De Beers: No ‘Sightholders for Life’

De Beers' dramatic pruning of its client list shows there is no longer such a thing as "a sightholder for life," DTC executive director Gareth Penny told JCK in an exclusive interview. The industry is still reeling from De Beers' decision to axe 20% of its list—as many as 35 sightholders, including some of the most respected and well-known companies in the industry. The company now has fewer than 100 clients. The move has caused a furor in Antwerp, Israel, and New York, all of which lost sightholders. "We are angry [and] do not accept it," Peter Meuss, director of HRD, the Antwerp promotional group, told South Africa's Business Day. Penny says the negative reaction was not unexpected. "This is not an industry that is used to change," he said. "There are other industries where relationships between customers and suppliers are dynamic and change a lot. "It is the commercial rig
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