Dionne Van Zyl
Dionne Van Zyl is a senior executive with over 34 years of expertise overseeing early-stage development enterprises in the financial services and high technology industries. created a number of innovative, high-leverage alliances and high-profile Fortune 100 partnerships, including those with ING, Aegon, American Express, Zurich Kemper Life, Hartford Life, Pacific Life, American Scandia, and Linclon Life, as well as DST Systems, CSC Continuum, Financial Holding Corporation, and BMC Intelligent Systems.
Dr. Van Zyl, a convincing visionary with the capacity to “cut through the fog” and address the underlying causes of the issues. A manager who has a history of developing focused teams that maximize shareholder returns on equity. Constructing five new businesses as a tenacious leader with exceptional sales and operations leadership abilities. Provided CEO consulting services and enhanced the economics and business models of nine companies by restructuring.
Dionne joined the South African military and served as an officer in the Electronic Warfare regiment after completing a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand.
While serving as a full-time pastor at the Hatfield Christian Church in Pretoria, where he was ordained, Dr. Van Zyl completed his Bachelor of Arts in Theology. He was also one of the five pioneers who founded the Interyouth national movement in South Africa to promote racial harmony. Over 11,000 youth of many racial backgrounds attended their workshops.
He left the church in 1990 to establish Silicon Systems, CC, a provider of military defense technologies under contracts for national security. Later, as the political climate shifted, the company ventured into factory automation technologies. Together with a German company, he and his friends formed BMC Intelligent Solutions (Pty) Ltd to provide insurance companies with financial services technologies. Prior to Dionne’s transfer to the United States in 1994, BMC had grown to an R20 million enterprise.
In the United States, Dionne Van Zyl successfully founded Exchange America, a provider of technology for financial services. Exchange America was a collaboration between Dexus Technologies, DST Systems, and Financial Holding Corporation, Inc. (the largest privately held insurance group in the USA). The mutual fund industry is documented by DST, a publicly traded organization with 11,000 employees. FHC is a privately held company whose assets total approximately $4.6 billion. In January 2001, he was designated CEO of the joint company, which had 85 workers and an 11-person executive management team.
In 2004, he received an MBA and a doctorate in management.
In 1998, in an effort to give back to the community, Dr. Van Zyl and his wife launched a school for academically outstanding teenagers. Deo Preparatory School was founded based on a model similar to one used in Dallas, Texas. Within three years, its students’ test scores placed them in the top four percent in the nation, making it one of the most academically successful schools in Georgia.
Dr. Van Zyl is the current founder and president of i49 Group, Inc., which offers CEO consulting services and leadership development courses to start-up companies that have achieved success and wish to expand. His clientele consists of start-ups and multinational enterprises from a wide range of industries, including technology, financial services, electronic manufacturing, real estate development, online marketing, and personal development-focused businesses.
The Van Zyl family was happy to gain citizenship in 2002. Dionne and his wife Bridget live in Atlanta, Georgia. Two grandchildren and four married children comprise their family.