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ABSA changes management to align to strategy

07 October 2011 ABSA

Maria Ramos, Group Chief Executive of Absa and Chief Executive, Barclays Africa, today made known details of changes to the Absa executive management structure.

Key amongst these changes is the consolidation of Retail and the Business Banking under the leadership of Bobby Malabie as Chief Executive of Retail and Business Banking for the Absa Group. Mr Malabie is an existing Absa ExCo member, and was formerly Chief Executive of Absa Business Banking.

“In order to maximise the opportunity to serve our customers and clients, I am bringing Unsecured Lending with Retail and Business Banking in South Africa together under common leadership. I am pleased to announce that Bobby will lead the overall Retail and Business Banking offering in Absa,” says Ms Ramos.

Simultaneously, she announced the appointment of Nomkhita Nqweni, the Chief Executive of Absa Wealth, to the Absa ExCo. Ms Nqweni currently leads the Wealth business for Absa and for Barclays in Africa, and her joining the Absa ExCo indicates the prominence of the Wealth business as a strategic growth area.

Ms Ramos also announced the resignation of Mr Gavin Opperman, the chief executive of Absa Retail Banking. “It is with regret that I announce that Gavin Opperman has resigned and will be leaving Absa at the end of November 2011. Gavin joined Absa in 1994 and worked his way up the organisation. He leaves the organisation as Chief Executive, Retail Banking”.

During his 17-year career with Absa, Gavin served the Group both locally and in Asia. . He has held a number of positions across Retail, Commercial and Investment Banking, as well as in Credit and Operations. His most recent achievement was building Absa Retail Banking to a position of market leadership.

“I wish to take this opportunity to thank Gavin for the contribution he has made during his tenure and wish him all of the best in his future endeavours”.

Signalling the next stage in the delivery of the Africa strategy, Ms Ramos also announced a small Africa Executive Committee (Africa ExCo), drawn from Absa and Barclays executives, to drive the implementation of “One Bank in Africa”.

The One Bank in Africa strategy, unveiled in April this year, is designed to better align the businesses of Absa and Barclays to meet the needs of customers and clients, and unlock the significant growth opportunity on the continent.

The new Africa ExCo, which will be chaired by Ms Ramos in her capacity as Chief Executive, Barclays Africa, is as follows:

  • Louis von Zeuner who continues in his current role as Deputy Group Chief Executive, Absa, and retains his oversight responsibilities for operations in South Africa;
  • Stephen van Coller, who is the Chief Executive of Absa Capital and Absa Wealth, has been appointed Chief Executive of Corporate & Investment Banking and Wealth Management across Africa;

§ David Skillen has been appointed as Chief Executive for the Rest of Africa and will also be responsible for Retail and Business Banking products across Africa. Until recently, Mr Skillen was the Chief Administrative Officer for the Barclays Africa businesses;

  • Willie Lategan continues in his current role as Chief Executive, Absa Financial Services, and will lead the Bancassurance business in Africa;
  • David Hodnett has been appointed Chief Financial Officer, Africa, in addition to his responsibilities as Group Financial Director, Absa; and,
  • Philip Freeborn has been appointed as Chief Operating and Integration Officer for Africa. Mr Freeborn was most recently responsible for Operations and Technology across Barclays Corporate & Investment Banking and Wealth Management.

Considerable progress has been made in the implementation of a full geographical and product structure for Africa and in integrating the Africa operations of Barclays and Absa. As indicated on April 18 2011, the Barclays Africa Regional Office is in the process of moving from Dubai to Johannesburg. The move is expected to be complete by December 31, 2011.

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