MBA alumnus puts lockdown to good use

Steven van Rheede, GSB Foundation Scholarship Recipient

GSB Foundation scholar Steven van Rheede has been featured on the GSB Ideas Exchange:

Steven van Rheede was part of the 2020 MBA class that, three months into the programme, quickly had to shift their studies online; it bore some unforeseen benefits, he says.

Steven van Rheede had for a long time known he was going to do an MBA, and had in fact some years ago written a short, almost prophetic note that he kept in his wallet: “MBA, 2020.”

The programme, he imagined, would offer time away from the distractions of work, and the space to reflect. And thanks to a global pandemic, he got that and then some.

Steven started his working life as a chemical engineer. He’d been drawn to the industrial sector, he says, probably because his both his parents and his grandfather spent most of their working lives in factories. The factory floor wasn’t alien to him, either, as it was where he would earn some cash over the December school holidays.

Read full article on GSB Ideas Exchange

The skills must stay here

GSB Foundation Scholar Shadi Lekgoathi

Shadi Lekgoathi / GSB MBA student 2021 and GSB Foundation scholar // I’ve had quite a number of opportunities to work abroad. After my training in accounting, I went to New York for three months. During that time, I missed everything about home – the sound of the birds, the hooting of taxis and just how we as people interact. I was making good money, but it didn’t hit home for me. I knew then that – in terms of establishing myself and my career – it’s definitely going to be in Africa. Yes, we have a lot of issues, but there isn’t anyone coming to save us. If we want to see a better continent, a better country, we need to start taking the initiative and make an effort to contribute. I think we are very, very capable if we just look deeper. We understand our problems far better than anyone from abroad. We live here – who is in a better position to address the issues?

Donating this tax season

GSB Foundation - Get involved

Dear alumni and friends of the GSB Foundation,

It’s the time of the year many of us prepare our tax returns. If you haven’t yet taken full advantage of the tax-deductible amount for donating to charitable causes, then now is the time to do so.

Consider making a donation to the GSB Foundation and give someone a chance to complete a UCT GSB MBA, which was again ranked the top programme on the African continent. Help us fund Africa’s future leaders – read on to find out why and how.

Yours sincerely,

Linda Fasham
Executive Consultant
On behalf of the GSB Foundation Trustees


Dr Catherine Duggan

Why giving back matters

A donation to the GSB is an unparalleled investment in knowledge and education. A gift made today will create a legacy for decades to come. Every rand you give will not only fund important research and influential thought leadership, but will also help to educate leaders who will have a critical impact on the continent. This tax season, when your money can go even further, please consider helping us to ensure that the GSB and its graduates continue to play a key role in shaping the future – in Africa and beyond.

Catherine Duggan
Director of the UCT GSB and Trustee of the GSB Foundation

Alec Mutlane, GSB Foundation Scholar 2017

Alec Mutlane (GSB MBA 2017):
The journey of one of our first scholars

Three years after doing his MBA, the GSB followed up with Alec Mutlane, one of the first recipients of a GSB Foundation scholarship: “He says he felt like an impostor when he first arrived at the GSB, because he had no previous university qualifications. He discovered that his life experiences – including losing a tech start-up in the 2009 crash – made him an ideal candidate.” Read Alec’s story

UCT GSB MBA Class of 1969 at class reunion in 2014

It all began with a simple idea

When the GSB MBA Class of 1969 met at their 45th reunion in 2014, four alumni – Stewart Cohen, Tiger Wessels, Peter Thorrington-Smith and Ian Kantor – reflected on the role the GSB had played in their success and how they, in turn, might give something back.

From there, the Foundation was created with one core purpose: to expand access to the UCT Graduate School of Business to the brightest minds, regardless of their financial circumstances. Read more

To date, the Foundation has raised just over R50 million. It awarded 17 scholarships, enabling the recipients to earn a world-class MBA. Three scholars are currently attending the 2021 GSB MBA programme.

How you can help fund Africa’s future leaders and save tax

You can donate to the GSB Foundation in two convenient ways:

  1. Make a once-off donation of an amount of your choice. Donate now
  2. Donate a small amount every month by signing up for the R100-a-month campaign. Sign up now

There are tax benefits: Donating to the GSB Foundation can save you tax, which might tempt you to stretch your support even further. If you, your company, or trust are registered for tax in South Africa, you can claim an annual donation deduction of up to 10% of your taxable income. Internationally, there are many countries where tax-efficient donations to the Foundation are possible. See tax information

Alternatively, you can contact us to discuss your particular donation:
Linda Fasham

End of year message from the Board

Corridor at GSB

Dear Friends of the GSB Foundation,

As the year 2020 draws to a close, it is time to recap, take a breath and wind down. Undoubtedly, 2020 has been uniquely challenging for everyone – handling work, family and life in general, requiring us to adjust continuously often with little or no time to prepare.

