Glynn David Cohen
Glynn David COhen was born in Kadoma, Zimbabwe on 15 February 1960.
Glynn resides in Monaco where he has been a resident for the past eight years.
In 1980 Glynn Cohen independently started a clothing factory, CohCoh Enterprises and during the early years he proceeded from there in making various acquisitions of clothing factories in Zimbabwe, becoming one of the largest clothing companies with the most substantial export markets in the country.
With the acquisition of Taig Enterprises, he was able to expand his export market substantially and later continued building and adding acquisitions to the business including the assets of Fashion Enterprises, Julie White, Screen Tone and Stanley Fashions.
At its peak, the CohCoh and Taig Group employed in excess of 3600 people and covered a whole cross section of clothing manufacturing for export and local consumption. Despite the harsh economic climate in the last decade, this operation has sustained and is one of the remaining large clothing manufacturers in Zimbabwe today, managed by a loyal team who has worked for Glynn for 30 years.
In addition to the clothing operation, he also had a substantial investment in and was co founder of:
A G Trailers – manufactured heavy duty triaxle trailers for the transport industry and sold trucks purchased from the USA;
G M Tarpaulins (manufacturing tarpaulins for various industries including tents and other portable structures) – this company still trades today and Glynn maintains close contacts with them;
Kestrel/Kingfisher Prints which was later to become the largest textile printing company in Zimbabwe. Although Glynn exited this company, he still has close ties with the company today.
Property Development and Holding:
Over this period Glynn invested substantially in property development in Zimbabwe and still retains some of these investments today. Glynn has also been involved in various property developments in South Africa, USA and Europe.
In the mid 1980s, Glynn turned his attention to what he saw as tremendous potential for trucking commodities from Zimbabwe and South Africa up into Sub Saharan Africa, and returning the trucks with commodities required in the South from these Northern African countries.
In 1985 Glynn founded GDC Logistics in Botswana and then in 1986 expanded this company to Zimbabwe. Thereafter and in quick succession, he opened up operations in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Mauritius. By this time, they were one of the largest contractors to the United Nations WFP as well as many of the large mining and trading operations in Sub Saharan Africa.
In 1996 a merger took place with Super Group which included the trading, logistics, trade finance company and commodity trade finance operations, as well as warehousing, handling, re-bagging, intermediate storage, international freight forwarding and clearing and customs brokerage. Super Group had become a listed company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, making this one of the largest logistics operations in Sub-Saharan Africa. At its peak Super Group had 10,000 trucks and 12,000 employees.
Super Group as well as being in logistics, made over 60 substantial acquisitions in various sectors of the market.
Glynn held the positions of Chairman of Super Group International and Group Managing Director of Super Group. He has sat on various committees, including the Deals Committees. As Glynn had moved to Europe, he became a non-executive director in 2002 and over the years to 2005 when he slowly reduced his activity and exited all positions in the Group.
Trade and Finance:
Trade and finance was also operated from the Mauritius operation.
Other entities with significant shareholding and investment were vehicles such as Unibank RSA and Unifer (later sold to ABSA) who specialized in micro lending, and CIC Holdings, a listed company in Namibia, where Glynn was also a board member.
During this period he was also one of the co-founders of the company Triennex, a company specializing in structured finance for infrastructure in Africa.
By 2005 he had exited all his South African operations including Triennex and stepped down from his board positions.
From 2000 Glynn focused his attention on the international investment arena especially Europe and USA. He took up permanent residence in Monaco where he is still resident today.
Glynn continues to be involved in an investment holding company in the international arena, with a full spectrum of asset classes which include a portfolio of:
financial investments; private equity including waste management, mining, hospitality, wine production, agriculture, aviation; real estate.
In 2000 Glynn purchased a very old Wine Estate just 20 minutes from Florence in Tuscany. Whilst Mangiacane had been around for some 500 years, modernization, construction of a new cellar and planting of new vineyards resulted in the first premium wine being launched in 2001.
Respecting Tuscan winemaking traditions, he embraced modern techniques and tastes with the current production of over 300,000 bottles of wine annually for the European and USA markets. In addition, over a period of five years, he extensively renovated and refurbished the main villa and farm house into a luxury boutique winelands hotel with a five star spar and a sculpture garden offering a showcase of sculpture to Zimbabwean artists. (www.mangiacane.com).
In addition to Italy there were various other hospitality investments which have been exited.
Current Zimbabwe and South African Initiatives: Mining, Financial Services, Telecommunications.
Glynn has been a member of YPO (Young President’s Organizations) since 1995 and is an active member of YPO. He is a past Chairman of the Greater Europe Chapter. The Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) is a global network of young chief executives. With approximately 18,000 members in more than 100 countries, YPO and its graduate organization, WPO (World Presidents’ Organization) share a founding mission: Better Leaders Through Education and Idea Exchange.
Glynn is also a member of CEO (Chief Executives Organization). The Chief Executives Organization is the only independent graduate organization of YPO. An invitation to become a member of CEO is extended only to those who have demonstrated exceptional leadership credentials in YPO, business, government, or their community.
Glynn started an International Charity and Art Foundation for the advancement of children in Africa, with an emphasis on disabled children in Zimbabwe. In addition he is involved in promoting disadvantaged Zimbabwean Shona Art, sculptors and artists. Furthermore, as a keen supporter of the arts, he most notably supported The Friends of Florence, in their renovation of Michelangelo’s The David in the Academia in Florence which was done with a fellow YPO’er.
For many years Glynn has been actively involved in Nature Conservation which is evident with his involvement in his initiatives in Southern Zimbabwe.
The Save Valley Conservancy is situated in the South Eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe and covers approximately 845 044 acres (342 123 sq km). Differences in height and terrain have ensured a variety of habitat and an enormous diversity in plant, animal and bird species.
Historically, this area was predominantly used for cattle ranching. Between 1986 and 1993 a total of 33 Black Rhino were, with the agreement of the ranchers, translocated to The Save Valley in order to protect them from the radically increased poaching threat in other areas of the country.
A massive drought served as a catalyst to change overall land use from cattle ranching to conservation and in 1991 the Save Valley Conservancy was born. Setting aside personal agendas, dividing fences and differences of opinion individual ranchers worked to create an enormous wildlife reserve. Over the intervening years wildlife has been successfully re-introduced in large numbers and today the Save Valley Conservancy stands testament to one of the grandest African conservation visions of all time.
Glynn is passionate about flying and is current with both his helicopter and fixed wing pilot licenses. He is a member of the Monaco Yacht Club and the Monaco Flying Club. His interests include, nature conservation, cars, art collecting, wine, yachting and spear fishing.
Glynn participated in the 2009 Antarctica expedition undertaken by Prince Albert II of Monaco and Artur Chilingarov, a Russian Polar explorer.