News from the CGF Desk


It is reported that Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) -- being one of the people who drafted the Declaration of Independence, including the Constitution of the United States of America -- once said; “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Indeed, this axiom is entirely fitting in respect of South Africa’s very own Professor Michael Mervyn Katz.  Professor Katz is renowned for his illustrious career which spans a period of almost 50 years, where he specialises in corporate and commercial law.

Besides his extraordinary curriculum vitae, Professor Katz has been awarded numerous Lifetime Achievement Awards, the most recent being in 2016 when he was recognised for the South African Professional Services Award.  Professor Katz has also, amongst other, been recognised on several occasions by Best Lawyers® -- a specialist firm that recognises Best Legal Talent worldwide -- for being the Corporate Lawyer of the Year in South Africa (2014, 2016), and again in 2017 for his exemplary leadership in Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions.

However, Professor Katz is best known for his expert knowledge in South African corporate tax and company law.  As a doyen in these fields, he was appointed by the South African government to chair the Commission of Enquiry into the South African tax system in 1995 (known as the Katz Commission).  In this regard, nine Katz Reports were completed under his guidance and leadership.  Professor Katz was appointed by the then Minister of Finance, Chris Liebenberg, to also chair the Tax Advisory Committee, as well as to serve as a member of the Security Regulation Panel.  Following these activities, he was provided a Tax Honorary Fellowship Award (2013) by the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT).


Prof. Michael Katz (Right) accepts an Honorary Patronship from Terrance Booysen, CEO of CGF Research Institute

Professor Katz continues to lead an exceptional career; besides also having been a member of a number of sub-committees for the South African Law Society and the King Committee on Corporate Governance, he has chaired the committee for the re-structuring of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE), and he continues to chair the Specialist Committee on Company Law (which is established in terms of s191 of the South African Companies Act, 2008).     

Considering Professor Katz’s demanding schedule, not least also the fact that he also chairs ENSafrica – practicing attorneys on a full time basis, he also manages to make time to serve on several company boards in a directorship capacity, as well as being a trustee to organisations such as the Nelson Mandela Children’s Trust, the Constitutional Court Trust, the Donald Gordon Foundation, the Constitutional Hill Trust and the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation.  He has a B.Com (Wits), LI.B (Wits), LLM (Harvard Law School) and LL.D (hc) (Wits).

Notwithstanding all Professor Katz’s obligations, when CGF approached him to consider becoming an Honorary Patron of our organisation, he selflessly agreed to the position.  Professor Katz’s altruistic attitude is notably the reason, not only for his admirable life-long achievements, but also why his name is widely known amongst the leaders of leaders across the world.  Leaders of his caliber, skill, experience, knowledge and wisdom are rare to find in these turbulent times, and this is why CGF is thrilled to announce Professor Katz’s appointment to CGF as an Honorary Patron.

There is no doubt regarding the incredible insight and value Professor Katz will bring to CGF’s leadership, and the manner in which this will reinforce the business of good governance.  More importantly -- through his presence -- and with the additional support of all CGF’s patrons, an even stronger and more united force will be at work to improve the South African socio-economic landscape and its ongoing sustainability.

Our esteemed Honorary Patrons, who include Russell Loubser, Christine Ramon, Edward Chr. Kieswetter, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, Professor Steven Friedman, Amy Kleinhans-Curd, Professor Jonathan Jansen, Wendy Luhabe, Tina Eboka, Bernard Peter Agulhas, Michael Judin, Devi Sankaree Govender, Professor Shirley Zinn and Dr Mathews Phosa; are carefully selected, not only because they are exceptional leaders with great depth, knowledge and wisdom, but also because they act as a sounding board for our clients and for CGF when difficult matters or decisions need to be considered within our organisation.

The Honorary Patron appointments -- which are rotated every two years -- have expectedly had a positive effect upon the governance services being offered by CGF to its broad range of clients, which extends well beyond our customary research and reporting.  To this extent, the additional value Professor Katz brings to CGF is vital, especially considering his role in the King Committee on Corporate Governance and his ability to analyse and advise on complex governance issues.

CGF is honoured to have Professor Katz join the ranks of our professional team.  We look forward to assisting more organisations and their leadership to build a new generation of admirable, ethical leaders whose aspirations are to place the legitimate interests of their country and their organisation’s above their own.


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About CGF Research Institute (Pty) Ltd

CGF began its business in March 2004 and the company is grounded upon delivering a variety of professional corporate governance consulting services, ultimately aimed for addressing and improving the leadership of organisations and their governance practices.

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