Absa’s deputy chief takes up new position

Absa Group, a member of the Barclays Group and South Africa’s largest retail bank by customers, announced on Wednesday that its Deputy Group Chief Executive, Louis von Zeuner, will, at his own request, move to a non-executive role in 2013.

He will still devote 60% of his time to Absa and the Barclays Group after the transition. This arrangement will allow him time to also take on non-executive positions outside the group.

Von Zeuner, who has been with Absa for 32 years, will remain the deputy group chief executive until he assumes the non-executive role in January 2013. As a non-executive, he will serve on the boards of the Absa Group and certain subsidiaries.

This is being announced now, well in advance of the move, as part of the rigorous managed succession process followed by Absa. It is also meant to ensure that all stakeholders are informed.

Absa Group Chief Executive Maria Ramos also announced that, in addition to his existing duties, Von Zeuner will chair a newly established Africa Customer Committee as well as the Africa Community Investment Committee as these are key areas of importance for the business. These additional duties are effective immediately and will continue in his non-executive role from next year.

Ramos said: “Louis is one of South Africa’s most experienced and respected bankers and is uniquely qualified in the Group to lead its strategy formulation of the customer and citizenship initiative which is key for Absa and Barclays. Louis will also devote time to developing and mentoring our young talent.

“Absa has grown from 8-million customers at the time of the Barclays acquisition to 12-million customers now. We plan to continue this growth on a continent-wide basis. The Africa Customer Committee, which Louis will head, is focused on the expansion of our customer base here and throughout the continent.”

Von Zeuner said: “The move to a non-executive role was at my request and I am delighted at the way Absa has accommodated that wish. Banking and Absa have been part of my life and I look forward to being able to put something back into the Group and its customers both of which have always meant so much to me. My three years of working with Maria were great and I am glad that we are able to continue a working relationship as the Group enters a very exciting phase.” — I-Net Bridge

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