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The Big Bank Theory: South Africa’s Banks Of The Future

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African Bank’s CEO Basani Maluleke. Picture: Motlabana Monnakgotla

Phoenix from the ashes   

African Bank’s CEO Basani Maluleke is overseeing the rebirth of a bank that went into administration in 2014.

The revival will allow the bank to start conversations on an exit strategy with its shareholders, the South African Reserve Bank, the Government Employees Pension Fund and six of South Africa’s biggest lenders.

Under Maluleke’s leadership, African Bank is venturing into digital banking. In May, it launched its very first transactional product MyWORLD, offering “the cheapest transactional banking fees in South Africa’s market”. 

MyWORLD operates across African Bank’s Omni-channel digital infrastructure. The bank partnered with Direct Transact, a provider of electronic banking and independent payment processing products, and ebankIT, a Portuguese company that develops Omnichannel digital banking platforms.

The bank took this route, explains the self-aware leader, as it wants “to be able to tap into fintechs and into people who do one thing really well, because there’s no way that we can do everything really well, so we identified the bank in Portugal, as a fintech that’s doing really great work around customer interfaces and as a result, they are a really strong partner of ours and assisting us with the app as well as our online channels”.

Omni will provide the bank’s customers with convenience and seamlessness, reckons Maluleke.

“We know for a fact that one of the things that irritate customers is when you go to a bank and they ask you for the same information over and over. You are giving them your KYC [know your customer] documents five times in three years and the key becomes how do you make sure that irrespective of which channel you engage with us on, you are able to continue seamlessly from one to the end without having to give exactly the same information over and over?”

Maluleke believes the product will be a winner because African Bank doesn’t have the “same legacy issues of the larger banks, we are not protecting massive cost infrastructure that the other banks have and I think it puts us in a very, very good position to be successful. We’re all playing a very similar game and we are all chasing very similar customers, the key to success is going to be who’s going to be able to deliver the best value proposition and right now we think we definitely are well-positioned to do that”. With the change, African Bank hopes to lock in its existing customer base, who predominately earn between $300 and $1,400 and target people on the higher end of the spectrum.

Where does Maluleke see banking in the next five years?

The entrepreneur envisions that banks will move out of their traditional offerings, using data to decide what those should be.

She elaborates: “Investec talks a lot about its travel program because it knows that its customers want more travel but we know that our customers are much more focused on… how do you help me to access education in ways that make sense to me? So, for us it is about understanding what your customers need and being able to provide it to them in a way that is seamless and affordable.”

She imagines that ChatBanking will grow, “everybody wants to be able to bank on WhatsApp or on social media”.

The social-justice advocate also sees the rise of invisible banking.

“You want to be able to wake up and not really have to bank, so you want to be able to wake up and talk to your virtual assistant, say Siri, Alexa or whoever else comes up over the course of the next five years… Banking must come to you as opposed to you having to go to it, that’s where this idea is going. We were talking about the idea of the invisible bank that banking kind of happens between everything else and it’s the glue that holds everything that you do together without you having to deliberately go and log into this thing and move on…”

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Beyoncé And Jay-Z’s Combined Billion-Dollar Fortune Makes Them One Of The Richest Self-Made Couples

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“Got that dinero on my mind,” Beyoncé and Jay-Z wrote on the third track of their surprise album Everything is Love, which came out last June. A year later, it’s clear that the couple wasn’t just taking poetic license: With Jay-Z’s newly minted status as a billionaire and Beyoncé’s place on Forbes’ richest self-made women list, the music moguls are one of America’s wealthiest couples.

It’s been a banner year for the married couple, whose combined net worth now totals an estimated $1.4 billion. Jay-Z, whose steadily growing portfolio of businesses includes liquor, art, real estate and stakes in companies like Uber, is the first hip-hop artist to become a billionaire.

Meanwhile Beyoncé , whose fortune increased to an estimated $400 million from $355 million last year thanks to continued touring and an album release, ranks No. 51 on Forbes 2019 list of America’s most successful self-made women (up two places from last year).

