Taking over the reins of Fortress Reit, one of the JSE’s largest property stocks, was never going to be a cakewalk even in the good times. But stepping into the CEO’s position at a time when investor sentiment had hit rock bottom, after allegations of dodgy share deals and a 65% share price slump, was a challenge most would have shied away from. But Steve Brown, in taking over the reins from Mark Stevens, who is retiring after 10 years, has a pragmatic approach to his appointment. "From a timing point of view, my task may seem daunting," says Brown, a CA and certified financial analyst. "But the exciting part is we have an entirely new management team in place so we have the chance to rebuild the business from the base." He refers to five other new board appointments in recent months, who, he believes, will help him navigate what is bound to be a difficult road ahead. They include CFO Ian Vorster (former Grant Thornton head of corporate finance) and ex-investment banker Donnovan Pyd...

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