Quick-fire Q&A with Michael Sassoon

Michael Sassoon graduated with an MBA in Finance from the Simon School of Business in Rochester New York. Michael joined Sasfin in 2009 and after having fulfilled multiple roles across the Group was eventually appointed Group CEO in January 2018. He is passionate about growing businesses and wealth in South Africa and using technology more effectively to support clients. Michael is committed to family. He is married to Esther and together they have four young children.

Describe your leadership style
I enjoy leading leaders. This entails creating a collaborative environment especially in generating strategic thinking – nobody has a monopoly on good ideas. However, once we agree on the way forward, it is critical that the individuals demonstrate strong commitment to our agreed upon values and drive performance.

Your top tip to beat procrastination?
I am still waiting for the tip. Sometimes I feel the need for time to get to the right answer, but I am always reminded of the dictum… ‘If not now, when?’

Favourite getaway destination?
The Wilderness

Who or what inspires you?
Any successful entrepreneur, especially in South Africa and where the entrepreneur is delivering real value to their clients.

Your one wish for South Africa?
A thriving small business environment.

If you could have any 3 people over for dinner, who would they be?
At this moment, I am feeling particularly passionate about helping small business in South Africa. Therefore, right now I would have our President, our Finance Minister and the Governor of the Reserve Bank. I would hope by the end of the dinner they would be committed to doing whatever it takes to cut out the red tape for doing business in SA. Given the corruption scandals in business and government we lean towards more regulation. This may ultimately strengthen the big players, do little in preventing the crooked and probably hurt the small guys.

What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?
I enjoy a good pillow fight with my kids.