Arrie Rautenbach appointed Absa CEO with immediate effect

Rautenbach is the group’s first internally appointed CEO since 2006.
Newly appointed Absa Group CEO Arrie Rautenbach. Image: Supplied

Banking giant Absa Group announced the appointment of Arrie Rautenbach as CEO on Tuesday morning in a JSE Sens statement. The appointment is effective immediately.

Rautenbach is the group’s first internally appointed CEO since 2006 and hails from Absa’s retail and business banking (RBB) unit.

Absa’s move to appoint an internal executive to the top post and to steady the ship follows a tumultuous 2021 from a board and executive perspective.

Last year Absa was rocked by the Sipho Pityana chairmanship debacle in November and the resignation of former Group CEO Daniel Mminele in April after a short stint in the role.

“The appointment follows a thorough recruitment and selection process completed by the Board,” Absa said in a statement.

Read: Absa continues to lose core customers

“Arrie, who is currently chief executive of the group’s RBB unit … has more than 25 years’ banking experience, which includes serving as the group’s chief risk officer, simultaneously providing executive leadership for the Group Separation Programme and Group Strategy Office,” the bank pointed out.

“His extensive experience in the banking sector, his in-depth knowledge of Absa through several executive roles over the years, and his experience and strengths in strategy development and execution for the group, positions him ideally to lead the group at this time,” it added.

Absa’s interim CEO Jason Quinn will resume his position as group financial director with immediate effect, the bank said.

Previous Absa roles that Rautenbach has held include chief executive of Retail Banking, managing executive of Absa Card Division and managing executive of Distribution. He began his career with Absa Group at Bankfin in the late 1990s.

Absa Group’s outgoing chairperson, Wendy Lucas-Bull, expressed delight in announcing the appointment of Rautenbach as the group’s CEO.

Read:
Absa fires Sipho Pityana as a director
The escalating woes at Absa as Pityana removed as lead independent director
Mminele exit: Absa board faces serious questions

“I am confident that his leadership will provide the continuity and stability necessary to consolidate our purpose and strategy,” she said.

“I know that the group is in good hands under Arrie’s executive leadership as I hand over the reins of the board chairmanship to Sello [Moloko], who takes over on April 1, 2022,” added Lucas-Bull.

Moloko, Absa Group chairman designate, said: “Arrie’s appointment will anchor our performance and growth, as we consolidate our position as a leading financial services provider on the continent. Arrie is aligned with the board on our organisational imperatives, including talent management and transformation.”

“The Board looks forward to working with Arrie and the executive to ensure a Pan-African financial services group that creates sustainable value for all its stakeholders.”

Rautenbach said he is “humbled and honoured to lead Absa during challenging conditions” both on the local and international front.

“I am excited at the prospect of working with a talented and diverse team, leading an outstanding business that is positioned to seize the many opportunities that lie ahead. I look forward to working with the Board and the executive in consolidating our strategy and performance, driving organisational and cultural transformation, and delivering financial and social value for all our stakeholders, and sustainable future growth and returns for Absa and its shareholders.”

Meanwhile, Punki Modise will step down as interim financial director of Absa Group and Absa Bank and as an executive director of the Boards, with immediate effect. She will take the position of interim chief executive: RBB and remains on the group executive committee.

Lucas-Bull thanked Quinn and Modise for their “significant contributions” as interim Group CEO and interim financial director, respectively.

“During [this] time the group’s positive operational momentum was maintained. I am pleased to be handing over the chairmanship to Sello, with the group in very good shape, having delivered record results for 2021 and with strong capital and liquidity ratios,” she added.

Moloko said he is looking forward to continuing to work with Quinn and Modise. He also thanked the duo and the group’s exco for “such strong delivery over the last year, which has placed the group on a solid footing for the future”.

Absa’s share price was buoyed by news of Rautenbach appointment in earlier morning trade on Tuesday, initially up around 2%. By the early afternoon it was trading around 1% higher.

Absa share price firmer

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Good luck to him !!
People that however had a bad experience in banking tend not to return no matter how good the advertisements are !!!

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