Born in Bulawayo Zimbabwe (Rhodesia at the time), Jimmy successfully completed his secondary schooling, followed by a short spell of home-based employment, before heading to South Africa to take up his studies and to commence his career in earnest. He studied two 3-year diplomas simultaneously (Institute of Marketing Management Diploma [M+3] and the Institute of Personnel Management Diploma [M=3]), completing both ahead of time in 1982.
The combination of his recruitment experience and qualification in Personnel, led him to being accepted as a Recruitment Specialist with SA Board for Personnel Practitioners. His Marketing Management Diploma helped surface a deeply held belief in his entrepreneurial ability. When Draftmore (a Davy Ashmore company) specialising in the identification and placement of technical staff, disinvested from South Africa in 1978, Jimmy and his immediate superior took over the shares on a 50:50 basis. After a couple of years, his then business partner decided to return to England and Jimmy took up the remaining 50% shares.
Within the first 18 months of ‘going it alone’, he quickly repositioned the company as specialists in the management sector and renamed the organisation Wayland Associates. Revolutionising the way accessing and assessing had been done in the past, Wayland Associates soon featured as a regular recruitment advertising brand in South Africa’s major newspapers.
In 1994, Deloitte absorbed the business and invited Jimmy in as one of two Founding Directors of Deloitte & Touche Executive Placements (Pty) Ltd. With Deloitte South Africa’s re-entry into the global practice and with Deloitte South Africa now reporting into the Head Office in Atlanta, USA, the local operation was subject to USA’s Security Exchange Commission legislation, forcing this pre-eminent South African placement company to be spun out of the greater firm. The new standalone entity of Executive ABAC Talenting (Pty) Ltd (trading as Executive Partners and later Academic Partners) remained in the Deloitte offices for further 8 years to 2009. Today, the business is housed in its own building in Constantia, Cape Town – Jimmy being its majority shareholder and the Group’s Marketing, Relations & Strategic Director.
In 2010 and as strategy to augment overall recruitment capability, Jimmy founded the brand of Gear Advertising. Gear Advertising (Pty) Ltd. is a specialist recruitment advertising company using a technique that has again revolutionised the way we attract top-end talent from the marketplace - particularly from among a ‘passive reader’ audience. Gear Advertising has grown exponentially to a top-three company, winning several awards year on year. Jimmy remains the majority shareholder of this upwardly mobile company.
Jimmy conceptualised and help found Academic Baby Boomers Association, a non-profit company (NPC), which is viewed as being beneficial to both retired academics and to institutions found in and on the periphery of higher education.