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Ben Kruger to step down as Standard Bank CEO

By Hanna Ziady | 2017-09-12 11:46:51.0

Ben Kruger will step down as joint chief executive of Standard Bank with immediate effect‚ the banking group said on Tuesday.

The joint chief executive structure‚ “which was necessary in 2013‚ has met and in many respects exceeded expectations”‚ Standard Bank said in a statement.

Kruger would remain an executive director of the company and a member of the board‚ reporting to group chief executive Sim Tshabalala. Tshabalala would also remain CE of Standard Bank SA.

The market met the joint chief executive structure with scepticism when it was first announced in 2013. Questions were raised over how the dual leadership structure would practically work and whether there would be a tussle for control between Tshabalala and Kruger.

It seems‚ however‚ to have worked for the bank‚ which reported an 11% rise in half-year profit for the six months to June.

The period was not without challenges‚ with the bank having to endure losses on metals financing fraud in China and a R300m loss from credit-card fraud in Japan. Since 2013‚ Standard Bank has also dialled down its global expansion plans‚ electing instead to focus on Africa‚ which strategy appears to have paid off.

“The resounding success of the joint-group chief executive structure is testament to the group’s culture and values‚ which include working in teams‚ respecting each other and upholding the highest levels of integrity. Good momentum has been achieved in the implementation of the group’s refreshed strategy‚” said group chairman Thulani Gcabashe.

“The board expresses appreciation to both Ben and Sim‚ who have successfully led the process of refreshing the group’s strategy and managed complex challenges which faced the group in several jurisdictions‚ while delivering respectable returns to our shareholders.”

Kruger’s new role will include a mixed bag of responsibilities‚ including contributing to management of Africa regions‚ guiding the continued digitisation of the group‚ broadening the group’s relationship with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China‚ helping with the management of the group’s risks‚ and maintaining key client relationships.