Meet Michiel Le Roux, founder of Capitec bank who listed on Forbes Africa’s billionaire list

Earlier this week, Forbes Africa announced their list of the wealthiest people on the continent.

Six South Africans were featured on the list of 19 people which was topped by Nigerian, Aliko Dangote. He founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer.

South African luxury goods magnate Johann Rupert held onto the Number 2 spot with $10.7 billion (R184bn), down from $11bn in 2022 as his shares in Richemont, the maker of Cartier watches and Montblanc pens, clawed back much, but not all, of last year’s decline.

While many household names of South Africans featured on the list such as mining magnates, Patrice Motsepe and the Oppenheimers as well as Rupert and Pepkor’s Christoffel Wiese, the co-founder of one of South Africa’s most successful banks, Capitec also featured on the billionaire’s list.

Michiel Le Roux, the co-founder of Capitec, appeared on the rich list, and ranked at number 17.

Le Roux, aged 73, origin of wealth is listed as “Banking – self-made”.

With a stake of about 11% in the bank, in 2001 he founded Capitec with Riaan Stassen, who served as CEO of the bank.

Le Roux obtained BCom Law and LLB degrees from the Stellenbosch University.

Capitec targets the emerging middle class in South Africa and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Le Roux served as chairman of the board of Capitec from 2007 to 2016 and has continued on as a board member.

Before Capitec, he ran Boland Bank, a small regional bank in Cape Town.

Speaking during a radio interview on 702, Le Roux said, “I discovered at Boland Bank that banking was very archaic.”

“I told our shareholders we’ll either be a big success or a small failure. Not in my wildest dreams could I foresee the success we’ve had,” he further said during the interview about Capitec.

He said one of the things that baffled him while at Boland Bank was why did banks close at 3.30pm.

He said during the interview, “I thought banks closed at that time because of some kind of law, but it turned out that there was no law that stated that. That was one of the things that I wanted to change, a lot of the staff was not happy about this. When we started at Capitec, there were no hours, we don’t close at 15:30.”

Capitec is often hailed as one of the cheapest banks to bank within South Africa by consumers.

Just earlier this month, FNB, with its $1.5 billion (about R26bn) brand value, was named as the strongest bank brand in the world, with Capitec Bank in second place, according to a matrix of factors including value, financial and environmental, social and governance factors, brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance said.

Capitec Bank, which saw its brand value decline 1% to $620.4 million last year, is the second strongest brand, also with a BSI score of 93 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA+ rating.

“The brand offers its customers an affordable price point for online banking services, making it stand out among its competitors. The brand has also strengthened its position in the sector with partnerships with established brands, including a new partnership with Samsung Pay in South Africa which gives its customers access to convenient contactless payments,” the statement said.

The bank continues to bring innovation to the market, with just last year, CEO Gerrie Fourie announced that it continues to grow strongly through new digital products and new client gains of 165 000 a month.

The bank increased the number of its clients by 13% to 19 million in the six months to August 31, but the focus is not so much on growing the number of clients, but in growing the number of quality banking customers, Fourie said in an interview at the release of the bank’s interim results that saw headline earnings per share increase 17% to R4.7bn, in September last year.

The bank was recently ranked number one for “outstanding disruption” in financial services in last year’s Africa Bank 4.0 Awards.

Pieter Koornhof, an investment analyst at Allan Gray, told Business Report on the bank’s meteoric rise, “Capitec has been an incredible South African success story in improving access to affordable banking services, and in delivering value for its investors. If you had invested R1 000 in the ALSI on the day Capitec listed and reinvested all your dividends since, your investment would be worth R11 457 today – a very respectable return that exceeded inflation by more than R8 000.”

“Capitec’s founders intentionally targeted the banking industry due to its high barriers to entry and large market size. Banking has onerous regulatory, technological and capital requirements, which reduce the likelihood of new competitors entering the market and competing away profitability. The banking profit pool in South Africa is also very large at more than R90 billion a year, and millions of individuals and businesses use banking services every day. This afforded Capitec ample runway for growth,” Koornhof further stated.

The 19 billionaires from Africa according to Forbes Africa:

  1. Aliko Dangote
  2. Johann Rupert
  3. Nicky Oppenheimer and family
  4. Abdul Samad Rabiu
  5. Nassef Sawiris
  6. Mike Adenuga
  7. Issad Rebrab and family
  8. Naguib Sawiris
  9. Patrice Motsepe
  10. Mohamed Mansour
  11. Koos Bekker
  12. Strive Masiyiwa
  13. Youssef Mansour
  14. Aziz Akhannouch and family
  15. Mohammed Dewji
  16. Othman Benjelloun and family
  17. Michiel Le Roux
  18. Christoffel Wiese
  19. Yasseen Mansour

World wide how do South African billionaires fare

According to Forbes real-time Billionaires list, Le Roux is listed at number 2 434, with an estimated worth of $1.1 billion.

Johan Ruppert and his family are listed at 163 with an estimated net worth of $11.2bn followed by the Oppenheimers at 244 and Motsepe at 1030.

Naspers’ Koos Bekker appears just above Le Roux, ranking at 1 173.


Author: editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *