Ready to take Absa into Africa

2012-05-05 10:33

For Kennedy Bungane (38), the newly appointed chief executive of Barclays Africa and head of the bank’s Africa strategy, it has been a long road from throwing stones with comrades in Sebokeng’s streets to leading Absa into the continent.

This appointment comes with the responsibility of leading one of the country’s largest banks – Absa, a subsidiary of Barclays, is listed on the JSE and covers a range of services from insurance to wealth management.

Absa’s footprint lags behind that of its competitors on the continent.

As the race for acquisitions of new territories for banking intensifies, Bungane will be a leading figure in the foray into new lands.

He will be expected to add to Absa’s portfolio of African countries, which include Mozambique, Tanzania, Namibia and Nigeria, with bank assurance operations in Botswana and Mozambique.

While at the University of Natal he showed his leadership mettle as head of the student representative council.

Popularly known to fellow students as KGB, he went to the university on a scholarship from Standard Bank, beginning a relationship of more than 20 years with the bank.

For most of his adult life, Bungane has merged an active social consciousness with cutting edge financial wizardry.

In the early 2000s he led the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals in the drafting of a historic document and industry consensus – now known as the Financial Services Charter.

He has kept his nose to the grindstone, serving at Standard Bank for 20 years as head of global markets sales, head of institutional and corporate banking and deputy executive of corporate and investment banking for South Africa.

Bungane holds a BCom degree from the University of Natal and an MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria.

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