speaks at conferences and runs innovation workshops to help large enterprises with their digital transformation. Tjaard holds an MSc in Computer Science.

Luke
Machowski

Specialist Product Architect

Luke Machowski is a Specialist Product Architect at Synthesis. He joined Synthesis in 2014, bringing with him more than seven years of product development, machine learning, data analytics, and quality assurance experience. His current focus is on disrupting the traditional ways of doing Regulatory Compliance in the field of RegTech. He leads a team helping financial companies comply with reporting regulations, bringing new and novel techniques to a traditionally challenging field, utilising machine learning to reduce the drudgery of compliance, and generally moving the field of RegTech forward with the times. Luke is recognised for his deep analytical abilities, breadth and depth of programming languages, creative solutions to hard problems, his mentorship skills, and dependability in difficult situations. Luke holds an MSc degree in Engineering in the field of Machine Intelligence, and is currently working on his PhD in the field of Nano Version Control.

Pierre
Aurel

Product Manager: Payments

Pierre is a Senior Consultant at Synthesis Software Technologies and the Product Manager for Synthesis Cryptography and Payment products. Pierre joined Synthesis in 2018, bringing with him over 13 years of financial service industry experience, dealing with compliance, security and on-boarding initiatives in the UK, UAE and South Africa. His current focus is on cutting-edge innovation in the Payments and Crypto space. He is recognised for his payments and cryptography expertise, his exceptional work ethic and his unrelenting innovative thinking. He holds a BSc IT in Computer Science and an MBA from GIBS, where he completed his thesis on the topic of cybercrime. Pierre is proud of his involvement and the critical role he played during the planning and delivery of the 2010 FIFA World Cup when he was the IT Project Manager for FIFA Ticketing.

Elmarie
Grant

Head of Synthesis Academy

Elmarie Grant heads up the Synthesis Academy. She joined Synthesis in 2019, bringing with her more than 20 years of professional learning and development, coaching and instructional design experience. Having worked across a variety of industries (including IT, healthcare, marketing and legal services), she holds qualifications in project management, marketing and leadership and is an accredited trainer with the Institute for Leadership and Management (ILM) in London. She obtained her Baccalareus Artium in Psychology, Languages and International Politics from University of Pretoria. Elmarie’s current focus is developing Synthesis’s training offerings to accelerate competence in emerging technologies and create rapid learning experiences for both our employees and our customers.

Aimeé
McNamara

Human Resources Manager

Aimeé McNamara is the Human Resources Manager at Synthesis. She joined Synthesis in November 2019, bringing with her over 20 years of human resources expertise in the financial services and fintech industries. Her current focus is on organisational development and leading human resources strategy planning, which includes oversight of the talent management framework, performance management, employee engagement, wellness and development, HR operations, leadership, and high-potential coaching, with a strong focus on upholding the culture of Synthesis. She is recognised for her emotional intelligence, people skills, energy and approachable nature.She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand, and an Honours degree in Employee Relations from the University of Johannesburg (formerly RAU). In addition to this, Aimeé has a certificate in Intensive Coaching from Results Coaching Systems. She is a certified Chartered HR Professional with the South African Board of People Practices.

Darren
Bak

Head Solutionist

Darren Bak is the Head Solutionist at Synthesis. He joined Synthesis in 2016, bringing with him a wealth of experience in financial services industry. His current focus is on managing a growing team of exciting Solutionists who support the Synthesis Cloud Consulting, Digital, RegTech, and Training teams. In addition, in his role as head of the Synthesis Academy, Darren aims to share the practical and theoretical skills Synthesis has mastered as a learning organisation with clients. Darren is a Cloud Practitioner and a Cloud Economic Specialist focusing on AWS Cloud Adoption, Culture Transformation, as well as Cloud Operating Model implementation. He is recognised as a thought leader in the industry, and regularly presents at Cloud conferences. Darren holds a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science, with a postgraduate Diploma in Management and a Diploma in Business Analysis.

Gareth
Corbishley

Financial and Commercial Director

Gareth Corbishley is the Financial and Commercial Director at Synthesis. He joined Synthesis in 2019, bringing with him international experience in finance, commerce, strategy, operations, risk, external auditing, consulting, mergers and acquisitions, business development, technology, and compliance. In March 2018, he founded the Blockchain Entrepreneurs Club South Africa (BECSA) fulfilling his commitment to technological education, networking, entrepreneurship and social responsibility. Gareth is actively involved in the local blockchain community and believes in the potential the technology has to positively impact the lives of those on the African continent.

