Management shake-up at Absa

Arrie Rautenbach

Absa Group said on Thursday it was making a raft of changes to its top management position to refocus its strategy towards being more customer centric, sustainable and aid expansion outside of the country.

Absa has been trying to improve its performance since splitting from its former British parent Barclays in 2017 in the highly competitive banking landscape of South Africa dominated by big five banks.

The bank has clawed back lost market share and its profits have risen beyond pre-pandemic levels despite management upheaval over recent years which has weighed on the share price.

“We are reconfiguring group exco (executive committee) to create an organisation that is closer to customers, shows superior commercial performance and is fuelled by commercial excellence,” Arrie Rautenbach, Absa’s group chief executive, said.

As part of the changes, it has elevated several managerial positions into its executive committee including the appointment of Punki Modise as the group chief strategy and sustainability officer.

It has also split its two main units retail and business banking and corporate and investment banking into five different units.

“We have key battlegrounds now that we definitely want to be winning from a commercial perspective,” Rautenbach said.

Rautenbach’s own appointment in April, expected to soothe investors nerves after years of management instability, was criticised by the group’s top shareholder and South Africa’s biggest pension fund, the Public Investment Corp. He was the fourth person to be given the job since the departure of longstanding CEO Maria Ramos in 2019.  — (c) 2022 Reuters