Andrea van der Merwe

Andrea has more than 20 years’ experience working in corporate and consulting roles across three continents. She has been coaching leaders and teams for 10 years, with experience in private, public and not for profit sectors. Her areas of specialisation are change leadership, working with high-performance teams and enabling collaborative cultures.

During her years in the corporate sector, Andrea held a number of general management and programme management roles in multi-national banks, with a focus on innovation and digital transformation. She worked in product management, where she was part of the team who developed the first internet banking solution for South Africa. These formative experiences of working with large-scale and transformational change sparked an interest in the study of leadership in complex organisational systems.

She cut her teeth in the financial sector on developing business models as diverse as digital banking for the rural ‘unbanked’, to developing share trading offerings for private wealth. As a programme manager, she implemented a range of transformation programmes aimed at driving innovating for growth (leadership culture and ideas management) to regulatory transformation (Basel II) across 14 global locations. As a consultant, she has worked with clients and stakeholders as diverse as the vice chancellor of a university, to a network of community leaders in Kenya.

Another formative experience was heading up a successful start-up with global clients such as Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY) and Barclays Absa, aimed at addressing South Africa’s critical skills shortage. One of her biggest achievements was establishing and growing this business from start-up to a profit-making business, in just 2.5 years. In coaching leaders, Andrea uses her experience of managing the bottom line of businesses in complex regulatory environments, to inform her work. She focuses on supporting them to operate more effectively by thinking in strategic, systemic and sustainable ways. She works with them to develop their self-awareness, and awareness of organisational patterns. Given that communicative competence lies at the heart of leadership development, Andrea’s use of narrative coaching and dialogic methods helps leaders to build collaboration and to manage the interdependencies that lies at the heart of our complex organisational landscapes.

Andrea has been trained in dialogic methods (Structural Dynamics), neuro-semantics (MetaCoach), psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), organisational and relational constellations (ORSC), and systems theory and complexity (Cynefin) amongst others. She uses these and other self-awareness frameworks to inform her coaching.

Selected Clients

TransUrban, Australian Unity, icare NSW, NSW Justice, Deloitte, Accenture, PWC, Cadbury/Kraft, Ernst & Young (E&Y), Briggs & Stratton, Iron Mountain, Legg Mason, RSPCA NSW, Sydney Water, Mortgage Choice, Barclays Absa, Investec Bank.


Bachelor of Commerce Honours University of North West (SA) • Masters from the Business School of Stellenbosch (SA) in Systems Thinking & Complexity (MPhil Future Studies).

Registrations & Memberships

Andrea is an active member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and has previously served on the leadership teams of both the committee of ICF New South Wales and ICF South Africa chapter.

Instrument Accreditations

Kantor Baseline Behavioral Profile • Fearless Organization Scan • Accredited Certified Coach (ICF) Global Leadership Wellness Survey (GLWS) • PROSCI Practitioner