We also emerge from 2020 with a couple of notable developments regarding the GSB Foundation as well as the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB). We want to share these good news with you:

  • The Foundation awarded four MBA full-time scholarships this year. This brings the total to 17 GSB MBA students that the Foundation has had the pleasure to support since the scholarships’ inception in 2017. Read more
  • The Foundation Board was delighted to welcome the new GSB Director Dr Catherine Duggan, who joined the GSB at the beginning of September. Read more
  • The Foundation Board also welcomed two new trustees to the Board of the Foundation: GSB Director Dr Catherine Duggan and Kosta Kontos (MBA 2009/10), current Chairman of the GSB Alumni Board. The board confirmed both members in its meeting in December. Read more
  • The 2020 GSB Alumni Reunion Weekend, held in October, was the first of a virtual kind due to COVID-19 restrictions. The event, organised by GSB Alumni Relations and attended by Alumni from across the world, included masterclasses, workshops and discussions. Watch the video
  • GSB Alumni Relations hosted a series of webinars throughout the year that engaged experts with GSB students and alumni on topics of interest. Access the webinars 
  • The Foundation congratulates the GSB team on these exceptional achievements: as the only African business school, the GSB features in the 2020 Top 100 Financial Times (read); as the first African business school, the GSB won the annual John Molson MBA International Case Competition, also known as the “MBA Olympics” (read); and the GSB won again Africa’s top award for a teaching case study (read). Well done!

We want to take this opportunity to thank our donors and partners. Your generous support of the GSB Foundation helps us to assist students in fulfilling their potential and benefiting from a world-class MBA programme at the GSB.

Last but not least, we thank the GSB academics, staff and students for their outstanding dedication to managing the academic year despite the adverse circumstances.

Best wishes for a happy holiday and a prosperous new year; stay safe and healthy.

On behalf of the GSB Foundation trustees and team,
Linda Fasham
Executive Consultant

End of year message from the GSB Director

Catherine Duggan, Director of the UCT GSB

Dear Alumni and Friends of the GSB,

I hope that you and your families are well. As the year comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the extraordinary (and extraordinarily warm) welcome that I’ve received from GSB alumni all over the world. I also wanted to share my excitement at what lies ahead for the School.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for the GSB, it has also made clear the School’s unique and vital position in shaping the future of South Africa and beyond. This distinctive moment has not only disrupted long-held systems, approaches and beliefs around the world, but it has created a new urgency in discussions about issues such as diversity and inequality, business in complex environments, trade and investment in emerging markets, and the role of the private sector in society. As our alumni know so well, the GSB has long led global research and impact on these issues, and the School is now at the center of many of these critically important conversations.

My goal is to ensure that the GSB, as the leading business school in Africa, is at the forefront of this global reimagining of business practices and business education. The School and its alumni have an unparalleled understanding of the challenges and opportunities of working in complex environments, and we can lead these conversations as the world not only becomes more complex, but as more and more global attention turns to Africa. One of my plans is for the GSB to help tell the real story of business on the African continent – the exciting, innovative one that so many of our alumni not only live, but have helped to shape – and to use those insights to improve business and business education around the world.

The GSB cannot assume this leadership role without its alumni. In the past four months I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting many of you at the virtual reunion, at the first of our new series of alumni webinars, through the GSB Foundation and the Alumni Board, and in individual meetings and phone calls. I continue to be inspired by the passion, commitment, and talent in the GSB community – very much including our alumni – and I am keen to set a course to help enhance, coordinate, and communicate these remarkable insights and activities. There is certainly work to be done, both internally and externally, but there are also tremendous opportunities, and I look forward to sharing the School’s vision and progress with you in the coming months.

I hope that our collective goal, as a community, will be to create a School that can have a broader and more lasting impact on South Africa, on the African continent, and around the world than any one of us could on our own – the goal that the GSB Foundation was founded to achieve. As we chart the future of the GSB, I look forward to engaging with you on behalf of the School and the Foundation, to hearing your insights and experience, and to working together to ensure that the GSB has the global influence and standing that will allow it to achieve its tremendous potential and lead for generations to come.

Wishing you and your families a safe, restful, and cheerful festive season and new year!

Dr Catherine Duggan
Director of the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB)

Ian Kantor (GSB MBA ’69) retires from Investec after 45 years

Ian Kantor, the founder of Investec, has retired from the Investec Board of Directors after 45 years.

Ian is best known to the business world as the founder of Investec, the international banking and wealth management group. Investec is a South African success story: listed on both the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges, it employs 10 000 people worldwide. Investec also contributes to society, partnering with local communities and supporting the growth of entrepreneurs.

