The Graviton Direct Team

With over 100 years’ combined experience, the Graviton team brings a wealth of industry experience and expertise to the table to help you reach your goals.

Meet our team

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Mark Duff

Founder and CEO

Mark is the Head of Graviton Financial Partners. He has 16 years’ experience in the local financial services industry prior to establishing Graviton Financial Partners (Pty). Mark started his career at Old Mutual as a Business Development Manager and later held various investment marketing roles within Galaxy Portfolio Services and Fairbairn Capital. In 2003 Mark joined Investec Asset Management’s LISP business and was later appointed as the Regional Manager for Investec’s LISP in Gauteng. In 2011 he was appointed Regional Sales Manager for Investec’s unit trust company and was responsible for building and driving growth in Gauteng.

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Dominic Sides

Head of Graviton Retirement Planning Services

Dominic joined Graviton in February 2014 to head up Graviton Retirement Planning Services, leveraging his 28 years’ experience in financial services. Dominic developed Graviton’s low-cost retirement planning service which consists of a guided self-help website backed up by telephonic support from qualified financial counsellors.

Dominic started at Sanlam as an Actuarial Trainee and qualified in 1997. He was head of Sanlam Employee Benefits’ Group Risk business from 1997 to 1999, thereafter head of SEB intermediated distribution for two years.

In 2001 he was appointed Head of the Actuarial Services division of SEB, and from 2002 managed the incorporation of SEB direct distribution to form Sanlam Consultants and Actuaries. The business was then sold to Simeka Consultants and Actuaries and Dominic was an Executive Director at Simeka until 2006. Since then Dominic conducted various entrepreneurial activities and maintained active involvement in employee benefits as a professional independent trustee.

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Johnny Wood

COO: Graviton Wealth Management

Johnny joined Graviton Wealth Management in 2013. He has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Prior to Graviton, he was Head of Investment Advisory Services at Sanlam Private Wealth (SPW), where he set up a new business unit focussing on the wealth management needs of high and ultra-high net worth clients. Before SPW, Johnny was Head of Investments at FirstRand Wealth Segment, which included the wealth units of both RMB Private Bank and FNB Private Clients. Johnny also set up the wealth business unit for Absa Private Bank, where he was Head of Investor Services.

Johnny holds a B.Com Honours in Investment Management from the University of Johannesburg (previously RAU).

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Marize van der Merwe

Head: Client Experience

After finishing her studies at the University of Stellenbosch in 2005, Marize stayed on in the capacity as a part-time lecturer. This is where her passion for investments was born and the journey to make a lasting difference in the financial well-being of individuals began.

She started her career in 2007 in the investment consulting team at the former Jacques Malan Consultants & Actuaries. In 2008, she joined the research team at Glacier Financial Solutions and later on, as a Senior Investment Analyst, was jointly responsible for the investment consulting offering. In 2012, she moved to the newly formed Graviton Financial Partners business and was responsible for setting-up the investment consulting service offering.

As Head of Client Experience, today she remains the custodian of the consulting offering with a strong focus on continuously improving the client experience to better serve the needs of the Graviton partner network.

Marize is a CFP®, qualified with a BCom (Hons) Financial Risk Management as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning, both from the University of Stellenbosch.

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Stuart Mare

Head: Business Development

Stuart recently joined Graviton in 2016, as Head of Business Development.

Previously, Stuart was with Investec for 12 years. Following the completion of his honours degree from RAU, Stuart entered into the financial services industry in April 2004 as a client servicing consultant with Investec Asset Management. In September 2005 Stuart was promoted to the position of direct client consultant. He then joined the Retail Sales Team, initially as an investment consultant and later as a retail sales manager representing the Investec Unit Trust Fund range. In August 2014 Stuart joined Investec Wealth & Investment as business development manager for Gauteng. He also spent a year at Precept Wealth Solutions (June 2013 – July 2014), where he was responsible for the design, implementation and management of investment and risk portfolios for corporate executives, entrepreneurs and retirees, before returning to Investec.

Stuart has a BCom Honours (Investment Management) from Rand Afrikaans University, an NQF Level 4 Wealth Management Qualification through Investment Wise (passed with distinction) and has passed his first level regulatory examination: representatives.