Michael Jordaan’s new investment firm – MonteGray Capital

Former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan has set up a private investment vehicle, MonteGray Capital, which will invest in disruptive technologies and disruptive business models starting in 2014.

The new business is housed in Bird Street, Stellenbosch, and part of the complex that housed the first bank in town – Stellenbosche Distriksbank.

Jordaan said that MonteGray Capital will open its doors in January 2014 with only two staff members.

Atka Young, a credit analyst at FNB South Africa, will also join the company as Jordaan’s assistant. “I hope to keep it very lean,” said Jordaan.

“My major expense is a super-fast fibre connection which allows me to operate as if the world is flat, from a wonderful lifestyle location,” said Jordaan.

Jordaan believes that small companies run by a small group of highly competent people using open source technologies can successfully take on very large institutions with modest start-up capital.

“I will therefore only invest small amounts and provide incremental funding as the business grows. As such I am not dependent on outside capital,” he said.

In September, Stellenbosch-based Mxit announced that Jordaan had been appointed as the chairman of the mobile platform’s board. His Mxit involvement will, however, only be strategic.

“While I am excited about the potential for a mobile chat network to scale across Africa and India, my Mxit involvement is only at a strategy level, and I have many more cards up my sleeves,” said Jordaan.

Michael Jordaan – a tech savvy CEO

Jordaan, who is behind making FNB the most innovative bank in the world, is widely seen as one of the most progressive and tech savvy CEOs in South Africa. He added that he is fascinated by disruptive technologies.

“I firmly believe that the exponential growth in computing power, storage and bandwidth will continue as it has for 40 years but now from a much larger base,” said Jordaan.

“We may all ‘get’ this intellectually, but due to biases in the human brain – in this case the recency bias – we tend to think of the future as mostly similar to the past, just a little different,” he said.

“The reality is that the rate of change is increasing at an increasing rate which is just an intellectual way of saying things are happening faster and faster.”

In May, FirstRand announced that Jordaan will step down as FNB CEO the end of 2013. It is understood that the new CEO Jacques Celliers has already taken over the reins at the bank, with Jordaan serving in a supporting role during the handover period.

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Michael Jordaan’s new investment firm – MonteGray Capital