Herman Bosman, chairperson of Endeavor South Africa
Just to briefly explain, Endeavor acts as an enabler for entrepreneurship in South Africa. In doing so, it needs to be an informed, consistent and value-adding partner to the entrepreneurs and our corporate partners. The board need to be proud and confident regarding their association with Endeavor.
So, my role as chairman revolves around attracting and retaining talent – both with regards to the executive leadership as well as interested and involved board members. The best of these individuals comes out in an empowered and demanding environment.
I also ensure that Endeavor is a well-governed organisation whose reputation and values are non-negotiable and evident. In addition, I guide and challenge the executive team to build a quality organisation. I am also involved in mentoring many entrepreneurs.
Lastly, I represent Endeavor South Africa in the international world of Endeavor.
People are surprised to find out I am from Brakpan, a small mining town on the East Rand. My primary qualification was a legal one (B.Com Law, LLB and LLM) which I later supplemented with a CFA. I am related to Herman Charles Bosman, the South African short-story writer, but quite removed in degrees of common ascendents.
Apart from my daughter, people do think I am funny. Funny ha-ha that is, not funny peculiar!
In high school, I oscillated between becoming a truck driver (probably inspired by Butch Reynolds who had Sally Field as a girlfriend in the movie Smokey and the Bandit) and a teacher. I actually started teaching part-time while studying at UJ and also spent 1994 lecturing full-time before joining the world of banking in 1995.
When I joined RMH and RMI in 2014, Paul Harris (who is one of Endeavor SA’s patrons) introduced me to Catherine Townshend, the then CEO of Endeavor SA. Partnering with, and enabling, entrepreneurs is an integral part of the Rand Merchant group and meeting Catherine and understanding what Endeavor was all about, inspired me to get involved. Two years later, Adrian Gore asked me to take over the chairmanship role from him.
I love the quality and versatility of corporate life and especially corporate life in South Africa. It is a world where you meet interesting people, face incredible and fascinating challenges and get to witness how empowered and trusted people thrive, make real decisions and often, have fun.
We were a very young team which took over the leadership of RMB Corporate Finance in 2000. Through sheer hard work, application and more than a fair share of luck, we were able to build it into the country’s leading advisory franchise. This reputation and success persisted long after my departure and I feel very proud to have been associated with creating the winning and collegiate culture.
I have a limited attention and energy span to read in the evenings and as such, typically have a variety of books to dip into. At the moment, I am partly through The Promise by Damon Galgut; The Powerful and the Damned by Lionel Barber; Nation on the Couch by Wahbie Long and Better Off Dead by Lee Child.
On the viewing front, my Netflix entertainment focuses on series such as Fargo, Ozark, Peaky Blinders and Lilyhammer.
I love braaiing for my family! I play too much Padel, play too little golf and run for fitness. I also love sharing some laughs with old friends on Friday afternoons after work.
The RMH and RMI groups are undergoing important change so I look forward to guiding the restructurings and ensuring that shareholder value is created and preserved. As I will be stepping down from my executive roles in Q4 2022, I look forward to pondering my next professional adventure.