After a distinguished 47-year career in the South African property industry, Jeff Zidel, deputy chairman of JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Fortress, is set to retire in June.
Jeff Zidel, deputy chairman of Fortress, retires. Image source: SACSC
Zidel was appointed president of the South African Council of Shopping Centres in 2016, is a three-time past president of the Roodepoort Chamber of Commerce and was the winner of the 2010 Absa Jewish Achiever of the Year Award, among his many other accolades.
“Jeff has basically seen it all when it comes to property and retail development. For instance, he was one of the early visionaries in the expansion of the highly successful Nandos chain, was a leading light in the development of strip malls in Lesotho, and was a driving force behind the growth of the listed property sector in SA in the early 2000s. His vision and astute leadership will be missed. However, it is also important to say a new crop of property professionals – who learnt so much under Jeff’s stewardship – will ensure that his visionary outlook and fortitude is not lost to the sector,” says Fortress CEO Mark Stevens.
Fortress chairman Iraj Abedian thanked Zidel for his sterling contribution as a board member over the years. “The property sector is certainly faced with a number of challenges at the moment and it is thanks to leaders of the calibre of Jeff that we have been able to weather the storm and chart a new course for an exciting future,” says Abedian.
New non-executive independent director sought
Among his other roles, Zidel was a trustee on the world board of the International Council of Shopping Centres, a director of the South African Property Owners’ Association and a non-executive director of New Europe Property Investments. As a result of Zidel’s departure, a new non-executive independent director will be sought by Fortress.
“The board is in discussions with suitable candidates and an announcement will be made once the new non-executive independent director has been appointed,” says Stevens.