Stephen Koseff is Chief Executive Officer of the Investec Group, an international specialist bank and asset manager founded in South Africa. With dual listings on both the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange, Investec has a total market capitalisation of R41.2 billion and some R1,188 billion of third party assets under management. In his 16-years as CEO, Koseff, together with his management team, has overseen the group’s international expansion with established platforms in three principal markets, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia and a presence in 41 locations globally.
Koseff is a highly respected Investec veteran, joining the group’s founders in 1980 and assisting in transforming the original leasing and financing company into a major financial services group through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. During his 32-year tenure at Investec, Koseff has held numerous roles across the major areas of the company including Chief Accounting Officer and General Manager of Banking, General Manager of Treasury, General Manager of Merchant Banking, and Managing Director of the group.
In 1998, shortly after being appointed CEO, the group acquired Guinness Mahon, a leading London-based merchant bank, and Henderson Crosthwaite, its stockbroking arm, for £95 million. In the same year the group also bought Hambros plc, another London-based merchant bank, creating a meaningful platform in the UK market which was the basis for Koseff to spearhead the significant listing of the group on the London Stock Exchange in 2002.
Koseff is passionate about entrepreneurship and education and believes that developing skills in the hard sciences is the best way to transform South Africa. In 2003 he was central to negotiating and driving a Black Economic Empowerment transaction in which empowerment partners acquired a 25% stake in the Investec Limited. He is also passionate about the banking sector and his country of birth speaking annually at the International Monetary Fund’s Annual General Meeting about Investec’s strategic positioning and the merits of investing in South Africa. Koseff is also immediate past Chairman of the South African Banking Association.
One of Koseff’s biggest leadership and business challenges occurred in 2008 when Koseff and his management team steered the group through turbulent financial markets and uncertain economic conditions brought on by the global financial crisis. Investec reacted quickly to stabilise the banking business, reposition the group as a specialist bank and asset manager and create a balanced and sustainable business model.
For the past 32 years, Koseff has dedicated his time, energy and focus to building the unique Investec brand. In 2009, Koseff was honoured with the Sunday Times Lifetime Achiever award recognising him for his significant contribution to South Africa and the business community.
Koseff is a qualified Chartered Accountant, he holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Wits University as well as a Higher Diploma in Business Data Processing and a Masters Degree in Business Administration. In addition to his directorships of Investec Ltd and Investec plc, as well as other Investec subsidiaries, Koseff serves as a director on the board of The Bidvest Group Limited, a position he has held for the past 14 years. His previous non-executive positions have included former director of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, former member of the Financial Markets Advisory Board, and former Chairman of the Independent Bankers Association.