1 year ago

Opportunity Issue 97

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Opportunity, endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI), is the mouthpiece for business in Southern Africa. The aim of the publication is to inform potential investors both nationally and internationally of the most relevant business news: trade, investment, financial, market-related information for each business sector, as well as to inform of the latest developments in business legislation from both the public and private sector. In this issue, SACCI’s call is for everyone to work towards the common purpose of getting our economy on a sound footing again.


LAUREATE LEADER DR LEILA FOURIE GROUP CEO OF THE JOHANNESBURG STOCK EXCHANGE ACADEMIC HISTORY Dr Fourie has a PhD in Economic and Financial Sciences and won the Economic Society South Africa Founders’ award in 2012 for best Master's Economics thesis in the country. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS With over 25 years of international experience, primarily in financial services, Dr Fourie has served on multiple boards and held senior roles in banking, capital markets and payments. actions to harmonize and scale sustainable finance” served as an input to the European Commission’s consultation process on its Renewed Sustainable Financing Strategy. It provides 64 recommendations and strategic considerations which, if followed, will enable leaders from the public and private sectors to harmonise objectives, coordinate global standards and align efforts to facilitate, promote and scale up investment towards the SDGs. A Call to Action for Covid-19 bond issuance was launched to encourage companies and governments to issue innovative social Dr Fourie was appointed as CEO of the JSE effective 1 October 2019. She also serves as Co-Chair for the Secretary General’s UN committee – Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) as well as Co-Chair alongside the LSEG CEO for the Sustainable Stock Exchange model guidance on climate disclosure and on the UN climate disclosure. Dr Fourie is a director on numerous boards of companies in South Africa, including the CSD Strate and Business Leadership South Africa. Prior to joining the JSE, Dr Fourie served as Executive responsible for Consumer Finance at Australia’s largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and served as the NSW Vice President of the Economic Society of Australia and on the Board Audit Committee of Lifeline Australia. Previously, she held the role of CEO of the Australian Payments Network. Before moving to Australia, Dr Fourie served on the Board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as Executive Director. Dr Fourie previously worked for one of South Africa’s largest banks, Standard Bank as Card Division Managing Director. During this time, she served as Chairman on the board of Diners Club and board member at Discover Financial Services based in Chicago. Dr Fourie started at Standard Bank as global director of credit analytics and capital and portfolio management for South Africa, the UK, Hong Kong, Russia, Brazil and Argentina. bonds to address the Covid-19 pandemic. Funds raised through these bonds will be used for the immediate response to Covid-19 or to support a sustainable recovery. The Call to Action defines the direct and indirect challenges presented by the pandemic and outlines the expectations for a Covid-19 bond issuance in alignment with the SDGs. Pioneering an innovative response to the global contraction in financial markets. In my capacity as group CEO, I introduced a number of new business innovations to counteract the contraction in traditional capital markets. Under my leadership, our exchange acquired a stake in a UK fintech company and have begun launching a private placement market in the SME and infrastructure markets. The SME and infrastructure markets are 20 |

NEED PIC important growth nodes on the African continent and will provide a viable and innovative alternative to traditional public IPOs. The exchange also responded to the pandemic in a rapid and agile manner by launching one the first virtual AGM services. This solution used a small fintech company in South Africa and demonstrated a responsiveness to the needs of listed entities. Who has inspired you to achieve your professional success? Many of my life lessons come from my mother and grandmother. Both female figures taught me the importance of resilience, curiosity and forgiveness. On the public stage, I am inspired by Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice. I am inspired by Curie’s relentless resolve to continue her pursuits and a dedication to sharing knowledge. Marie opened the way for women in her field. ______________ __ _ _ When we engage with humility and appreciation of those around us, we are able to make considered, informed decisions ________ __ ___ __ _ __ More recently, I have been inspired by the many women leaders who have played an active role in leading through the pandemic. I believe that the role these women leaders played during the Covid-19 crisis will re-position women in leadership and open the door to a more equal representation of women in leadership roles. I was particularly struck by Jacinda Ardern for her empathetic and strong leadership in successfully managing the scourge of the pandemic. What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be in leadership positions? I am entirely aligned to the view of leadership expressed by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. He said: “Be passionate and bold. Always keep learning. You stop doing useful things if you don’t learn.” This quote really resonates with me because it encompasses some of the characteristics I believe are central to being a good leader. Passion, courage and thirst for knowledge. In the past, different events have called for different types of leadership and as a result, different characteristics. In my view, a singular passion for the collective goal and a commitment to the people they are privileged to lead have time and time again proven to be the strongest and most successful leadership traits. I have sponsored a concept of servant leadership at the JSE as one of our corporate values. I felt strongly about this value, because when we engage with humility and appreciation of those around us, we are able to make considered, informed decisions. This is an important skill for all employees, whether they are in a leadership role or not, because it fosters an inclusive culture. We recently ran a project with staff, wherein colleagues partnered across divisions to establish solutions to various business challenges. The high point of this exercise was hearing the innovative ideas that the groups were able to put forward, which were a result of collaborating with people outside their usual teams and divisions. Knowledge shared truly is knowledge gained and we make better decisions when more voices are heard. How does it feel being nominated as one of the world’s most outstanding women leaders at a time that was the most difficult to lead? It’s a privilege to be associated with distinguished leaders and to be acknowledged alongside my global peers. We faced so many different challenges as we navigated through the impact of the pandemic on our businesses and economies while also dealing the devastating human impact. So, this acknowledgment is particularly special to receive. The World Federation of Exchanges is the global industry group for exchanges and Clearing Houses and its Women Leaders initiative aims to shine the spotlight on the talented and gifted women in the industry. A panel of nine judges selected 21 female leaders from a pool of 60 nominees. | 21

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