Prof. Rajen Pillay

CEO of Garuda Capital (Pty) Ltd

Prof. Rajen Pillay- Board Member of the Business Council for Banking and Trade Finance


Prof. Rajen Pillay is a distinguished figure in the world of finance and corporate governance, known for his extensive experience and academic achievements. With over two decades in the field, he serves as a prominent leader within the International Trade Council, where he leads the Banking, Finance & Trade Finance Business Council.

Prof. Pillay's academic journey is marked by excellence. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (BComm), a Postgraduate Management Accounting (PGMA) qualification, and is a Certified Finance Officer (CFO) with the designation CFO(SA). He also holds the title of Management Accountant and earned an MSc in Corporate Finance from the University of Liverpool.

Currently, Prof. Pillay is the CEO of Garuda Capital (Pty) Ltd, a boutique Mergers and Acquisitions firm specializing in corporate finance structuring for transactions exceeding R100 million. Garuda Capital actively engages in fund management and capital raising activities and played a crucial role in assisting the Minister of Trade and Industry with the allocation of the Third National Lottery License.

Prof. Pillay's influence extends to various leadership roles and appointments. He is an Exco Member of the South African Chambers of Commerce UK (SACCUK) and a Board Member of the International Trade Council (ITC), where he leads the Banking, Finance & Trade Finance Executive. Additionally, he serves as a Director and Chair of the Investment Committee for ANC Veterans League Investment Holdings. His international engagements include participation in the Financial Services Working Group (FSWG) within the BRICS Business Council.

As a former Professor of Practice in Financial Engineering at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Prof. Pillay's academic contributions are highly regarded. He is recognized for his expertise in structuring innovative financial solutions and complex products for clients, making substantial contributions to the field of finance and economics.

Prof. Pillay's professional journey includes roles as a Credit Analyst at the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) and later as Head of Credit at New Republic Bank Ltd. He possesses a deep understanding of credit criteria, bank limits, and credit mitigation policies.

His leadership extends to his role as the co-founder and Managing Director of Coastal Group Ltd, a textile giant listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). Under his stewardship, the company experienced significant growth and became one of the star performers on the JSE.

Prof. Pillay's contributions to financial regulation and compliance are notable. His appointment to the Financial Services Board (FSB) in Pretoria allowed him to focus on the Insider Trading Directorate (ITD) and other vital aspects of financial regulation. He played a pivotal role in high-profile cases of national economic importance.

Prof. Pillay's global engagements include representing GOPIO International in various countries, where he contributes to cross-border investments and trade. His philanthropic endeavors encompass support for organizations such as Durban Child Welfare, Boys Town (Tongaat), Verulam Hospice, and sponsorship of the Inaugural UKZN Golf Day.

In summary, Prof. Rajen Pillay's comprehensive experience, commitment to academic excellence, and dedication to ethical business practices have established him as a prominent leader in the finance and corporate governance sectors. His multifaceted contributions continue to shape the industry and drive innovation in international trade and finance. As the leader of the Banking, Finance & Trade Finance Business Council within the International Trade Council, Prof. Pillay's guidance and expertise play a pivotal role in advancing the organization's goals.