The founder-led company dilemma

Founder-led companies are often more successful than those run by professional managers, who might not have the same pizzazz and passion, but may be better placed to lead in the next phase of growth

Markus Jooste, CEO of high-flying Steinhoff, says Investec will miss Stephen Koseff’s strategic brain and “rainmaker” qualities when he retires as CEO.

Jooste has been one of Investec’s clients since the 1980s, dealing directly with Koseff and Bernard Kantor in constructing Steinhoff’s huge cross-border deals. “The top guys are always available for a big deal. You have access to them and the decision-making process is quick,” he says.

Nonetheless, Jooste says an institution like Investec is “bigger than any single individual” and that Koseff has an excellent team.

Replacing him won’t be easy. But the skills that built a company to a certain position aren’t necessarily the ones required during its next phase of growth, says Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, CEO of executive search firm Jack Hammer.

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