Brian Hilton Azizollahoff

Mr. Azizollahoff has been an Independent Non-executive Director of Dipula Income Fund Limited since May 20, 2011.

 

Brian Azizollahoff

Mr Azizollahoff, a former Durbanite and graduate of the esteemed Yeshiva University in New York, has teamed up with four partners, among them Alan Demby of the SA Gold Coin Exchange and former Woolworths CEO Simon Susman and son Marcus, to form Capstone Property Group.

Azizollahoff's surprise resignation in February last year coincided with other high-profile departures at Redefine, including that of executive director Mike Flax and former joint CEO Wolf Cesman a few months earlier. Both Azizollahoff and Flax were tipped as a possible heir apparent to current Redefine CEO and industry veteran Marc Wainer.

Azizollahoff, who started his property career in 1986 in Canada at developer Olympia & York, says Redefine's management structure became top-heavy following the mega-merger with ApexHi and Madison in 2009.

The merger led to Azizollahoff being replaced as CEO by Cesman and Wainer. Azizollahoff says he didn't always agree with the new direction Redefine was being steered in. "It was time to go paddle my own canoe.''

Azizollahoff, whose SA property career includes stints at Investec and Anglo, doesn't regret taking a sabbatical from the listed property sector. "Engineering and driving the merger with ApexHi and Madison, helping grow assets from less than R1bn to more than R20bn in my seven years as CEO and to see through the listing last year of Redefine empowerment spin-off Dipula, of which I remain a nonexecutive director, was fulfilling," he says. "But I don't miss the pressure that comes with such a highly regulated, corporate environment.''

Azizollahoff says the biggest perk of doing your own thing is that you have the agility to act quickly on buying opportunities. However, the downside of being a private investor is that it has become increasingly difficult to compete with listed funds.

 

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