Stephen Koseff

Stephen Koseff

Director: BLSA

Q: What do you believe business can do to ensure that those within its ranks behave ethically and “walk the talk”?

A: “Ethics has everything to do with culture. And leadership’s role is the management of culture. Ethical business explicitly reflects the culture of the organisation. A cultural climate that is defined by integrity serves to strengthen relationships and the organisation’s reputation. It shows deep respect for legislation but goes beyond it to emphasize leadership and individual responsibility for ethical behavior. The culture must be egalitarian, ideally a flat structure, where people hold each other accountable for ethical adherence rather than a rule bound approach. Ethics is then the governing ethos of an organisation.”

Stephen Koseff is chief executive officer of the Investec Group which has dual listing on both the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Stephen has been with the company for 37 years in various capacities and has been in his current role as chief executive officer since 1996. Stephen is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a masters degree in Business Administration and a higher diploma in Business Data Processing. In 2017 Stephen was awarded an honorary doctor of commerce degree by the University of Witwatersrand.

In addition to his directorships of Investec Ltd and Investec plc and various other Investec subsidiaries, he is a non-executive director the South African Banking Association. He is a former chairman of the South African Banking Association, a former non-executive director of The Bidvest Group Limited and former director of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, former member of the Financial Markets Advisory Board, and former chairman of the Independent Bankers Association.

Stephen is the recipient of numerous awards, including:

• 1990 Jewish Businessman of the Year
• 1992 Top 5 Businessmen of the Year
• 1996 Business Day Business Achievement Award
• 2003 Jewish ABSA Achievement Award – Listed Companies
• 2003 Moneyweb CEO of the Year
• 2004 Finalist Moneyweb CEO of the Year
• 2005 Finalist Moneyweb CEO of the Year
• 2006 GIBS Social Entrepreneurship award “benefactor” category”
• 2009 Sunday Times Lifetime Achievers Award
• 2014 Southern Africa Master Entrepreneur Winner at the EY World Entrepreneur Awards