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Auction Alliance employees turn bosses

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28 Dec 2012

Auction Alliance’s sudden and total demise earlier this year was a shock to its owner Rael Levitt as well as the public at large.

Franz Bobbert, another ex Alliance “Blue” says “what happened to AA was totally unexpected but it brought about great opportunities for some individuals like him who had worked for Levitt since 1999 when it was still Seeff Auctions.

It was also a shock to their 200 plus employees (called The Auction Alliance Blues), who up till then were gainfully employed by the largest auctioneering house in the country.

The question is what happened to those employees who now found themselves unemployed.

Well it turns out years of working for an entrepreneur in an entrepreneurial environment does benefit those with entrepreneurial spirit, and a range of companies has sprung up in the wake of Alliance’s fall.

My research is not complete and things do change fast in the property game but last I checked, 22 companies were born out of the closure of Auction Alliance (AA).

One such employee was Ryan Joffe, a successful broker at Alliance, who started his own company, Ryan Joffe Properties not long after Auction Alliance closed down.

Joffe says he basically operated his own business within Auction Alliance and had formed great client relationships over the years, so when he went solo he hit the ground running.

He learned a lot from working with Levitt but thinks the Alliance story has changed the auction industry forever and believes that tenders will start making greater headway.

Franz Bobbert, another ex Alliance “Blue” says “what happened to AA was totally unexpected but it brought about great opportunities for some individuals like him who had worked for Levitt since 1999 when it was still Seeff Auctions.

“Everything I needed to know about the auction industry I learned from Levitt, which made it possible for me to start my own business after AA closed shop,” he says.

Bobbert Auctions officially opened on 1 June 2012 in Bloemfontein and they operate mainly in the Orange Free State and Northern Cape areas.

Like Joffe, Bobbert had also established a strong client base over the years many of whom have remained loyal to him and supported him wherever possible since he started his own business.

Their entire team consists of ex-AA employees of whom himself, Nicolene von der Fecht and Eben Oor are the directors of Bobbert Auctions (Pty) Ltd.

Bobbert says that after all the negative publicity the auction industry has suffered, it will take time to recover, but he is optimistic about the future and grateful for the knowledge he gained at AA.

So where are the rest? Here is a list of where some of them are now.

 Cape Town 

1. Willie Van Rensburg and Albie Loubser from AA Paarl started BKB Auctions in Paarl.

 2. Ryan Joffe started Ryan Joffe Properties.

3. Elias Tzouvanni, Greg Nafte and Andrew Cohen started Nexus Property Group.

They were joined by Jarred Gottschalk who briefly went to Aucor but resigned after two months to join Ryan Joffe Properties.

 4. Natalie Ginsberg who headed up Auction Alliance's Cape Valuations team started Natalie Ginsberg Property Valuations

 5. Ariella Kuper started Clear Asset (an online auctioneer)

 6. Casper Rossouw went to GoIndustry DoveBid to join other ex-AA personnel person, Kim Faclier and Joey Burke (both left AA a good few years ago).

 7. David Bernstein (the HR Director) started his own Human Resource Company, Pulse HR Consulting.

8. William Miller went to Dealersonline, - a company which was bought from AA.

 9. Ex-Auction Alliance director Christian Stewart went to Aucor and three administrative people plus Debbie Sherman followed him there but Stewart has subsequently resigned.

 10. Ish Hendricks went to Specialist Property Solutions.

 11. Gareth Currie started Upwards Properties

Port Elizabeth

Mike Bosch started Mike Bosch Properties

Bloemfontein 

Franz Bobbert started Bobbert Auctions in Bloemfontein.

Johannesburg

 1.A team of six commercial brokers (Sean Parsons, Gareth Botha, William Amerseder, John Hislop, Warren Aronson and Jonathan Aitken) plus legal manager Brad Stephens started Aucor Property in Johannesburg.

2.Andreas Greeff and Martin Van Zyl started Lighthouse Auctions.

 3. Lilian Dooley and Daniel Treisman went to Auction Inc.

 4. Gift Ngwenya, Lisa Crossley and Michelle Antleme started Auction Exchange.

 5. Norman Raad and Susan Pienaar started GreenDay Properties.

 6. Jan Oberholzer (head valuer in Johannesburg) started Jan Oberholzer Valuers.

 7. Pieter Geldenhuys started Bidders Choice

Durban

 1. Hein Hattingh, Rainer Stenzhorn and Rowena Moodley started in2Assets

 2. Ryan Berry started Green Day Trading KwaZulu-Natal

 This article was written by Barry Washkansky and has been published courtesy of Bidtimes.

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