Standard Bank to ramp up "Africanness"

Standard Bank has appointed two CEOs to replace the retiring Jacko Maree.

Mr Maree stepped aside Thursday after more than 13 years at the helm of Africa's largest bank.

"The board expresses its deep appreciation to Jacko for his substantial contribution to Standard Bank over a career of more than 32 years, and is delighted that his skills will remain within the group," Group Chairman Fred Phaswana said in a statement. "Under Jacko's leadership, the Standard Bank share price has increased from R21 to R118, the dividend per share is up almost seven times, and the group's market capitalisation has grown from R30 billion to R190 billion."

Maree, 57, will be succeeded by Sim Tshabalala, 45, the head of South African operations who described himself as a "Zulu boy from Soweto", and investment banking head Ben Kruger, 53.

They have been appointed joint CEOs of Standard Bank Group with immediate effect.

On Thursday Standard Bank reported a rise in headline earnings per share to 941c for the year ended December 2012, from 857c a year ago.

Headline earnings were up 10 percent to a record R15.01 billion.

The group said its financial performance was sound and demonstrated good momentum in its businesses, in a difficult environment.

The Bank acquired more than one million customers last year and more than two million new accounts thanks to changes in its current accounts.

The new co-heads promised to sharpen the African focus of the continent's biggest lender.

"There is a wall of liquidity and capital coming through the African continent. But to win, we need to ramp up our Africanness," Tshabalala, who will remain head of the South African business and take on operations on the rest of the continent, told a news conference.

Kruger, who has been with the bank for 28 years, will stay in charge of personal and business banking, and corporate and investment banking.

He said Standard Bank was not intent on immediate acquisitions in Africa, where it already has 17 operations.

"We are not anti-small acquisitions but have nothing on the horizon that we are contemplating," Kruger said.

Image: © Getty

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