15 December 2022

A note from Stuart Hendler, Managing Partner

Dear valued clients, staff, and colleagues

One of the greatest dichotomies about mountain biking is that the temptation to quit is normally at its highest just before reaching the top. It’s also at this point that you realise there’s either a beautiful ride all the way down, or alternatively, yet another climb looming demanding a moment of respite before grinding it out to the next peak.

2020 was the year of survival and 2021 all about consolidation and change. 2022, we hoped, would be a year of growth. After successfully navigating through the worst of the pandemic, surely life would revert to some semblance of normality? This was the preeminent question – this was our overarching hope.

From the onset we quickly realised that 2022 was never going to be easy and that ‘normality’ is officially a thing of the past. Early on Putin went rogue in Ukraine, causing global instability and an unprecedented energy crisis, while in the US, inflation eclipsed 2008’s high. China continues to remain a contentious trading partner to the West, supply chain issues hindering growth as it cranks up its COVID policies. Here in South Africa, things remain equally volatile: different year, same problems. Eskom blackouts, infrastructure breakdown, poor service delivery, and corrupt political players still at the helm.

Amazingly, we have workable solutions to all these problems, yet the powers that be prefer the low road, paralysed by ethical decision-making. For Pha_(la)’s sake! Our government remains immoral and harmful – and until a dire change in its moral compass, South Africa remains economically and socially crippled.

I’ve always maintained that hope is not a strategy, but in the face of the above, hope is now our only hope – the very nucleus of resistance going forward. With the odds heavily stacked against us, we need to find reason and purpose and press on. At MGI Bass Gordon, particularly, we need to do what we need to do to take care of our staff, clients, and the multitude that rely on us. Richard Branson famously stated, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”. This philosophy has always driven our firm – and will always continue to do so.

With the media’s overwhelming onslaught of bad news, plus our country’s infrastructural failure, our staff’s mental well-being remains a priority. For this reason, we’ve continued incisive, ongoing wellness programmes and promote our in-house counselling. Various internal communication channels, mentoring sessions and an active social committee all encourage more staff interactions to ultimately alleviate stress and anxiety. During the year, our key management underwent intensive executive coaching, whom are all now better equipped to manage their teams and filter down positive change through the ranks.

I’m also happy to report that our staff have wholly embraced our hybrid-working model; while many businesses require employees at the office full-time, we remain connected and productive online. As a team our staff has truly delivered exceptional results, exemplifying our four key values, namely, trust, positive attitude, service excellence, and client-centricity. The challenge of balancing family-work life, combined with the high cost of petrol and wasted hours in traffic, has come to an end.

MGI Bass Gordon remains committed to driving change through efficiency-enhancing technology, client support through strong relationships, and a high-quality product through innovation. Our people, of course, are well cared for through meaningful conversations and personal interaction.

Reflecting on 2022, it’s clear that we at MGI Bass Gordon once again remained resilient despite the gruelling climb. We took this journey with many of our clients who faced the same head winds. I remain confident that, despite extreme future uncertainty, we all need to keep on going resolute that everything will work out.

 To our clients and staff, thank you for your support this year! We not only exist because of you – our plan for the future is based on you. Remaining committed to embracing 2023’s challenges and triumphs, MGI’s journey of solutions continues for a better outcome for all.

Here, at the peak of yet another mountain, let’s pause and take in the staggering views, connected as we face the twelve new months ahead together.

Have a fantastic break and festive season,