Attitude is everything

A multi-faceted approach to banking

25 September 2020 | Bankwese
Mariselle Stofberg

With his people relationships and excellent communication skills, Chris Matthee understands the importance of listening and communicating clearly and with the appropriate level of understanding. He lives by the statement that ‘attitude is everything’.

“Life is likely to throw quite a few curveballs at you during your career, but the way you respond to it remains key and is mostly a conscious decision. The variety of disciplines that I have been exposed to during my banking career, combined with the expertise and experience of the team, should equip me to have a multi-faceted approach towards heading up Capricorn Private Wealth.”

As the newly appointed executive officer for banking at Capricorn Private Wealth, Matthee brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team.

Matthee grew up in Namibia as the son of a civil servant and attended five schools during his school career, matriculating at Wennie du Plessis Secondary School in Gobabis in 1983.

“I believe that having to adapt to changing environments and being entrusted with leadership roles during my school career shaped me for what was to come.”

He studied at the University of Stellenbosch and obtained his B Comm degree in 1986, majoring in accounting and business psychology, followed by an honours degree in 1987 with consumer behaviour and personnel psychology as primary focus.

“Being a bursary student of the Namibia Development Corporation, my career kicked off as a business analyst at this institution, followed by my appointment as the manager of new business development at Bank Windhoek in 1994. Since then I headed various disciplines in the bank, the most recent of which involved leading the retail banking division for a period of 10 years as executive officer,” Matthee says.

Apart from various banking-related courses, the attendance of a strategic management course at Stanford University in San Francisco, USA, was a personal highlight for him.

As executive officer at Capricorn Private Wealth, it will be Matthee’s focus to build on the successes achieved during the first three years of this offering and to pro-actively lead his team of competent personal bankers and support staff. He believes his previous experience will enable and assist him to continue providing the esteemed Capricorn Private Wealth customer base with exceptional service, combined with innovative and proactive product and service offerings that will consistently delight them and will make them increasingly proud to be associated with this unique brand.

Matthee has been involved in a cross-section of departments during his career at Bank Windhoek – from marketing to IT to specialist finance and retail banking.

“The common denominator that I picked up is to treat your internal and external customers with respect and to be consistent in your approach and service delivery. Furthermore, the focus should be on building long-lasting relationships, both internally and externally and to be part of the customer journey as opposed to achieving isolated pockets of need fulfilment,” he says.

“This may sound like a cliché, but it remains key to base decisions in your career on facts as far as possible. Gather as much information as time allows in the particular circumstances and, very importantly, obtain the views and suggestions of the people nearest to the fire – they who probably understand the heartbeat of the customer better than anybody else.”

Matthee encourages others to not shy away from making that important decision – it may not always be the perfect one, but it will encourage you, your peers and your subordinates to make those difficult decisions and live with it going forward.

“My wife Isabel and children, Johan and Chrisna, deserve a lot of thanks and recognition for standing by me and supporting me throughout my career – especially during times when my career had to take the front seat and where I sometimes struggled to find a proper work / life balance. “

Matthee was brought up by parents who taught him to respect each and every individual that crosses his path. “One needs to appreciate the basic things in life and try not to take yourself too seriously – nobody must become bigger than the game itself. Most importantly, to know where your strength comes from and to stay humble and dependent at the feet of my Creator.”

He has a passion for media and radio in particular and has been a freelance radio announcer at Hartklop FM for the past 22 years; an experience that he finds energising and fulfilling. “I believe hobbies are important and sometimes enable you to take a few steps back and find much-needed perspective.”

Lighting a kameeldoring fire, having a glass of good red wine and enjoying the company of family and friends are some of the things Matthee treasures most in life.

“Looking at the most influential leaders of my time, there is a golden thread visible in almost all of their life journeys – they were able to overcome short-term disappointments and setbacks by focusing on the overall big picture objectives and by persevering aspiring to do the right things, one day at a time.”



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