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SA seems to have its fair share of CEOs who’ve held fast to the reins at their companies for an extended period — think of Absa’s Maria Ramos, who’s been in charge since 2009; Brian Joffe, who steered Bidvest for more than 25 years; and Truworths’ Michael Mark, CEO since 1991. In fact, research shows that CEOs at SA companies tend to have longer tenures than those in developed countries, with many local firms having drawn-out succession plans, if they have any detail on succession at all. The average UK CEO, for example, spends 4.8 years in the role, compared with about eight years for a CEO in SA, research by PwC shows. In part, this trend towards long tenure is backed by financial institutions’ interest in stability; they prefer to invest in companies with long-serving bosses and a record of success rather than in companies that change their leaders every few years. "Institutions like to invest in companies that are run by experienced CEOs," says Stanlib analyst Ahmed Motara. "You...

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