Edward Christian Kieswetter
NHDip (Elec Eng), HDE (Engineering Education), B.Ed (Mathematics & Science), M.Ed (Cognitive
Development), Executive MBA (Strategy & Transformation), M.Com (SA & International Tax) cum laude
Edward Kieswetter is a life-long leadership scholar and practitioner. He has spent most of his working life at the cross-road of theory and practice, believing that each indivisible informs the other on an interactive and dynamic continuum.
With over 30 years in various leadership positions in academic, public sector and private sector roles, as a reflective practitioner, Edward has consciously and mindfully referenced robust scholarly works on human behavior and leadership, along with actual real-time leadership practice to develop his own personal leadership model and leadership brand. He has a deep conviction that leadership is an inordinate privilege and has service as its ultimate purpose.
Edward’s leadership practice is based on a strong SERVICE and HIGHER PURPOSE orientation. He tells a number of real stories and anecdotes to demonstrate what he means by this. Recently, reflecting on his own leadership experience, but also observing the current state of global institutional leadership, Edward’s sense is that despite paying lip-service, many leaders become self-serving. Such leaders are motivated by short-term expediency without regard for the impact of their leadership work on all stakeholders, nor the long term integrity and sustainability of the institutions they lead. In line with a strong service orientation, Edward is an ardent commitment to the notion of the LEADER as a STEWARD.
Edward recently retired from Alexander Forbes, as Group Chief Executive from 2010 – 2016. Under Edward’s leadership the company restored its institutional integrity and financial performance, rebuilding a reputation and ethos of trustworthiness. He resolved longstanding civil and criminal and tax disputes by proposing a path of “doing the right thing”. He made a commitment to zero retrenchment and honored it throughout his tenure. His contribution led to relisting on the JSE in 2014, attracting significant local and international investors, whilst serving the interest of all
In previous roles as the Deputy Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service and Senior Executive at Eskom, Edward has led groundbreaking change management Programmes with pioneering and world-class results. Throughout this, his focus and investment in people was a hallmark of his work. His contribution at Eskom resulted in him being recognized as South Africa’s Boss of the Year 199/200, and a Leadership Thinker in 2006.
Edward is a qualified educator and through his passion for education, he has remained involved throughout his professional life. In addition to qualifications in Electrical Engineering & Science
Education, he holds Master’s degrees in Cognitive Science, Business, and Commerce (cum laude). His career is marked by an impressive list of achievements and recognition as a leader at executive and governance level at international level.
In his leadership roles, Edward has worked extensively within the private sector as well as the public sector – including Government, SOE’s and Universities within South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa as well as Europe, bringing unique insights and experiences from several cultural and national contexts within Commercial and Non-Profit organizations.
His professional accomplishments include:
South Africa’s Boss of the Year, 2000
Member, International Centre for the American Tax Administrations 2004 – 2009
Involvement in BNSL Customs Forum and Africa Tax Administrators Forum 2004 – 2009
Leadership Thinking Award, Boss of the Year, 2006
President – South African Institute of Bankers, South Africa, 2002-2004
President since 2012, and significant investor in Da Vinci Institute of Technology Management.
Deputy Chair – IFAC International Accounting Education Standards Board 2011 – 2014
Member & Deputy Chair Free State University Council 2004 – 2014
Current Board Director: Shoprite Holdings, and Da Vinci Institute
Current Visiting Professor: Free State University, Da Vinci Institute of Technology