Prior to joining ICON Capital and Firminy Capital, Dirk Coetzer developed a background in finance from the Technicon Pretoria (now the Tshwane University of Technology) and working with various international securitization funds over the course of 20 years. A supporter of Save the Rhino efforts, Dirk Coetzer works to promote awareness about the impact of the illegal ivory trade in South Africa.
Of the five species of rhino, Africa is home to two: the white rhino and the black rhino. Although conservation efforts have played a major role in establishing the Southern white rhino as the only non-endangered subspecies, renewed poaching has effectively crippled the black rhino population. Unfortunately, this resulted in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s declaration that the Western black rhino was officially extinct as of August 2013. The year 2013 also marked an all-time record for rhino poaching according to figures from the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, showing that more than 1,000 rhinos were killed—more than double the number killed in 2011. The ongoing demand for rhino ivory, due in large part to its fallaciously reported medicinal properties, continues to push the remaining subspecies to the brink of extinction. To date, only four Northern white rhinos remain on the African continent.