It was phenomenal, wasn’t it? A "darling" South African retailer with 12,000 stores in 30 countries employing more than 130,000 people, with a market value of more than R200bn and ranking among the 10 biggest companies in the JSE Top 100. A retailer popular with investors, becoming the fifth most popular share for fund managers to invest in. A Steinhoff share was considered, as one fund manager put it, a quality stock. Then the Steinhoff facade was exposed and the company incurred the market’s wrath. Steinhoff was repeatedly battered, and in just two days, it had lost 80% of its market value. The bleeding continued and it eventually lost R194bn of its market value. Naturally, everyone wanted to know, how did it all go so horribly wrong? It all went wrong when the Steinhoff executives including the CEO, were overpowered by the greed gene. Make no mistake, we are all born with the gene. Some have the capacity to suppress it, others simply allow the gene to take control. As you might r...

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