READ MORE | From Beyoncé Knowles-Carter to Kim Kardashian West, America’s Richest Self-Made Women Under 40

Their combined net worth of $1.4 billion makes the music moguls one of the 10 most successful husband-and-wife teams in the country, and certainly the most recognizable.  Unlike many other couples who founded businesses together, they both struck it rich with complementary but separate businesses. Beyoncé’s wealth comes mostly from earnings from touring, music sales and merchandise.

Her husband, on the other hand, amassed most of his wealth from his ownership of Armand de Brignac champagne, investments, his cognac partnership with Bacardi and his own music career, among other sources. Both Beyoncé and Jay-Z have stakes in music streaming service Tidal.

Other entrepreneurial husband-and-wife teams might not be as famous, but their businesses are well known. Do Won and Jin Sook Chang came from South Korea in 1981 in search of better opportunities. “At the time [people in] South Korea weren’t living as well,” Do Won told Forbes in 2016.

READ MORE | Artist, Icon, Billionaire: How Jay-Z Created His $1 Billion Fortune

He worked three jobs as a dishwasher, gas station attendant and office cleaner while she worked in a hair salon. They saved up and in 1984 opened a clothing store. Today they co-own and run Forever 21, a clothing empire with over 815 stores  and $4 billion in sales. Their combined net worth is $3 billion.

Another couple, the Cherngs, found success together through food. Andrew Cherng opened a Chinese restaurant with his father in 1973. His wife Peggy, who had a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and held positions at 3M and the U.S. Navy, gave it all up to help her husband expand the one restaurant into a Chinese fast-food chain. That chain, Panda Express, along with several other fast casual chains the couple owns stakes in, have brought the Cherngs’ combined net worth to $3.4 billion.

Sometimes the strength of a husband-wife partnership comes from their ability to support one another. This was the case for Eren Ozmen and her husband Fatih, the president and CEO team behind aerospace giant Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC).

READ MORE | How Rihanna Created A $600 Million Fortune—And Became The World’s Richest Female Musician

Before they were a couple, Fatih encouraged Eren to pursue an M.B.A. (the couple originally met at Ankara University in Turkey before separately immigrating to the U.S.).

Once they were married, Eren put her business school training to good use by helping automate the financial reports at Fatih’s employer, a then-struggling SNC. Eventually, the couple decided to buy the company and took the business from the verge of bankruptcy to a top military contractor.

While building a vast fortune is rare for couples running businesses together, it has been a winning formula for some women: Nearly one fourth of those on Forbes’ 2019 self-made women list achieved their fortunes through businesses they cofounded with their husbands (though some now are widows or have since divorced).

Below are the 10 wealthiest self-made husband and wife teams in the nation:

1. Tom & Judy Love

Net worth: $5.9 Billion

Tom and Judy Love leased their first gas station in Watonga, Oklahoma, with a $5,000 loan from Tom’s parents. Now Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has more than 430 locations in 41 states.

LACMA 2018 Collectors Committee Gala
Stewart and Lynda Resnick cofounded The Wonderful Company, which owns Fiji Water and mandarin Halos. STEFANIE KEENAN/GETTY IMAGES FOR LACMA

2.  Lynda & Stewart Resnick

Net worth: $5.6 Billion

The couple are the force behind snack and drink conglomerate the Wonderful Co., known for Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice, Halos mandarin oranges and Fiji water. The couple is also known for philanthropy, giving millions of dollars to educational causes and earning the #29 spot on Forbes’ list of top givers.

Diane Von Furstenberg - Front Row - Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week
Barry Diller (left) and Diane von Furstenberg run their own businesses in separate industries.DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES

3. Diane von Furstenberg & Barry Diller

Net worth: $4 billion

Diller is founder, senior executive and chairman at internet and media conglomerate IAC,. His wife Von Furstenberg is the designer and founder of the eponymous fashion label. Diller owns one third of DVF, while Von Furstenberg and her two children from a previous marriage own the rest.  

