Cape Town - Standard Bank’s appointment of former National Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile as the CEO of its South African operations has been welcomed by a number of business and civic bodies.
Business Leadership South Africa said it is excited that Fuzile’s skill set would be retained within the SA financial services sector.
“One of the key pillars of BLSA's contract with South Africans is the empowerment of black leadership. This appointment aids that goal,” it said in a statement.
Cas Coovadia, head of the Banking Association Of South Africa said Fuzile's appointment imparts "additional strong leadership and world-class credentials to the banking sector and is wholeheartedly welcomed".
This is a significant appointment. It provides impetus to the efforts by the sector to continue driving a clear commitment to the national transformation agenda," he said.
Standard Bank SA on Thursday announced that Fuzile, National Treasury's former director general, would become its new CEO from January 15 next year.
Fuzile is set to replace Sim Tshabalala in the role, who will continue as the bank's group chief executive.
Tshabalala told Bloomberg that Fuzile is 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,” he said.
‘Knowledge and passion’
The Black Business Council on Friday morning said Fuzile is “deserving of this significant appointment as he possesses the requisite skills, knowledge and passion to lead Standard Bank SA”.
“His extensive experience as a seasoned economist with a deep knowledge of the financial system and his public sector experience together with his wealth of knowledge of the regulatory environment may serve the bank strategically to drive economic growth in the country,” said BBC secretary general George Sebulela.
He added that Standard Bank is a “critical player in the financial services sector which seriously needs to transform effectively”.
The SA National Civic Organisation on Thursday said that Fuzile’s appointment is “an expression of the confidence that the private sector has in executive managers in the public sector”.
“It is candidates of Fuzile’s calibre that could add the impetus of transformation in the banking as well as the financial sectors and forge the necessary partnerships to contribute towards the successful implementation of the economic turnaround plan,” said SANCO national spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu.
Democratic Alliance MP and finance spokesperson David Maynier, meanwhile, said Fuzile’s appointment would “make a huge contribution to the banking sector and to South Africa.”
* Update: this article was updated at 14:33 on Friday December 16 to reflect comment from the Banking Association Of South Africa.
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