Home » 5 assets owned by South African billionaire Douw Steyn

5 assets owned by South African billionaire Douw Steyn

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Douw Steyn

South African billionaire Douw Steyn ranks among Africa’s wealthiest individuals. He founded BGL Group, a UK-based insurance and financial services company, and is the parent company of Comparethemarket.com, renowned for its successful TV advertisements featuring meerkat Alexsandr Orlov.

Steyn began as a quantity surveyor at Eskom Mega Watt Park before establishing BGL Group. In addition to his insurance ventures in South Africa, Australia, and the United Kingdom, Steyn is recognized for his ambitious real estate projects. Palazzo Steyn, South Africa’s largest and most expensive house, holds his ownership and boasts a value nearing $20 million.

In 2023, the Sunday Times Rich List estimated Steyn’s fortune at $3 billion. Here are five assets owned by the South African tycoon that have contributed to his substantial wealth:

  1. BGL Group: Founded in 1992, this UK-based insurance and financial services company operates as a digital distributor, catering to 10 million customers. Under the Junction brand, the group offers motor and home insurance products. The company’s activities extend to price comparison websites, including comparethemarket.com in the United Kingdom and LesFurets.com in France. Initially established by Steyn and Stephen Klinkert, control is now shared with the Enthoven family, who also own the Nandos restaurant chain.
  2. Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spas: Situated in the upscale Sandhurst residential area, this historic luxury hotel encompasses a 10-acre oasis of manicured gardens. Formerly a private home, it holds significance as the place where Nelson Mandela resided and penned his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.” The hotel is located 33 km from O.R. Tambo International Airport.
  3. Telesure Investment Holdings: Steyn founded Telesure Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd. (TIH) as the holding company for various South African financial service providers he co-founded or acquired. The company’s portfolio includes short-term and long-term insurers, health insurance, and an insurance and personal finance comparison platform. Prominent brands under this holding company include Auto & General, 1st for Women, Dialdirect, 1Life, and Hippo.co.za.
  4. Steyn City: Positioned between Fourways and Lanseria in Johannesburg, Steyn City is a gated community covering 2,200 acres. This mixed-use megaproject encompasses high-end residential units, private hospitals, schools, a golf course, an equestrian center, and 2000 acres of parkland, all enclosed within a three-meter-high perimeter wall. Steyn’s personal residence, Palazzo Steyn, is located within this estate.
  5. Shambala Game Reserve: Situated in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, Shambala Private Game Reserve is an exquisite wildlife sanctuary. Spanning over 10,000 hectares, it offers a luxurious safari experience. The reserve’s remarkable landscapes, including rolling grasslands, dense forests, and meandering rivers, provide an ideal habitat for diverse wildlife. Steyn purchased the land when it was primarily used for grazing fields and farms. Through gradual restoration efforts, it has been transformed into a bushveld environment. Steyn has invested significant sums of money to protect the reserve’s population of Cape buffalo, wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and rhinos. The reserve is home to approximately 40 species of mammals.

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