The Cherngs At Panda Express
Peggy and Andrew Cherng own and run $3.5 billion (sales) Chinese fast-food chain Panda Express. (Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images)GETTY

4. Peggy & Andrew Cherng

Net Worth: $3.4

In addition to fast-food chain Panda Express, the Cherngs also own stakes in Urbane Cafe, Just Salad, Uncle Tetsu, Pieology and Ippudo.

5. Jin Sook & Do Won Chang

Net Worth: $3 billion

The Changs’ clothing retailing business is all in the family—the couple’s nieces work at the company as do their daughters, who launched Forever 21’s beauty brand Riley Rose.

PENCE SPACE SYMPOSIUM
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (center) joins Sierra Nevada co-founders Eren and Fatih Ozmen at the 34th Space Symposium. MATHEW STAVER/© 2018 BLOOMBERG FINANCE LP

6. Eren & Fatih Ozmen

Net Worth: $2.8 billion

The Ozmens built their defense contractor Sierra Nevada Corp. through a series of some 20 acquisitions. Describing their strategy, Eren told Forbes  last year:  “Our guys go hunting, and they bring me this giant bear and say, ‘Now you do the skinning and clean it up.’ ”

7.Neerja Sethi & Bharat Desai

Net worth: $2.4 billion

Sethi and Desai cofounded IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel out of their Troy, Michigan, apartment in 1980. In October 2018, French IT company Atos SE bought Syntel for $3.4 billion.

8. Weili Dai & Sehat Sutardja

Net Worth: $2 billion

The couple headed semiconductor company Marvell Technology for 11 years until they were forced out as a result of an internal accounting investigation in 2016. Neither was found guilty of any fraudulent activity. The couple has diversified their investments into real estate and technology.

9. Kit Crawford & Gary Erickson

Net Worth: $1.8 billion

The couple behind Clif Bar met at Erickson’s bakery, where Crawford was working part-time. They each have a 40% stake in the company.

10. Beyoncé & Jay-Z

    Net Worth: $1.4 billion

The musicians have shown distinct business savvy, giving users of Tidal, the music streaming service the couple partially owns, exclusive access to their albums.

-Catherine Perloff; Forbes Staff

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Lionel Messi Claims Top Spot on Forbes’ 2019 List Of The World’s 100 Highest-Paid Athletes

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Forbes today released its annual ranking of the World’s 100 Highest-Paid athletes, who collectively earned $4 billion over the last 12 months, up 5% from last year’s earnings of $3.8 billion. 

Lionel Messi was named the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time, up from second place last year, with $127 million in total earnings.

Messi unseats Floyd Mayweather, who held the crown last year, and was the leader four times in seven years. Behind Messi is longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo (No. 2), who earned $109 million between his salary and endorsements. 

READ MORE | How Rihanna Created A $600 Million Fortune—And Became The World’s Richest Female Musician

Serena Williams (No. 63) returned to the ranking, after no women appeared in 2018. Cost of admission to the 2019 list is the highest ever at $25 million, up $2.1 million from the previous year. Endorsement income experienced an increase of 12.5% to $987 million this year.

“The global impact of soccer is clearly reflected in earnings in 2019, with the top three athletes on the list being Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor, Forbes Media.

“But basketball players continue to dominate the top 100 overall with 35 athletes on the list earning a total of $1.29 billion, with 72% of that income coming from salaries rather than endorsement deals.”

READ MORE | Artist, Icon, Billionaire: How Jay-Z Created His $1 Billion Fortune

The list of elite athletes consists of players from ten different sports. NBA stars lead with 35 basketball players among the top 100, down from 40 in 2018, headed by LeBron James (No. 8 with $89 million).

Football was the next most-represented sport with 19 players, followed by baseball with 15, and soccer with 12.

There are 25 different countries represented on this year’s World’s Highest-Paid Athletes list, up from 22 in 2018. Americans dominate the action with 62 athletes thanks to the sky-high salaries in the major sports leagues.

