Economist. Futurist

Based: Johannesburg

Dr Martyn Davies is the CEO of Frontier Advisory – a leading research, strategy and advisory firm that specialises in emerging markets. He has advised a large number of multinational companies on their strategies in Africa and other emerging markets.

Martyn was selected in 2010 as a Young Global Leader, an honour bestowed by the World Economic Forum each year to recognise the most distinguished young leaders nominated below the age of 40 from around the world. Martyn has chaired both public and private sessions at the World Economic Forum including chairing a session at the Forum’s annual meeting in Davos. He is a member of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on China, the world’s foremost intellectual network that helps inform the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos as well as set the direction for global, regional and industry agendas. Martyn has also been an Advisor to the WEF’s “Emerging Best Practices of Chinese Globalizers” initiative as well as serving as an industry expert to the WEF’s Mining & Metals Industry Group – an advisory body providing strategic advice to leading global mining and extractive industry companies. Martyn is a recipient of a Dangote Fellowship awarded by the WEF for young Africans selected each year for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society.

Martyn has lectured by invitation at Harvard University, MIT, London School of Economics, Oxford University, IE Business School, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the African Development Bank, the OECD, the European Commission, the British Parliament and the World Bank. He is widely published in academia and has written for the Financial Times and the Washington Post amongst many others publications and is a regular media commentator for the BBC, CNBC, CCTV, Al Jazeera, ThomsonReuters and AFP amongst others.

Martyn has been ranked the # 1 analyst in South Africa in the “Other African Economies & Markets” category as awarded by the Financial Mail in its prestigious Annual Analysts of the Year awards. He was previously an advisor to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) for its Global Development Outlook project. He is a
Senior Fellow at the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth – a group comprising leading international economists which advises the top management of MasterCard on global macro-economic issues. He is also a member of MasterCard’s Africa Knowledge Panel providing strategic advice to the Board of MasterCard.

Martyn previously led Asian Studies at the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University and was the (founding) Director of the Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS) that was established under the South Africa – China Binational Commission at Vice Presidential level. During this time, he established the first Confucius Institute in Africa on behalf of the PRC Government in June 2004. He has also been a Faculty member at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria. He maintains an involvement in academia and lectures at Wits Business School, Henley Business School and Peking University, China.

Martyn is widely published in a number of accredited journals and book chapters that include the Asian Economic Policy Review, the Review of African Political Economy, Brookings Institution Press, the South African Journal of International Affairs and the OECD’s Development Centre.

Martyn holds a BA degree in Law, an Honours Degree in International Relations (cum laude), a Master’s Degree in International Relations (cum laude) (University of the Witwatersrand), a Diploma in Asian Studies (Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea), and a PhD in International Relations (University of the Witwatersrand) – all completed by the age of twenty five. He also has a certificate from Harvard Business School for its “Making Markets Work” course and is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Global Leadership Program.

In 2010, Destiny Man magazine named Martyn in its “Power 40” of leading South African businessmen under the age of 40.