The Team

Bernie 2020

Bernie van der Merwe

Business Development Manager, New Zealand

Originally from South Africa, Bernie and his wife Lindy emigrated to New Zealand in 2010 and 2011 respectively, they are now both citizens of New Zealand. They have two adult married daughters, one in New Zealand and the other daughter still in South Africa.

Bernie has personally been through the process of Financial Emigration and knows the frustrations. Bernie has been providing a personal service to his clients for the past 30 years as a Financial Adviser. He has been in the Financial Services world both in South Africa and New Zealand and is very experienced and innovative, he is all about crossing the “t” and dotting the” I”. He will glide you through the complete process from beginning to end.

Bernie has dealt with all the insurance companies and banks in South Africa whilst assisting his clients, along with advising clients on their tax affairs and was trained as an Administrator of Estates.

Bernie and Lindy relocated to the Manawatu area in December 2015 and have made this their home, the expats of the Manawatu are very special to him in that he understands what they are going thru being new to the area and to New Zealand. He has many contacts that he is able to introduce to all the new members of our society.

He is now looking forward to his next chapter where he will specialise and be of total service to you, your family and friends in ensuring that your Financial Emigration will be as smooth and as effortless as possible.

Bernie’s hobbies include gardening and woodworking in his garage, and now that his first grandson is on his way he will be making a lot of wooden toys.


Henrico Kotze

Business Development Manager, New Zealand & Australia Offices

From the early stages of Henrico’s career he found a deep interest in asset and risk management, and realised that customer service and peace of mind was captured in the guarantee that your risk is secure and protected at all times. His aim is to provide an excellent customised service to every single customer.

When Henrico himself was faced with making the big move to New Zealand in 2015, he was challenged at his own game, and had to surrender his financial profile to The Rand Group, who managed the transfer of his personal funds and managed his financial migration process.

Henrico was recognised and approached by Rudi Stander, the Global Managing Director and founder of the Rand Group and is currently employed as the Business Development Manager for New Zealand. He is also the franchise owner for Australia.


Lijlanie Stander

New Zealand Office

Lijlanie has obtained the degrees BComm and BProc at the University of South Africa. In South Africa she practised as Attorney, Notary and Conveyancer and has over 13 years of outstanding loyalty to legal practice. Upon arrival in New Zealand she worked alongside Fred Baker at Baker Law in Auckland.

Lijlanie is Rand Rescue’s Marketing Manager and Events Co-ordinator and is an integral member of the team, with nearly 20 years’ experience in senior roles. As an immigrant to New Zealand, Lijlanie is aware of how stressful moving countries can be and understands how important it is for Rand Rescue’s clients to feel welcome and safe in their new country, and the same goes for their funds! Lijlanie is committed to successfully steer the Rand Rescue Marketing department in the right direction. Lijlanie continues to devote herself to further studies.

Lijlanie is very experienced in her field and has organised many successful events, both in South Africa and New Zealand. Lijlanie continues to deal with the day to day marketing of the Rand Rescue business in Australasia, while facilitating events Rand Rescue supports. Her efficiency and professionalism allows Rand Rescue to grow fast and to support the South African community in New Zealand. Despite her hectic schedule, Lijlanie always manages to allocate time to the community. She is the founder of SA Kiwi Chicks, who devotes themselves to serving women and families in Auckland and the greater New Zealand. In her free time, she enjoys the New Zealand lifestyle and spending time with her husband and children.


Mandie Van Dyk

PA to Company Director

Mandie has 9 years of administrative and personal assistant experience working for NZ local government. She is an experienced administrator who takes the responsibilities as Mandie has 9 years of administrative and personal assistant experience working for NZ local government. She is an experienced administrator who takes the responsibilities as Personal Assistant and Office Manager for the New Zealand head office. She will liaise with the South African office, partners and providers to ensure clients can be re-united with their rands.


Elena van Trotsenburg

Business Development Manager, Europe and UAE

Elena joins the Rand Rescue team as business development manager for Europe and UAE. Elena has been involved in Wealth Management for over 15 years in South Africa. She now advises clients both in South Africa and internationally. Since she made the move herself she knows how stressful it can be not knowing whom to trust and where to turn with Financial Management and Financial Emigration.

Although she initially studied law, her interest quickly shifted to the financial – and business industries. She holds a post graduate qualification in Business Administration from the Edinburgh Business School. She also holds a number of professional qualifications in SA as well as Europe. She is a registered Financial planner in SA as well as Europe. She wishes to assist fellow expats in Europe and the UAE to make the right choice about their finances still in South Africa and ensure that clients expectations are met with confidence and expertise.

Elena has a passion for ex pat South Africans living and working abroad and welcomes any questions or should you simply want an opinion or some friendly advice.


Reeva Cutting

Business Development Manager, Australia Office

Reeva joins the Rand Rescue team as a business development manager for Australia. Her varied background includes working in mortgages and as a business and procedure analyst for the retirement annuity division and later the funeral planning division of a leading UK insurance company. She later moved into the field of digital marketing and brings a wealth of skills to Rand Rescue.

When she first arrived in Australia, she set up an online support group for South Africans relocating to Australia which has today developed into a very successful platform. She also writes a blog called Proudly South African In Perth, which aims to help those who are migrating from South Africa to Australia as well as those who are already living in Australia.

As someone who has moved internationally not once, not twice but three times, she knows how stressful the process can be, especially when you have to leave loved ones behind. As part of the Rand Rescue team, she enjoys being able to assist clients with transferring their annuities and finances to help ensure their secure financial future.

Based in Perth, she loves to spend time at the beach whenever she can and enjoys horse riding, reading and blogging.


Leigh Plimmer

Business Development Manager, San Antonio TX Office

Leigh and her husband Rob, a Chartered Accountant, relocated to Atlanta GA USA in 2000. During her working career of 12 years in South Africa, Leigh gained broad experience in the banking and foreign exchange industry followed by telecommunications product development experience as the South African Product Manager for Alcatel France. For the past 15 years in the United States, Leigh has been involved in owning and running a small business that sources and imports sports novelty products solely made in South Africa, marketing particularly to resorts and pro shops, and major chains such as the PGA superstore. Leigh has extensive trade show and promotional experience managing corporate trade shows in South Africa and wholesale trade shows in the US.

With first-hand experience of what is involved with relocating to a new country and fully aware of how daunting this big move can be, Leigh’s goal is to assist fellow South Africans however she can, and provide them with peace of mind when transferring their funds safely to their new country

Leigh has extensive connections within the US who can assist with tax and accounting matters and will pool all of her knowledge and experience for the benefit of our customers

Despite obtaining US Citizenship, Leigh and her husband delayed financial immigration and the repatriation of their retirement annuities until 2014 as they did not want to face the frustrations of dealing with SARS and the SA banks. Once she learned of the services Rand Rescue offered and compared these services and associated costs with competitive companies, Leigh had the peace of mind and reassurance that Rand Rescue’s ultimate goal was exceptional customer service and that Rand Rescue’s efficient and effective team would deal with the bureaucracy and protracted process with guaranteed success at a reasonable and competitive price.

Having assimilated well and made many new friends that include SA Expats, Leigh enjoys living in Atlanta and outside of work loves gardening and spending time with her husband and 2 young sons, ages 6 years and 16 months.