Michael Jordaan (46), venture capitalist and former CEO of First National Bank (FNB), has been appointed chairman of Wines of South Africa (WOSA). Hailed as one of South Africa's most visionary and progressive business leaders, the one-time CNBC Africa Business Leader of the Year for Southern Africa, is succeeding Johann Krige.
It was with Jordaan at the helm that FNB was ranked the world's most innovative bank by the BAI-Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards in Washington in 2012. His entrepreneurial strengths, strong customer focus and imaginative use of technology acted a catalyst for other bankers to update their traditional business models.
A boutique wine producer committed to environmental sustainability, he and his wife, Rose, own a 40 hectare farm called Bartinney, on the Helshoogte Pass outside Stellenbosch. It has been accorded Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) champion status for the rehabilitation of the land to its indigenous habitat. Bartinney has also been recognised for its contribution to energy efficiency in the Nedbank Green Awards. Apart from the winery, the couple runs a trendy and very popular wine and champagne bar in Stellenbosch.
Jordaan, who is now the head of a private company that invests in disruptive technologies designed to kick-start new markets, is also chairman of Mxit, providing strategic leadership to this mobile messaging company that is now also playing a key role in support of primary health care services to the poor. A non-executive director of the JSE Limited, he holds a doctorate in banking supervision from the University of Stellenbosch. He worked in banking in Germany during the early 1990s before beginning his banking career in South Africa.
Krige, who is CEO and co-owner of Kanonkop Estate and is retiring after five years as WOSA chairman, said: "South African wine exporters can only be enriched by exposure to Michael. Here is someone who is arguably South Africa's leading banker and who could be working at the most senior level in business anywhere in the world but has chosen to remain in this country, contributing his strategic, marketing and media skills with an unusual combination of imaginative flair and rigorous analysis.
"WOSA can benefit substantially from his entrepreneurial passion, while his strategic, disruptive business philosophy could well unlock the true value of South African wines internationally.
"His creative thinking and capacity to see opportunity could not come at a better time as the country seeks to broaden its reach and establish itself in new markets."