Sun, 27 Sep 2020

Brits excited to get down to 9-to-5 business

07 Dec 2019, 04:13 GMT+10

Cape Town - Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok hooker Schalk Brits will start his new job on Friday, December 13, writes Rugby Rocks' Simon Borchardt.

Brits retired from the game for a second - and final time - after the global showpiece in Japan, although he had one final run for the Barbarians against Wales in Cardiff last Saturday.

The 38-year-old, who arrived back in Cape Town on Thursday morning, told he will soon be working for Remgro, an investment holding company, of which Johann Rupert is chairperson.

'On December 13 I start my first real job,' said Brits.

'Hopefully, it won't feel too much like a real job!

'At first, Remgro will give me exposure to different financial markets and different parts of the business model in general. I'm interested in things like private equity, corporate finance and fintech.

'It will be an overview of what Remgro does and their structures, so I can understand their business model better. And from there, they will integrate me into the real world!'

WATCH | All Blacks trio give Brits rousing haka farewell

Until April last year, Remgro had a 50% stake in Saracens, whom Brits represented from 2009 to 2018. In 2012, the 15-Test Brits received an offer from another club that would've doubled his salary.

'Saracens weren't able to come close to matching that offer,' he recalled.

'So I said, fine, let's look at the long-term plan for me at Saracens, not just as a player but as a person. Professional rugby players tend to struggle with the transition into the working world.

'After chatting with Johann and (Remgro CEO) Jannie Durand, I decided to stay at Saracens, as I would have the opportunity to work for Remgro after I retired from rugby. At that stage, I didn't expect to play until the age of 38, but now that I have hung up my boots, I will be joining them.'

Brits says it will be 'insane' for him to go from playing rugby to having a nine-to-five office job.

'It's like asking someone who's never done anything else to go and do something they've never done before,' he added.

'Saracens gave me some free time to get some work experience at KPMG and a company called Enstarbut that was only for one day a week and the next day I was back between the four lines.'

Brits is also considering whether to study towards an executive MBA through Cambridge University.

'I have already been accepted, but it will cost Pound 70 000 (R1.3-million) for me to do it from South Africa over a 22-month period, so I need to decide if it's financially viable. I would have to fly to the UK once a month, too.'

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