RMB Solutionist Thinking
RMB Solutionist Thinking - Bruce Whitfield and Michael Jordaan

Solutionist Thinking: In Conversation with Michael Jordaan

RMB Solutionist Thinking is a thirteen-episode podcast series hosted by Bruce Whitfield focusing on the great South African minds who are thinking differently and going against the norm. In the fifth episode, Whitfield speaks with former First National Bank CEO turned start-up investor, Michael Jordaan.

“Archie and Ben were professional golfers and keen rivals. One day during a game, they had each scored 30 when Ben hit a bad shot. Archie immediately added 10 to his own score. Archie then hit a good shot and he had won the game. Why?”

That was the riddle that 26-year-old Stellenbosch University graduate, Michael Jordaan had to solve to get an interview with Paul Harris, the Managing Director at Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) in 1994.

Fast forward almost 10 years – at the age of 35 years, Jordaan is appointed Chief Executive Officer of the world's most innovative bank, First National Bank.

As a young CEO, I was very uncertain of myself...

Michael Jordaan, Venture Capitalist at Montegray Capital

Determined to excel, Jordaan embraced his position and, invested in his people and their development to bring transformation to the bank – and, in the process became the epitome of leadership in South Africa.

The test is really that… you channel your entire ambition into the job that you want to do.

Michael Jordaan, Venture Capitalist at Montegray Capital

After 10 years of challenging norms in the banking industry, a 45-year-old old Jordaan stepped down and hand the reigns over to Jacques Celliers.

Reflecting on his tenure, Jordaan explains: "as a rule – you come in, you need a certain amount of time to make your time but, then it’s also time to hand over to the next generation."

It was very clear to me that 10 years was going to be the maximum.

Michael Jordaan, Venture Capitalist at Montegray Capital

A bitter sweet joke – after his retirement from First National Bank, Jordaan's move into wine-making was short-lived and, it wasn't long before he ventured into exciting world of entrepreneurship and, venture capital.

Today, Jordaan is a former banker, invested in investing in solutionist startups that turns problems into business opportunities for sustainable investment. Some of the 21 solutionist startups in Jordaan's investment portfolio include Rain - South Africa's mobile data-only network; Bank Zero - a branchless app-driven bank; and Snapplify.com - an online textbook delivery service.

There is a massive need for more angel or venture type investing.

Michael Jordaan, Venture Capitalist at Montegray Capital

Listen to Michael Jordaan in conversation with Bruce Whitfield in the full RMB Solutionist Thinking podcast below.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Ermos Nicolaou: Solving problems in babies, even before they are born

Ermos Nicolaou: Solving problems in babies, even before they are born

Quite the unusual Solutionist Thinker, Professor Ermos Nicolaou solves problems that occur before babies are even born.

SA's digital footprint traces back to pioneer, Jason Xenopoulos

SA's digital footprint traces back to pioneer, Jason Xenopoulos

As one of the founding fathers of internet businesses in South Africa, Jason Xenopoulos’ digital rap sheet is longer than most.

Like her wines, this winemaker has flourished in some tough conditions

Like her wines, this winemaker has flourished in some tough conditions

When the story of the winemaker can add as much to wine, as the origin of the grape.

To this solutionist thinker, all-access means success

To this solutionist thinker, all-access means success

William Mapham pioneered Vula Mobile, the app that links healthcare workers with on-call medical and surgical specialists.

Meet the technologist disrupting the freight industry

Meet the technologist disrupting the freight industry

Meet Benji Coetzee, a tech disruptor transforming the face of the male-dominated freight transport industry.

There's a medal haul coming in Tokyo, if this coach has anything to do with it

There's a medal haul coming in Tokyo, if this coach has anything to do with it

Rowing coach Roger Barrow shares his love for winning - especially against better-resourced teams.