The Reserve Bank’s new deputy governor profiled

2011-12-22 00:00

EMERGING countries’ central banks, such as South Africa, will play a critical role in a world eclipsed by the euro crisis.

It is thus critical that South Africa use more than just its fiscal and monetary policy to deal with the economic climate — it also needs policy coordination and decision makers who can look at broad solutions to limit the impact.

This is the view of Francois Groepe (42), who will become the South African Reserve Bank’s third deputy governor on January 1, 2012.

He did not want to publically comment on his views about policies, such as inflation targeting and the impact of fiscal policy on job creation.

Groepe said he is humbled by the appointment and holds Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus in high regard.

Groepe said: “I have been working with her [Marcus] for two years and she is an excellent leader.

“She has shown her qualities over the past two years and I am also impressed by the calibre and dedication of the bank’s staff.”

Groepe should be familiar with the inner workings of the Reserve Bank having been a non-executive director since 2004.

During this tenure Groepe was the chairperson of its risk committee and a member of its audit committee.

His appointment followed a detailed consultative process which involved discussions between President Jacob Zuma and the Bank’s board. Marcus will now have three deputy governors — Groepe, Daniel Mminele and Lesetja Kganyago.

Groepe did not want to comment on his potential responsibilities at the bank, stating that Marcus will announce this in due course.

The new deputy of the Reserve Bank has an impressive professional and academic background.

He holds a BCom (Honours) and an MBA (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch.

He also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Tax Law from the University of Cape Town and an LLB from the University of South Africa.

Until May 2011, Groepe was the CEO of Media24.

He resigned from his position to lead a buy-out of book publishers Via Afrika Education.

“Subsequently,” he said, “we could not arrange finance for this transaction.”

Before Media24, Groepe was a senior controller at the Swiss Reinsurance Group based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Groepe is also a member of the Council of Stellenbosch University, a position that he will soon step down from.

“I will contact the minister of education in the next few days to inform her that I cannot continue to serve on the council. I will also resign from other directorships I have,” he said.

— Moneyweb.

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