FILE PHOTO: A women uses an ATM at a branch of Barclay's South African subsidiary Absa bank in Johannesburg
FILE PHOTO: A women uses an ATM at a branch of Barclay's South African subsidiary Absa bank in Johannesburg

Barclays Africa in brain drain

By Kabelo Khumalo Time of article published Jun 25, 2018

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JOHANNESBURG - The management exodus at Barclays Africa, soon to be renamed Absa, claimed its third victim on Friday, with the bank confirming that its head of consumer banking, Jan Moganwa, would leave the firm as its restructuring process heats up. 

No reasons were given for the resignation of Moganwa, three years after he was appointed to the role. 

The bank in an e-mailed response to questions only confirmed the departure of Moganwa, but refused to elaborate on the reasons. 

“Yes, I can confirm that Jan Moganwa has resigned,” said Phumza Macanda, the head of public relations at the bank. Moganwa’s departure follows that of two other senior executives to leave the company since it announced changes to its group structure and management in April. 

The new group structure consists of four businesses: retail and business banking (RBB) South Africa, corporate and investment banking (CIB), rest of Africa banking and wealth, investment management and insurance (WIMI). 

Changes The chief executives of each of the business units report directly to group chief executive Maria Ramos. 

The changes also meant that Absa’s South African banking ceased to be a management or reporting segment. The management changes saw Arrie Rautenbach become the head of RBB South Africa, while CIB remained under the joint leadership of Temi Ofong and Mike Harvey. 

Peter Matlare and Nomkhita Nqweni remained heads of rest of Africa banking and WIMI, respectively. David Hodnett last month resigned as the group’s executive director and deputy chief executive with immediate effect. 

Hodnett’s exit was written on the wall after the bank said in April he would take “a twomonth sabbatical”. 

He headed the bank’s South African banking operations. Craig Bond, the chief executive of partnerships, joint ventures and strategic alliances, has opted for early retirement. Aeon Investment Management chief investment officer Asief Mohamed said the group had to have a serious introspection. 

“The board has to look into why Barclays Africa Group has been under performing its bank peers in South Africa, including the role of board effectiveness and chief executive leadership,” Mohamed said. 

The bank has been drumming up its restructuring initiatives to regain lost ground. 

The bank has undertaken several restructuring endeavours under the stewardship of Ramos. 

In 2011, the group let go of three executive committee members, Alfie Naidoo, Happy Ntshingila and Daphne Motsepe. Motsepe’s position became redundant after the unit of unsecured lending she headed was folded into the retail and business bank. 

The group’s new growth strategy includes doubling its share of banking revenues in Africa from 6 to 12 percent and being a leading payments hub and a transaction banking platform. 

According to the recently published annual bank supervision report for 2017 by the South African Reserve Bank, total banking sector assets increased from R4.88 trillion in December 2016 to R5.16trln at the end of 2017. 

Standard Bank grew its assets to R1.25trln, while FirstRand grew its assets to R1.12trln and Absa saw its assets grow to R983 billion. 

An analyst who did not want to be named said Barclays Africa was losing talented people which undermined its growth strategy. 

“The loss of Hodnett particularly might prove to be the bank’s undoing. “The banking sector is highly competitive and will certainly be more competitive with the entry of big players such as Discovery who have talented people in their teams.  “Losing talented people at this stage is not a wise move for Absa,” the analyst said. 

Meanwhile, in another significant appointment MTN on Friday announced the appointment of Dr Khotso Mokhele as an independent non-executive director with effect from next week.


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