Fortress's management changes: new CEO, CFO, COO and non-exec directors

Fortress announces Ian Vorster as its new CFO, and Steven Brown as CEO designate.

Steven Brown, currently the interim financial director of property fund Fortress, has been appointed as CEO designate after the resignation of CEO Mark Stevens was announced on Monday. Mark’s resignation will officially be tendered within the next 12 months. 

According to Mark, his resignation forms “part of a broader strategy to have a vibrant succession plan in place in accordance with good corporate governance principles.”

Mark said that he has worked closely with Steven since he joined Fortress and, “in order to ensure a seamless transition over the coming months, will continue to do so.”

Steven joined Fortress in November 2015 after the company acquired Capital Property Fund, where he was in charge of managing a portfolio of buildings and also filled the role of company secretary. 

Ian Vorster has been appointed as the new chief financial officer and financial director of Fortress. He joined the company in October 2018 after serving as head of corporate finance at Grant Thornton

The changes in the management structure come after ten of South Africa’s largest investment managers sent a letter to the boards of the Resilient group of companies, Fortress’s board included, in August, demanding an independent investigation into allegations of insider trading within the companies. 

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is still investigating the allegations. 

The other management changes includes a new position on the Fortress board of chief operating officer and executive director, which will be filled by Donnovan Pydigadu, who has headed Fortress’ investor relations since early in 2018. 

Fareed Wania, Fortress’s office portfolio manager, has resigned as an executive director as of Monday. 

Mark says: 

“The board extends its gratitude to Fareed for his valuable contribution as an executive director and looks forward to his continued input and experience in the asset management of Fortress’ office portfolio.”

Vuyiswa Mutshekwane, CEO of South African Institute of Black Property Professionals (SAIBPP) and experiences executive, Sue Ludolph, has been appointed as non-executive directors. 

“These appointments give us plenty of strategic depth, insights and skill to tackle the exciting road ahead for our business. We are in very good hands to maximise the opportunities as they arise, notably in logistics,” says Stevens.