In August 2021, Bateleur Brand Planning announced that it had increased its shareholding amongst existing shareholders Kim-Lee de Vries (Marketing Director), Talya da Silva (Production Director) and Gordon Hooper (Managing Director). As a consequence of an exiting shareholder, 40% of Bateleur’s shares have been released and balanced across all business functions. As such, all aspects of the business are now in the hands of its owners.
This restructure is part of a company ambition to bring a youthful shot in the arm and shift the company demographic profile towards younger female partners. Michelle Steyn, Data Collection Director at Bateleur, also forms part of the shareholder partnership and supports the restructure for many reasons, including where the marketplace is moving. Overall, the primary inspiration for the restructure is the desire for Bateleur to continue to grow and better serve its customers and thereby reward its shareholders perpetually into the future. And the partners believe that it will improve synergies and empathy between Bateleur and its customers as well as staff and suppliers.
Managing Director of Bateleur, Gordon Hooper, started the business 33 years ago. He expressed, “I have always believed that it is a common mistake made by many entrepreneurs to hang on to their creations far beyond their sell-by dates. One cannot possibly hope to grow a business beyond one's self if you are not prepared to share it with those integral to the business’s success.”
Hooper is embarking on a five-year programme of succession planning and development. He turns 65 next year and aims to relinquish his role as Managing Director either on or before his 70th birthday. The existing shareholders are obvious candidates to take over the managing directorship of the business and are being groomed for this eventuality.“
The shareholder partnerships have been founded on the culmination of trust and camaraderie gained only through sharing the ups and downs of a long journey and many years of experience of working together. They have earned their worth over many years as earnest employees and latterly partners in the business,” added Hooper.
Both de Vries and da Silva are fully aligned to the company’s future vision. They have a vested interest in the business, ensuring the highest possible degree of quality and service to Bateleur's customers, and possess the passion for driving the company forward for sustainable success.
South Africa's future consumers and business leaders are young and ethnically proportioned in similar ratios to the country’s demographics. “Strategic imperatives to profile shareholders, directors and employees in line with the country's population profile makes good business sense if one is in the insights business. ‘It takes one to know one’ is an idiom used mostly in the negative sense but is certainly true in all directions. Without a congruent demographic profile, a research company can't deliver truly relevant insights about the marketplace and the workplace. But it is not only for reasons of repairing the damage of the past, but also relevance for the future that have driven this strategic directive for our business,” concluded Hooper.