Our History

Our History

Finfocus was established in May 2003 by Amy van Niekerk, Fanie van Wyk and Schalk van Niekerk and was joined by Callie Snyman in August 2003. They were four experienced and professional CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® practitioners with established practices and were all formerly employed by Old Mutual – Amy as an Executive Financial Adviser, Fanie and Callie as Sales Team Managers and Advisers and Schalk with experience as a Broker Consultant and Adviser.

Amy van Niekerk became the Managing Director and Dr Gerhard S van Niekerk, a retired Managing Director of Old Mutual SA, became the first Chairman of the Finfocus Board and they held these positions until August 2018 when Schalk van Niekerk took over as Managing Director. Under Gerhard van Niekerk’s guidance Finfocus developed sound business policies, processes and practices which we still hold dear and which have become an ingrained part of our company culture.

The company has grown and flourished over the years. We envisage further growth in staff and expertise in the years to come. Our 5 senior advisors have 127 years in the industry. Our Board members have combined experience of more than 160 years in the industry.

Finfocus is a Financial Services Provider offering a holistic financial planning service to our clients. Our service and approach is client centric – we strive to give not only professional and appropriate advice based on our clients’ needs and priorities, but also professional and client focused administrative service to enhance both the emotional and financial well-being of our clients. Our offices are situated in the beautiful historic town of Stellenbosch in the Winelands of the Western Cape, near Cape Town, from where we service clients nationally, and internationally.

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Dr Sjarlene
Thom CFP®


BA, BA Hons (English); Secondary Teacher’s Diploma (STD); BA Hons (Latin); BA Hons (Greek); MA (Latin); DLitt (Greek); Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning (US); CFP®, General Tax Practitioner (SA)™.


Sjarlene has taught at Stellenbosch University for many years. She served as a member of the University council, was a trustee of the University provident fund (USAF) and member of the University committee for medical aid and insurance. Professionally she came late to the financial planning environment, but the enthusiasm for numbers and matters financial has always been there. She has joined the Finfocus team initially as advisor in 2013. Most recently she has shifted her focus to administrative support for Finfocus management. As part of Finfocus X-tra Client Services outreach she is available to help with administrative assistance also to clients. She is passionate about getting the job done, whether to provide regulatory documentation or as general support for management.

Sjarlene is married to Johan Thom and they have two children, Mia and Niël. The family enjoys cooking together, with some members being more gifted in this direction than others. Sjarlene loves reading, travelling, entertaining and walking.



Antoinette has more than 30 years’ experience in the life assurance industry. She spent the first 28 years with corporates and the past two at independent financial adviser firms.

Her past experience at large life assurers has given her valuable insight in how to deal with product providers, financial advisers and clients. She has a passion for client service and it is key to her to deliver such good service that clients will always remember it.

She is the mother of two and the grandmother of three.