Theo Botha is a South African shareholder activist. He has queried many companies in the area of sound corporate governance, ethics, executive compensation, environmental practices and Black Economic Empowerment. He has also criticised South African corporate governance guidelines as impractically detailed and off-the-mark in places, with little effective clout.
He first decided to pursue shareholder activism after an investment in a life insurance company, Sage. The company was making huge losses in the USA that it neglected to disclose to the South African shareholders.
In a press interview it was found that “Botha doesn’t appear to be making money off this enterprise; in most instances he buys only one share.”
Theo’s usual approach is not unlike his first encounter with Sage where what he did was to pose a few questions which often make the companies in question edgy. He spends a significant deal of time going through company financial reports to note discrepancies which he will use to compile the questions which he asks during company AGMs. He has had an uncanny way of putting his finger on a problem area…
The South African companies Theo has confronted include Sage, Sappi, Absa, Sasol, SABMiller, Pick n Pay Stores, Tiger Brands, Avusa, Anglo Platinum, Pretoria Portland Cement, Mutual & Federal, Bidvest, Wesizwe Platinum, Standard Bank and Liberty Holdings.
Theo heads the Proxy View venture.