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Allan Gray named Cape Town’s business personality of the year

Allan Gray was honoured as Cape Town’s top business personality at the 2008 Cape Times KPMG Business Personality of the Year Awards, presented in association with the UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB), at the Table Bay Hotel last Wednesday night.

Allan Gray is founder of Allan Gray Limited - established in 1974, it is the largest privately owned investment management firm in Southern Africa. Its clients comprise institutional investors, principally retirement funds, medical aid schemes and endowments, and individuals.

The Allan Gray Foundation is a sponsor of a bursary fund for meritorious students with financial need who want to pursue a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at the UCT GSB.

The Cape Times KPMG Award celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, marking three decades of recognising Cape Town’s most innovative and influential business personalities.

For some years the UCT GSB has contributed to the adjudication process, with the GSB Director sitting on the judging panel each year.

Frank Horwitz, GSB Director, attended the awards ceremony and described it as an important recognition of Cape Town’s business talent.

“The ceremony was a wonderful celebratory occasion for recognising both established as well as emerging entrepreneurs who have also contributed towards the community. The decision is always a difficult one with many nominations being considered annually,” he said.

Other awards included the Judges Award – jointly awarded to Dirk Elzinger, Managing Director of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), and Denis Skeate, chair of the CTICC board – and the Editor’s Award, which was presented to Kim Palmer, owner of On the Ball Computers. The Editor’s award recognises emerging businesses demonstrating entrepreneurial excellence.

Cape Times editor Tyrone August said, “This year’s winners are exceptional people who are achieving incredible things in their own businesses, as well as in the city and province. They have worked enormously hard and are all committed to ensuring that their skills, knowledge and resources are made available to the broader community.”

Gary Pickering, managing director of KPMG in Cape Town, said the winners were “fantastic role models” who embodied entrepreneurial spirit as well as being committed to social upliftment.

Mayor Helen Zille, keynote speaker on the night, said strong businesses were “critically important for any emerging democracy”.

She also praised the winners. “All of you have distinguished yourselves in the value you add to this city.”

This article uses excerpts from an article titled, “Allan Gray named Business Personality of the Year”, published in the Cape Times on Thursday, 23 October 2008.
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