Marc Wainer, the founder of Redefine Properties and renowned as one of South Africa’s biggest commercial real estate personalities, passed away on Monday morning at the age of 71 in Johannesburg.
Wainer’s passing of heart-related complications after a recent operation was confirmed to Moneyweb by Redefine CEO Andrew Konig.
“Marc was not just a great doyen of the property industry, but a wonderful mentor to many, many people over his illustrious four-decade career in the sector. He will be missed, and we at Redefine would like to pass on our sincere condolence to his family,” he said.
“Marc’s passing comes as a shock to both the Redefine family and the industry, which he has made such a major contribution to. He was passionate about property, people and entrepreneurship and was never too busy to give back. On a personal level, he was a close friend and mentor,” added Konig.
Wainer began his career in a family-owned grocery store in Yeoville, Johannesburg, and not before long became the manager of a shopping centre, which was his introduction to the commercial property industry.
He has been involved with various companies and property industry bodies, including being one of the original founder members of the South African Property Owners Association in the 1960s.
Wainer founded Redefine Properties in 1999 and listed it on the JSE. It has since become one of the largest listed South African property companies, with a current market capitalisation in excess of R15 billion and a multi-billion-rand portfolio of landmark property assets in SA, Europe and Australia.
Sapoa CEO Neil Gopal hailed Wainer as one of the country’s top property dealmakers and industry veterans.
“Marc’s willingness to share his experience was remarkable. He was a giant in our industry. He will be sadly missed and leaves a huge void in the South African real estate sector. Our condolences go out to his family and to everyone at Redefine,” said Gopal.
“Marc was a founding member of Sapoa. He told me once how he sat with a group of people in 1965 discussing the establishment of Sapoa, which has become well entrenched as the voice of the commercial property industry in the country,” he added.
Wainer retired from Redefine’s board in August last year, but continued to consult for the group. In recent years he has also been involved with The Mentorship Challenge, an entrepreneurial television series. He has also written a book on his life in property, titled Making My Marc.
Listen: SAFM MarketUpdate host Nompu Siziba’s interview with Marc Wainer last year