Christo Wiese, who made his fortune in retail investments Shoprite and Pepkor, has ridden out a few storms in his investment life.But recovering from the catastrophic collapse in sentiment for Steinhoff will surely be his most daunting challenge. Not only is Wiese a massive shareholder in Steinhoff but as recently as November he was still snapping up single stock futures in the company. There is then a great deal of significance that can be attached to Wiese stepping (albeit temporarily) into an executive role at Steinhoff. He rarely, if ever, takes on an executive function, preferring to leave the day-to-day running of his investments to dedicated management teams. Wiese’s elevation to executive was presumably aimed at placating the market in the wake of CEO Markus Jooste’s unexpected departure. But even the prospect of the veteran investor stepping up to the plate could not prevent the market from dishing out the kind of vicious beating that is rarely suffered by a JSE giant in a ...

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