Ian grew up in the Free State and has a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pretoria. In 1969, he enrolled for an MBA at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB). After graduating, Ian started his career at IBM and taught business finance at the University of the Witwatersrand with an emphasis on the mathematics of finance. He was in the same class as Stewart Cohen (who later became a co-founder of Mr Price), Tiger Wessels and Peter Thorrington-Smith (who would both go on to establish UTI Worldwide). In 2015 Ian joined them to establish the UCT GSB Foundation and is a stalwart supporter of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts. Ian is still an active alumnus of the UCT GSB and remains very much engaged with his alma mater; he also serves on the GSB’s Board of Advisors.

On 28th March 1974, Ian started a small leasing company, as a subsidiary of Hosken Consolidated Investments, which in 1976, together with Larry Nestadt and the late Errol Grolman, he acquired and named Investec. In 1978, Glynn Burger, Bernard Kantor and Stephen Koseff joined Investec. Ian continued as CEO of Investec until 1984, Chairman of the holding company of Investec until 2002 and a non-executive director of Investec until 2020.

In 1988, Ian moved to the Netherlands to acquire and develop Bank Insinger de Beaufort, a private bank, as its CEO, and later Executive Vice-Chairman as well as Chairman of the holding company of Insinger de Beaufort, listed in Luxemburg. More recently, Ian founded Sailfish Management B.V., based in Amsterdam.

In 2016, together with his wife Mary Lou, Ian set up a foundation in Amsterdam called New Angle which helps and supports various medical, sport and cultural institutions such as Alzheimer Centre of the Free University of Amsterdam, the World Press Photo Foundation as well as De Balie, the biggest centre for free speech in the world.

Besides his reputation as a numbers person, Ian is an avid reader, earning him the nickname “the philosopher” from his Investec partners. He has also been a dedicated runner since the age of fifteen; he has run in many cities across the world, from Hong Kong to Moscow. His favourite route ever is on the Cape Peninsula: the coastal road from Clifton to Hout Bay harbour and back, at 5 am on Saturday while listening to the Bea Reed’s Gentle Alternative on Springbok radio.

See more:

It’s useful to have a combination of traits

Ian Kantor

Ian Kantor / GSB MBA ’69, Founder of Investec // As a business leader, it is useful to have a combination of traits. I cannot limit this to a single attribute. To begin with, character, drive and integrity. Secondly, an understanding that building a business goes beyond just the money. It is also about an awareness and a determination that is socially motivated. Thirdly, an ability to take an idea and turn it into reality, but also to figure out what ideas there could be when confronted with reality. Next, an ability to move quickly where necessary, but also to have the patience and strength to wait for things to develop, with all that that entails. Finally, interpersonal skills. To be able to listen to others and empathise in order to find a common ground with others and an ability to build collective will with counter parties both internally and externally. Running a business is top sport, and it is really tough without good health. In my opinion, these traits are universal no matter where in the world you do business.

A warm welcome to newly appointed GSB Director Dr Catherine Duggan

Catherine Duggan, Director of the UCT GSB

The GSB Foundation Board of Trustees joins the academic community of the University of Cape Town (UCT) in congratulating Dr Catherine Duggan on her appointment as Director of the UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB). We extend a warm welcome and look forward to an inspiring new chapter at the school.

Dr Duggan joins the UCT GSB as Director on September 1st 2020. With a background in political science, Dr Duggan has spent more than 20 years working on the African continent. She comes with a wealth of experience of various countries of the continent, their market and business environments as well as research in business and development.

Before joining the GSB, Dr Duggan held the position of Vice Dean for Strategy and Research at the African Leadership University School of Business (ALUSB) in Rwanda, where she was a Professor of Management and Political Economy. Dr Duggan also taught at Saïd Business School, UK and Harvard Business School, USA during her career. 

Dr Duggan is currently in New York and – considering the COVID regulations on international travel and local university life – we hope to greet her soon in person at our beautiful Cape Town campus.

See more:

The MBA at the GSB is very much unique…

GSB Foundation Scholar Damian Malgas

Damian Malgas / GSB MBA student 2020 and GSB Foundation scholar // I find that the MBA at the GSB is very much unique – there’s a massive focus on understanding your place in society. Every course includes Sustainable Development Goals or externalities in one way or another, and that’s really cool and interesting. We are going deep into understanding that business doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it affects not only your employees and your customers, not only your triple-bottom-line; it affects society as a whole. And that’s something I really enjoy and can subscribe to. Acknowledging that the GSB is so focused on shaping you as a holistic business person allowed me to submit to the process and fully embrace all the material that’s coming our way.