Standard Bank SA appoints ex-Treasury DG Lungisa Fuzile as CEO

Cape Town - Standard Bank South Africa on Thursday announced the appointment of Lungisa Fuzile as its new CEO with effect from January 15 2018.

The former director general of the National Treasury will replace Sim Tshabalala, who as recently as September 2017 took over as sole CEO at the bank. Before this, and since 2008, Tshabalala shared the CEO role with Ben Kruger.

Tshabalala will become group chief executive, with Fuzile reporting to him. 

Standard Bank said in a note to shareholders that the appointment follows recent changes to the group’s executive structure, which resulted in the disbanding of the joint group chief executive construct.

“The leadership of SBSA was a component of Sim’s responsibilities when he served as the joint-group chief executive.

“This appointment removes the dual role for Sim, which had become both unsustainable and inappropriate.”

The SA Reserve Bank approved Fuzile's appointment, Bloomberg reported, quoting Tshabalala.

Tshabalala described Fuzile as a seasoned economist with a deep knowledge of the financial system. “He’s got an extensive network of relationships within the corporate and regulatory environment,” Tshabalala told Bloomberg.

The bank appointed Tshabalala as sole CEO on September 12, ending a dual role he shared with Kruger and making him the first black person to lead Africa’s largest lender independently.

Standard Bank said on Thursday Fuzile will be accountable to the board of SBSA, with a matrix reporting line to Tshabalala.

Fuzile, who enjoyed a 20-year career in public service culminating in his role as director general at the National Treasury from May 2011 until May 2017, left his job in October following his former boss, Pravin Gordhan’s exit after the Cabinet reshuffle.

He told Fin24's sister publication City Press at the time that the job was quite demanding and required him to be on his phone and on work mode 24/7.

Fuzile asked to leave the Treasury in April, a year before his contract expired, and after President Jacob Zuma replaced Gordhan with Malusi Gigaba in a midnight Cabinet reshuffle at the end of March.

Standard Bank's share price jumped on the news and by 15:56 was trading up 4.22% at R177.37  on the JSE.

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