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South Africa



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Speaker Bio

Brand Pretorius joined South Africa’s largest motor retail group, McCarthy Motor Holdings, as Chief Executive. In October 1999, he was promoted to the position of Chief Executive Officer at McCarthy Limited, the holding company of McCarthy Motor Holdings.

In 1995, Brand joined South Africa’s largest motor retail group, McCarthy Motor Holdings, as Chief Executive. In October 1999, he was promoted to the position of Chief Executive Officer at McCarthy Limited, the holding company of McCarthy Motor Holdings.

It is widely acknowledged that Brand played a pivotal role in saving McCarthy from bankruptcy.  Due to massive bad debt write-offs in its Prefcor division, the group was declared technically insolvent in February 2001.

Under Brand’s leadership McCarthy was successfully recapitalized, restructured and restored to financial health, saving thousands of jobs.

Today, the group employs 7000 people, has an annual turnover in excess of R20 billion and it sells approximately 75 000 new and used cars annually.

Brand retired as CEO of McCarthy and as an executive director of Bidvest Group in early 2011.

Brand’s achievements:

He received an honorary professorship in Business Management in May of 1991 by the University of the Free State and in again in May of 2001, by the University of Johannesburg.
He was appointed a Fellow at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in November 2007.

Brand is a member of the main board of the National Business Initiative, the Free Market Foundation, Business Against Crime, the READ Educational Trust Board of Trustees, the advisory board of the University of Stellenbosch Business School and is the immediate past president of the South African Retail Motor Industry Organization.

He served as President of the South African Institute of Marketing Management from 1993 till 1996 as well as on the State President’s International Marketing Council during the period 2004- 2009, the last two years as vice-chairman.

Brand Pretorius was appointed as an ambassador of the SA Valued Citizens Initiative in May 2008, in November 2009 as a Visiting Executive at the Centre for Responsible Leadership at the University of Pretoria and in May 2011 as an ambassador of the National Values Campaign.

·    An Honorary Doctorate in Marketing was conferred on him by the Durban University of Technology in April 2013.

Brand’s National Awards & Accolades:

·    Junior Businessman of the Year (1985)
·    Communicator of the Year (1994)
·    Best Boss (1994)
·    Automobile Man of the Year
·    The Manpower award of Excellence (1995)
·    Presidential Award for Excellence in Business Communication by the SA Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (1997)
·    In October 1998 the research company Integrity Profiles International identified him as one of the top 5 “high integrity” business leaders in South Africa.
·    He received an Honorary Fellowship from the South African Institute of Marketing Management in November 1998.
·    In a survey done during May 1999 by the influential magazine Professional Management Review, he was identified as the most admired leader in the Motor Industry by a representative panel consisting of chief executives, fleet managers and motoring journalists.  This award was bestowed on him again in June 2000.
·    In February 2000 the marketing magazine “The Future” identified him through reader research as one of South Africa’s three most prominent marketers of the past decade.
·    The South African Institute of Marketing Management honored him with their “Marketing Person of the Year” award in November 2000.
·    In May 2002 he received a certificate of excellence from the READ Educational Trust for his remarkable commitment to the cause of building a literate nation through the Rally to Read project, a national social investment project he initiated in 1998.
·    The publishers of the South African Automotive Year Book bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award on him in September 2003, for outstanding service to the motor industry.
·    He became a member of the SA Automotive Industry’s “Hall of Fame” in March 2006, in recognition of his significant contribution to the industry.
·    In June 2006 he was honored by the Leadership Forum at their annual CEO Summit for his contribution towards leadership thinking and in particular, leadership ethics.
·    South African marketers identified him in September 2006 as a marketing thought leader, and as one of the top three business leaders who have contributed most to the success of their organizations, according to a national survey by Markinor and Brand Leadership.
·    In the annual Trust Barometer opinion survey amongst company directors by the research company Ask Afrika, he was recognized in August 2009 as the most trusted leader in the South African motor industry.
·    The Automotive Industry Development Council bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award on him in April 2011.

His first book, ‘In the Driving Seat – Lessons in Leadership’ was published earlier this year.

Professional speaking Topics :

The topics Brand has presented to local and international audiences include the following :

  • The role the business sector can play to bring about a more prosperous South Africa.
  • Guidelines for business success in a rapidly changing South Africa.
  • The key lessons I have learnt during my career in business.
  • Guidelines for effective leadership.
  • Inspirational leadership – how to optimize passion, motivation and commitment.
  • Servant leadership – is it effective in tough times?
  • Key leadership lessons I have learnt.
  • How to optimise customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Guidelines for a successful sales and service organisation.

(All one hour presentations)

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