keeping it in the family

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

His company's name stands out head and shoulders above competitors, but what many might not know about the head of the Pam Golding International Property Group is that he loves singing and cooking.

At 45 years of age, Andrew Golding is the chief executive of what is arguably one of the biggest property groups in South Africa.

The company was founded in 1976 by Golding's mother, Pam Golding, after she experienced challenges while looking for a new home for her family.

"It is a family business. My mother is still very active with specific clients, my brother manages Pam Golding Commercial, my sister plays an ambassadorial role while my dad, who is 85 years old, analyses the business," says a beaming Golding.

"I am responsible for all the group aspects, except the commercial side. I oversee the overall management and responsibilities of the group. We have 3000 agents, staff and clients."

We meet Golding at Johannesburg's exclusive Hyatt Regency hotel and he is smartly dressed in a suit that perfectly reflects his chief executive status.

Looking at him, you would not believe that this man can give you the recipe for Chicken à la King in one breath.

"I love to cook and my favourite meal is Chicken à la King. It has crème, mushrooms, asparagus and chicken served with rice and peas."

"I also love to sing and I am very sporty."

Golding joined the group in 1996. The company has a network of 285 offices and approximately 10percent of the South Africa's house sales market.

Internationally, Pam Golding Properties has offices in London, Germany, Holland, France, Mauritius, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Namibia, with offices planned for Lesotho and Zambia.

"I was unable to avoid the property industry while growing up. I learnt the business by osmosis as I watched my mother work on her daily business. She has a passion for people and the intuitive ability to know people and proposition the buyer and seller."

Golding's educational background has no relation to the property industry.

Born in Cape Town, he was schooled at St Andrews College in Grahamstown. After matriculating, he completed a bachelor of science at Stellenbosch University, which was followed by a bachelor of medicine and surgery degree at the University of Cape Town. He specialised in sports medicine.

Golding worked as a general practitioner from 1991 to 1996.

He then joined Pam Golding Properties as managing director in 1996 and was promoted to his present position as the company's chief executive.

"Success comes from our family culture and recognising people's values and beliefs. It also requires great marketing and an entrepreneurial spirit.

"The desire to continually innovate and drive the markets as a leader who is also willing to push boundaries is vital."