Vuyo Lee, the JSE’s newly appointed Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, on ensuring the exchange continues to make a significant contribution to the economy


Q: What will your new role encompass?
A: I am responsible for providing strategic direction to the group’s marketing, communications and transformation initiatives. My work involves communicating and positioning the JSE’s value proposition to clients and its role as a leading exchange on the continent, and ensuring we continue to play our part as a good corporate citizen in SA’s socio-economic landscape.

Q: How will you direct the external and internal marketing and corporate affairs of the JSE?
A: There are so many good stories to tell about the JSE, and I see my role as the storyteller of the impactful work that we do. Not only do we play a role as the trusted marketplace for companies and investors seeking capital and good investment returns respectively, but we also make a significant contribution to SA Inc through various initiatives such as the SA Tomorrow Investor conference, which aims to position SA as an attractive investment destination. Through our CSI and transformation functions in my area, I aim to ensure the JSE supports SA’s national agenda locally, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals globally.

The JSE has many financial instruments and products on offer, and as we continue to innovate, our marketing and communication team will be enabling the group to meet the needs of its clients and reach new markets.

Q: How is technology changing the role of marketing, and will POPI have an impact?
A: Technological developments have significantly changed how marketers execute their strategy, and the COVID-19 pandemic, and resultant lockdown, has accelerated the use of technology. The developments in technology and POPI legislation mean that marketers must be more creative in how they reach audiences and attract them to their brands and offerings, while recognising that we are competing with many other brands and digital advances that are capturing the attention of consumers, be that gaming, on-demand TV and social media, for example. However, there are many positives. With virtual conferences, for instance, we are able to reach a far broader audience. Case in point is our being able to facilitate 354 delegates from 14 countries in one ‘room’ at our virtual SA Tomorrow conference that targeted the UK, UAE and South Asia investors in June, with President Cyril Ramaphosa giving the opening address. This would have been more challenging to organise physically. We also now have new channels to market JSE propositions and share content on our different initiatives. What’s important, though, is that the content is so compelling and engaging that it captures our audience’s interest and attention, and that is a nice challenge for us creatives.

Q: What about the JSE resonates with you?
A: I was attracted by the significant role the JSE plays as a financial-services provider in the economy. Since joining, I have been impressed by its passionate and committed people, empathetic leadership and the progress it has made in female representation in boards and top management, especially as it leads by example with 70% of directors on the JSE board being female, and 67% of my colleagues are women. There is an energy about this company and its brand that is refreshing.

Q: What are your best strengths/values, and how will these play to the JSE’s needs?
A: I enter with considerable experience both in strategy and marketing in financial-services companies, having held senior marketing positions with Momentum Metropolitan Holdings and Old Mutual, both of which really entrenched my dedication and interest in financial and commerce-driven markets. But I also have a deep commitment to SA and its efforts to drive financial inclusion, eradicate poverty and educate its youth. I believe these traits integrate well within the JSE, and its own efforts to contribute meaningfully and effectively to the country’s financial development. I also have good problem-solving, communication and relationship-building skills, and believe these will hold the JSE in good stead as it seeks new ways to diversify its revenue and further advance its transformation journey through innovation and partnerships. I am a fair-minded and empowering leader and believe my role is to grow people to reach their career aspirations. Lastly, I have a strong, collaborative leadership style and work well with teams; and I look forward to using these skills to support the JSE in living its purpose and achieving its vision.

Q: What, ultimately, will success look like for you in this role in five years?
A: In five years, I’d like to see more consumers reached through our financial-education initiatives, such as the JSE Investment Challenge, and thereby contributing to their overall financial well-being. I believe success for me will bring the JSE to individual investors across different income levels, showing through our various offerings that the JSE is not only for the few and wealthy, but also those seeking to prosper and improve their lives. Finally, through strategic partnerships with corporates and government, I would like to see us connecting the international investor market to SA Inc. Success in this case would be the JSE reaching out to more markets with the message that SA is the premier emerging market investment destination, and contributing to driving more foreign investment to our companies and public-sector programmes.

By Kerry Dimmer