Discovery Bank CEO steps down

Hylton Kallner to replace Barry Hore.
Image: Moneyweb

Barry Hore, the technologist who has led Discovery Bank since its inception, is stepping down.

The former Nedbank CIO and former South African Revenue Service chief operating officer will be replaced as CEO on 1 January 2021 by Hylton Kallner, Discovery said in a statement to shareholders on Thursday.

Read the Sens statement here.

The appointment comes after Discovery Bank completed its “build and migration” phase, during which the fledgling bank completed “several important milestones”, including the roll-out of digital banking, the new bank’s products and the successful migration of Discovery Card account from FirstRand Bank. It now has 500 000 accounts and R5-billion in retail deposits.

“In taking over from Barry, Hylton will leverage his experience as CEO of the South African businesses of Discovery in building a powerful and integrated composite,” Discovery said.

“His understanding of Discovery’s shared-value business model, along with his extensive experience at Discovery Group spanning nearly 25 years, position him well to drive continued growth and success for Discovery Bank.”

Kallner will step down from various Discovery subsidiary boards but will retain his role as chair of the Discovery South Africa executive committee “as the key co-ordination structure across the South African composite”.

‘Ground up’
“This will enable him to leverage assets across the group as the bank focuses on driving strong, high-quality customer growth and value,” said group CEO Adrian Gore.

“Over the past five years, Barry Hore has led the build of the bank from the ground up, culminating in the public launch and completion of the migration of the Discovery Card portfolio from FirstRand Bank. I would like to thank him for his invaluable contribution,” Gore said.

“His unique combination of deep banking and technology experience has been instrumental in establishing a strong operational capability and cutting-edge digital customer proposition, attracting a high-quality customer base and robust retail deposit franchise.”  — © 2020 NewsCentral Media

This article was first published on TechCentral here.


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R 5 billion in retail deposits and 500 000 clients, that averages to R 10 000 per person. Considering that they deal with higher LSM groups than most providers that does not seem like a lot, especially when you take into account the cost of starting the bank and the amount they paid FNB to get the credit card clients to transfer.

R 5 billion is probably just the director’s annual salaries. R 10k per customer is hardly anything to get excited about. They must have gone to the same PR school that Trump went to.

Maybe this bank is a Covid victim.
Cannot Overcome Vested Industrial Decisions.

I had a good look at Discovery Bank, and unless you have bought 100% into Discovery and their family of products (and I haven’t), the value proposition just wasn’t there

In the absence of a web interface, Discovery Bank remains impractical and cannot fulfil fundamental banking basics. Added to this, the core value proposition of behavioural banking is weak and not a compelling differentiator. It appears that DB has interpreted digital banking, to simply be an app-only digitisation of legacy bank thinking.

What? They don’t have a internet banking website? All app only? Fail! I also do no see Bank Zero going as far as it could have for the same reason.

Smoke and mirrors. The deposits are probably Discovery staff and all the Discovery company bank accounts! Discovery are masters of spin (read BS). If you dont buy into every product that they have, then nothing they have is worth it, except maybe the medical aid.
Btw, what is ‘deep banking’? Another BS term to make them sound like they are cutting edge.
If you look at their fees on their investment products, you will see how it is creating a ‘shared value’. They are not sharing it with their clients!

What is “high-quality customer base”? Are these clients that are willing to pay very high banking fees for the same service that you can get from the likes of Investec or FNB?

Discovery Bank doesn’t offer internet banking. They only offer a phone app. No wonder they don’t attract real money.

If Barry Hore steps down I can’t help but wonder if he thinks the balloon is as big as it can get before it’s gonna pop.

I just checked Barry’s linkedin profile, he used to work at SARS. Barry, if you are reading this, you are super and as you can see I had nothing bad to say about you. Tremendous work. Have a nice day.

I think discovery didn’t bank on that higher lhm have better options. Discovery bank incentives are not just boring. They’re bad.

The migration of Discovery Card members over to Discovery Bank was their biggest mistake. We were moved from a mature and functional banking platform (FNB) to something that felt like a make-believe bank. Not only was their service offering woefully inadequate but their support was basically non-existent. I will not be surprised to learn that they lost half of their Discovery Card clients during the migration.

and you get to pay for the new card they forced on you. I can’t stand them .

End of comments.




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