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Wendy Appelbaum

Wendy Appelbaum

Wendy Appelbaum chairs De Morgenzon Estate, a wine farm and agricultural business in Stellenbosch. Through The Wendy Appelbaum Foundation her company initiates, selects and drives programs addressing, in the main, the health and education interests and concerns of South African women.

Family Background

Wendy Appelbaum is the daughter of Liberty Group @founder Donald Gordon, She grew up with her two brothers, loved ames and play almost anything including scrabble, tennis, bridge, show-jumping, golf; you name it. Appelbaum admittedly did have an advantage in being the daughter of Donald Gordon. Having such a powerful, influential father was “almost like growing up in a business school”. She inherited his flair and mind for business. However, her father is not responsible for her successes. [2]

“He certainly taught me a lot about business,” says Appelbaum, “but being a girl and growing up in the 1970s [meant] there was not much expectation [for] me to do anything.

It was my choice to do something.

So, I have always worked and I have always been busy.”

She grew up wanting to challenge expectations, and that she did.

Today, she is arguable the richest woman in South Africa.

Business Career

Appelbaum’s first business venture was in 1994 with Wiphold, an Investment company that empowered women from all walks of life. She started the company alongside 10 other women. Wiphold was the first female-controlled company to list on the JSE. Reflecting on her time at Wiphold, Appelbaum says working there

“was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.

We empowered women that were technically completely disadvantaged, really empowered them to understand how to invest and take a little bit of money and make it a lot.

There was an incredible amount of energy in that boardroom.

I’ve never been in a boardroom that good ever since.”

Her experience at Wiphold gave her the courage, connections and knowledge to follow her own dream.

“Once I realised that all this experience I was getting across the board, from financials to marketing to HR, I decided I was going to do it for myself and that was when we started De Morgenzon.”

Appelbaum had always dreamed of owning a farm, thus leading o the winemaking business.

In 2003 she bought the De Morgenzon wine farm.

Today, the farm is ranked highly as among the top wine farms in the country.


Appelbaum is a dedicated philanthropist, donating $23 million to fund the creation of the Gordon Institute of Business Science and the Donald Gordon Medical Center. She is also the trustee of one of the largest private charitable foundations in Africa, The Donald Gordon Foundation, as well as the Wendy Appelbaum Foundation, focusing on health, education and women.

Wendy Appelbaum's Networth

Wendy’s net worth has been estimated to be R2.6 Billion ($235.3 millions), her name being at the top of the list of the richest women in South Africa which means that she is also among the richest South Africans overall.[2][2]


  • 2006 – recognised as one of the Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World, an organisation that honours and promotes female entrepreneurial excellence.

  • 2012 International Women’s Forum South Africa Excellent Award in Recognition of a Sterling Contribution to Business and Community.

  • 2015 Forbes Woman Businesswoman of the Year.

  • 2015 Forbes Africa Woman of the Year.[1][1]


Citation Linkdemorgenzon.com
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Citation Linkbriefly.co.za
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Citation Linkwww.caglobalint.com
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