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The Dogs of Fox Street – celebrating South Africa’s corporate finance sector and the people who built it

Ince is proud to be the publisher of The Dogs of Fox Street, a rollicking memoir by respected veteran banker Bernard Katz. Drawing from his 30 years at Standard Bank’s merchant banking business, the book takes its name from the street where the merchant bank was based in Johannesburg’s old mining and banking district. Much of the material – predominantly “good-natured ribbing”, as Katz would call it – is drawn from the five “Clots Club” speeches that Katz presented at the bank’s directors’ conferences.

Bernard has written a book filled with unapologetic humour and anecdotes – all about the people that he has admired and the quirky, colourful, interesting and outrageous idiosyncrasies of their personalities.

The Dogs of Fox Street is not just a book about finance. It’s a book about the people who have enriched and enlivened the lives of many South Africans. It’s a celebration of the characters who have made the corporate finance industry so interesting and dynamic over the years. It’s a tribute to the people who have taught us valuable lessons about life, business, and everything in between.

The memoir pays homage to the individuals who played a vital role in shaping South Africa’s corporate finance industry into what it is today. It serves as a reminder of the numerous corporate finance leaders who have achieved remarkable success, such as Phuthuma Nhleko, Kennedy Bungane, Peter Wharton-Hood, Gloria Serobe, and the bank’s current CEO, Sim Tshabalala. Moreover, the book portrays a distinctive period in merchant banking when transactions were more dependent on intuition than on a spreadsheet.

Ince has been a friend of the South African corporate finance sphere for many years, so it was only natural that we support Bernard’s book project – primarily because we felt that this book, in its small and modest way, serves as a tribute to the many people that have helped to build South Africa’s corporate finance sector into what it is today.

The Dogs of Fox Street is a humorous take on the world of corporate finance, and it’s not surprising that it has garnered interest from people who aren’t familiar with the history of South Africa’s corporate finance sector.

In Bernard’s own words: “Life is full of wonderful stories.” Whether it is his time at Standard Bank, which the book substantially draws from, or his sojourns at Brait, Anglo American, Fisher Hoffman Stride, and his own company, Laroki Corporate Finance, The Dogs of Fox Street is more than just a series of anecdotes. It is a reminder of how powerful human bonds can form – and last – in the world work. And this is worth celebrating.

*The Dogs of Fox Street is available at major bookstores, including Exclusive Books, and is also available on Kindle.

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