Absa appoints new Retail and Business Banking leadership


Maria Ramos.

CAPE TOWN - Absa’s South Africa Retail and Business Banking (RBB) division on Friday announced a new leadership as it completed the next phase in its implementation of the group’s new strategy.

Barclays Africa Group chief executive Maria Ramos announced a new strategy and corporate structure in March and April respectively. Barclays Africa Group will also change its listing name on the JSE to Absa Group Limited on July 11.

In March, Ramos announced the bank’s intention to restore its leadership in SA retail and to double its share of revenue in Africa from six percent to 12 percent. She also said the Group would begin to build a culture of entrepreneurialism and consistent delivery to customers.

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In April, Ramos announced the appointment of Arrie Rautenbach and Bongiwe Gangeni as chief executive and deputy chief executive of Retail and Business Banking respectively. She also said each of the Group’s four core businesses would immediately begin aligning their strategies and structures with that of the Group in order to drive its growth ambitions.

“This structure is in line with our firm intention to give our businesses control and accountability for the implementation of our strategy. It brings them closer to the customer, enabling each to develop solutions that speedily respond to their needs,” said Rautenbach.

“We have a combination of tried and tested portfolios such as Homeloans and Vehicle and Asset Finance (VAF) but also new portfolios like Customer Value Management, Unsecured (lending) and Investments and Deposits, among others. The thinking behind all of these portfolios is centred on customer solutions rather than maintaining with traditional banking structures,” he said.

“The new leadership understands our business and what it needs very well. Its average banking experience, most of which has been within Absa, is 15 years. The new team is diverse and is a blend of youth and experience in each individual.”

Deputy chief executive, Gangeni heads Relationship Banking which includes business banking and private banking.

“Relationship banking is central to our growth ambitions where our teams will work closely with both Wealth, Investment Management and Insurance (WIMI) and corporate and investment banking (CIB). Fortunately, we have been embedding a collaborative model for some time but this structure helps us to provide optimal solutions to customers across the Group’s entire offering,” said Gangeni.

With a new executive team in place, Absa RBB said it will now embark on the next phase of changes to achieve a similar alignment across its South Africa operations.