Jennifer Retief

10th August 2018

Jennifer Retief

Full Name: Jennifer Retief

Position: CEO of the Riversands Incubation Hub

Main Activity of the Company: Helping black-owned small businesses to grow and develop

Date and Place of Birth: Johannesburg

Education: MSc (management of technology and innovation), Da Vinci Institute

First Job: Software programmer at Allied Building Society

Career History Prior to Current Position: I worked in software development at the bank and had a stint at Deloitte before starting my own software development company at age 28. I then moved to Hollard as a contract analyst programmer and was the CIO when I left 11 years later. In 2007, after a sabbatical in the US, I started InnoSys, a software company building systems for local and London insurers. BBD now owns most of InnoSys and I am no longer operationally involved

Size of First Pay Packet: R400 a month

First Job with Present Group: When Mark Corbett, CEO of Century Property Developments, first approached me to run the Riversands Incubation Hub, I insisted on doing it as a volunteer only

Value of Assets under Your Control: The Riversands Incubation Hub infrastructure represents over R100-million in value provided by Century Property Developments and the Jobs Fund

Number of People under Your Leadership: 33

Management Style: Collaborative

Personal Best Achievement: I cannot single out a ‘best achievement’ – I hope it is still to come – but highlights include the 8 000 nautical miles I have in my log book as watch captain sailing with my ex in various parts of the world, including Antarctica, and the relationship I have with my daughter

Professional Best Achievement: I hope that, in five years’ time, I will be able to say the contribution that the Riversands Incubation Hub has made to numerous small businesses

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Rob Hallier, the financial director at Hollard, as well as Paolo Cavalieri and Miles Japhet, who were group CEOs

Philosophy of Life: I love the Julia Child quote: “Life itself is the proper binge”

Favourite Reading: I read all kinds of business and human development books, but intermingle these with adventure and travel books

Favourite TV Programme: I do not watch much TV besides international news

Favourite Food/Drink: I am a committed Banter

Favourite Sport: Walking in remote places or nontechnical dirt road cycling; swimming; a bit of tennis; and the occasional round of golf

Hobbies: Playing the piano and handwork like crocheting

Pets: A golden retriever called Harley

Children: Tanille Retief, 28