Real estate mogul Barak Geffen dies

7 Sep 2009 - BARAK Geffen, 35, of the Geffen real estate dynasty, has died.

Barak was the son of Lew Geffen, co-owner of Sotheby’s International Reality South Africa and grandson of Aida Geffen of Aida Properties.

Barak is believed to have taken an overdose at his father’s Johannesburg home yesterday.

The Sotheby’s website listed Geffen as an executive director and co owner of the South African division of the company.

He was “an instrumental part of the executive team” which secured the Sotheby’s International Realty master-licence for South Africa.

Geffen was involved in managing the implementation of Mark Shuttleworth’s mission to the International Space Station in April 2002.

At Sotheby’s, he was responsible for all marketing, advertising and public relations initiatives, but stepped down from active involvement in the company about two years ago.

“He was physically ill with emotional stress and stepped down to try and get well,” one Sotheby’s principal told The Times last night.

Mark Kleynhans, of Sotheby’s nearly-launched Saville Row Auction division, said the Geffen family was not taking any calls.

A spokesman for the Johannesburg Jewish Burial Society said the funeral would “tentatively” be held today at 3pm.

Article by: Lauren Cohen - www.thetimes.co.za