A BEE blow as Nosiphiwo Balfour makes abrupt exit from Texton Property Fund

Ujuh Reporter

Nosiphiwo Balfour, the 35 years old sensation taking the investment property market by storm,  is set to relinquish the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the JSE listed property giant, Texton Property Fund, at the end of October in what looks like an abrupt resignation.

Balfour’s exit will be seen as a draw back for black economic empowerment (BEE) on the JSE. Her ascension into the position of Texton CEO was widely celebrated as positive economic transformation signal in a sector that lags behind in BEE trends.

Texton operates through a mixed (retail, office, and industrial) property portfolio that is valued at more than R5,5 billion.

Balfour leaves Texton in the middle of a mini BEE storm. The company came under the spotlight recently due to a technical financial default in its BEE structure. Texton’s share price slipped below the strike price of the BEE deal making the deal technically insolvent. Funders of the Texton BEE deal, The Public Investment Corporation (PIC)/Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) would have to unwind the structure.

The Texton board announced at the end of August that it had received communication from the PIC/GEPF relating to the BEE deal. That communication caused the company to postpone the announcement of its financial results which was scheduled for the 3rd of September.

Back then Balfour noted that “As we assess the implications of this development on the business we’ve decided to postpone the company’s results for the year ended 30 June 2018…”

Balfour was also quoted saying Texton sees this matter as an absolute priority and will along with its advisors, follow all processes in the responsible management of shareholder interest. “We want to confirm our commitment to transparent and open communication with all shareholders and stakeholders. We will make further announcements as more information becomes available”.

Balfour is now gone.

In a short statement released late on Friday Texton said “Nosiphiwo Balfour announced her resignation from her position as CEO of Texton Property Fund, effective 31 October 2018. Miss Balfour has been at the helm of the Company since July 2017.”

The chairperson of the company’s board said “The Texton Board is grateful to Miss Balfour for her dedication and service to the Company. She has been an asset to Texton in navigating Texton post the Manco Internalisation and in working with the Board on a revised strategic focus – we wish her well as she explores the next leg of her journey. Miss Balfour has agreed to remain in her post until 31 October 2018,”

When she leaves at the end of October, Balfour would have served as Texton CEO for about 14 months following an  impressive youthful career. Her profile as captured by Texton says “Nosiphiwo’s career in the property industry has spanned a decade. She commenced her career in 2005 at Standard Bank Property Finance involved in their portfolio of commercial- to-residential conversions. She later joined Investec Property Investments where she spent 4 years, initially as a property research analyst and thereafter also assumed client management responsibilities on retail and institutional products investing into listed property equities. In 2010, Nosiphiwo moved to Investec Asset Management where she was a sales manager in the business development team for their investment strategies. She was responsible for managing a number of significant relationships with retirement funds, investment consultants, State-Owned entities and public sector funds.

“Nosiphiwo holds a number of directorships including that of Vice-Chairperson of the board of Communicare Social Housing NPC.  She completed a Bachelor of Science (honours) degree in Property Studies at the University of Cape Town and a Post Graduate Diploma in Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management.”

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