Former JSE, Alexander Forbes chair Nyembezi joins Standard Bank at the helm

Standard Bank media statement:

The Standard Bank Group is pleased to announce that its Board has appointed Ms Nonkululeko Nyembezi as Chairman-designate of the Standard Bank Group and the Standard Bank of South Africa. Ms Nyembezi will take over as Chairman from 1 June 2022.

This appointment followed a robust succession planning process that was led by the Group’s Lead Independent Director, Ms Trix Kennealy. The Group has obtained the necessary Prudential Authority clearance for the appointment.

Ms Nyembezi was appointed to the boards of Standard Bank Group and SBSA in January 2020 as an independent non-executive director. Her experience includes being both a board chairman and a member of board committees, with core expertise in strategy, planning, execution, governance and corporate stewardship. Ms Nyembezi has an exemplary record as a leader in diverse and complex organisations. Ms Nyembezi’s previous roles include serving as chairman of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Alexander Forbes Group Holdings, non-executive director of Old Mutual, CEO of ArcelorMittal South Africa, and non-executive director of Standard Bank Namibia. Ms Nyembezi is Chairman of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) and also represents corporate South Africa at international investment conferences including the World Economic Forum and the SA Tomorrow conference.

An electrical engineering graduate of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (B.Sc.) and of the Californian Institute of Technology (M.Sc), Ms Nyembezi also holds an MBA from the Open University (UK.)

Standard Bank Group Chief Executive Sim Tshabalala says, “Our Chairman-designate is a truly remarkable person. By every possible measure of experience, character, skill, and achievement, Ms Nyembezi is ideally suited to be the Chairman of the Standard Bank Group. Ms Nyembezi’s very strong – and directly relevant – academic background, great achievements as an industrialist and corporate leader, and her worldwide network of colleagues and peers combine to make her a very widely respected citizen of South Africa, Africa, and the world. Nku is exactly the person that African’s leading financial institution needs to lead our Board and govern our business. It is also hugely significant to us that the Standard Bank Group will shortly have its first female Chairman, and that this Chairman is a black African woman.  This is a profound and historic strategic moment – at once a proud celebration of unquestionable excellence and a moment of restorative justice.”

The Standard Bank Group would also like to take this opportunity to recognise and salute the great achievements of Thulani Gcabashe as our Chairman, whose tenure included more than its fair share of severe external challenges and significant internal changes. “Standard Bank owes a great deal to the calm wisdom and quiet determination of Thulani Gcabashe,” says Sim Tshabalala.

Mr Gcabashe says, “It’s been a privilege to chair Standard Bank over the past seven years. The Group has gained competitiveness, demonstrated impressive resilience, and upheld our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance. I wish the Group and Nku very well and I have no doubt that she will be an outstanding Chairman.”

Ms Nyembezi says, “It’s a great honour to be appointed as Chairman of Africa’s leading financial institution. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board to ensure that the Standard Bank Group remains sound, sustainable and profitable. We’re determined to meet our announced financial and non-financial targets to 2025 and beyond and to continue to fulfil our corporate purpose: Africa is our home, we drive her growth.”

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