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Net1 scoops Standard Bank’s Lincoln Mali as new Southern African CEO

In newly-created regional position.
Lincoln Mali will take up his new post at Net1 as of 1 May 2021. Image: Moneyweb

JSE-listed fintech firm Net1 announced the appointment of Standard Bank stalwart Lincoln Mali as its Southern Africa CEO on Tuesday.

The company, which has a primary listing on the Nasdaq and has operations in Africa and Asia, said in a Sens that Mali will come into a newly-created position at the firm. His appointment is effective from May 1.

Mali will move from his current role as head of group card and payments at Standard Bank Group.

Net1 noted that Mali is “a highly accomplished financial services executive with over 25 years in the industry”.

It added: “Mali also chairs the board of directors of Diners Club South Africa and is a member of the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Business Council for Visa.”

Read: Value Capital Partners takes R580m stake in Net1

Commenting on the appointment, Net1 chairman Jabu Mabuza said: “After a thorough and rigorous search process, we are delighted that Lincoln Mali has agreed to join Net1 as the CEO of Net1 Southern Africa.”

He noted that Mali has a very strong track record in consumer and merchant financial services across South Africa and 16 other African countries.

“Furthermore, he is a highly ethical business leader who is strongly aligned with Net1’s vision and mission,” added Mabuza.

Mali said he’s equally delighted to be appointed to the position.

“Net1 has unique capabilities, technology and infrastructure to provide financial services to unbanked and underbanked consumers and merchants. Furthermore, Net1 has a staff complement of over 2 500 competent and dedicated men and women.

“I am excited to use those capabilities and work with my new colleagues to make Net1 a leading financial technology business. I wish to thank the board for their support,” Mali said.

“Joining the Net1 team aligns with my purpose of making a difference in society, and I look forward to working with my new colleagues and other stakeholders to drive financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked market. Hopefully our efforts will give these clients dignity and choice in financial services,” Mali added.

Meanwhile, Net1 also noted in its Sens that the group is continuing with its search for a Group CEO. The company said that it will “communicate progress” regarding this appointment in due course.

Net1 was embroiled in a Sassa grants payment scandal through its now liquidated Cash Paymaster Services division a few years ago. Mali comes in as the group attempts to repair its image and turn around its business under the chairmanship of Mabuza, who was appointed in May last year.

Read:
Cash Paymaster Services to go into liquidation
CPS: Liquidation won’t be opposed by parent company Net1

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That is quite an epic downgrade in status.

I guess if they’re paying him enough money then what has status got to do with it?

It may be useful to readers if, when referring to entities which have bank, bank and subsidiaries and bank holding company structures, one distinguishes between the three. The term ‘Standard Bank’ could refer to ‘Standard Bank Group’ (the bank holding company and listed entity, and its subsidiaries), or to ‘The Standard Bank of South Africa’, the South African licensed bank, or to a sub-group comprising ‘The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and its subsidiaries (including Diners Club S.A. (Pty)? Ltd)’.

Was Mr Mali an employee of the listed entity or the South African Bank bank or both, and were his responsibilities SBG-group wide SBSA-group wide or SBSA bank-specific? The article is silent on the first (which is ok given how opaque and Byzantine these arrangements often are in large groups), but refers to him as having been ‘…head of group card and payments at Standard Bank’ and ‘ Chair of Diners Club South Africa.’

End of comments.

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