The U.K. has five athletes, France and Spain have three, while Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Serbia and Venezuela all have two.

Methodology: 

Our earnings include prize money, salaries and bonuses earned between June 1, 2018 and June 1, 2019. Endorsement incomes are an estimate of sponsorships, appearance fees and licensing incomes for the same 12-month period based on conversations with dozens of industry insiders. We do not deduct for taxes or agents’ fees, and we don’t include investment income.

The World’s Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes in 2019:

RankAthleteSportSalary/Winnings ($mil)Endorsements ($mil)Total Earnings ($mil)
1Lionel MessiSoccer9235127
2Cristiano RonaldoSoccer6544109
3NeymarSoccer7530105
4Canelo AlvarezBoxing92294
5Roger FedererTennis7.48693.4
6Russell WilsonFootball80.5989.5
7Aaron RodgersFootball80.3989.3
8LeBron JamesBasketball365389
9Stephen CurryBasketball37.84279.8
10Kevin DurantBasketball30.43565.4

-Forbes Corporate Communications; Forbes Staff

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Rihanna, Celine Dion, Safra Catz: Here Are The Most Successful Immigrant Women In The US

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Each year, tens of thousands of people immigrate to the U.S., hoping for a better future. Robyn Rihanna Fenty’s story started the same way. Over a decade ago, Rihanna left her home country, Barbados, and her abusive addict father behind to launch her music career.

Her journey kicked off with the help of fellow musician (and now billionaire) Jay-Z, who heard a demo of one of her songs. Since then, Rihanna has not only rocked the music industry, she’s also become a force in the beauty and fashion industries.

Building on her fame and her experiences as a woman of color, Rihanna launched makeup brand Fenty in partnership with luxury goods group LVMH in late 2017.  

READ MORE | How Rihanna Created A $600 Million Fortune—And Became The World’s Richest Female Musician

The Fenty line, which includes shades of makeup for a wide range of skin colors and tones, pulled in an estimated $570 million in sales last year. In 2018, she started the Savage X Fenty lingerie line with Los Angeles-based online fashion firm TechStyle Fashion Group.

That was just the first of her forays into clothing design. Last month Rihanna and LVMH announced a new luxury fashion house, Fenty, which will be based in Paris. She becomes the first black woman to lead a major fashion maison.

Primarily thanks to her ventures outside of music, Rihanna is worth an estimated $600 million, according to Forbes. She debuts as one of 19 immigrants on Forbes’ 2019 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women, which altogether features 80 women.

Two other newcomers to the list were born outside the U.S. as well: Ashley Chen of Taiwan and Neha Narkhede of India. The women immigrants hail from around the globe, from Canada to South Korea, from 14 different countries on four continents; nine moved here from an Asian country. Together this cohort of immigrants, which make up nearly one- fourth of the women in the self-made ranks, is worth an estimated $18.4 billion—23% of the total.

READ MORE | From Beyoncé Knowles-Carter to Kim Kardashian West, America’s Richest Self-Made Women Under 40

This is the fifth year that Forbes has celebrated the nation’s most successful women. The U.S. continues to serve as a beacon for ambitious women who want to transform industries, be it in retail, defense or other industries. In spite of the federal government’s crackdown on immigration, the nation’s most successful immigrant women continue to embody the power of the American Dream.

Thai Lee, who is the most successful woman immigrant in the country, has lived that dream, working very hard along the way. Lee, who was born in Bangkok, grew up in South Korea but moved to the U.S., where she and her older sister lived with a family friend and attended high school in Amherst, Massachusetts. Lee later attended Amherst College to study economics and biology, and received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1985.

She went on to work at U.S. companies like Procter & Gamble and American Express for four years, but in 1989 she and her then husband bought a software reseller for less than $1 million. They renamed it SHI International, which now works with customers like Boeing and Johnson & Johnson and reported $10 billion in sales in 2018.

