Chairman’s Report

The 2020 financial year has been many things, but no one can argue that it has not had more than its fair share of ‘black swan’ events. The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns have not only disrupted what was our normal, but has also given us pause – and time to reflect on our past choices. We too often fall into the trap of trying to evaluate and criticise our past decisions, based on information we have available at present.

Despite not having all the information available at that time, we still had to make a decision. It thus remains of utmost importance to remain true to oneself and steadfast in decision-making. You have to take note of how information has changed or evolved between now and then, so that you can adapt your future decisions and change your outlook accordingly. Only by doing this, can your conscience remain clear.

This year saw all of us reeling from the shock and turmoil of events–not only on the social and medical front, but also on the political and economic front. It touched each of us personally and deeply. It will continue to do so – it is projected that the global economy will contract sharply this year, with the recovery in the following year not making up the loss. Yet, as we ponder this year, we cannot succumb to doom and gloom.

While it is inevitable that life will knock us down, it is how we get up again that defines us. While prosperity may be a great teacher, adversity is an even greater one.

Adversity is also not without its comforts and hopes. Those who dare to change, to adapt, to renew thinking, to better themselves, to make the hard and difficult decisions are the ones that will face the dawn of a new day.

This has been a particularly difficult year as chairman of the Trustco board. We were questioned and evaluated on historic decisions, yet we remained steadfast in our resolve. I serve on a board where collective responsibility is a principle. Yet, no decision is ever taken lightly. During this year, Trustco changed its financial year end, changed the composition of the board, changed auditors, commenced changing the operational structure of the segments and yet, through it all, we maintained our vision to create and maintain sustainable value for the future.

To chair the board of Trustco is as exciting now, as it was when I was approached to chair the board years ago. It remains a pleasure to work with the executive management team – to see their growth, how they change, and how they re-evaluate to adapt to the future. They are not afraid to make hard and difficult decisions, and never hesitate to implement tough directives. I look forward to the inputs of the two new directors who will be joining the board in the new financial year. Thank you, my fellow board members, management and each and every employee for your commitment and dedication this year. You make an exceptional team.