Carl
Singleton

Head of Business Development

Carl Singleton is Head of Business Development and Commercial Partnerships at Synthesis. He joined Synthesis in 2020, bringing with him over 20 years’ experience in the ITC industry, predominantly in the Financial Services Sector. His current focus is on optimising customer value through the Synthesis offers and partnership programmes. He is recognised for enabling customer objectives and business transformation in a digital world. He has managed end-user transformation programmes with staff a compliment of over 300 staff and with budgets exceeding R1,5 billion. Carl has delivered projects for some of the most recognised names in the world including Dell, HP, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, QBE, BG Group and Fujitsu.

Walter van Wyk

Head of Managed Services

Walter van Wyk is Head of Managed Services at Synthesis. He joined in Synthesis 2019, first as a Service Manager in the Managed Services (MSP) team, and thereafter moved to Head of Managed Services (MSP). Walter has been involved in software engineering for 20 years and has a passion for Continuous Development, Cloud Operations, and DevOps practices. Walter holds an MEng(Electrical) from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Sue-Ann Huyser

General Manager

Sue-Ann is the General Manager at Synthesis Software Technologies. She joined Synthesis in 2012, bringing with her 20 years of experience in financial accounting, operations management, human resource development and corporate social responsibility. Her current focus is to strategically contribute to value creation for the respective divisions, connecting members of different departments in ways that improve efficiency and profit. She is recognised for her ability to work across departments, employee development, amiable nature and her passion for corporate and social responsibility in the ICT sector. In partnership with Afrika Tikkun, she has been involved in facilitating ICT learnerships with over 50 students graduating from the programme in the last three years.

Howard Feldman

Head of Marketing & People

Howard Feldman is the Head of Marketing & People at Synthesis. He joined Synthesis in 2018, bringing with him over 20 years of work experience as a business strategist, market analyst, commodities trader, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and body language expert. Howard is also a published author, a weekly columnist on News24 and other publications and the host of the Morning Mayhem Radio Show Host on Chai FM. His current focus is on positioning Synthesis as the leader in its field and empowering and enabling employees to achieve their potential. He is recognised for his positivity, charisma and creativity.

Kim
Furman

Marketing Manager

Kim Furman is the Marketing Manager at Synthesis. She joined Synthesis in 2019, bringing with her marketing and communications skills in numerous sectors, including banking, retail and publishing. Her current focus is on articulating and managing the Synthesis brand and marketing initiatives. She is recognised for her creativity, writing and marketing skills. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PDM). She is also a Golden Key Society Member with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) where she completed her global component through Emzingo and IE Business School. Her research focused on Generations X and Y’s intention to adopt disruptive technology.

We seek out smart people who thrive in a technically challenging environment.

We grow leaders with an entrepreneurial flair, who are as comfortable managing strategic discussions as they are in being hands-on and crafting a technical solution. Software development is not a support function to us, it is the lifeblood of what we do. For this reason we invest in people who are adept at building software that solves business problems. We support agile thinkers along a diverse career path in software where the options are limitless.

There is a reason why we’re a sought after employer. Our teams solve complex problems on a daily basis, and get involved in exciting, sophisticated development projects for blue-chip clients. Our people are also exposed to an open environment, with continual opportunities to learn from leaders in the field and put this into practice on high-impact projects. We combine the practical with the cerebral in a manner that gives us all a sense of purpose.

Join the Synthesis Team

The existing staff complement provides a highly capable, critical mass that has outstanding execution capabilities however Synthesis are always on the look out for strong software developers and analysts, in order to scale the business in a significant way.

At Synthesis, a challenging and rewarding position is just the beginning. If you’re a creative, innovative, dynamic individual, one who values teamwork and client satisfaction above all else, then we’re interested in speaking with you.

If you are interested in working for such an innovative company please email your CV to talent@synthesis.co.za.

Please note that if we do not contact you within 14 days you should please consider your application to be unsuccessful.

Graduate Recruitment and Professional Vacation Work for students

Please contact us on talent@synthesis.co.za to find out additional information on our Graduate Recruitment Programme as well as working for Synthesis during University breaks.

Yes, I'm interested in working at Synthesis!

I believe that Synthesis will be an essential partner on the road ahead

Coenie Louw - Capitec Bank's IT Manager: Payment Systems

Synthesis is a good partner as the company employs clever, highly competent people in their organisation

Daniel Ginsburg - COO VATit

I’m a huge fan of Synthesis – they’re amazing

Raphael Grojnowski - CEO Mama Money

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