Our Leadership Team


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Rob Gerhard, CFA – CEO, CIO

Rob, a founder of Umbono, is a CFA charterholder, a chartered accountant (SA), and holds an MSc (Chemical Engineering) degree focused on mining engineering. He has 23 year’s experience in investment management, business strategy and the operational management of natural resources companies. Since 2003, Rob has led the Umbono team in building a significant natural resources investment portfolio – mining and energy assets – from a negligible starting capital base and has led its recent diversification into life sciences investments. Rob serves as Chief Investment Officer for Umbono Capital with overall responsibility for the firm’s investing activities and oversight over its operations


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Rob Symons, CA(SA) – Chief Financial Officer

Rob is a Chartered Accountant (SA). He serves as CFO of Umbono’s North American investment companies, including the Riverside companies, and has been with Umbono since 2000 in investment banking, corporate advisory, natural resources investing and operations management roles. Rob has wide experience in the field of finance, including directing economic development programs in third world countries with an international aid organization


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Bob Van Hoy – Chief Operating Officer, Energy Ventures

Bob holds a BSc (Electrical Engineering) from Purdue University. He has extensive experience in oil and gas production management and project development. Previously a facility engineer for EP Energy he was responsible for the design and construction of common point facilities, pipelines, and well-site production equipment. He has provided engineering and management expertise in the Eagle Ford Shale, the New Albany Shale and the Michigan Antrim Shale. Bob focuses on the active operational management of Umbono’s investment assets


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Steve Zdan VP Business Development and Geology

Steve holds an MSc (Geology) and a BA (Anthropology), with research focused on sandstone reservoir quality. His professional track has included wellsite operations in the Williston Basin, field development of channel sands offshore Equatorial Guinea with Noble Energy, and oil and gas exploration and development in the Michigan and Illinois Basins. Steve manages Umbono’s energy business development and serves as Chief Geoscientist in the evaluation of oil and gas investment opportunities in North America