Absa Bank appoints Central Bank’s Daniel Mminele as new CEO

SOUTH AFRICASouth Africa’s Absa Bank has appointed former South African Reserve Bank deputy governor Daniel Mminele as its chief executive officer, with effect 15 January 2020.

Mminele, who retired as second-in-command at the central bank in June 2019, will be Absa’s first black chief executive.

Mminele will take over from René van Wyk, who has headed the bank on an interim basis since long-time Absa boss Maria Ramos, at the helm when Britain’s Barclays exited an 11-year controlling stake in 2017, retired earlier 2019.

On his appointment, Mminele said: “I am delighted to be joining the Absa group. I look forward to being part of and leading the exciting journey that Absa has embarked upon to regain its rightful place in the South African market as well as to fully establish itself as an independent African financial services group with deep roots in South Africa.”

Absa has lost market share in the last decade, slipping to third-largest in terms of assets, and also faces increasing competition from new digital players Discovery Bank and TymeBank.

Mminele joined the South African Reserve Bank in 1999 where he served as an executive assistant to former senior deputy Governor James Cross and then worked his way through the ranks.

He also served as General Manager and Head: International Banking Department, Head: Financial Markets Department and Executive General Manager: Markets. He was appointed as deputy governor in 2009.

During his time as deputy governor, he represented South Africa in a number of international forums such as the G20, BRICS and the International Monetary Fund. He was also a regular participant in National Treasury’s international investor roadshows to promote South Africa.

Before joining the central bank, Mminele worked as a banker with Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale between 1989 and 1995, working at their Düsseldorf and London offices. 

In 1995, he came back to South Africa where he worked for Commerzbank, working as a customer relations manager in corporate banking for two years and then had a two-year stint with African Merchant Bank as the Deputy Divisional Head: Special Projects.

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