China native Weili Dai, Panda Express cofounder Peggy Cherng and Turkish-American billionaire Eren Ozmen, who grew up in Diyarbakir—a city in Turkey close to the Syrian border—all similarly moved to the U.S. in pursuit of a better education. Ozmen sold baklava and worked as a janitor at aerospace and defense company Sierra Nevada to support herself while attending business school at the University of Nevada, Reno.

READ MORE | The Richest Woman In The World

Today she is the president and majority owner of Sierra Nevada, which racked up $1.9 billion in sales in 2018 and counts NASA as one of its clients. “Look at the United States and what women can do here, compared to the rest of the world. That is why we feel we have a legacy to leave behind,” Ozmen told Forbes in 2018.   

Other women moved here in search of a better life and more opportunities. Makeup mogul Anastasia Soare immigrated from Romania to Los Angeles in 1989 and took a job in a beauty salon. Three years later she quit to start her own business and in 2000 launched her eyebrow products line, Anastasia Beverly Hills, now valued at over $3 billion.

Forever 21 cofounder Jin Sook Chang pursued a similar path: She and her husband came to the U.S. from South Korea in 1981. Chang worked as a hairdresser for three years, while her husband worked three jobs. The couple used $11,000 they had saved to open a 900-square-foot clothing store in Los Angeles. Now Forever 21 has over 815 stores and an estimated $3.4 billion in annual revenue.

Another industry where women immigrants make their mark is technology. Twenty women entrepreneurs on Forbes’ list built a fortune in tech, including seven immigrants. One of those is Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz. Originally from Israel, Catz joined the software giant Oracle in 1999. Although Catz is not a founder, she has overseen more than 130 acquisitions worth a total of $60 billion and has become one of the top-paid CEOs in the country. Just in 2017, Oracle paid her $135 million in cash and stock, which helped her join the billionaire ranks in 2019.

Here’s the complete list of immigrants on this year’s list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women:

Thai Lee

Net worth: $3 billion

Country of origin: South Korea

Source of wealth: IT provider

Peggy Cherng

Net worth: $1.7 billion

Country of origin: Burma (Myanmar)

Source of wealth: fast food

Jin Sook Chang

Net worth: $1.5 billion

Country of origin: South Korea

Source of wealth: fashion

Eren Ozmen

Net worth: $1.4 billion

Country of origin: Turkey

Source of wealth: aerospace

Jayshree Ullal

Net worth: $1.4 billion

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Source of wealth: computer networking

Anastasia Soare

Net worth: $1.2 billion

Country of origin: Romania

Source of wealth: cosmetics

Safra Catz

Net worth: $1.1 billion

Country of origin: Israel

Source of wealth: software

Neerja Sethi

Net worth: $1 billion

Country of origin: India

Source of wealth: IT consulting

Weili Dai

Net worth: $960 million

Country of origin: China

Source of wealth: semiconductors

Christel DeHaan

Net worth: $950 million

Country of origin: Germany

Source of wealth: timeshares

Kit Crawford

Net worth: $890 million

Country of origin: Canada

Source of wealth: Clif Bar

Rihanna

Net worth: $600 million

Country of origin: Barbados

Source of wealth: cosmetics, music

Theresia Gouw

Net worth: $580 million

Country of origin: Indonesia

Source of wealth: venture capital

Celine Dion

Net worth: $450 million

Country of origin: Canada

Source of wealth: music

Adi Tatarko

Net worth: $430 million

Country of origin: Israel

Source of wealth: home design

Neha Narkhede

Net worth: $360 million

Country of origin: India

Source of wealth: software

Sonia Gardner

Net worth: $310 million

Country of origin: Morocco

Source of wealth: finance

Ashley Chen

Net worth: $300 million

Country of origin: Taiwan

Source of wealth: IT provider

Toni Ko

Net worth: $270 million

Country of origin: South Korea

Source of wealth: cosmetics

-Deniz Cam; Forbes Staff

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