IVAN MAY: RE­NAIS­SANCE MAN

Finweek English Edition - - ADVERTISING & MARKETING -

Ivan May well must have been sur­prised at the ex­tent of his achieve­ments. His death at 63 of kid­ney can­cer brought to an end a ca­reer of enor­mous va­ri­ety, ver­sa­til­ity and in­tel­lec­tual achieve­ment. He prob­a­bly was best known for his enor­mous role in South African mar­ket­ing dur­ing a 40-year ca­reer span­ning ed­u­ca­tion, mar­ket­ing, ad­ver­tis­ing, fi­nan­cial ser­vices and nu­mer­ous so­cial causes.

Even so, it was an eye-opener to see him de­scribed in a Google bi­og­ra­phy as “a bi­o­log­i­cal sci­en­tist with a strong aca­demic back­ground and a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant sci­en­tific pub­li­ca­tions to his name”. He then com­pleted an MBA de­gree and launched a suc­cess­ful busi­ness ca­reer. At Ned­bank he es­tab­lished the Green Trust and the Ned­bank Green Affin­ity Pro­gramme that funds it, rais­ing R100m over 20 years. The trust has re­ceived nu­mer­ous global awards, in­clud­ing the WWF Golden Panda Award pre­sented by Prince Phillip.

Prob­a­bly as close to be­ing a re­nais­sance man as you’ll find in present-day SA, he listed on his CV more than 150 po­si­tions, di­rec­tor­ships, achieve­ments and awards. He played defin­ing roles in the Ad­ver­tis­ing Stan­dards Author­ity, the Lo­erie Awards, the re-es­tab­lished Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, Aids char­i­ties, the Con­sti­tu­tion Hill Trust and the sal­vaging of Ra­dio To­day.

His po­si­tions of hon­our in­clude Knight of Jus­tice of the Ven­er­a­ble Or­der of St John of Jerusalem, a Fel­low of the Royal Ge­o­graph­i­cal So­ci­ety, a Che­va­lier of the Chaine des Ro­tis­seurs and a mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Wine and Food So­ci­ety

And if that wasn’t enough, – the Oprah Win­frey mag­a­zine – has named him a “Man of Hon­our”.

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