JJ grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and attended the University of Cape Town, where he completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting. Having completed his degree, JJ played professional rugby in South Africa and Italy. JJ represented the USA in Rugby Union from 2008 to 2011 and in 2011 participated in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
In 2013, JJ moved to the UK with his wife. He joined Vallis in their Head Office in December 2013. He managed the East Africa desk for 4.5 years and in July 2018 moved across to lead Vallis New Services team.