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Smutby was first founded as a rugby WhatsApp group, in June 2015. A few (mainly Southern African) friends were added and it grew rapidly from there. The name is a morphed version of “Rugby, Smut and Philosophy”. 

Smutby now has over 40 sub-groups, and close to 2,000 members around the world, made up of friends (and friends of friends) of all backgrounds – mainly University-educated, professionals, businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and leaders in their respective fields, plus athletes, entertainers and artists.  

The various groups cover debate/banter, investing, business, politics, sport, charitable giving and, of course, fun and irreverence. It is a brotherhood and sisterhood of diverse characters around the world who care about one another and the “outside” world (non-Smutby) and are generally fun-loving and optimistic “rugged individuals” bound together voluntarily in an online community.

In this virus crisis, Smutby has moved fast to raise funds for charities and communities, and for fellow Smutbies in trouble.

Rob Hersov

The Chief


Robert, 59, is a South African entrepreneur and private investor, currently based in Cape Town (after 31 years in the US, in Europe and the UK). He serves as Chairman of Invest Africa (founder), Chairman of African Capital Investments (founder), Chairman of AltCapInvest (founder), advisory board Chairman of VistaJet and Chairman of AON Africa. And he is the founder of the S-Group.


Rob is married to Dr Kate “the Kiwi” Hersov and has four children, Alex, Luke, Inara and Finn. His golf handicap hovers around 11 and he claims to be a decent 100m swimmer. His nickname is “the Chief”. He is not politically correct. Not at all.

The Team