Young Brown gets Nedbank top job

Marcia Klein

Marcia Klein

Mike Brown, the financial director of Nedbank Group, has been named as the successor to chief executive Tom Boardman when he retires in February 2010.

Brown, 42, is young for a banking chief executive, but points out his age is not dissimilar to Steve Booysen's when he was appointed at Absa.

He has been chief financial officer and an executive director of Nedbank since June 2004.

He was an executive director of BOE and when it was merged with Nedbank became head of property finance at the new group.

Nedbank chairman Reuel Khoza said there had been an extensive search to replace Boardman conducted internally, locally and internationally.

"As chief financial officer, Mike has worked very closely with the board and the chief executive over the past five years, and has made a considerable contribution to the strategic direction of the group, the enhancement of capital and liquidity management, as well as the group's internal and external reporting."

Khoza said while transformation was and is a priority, Brown was the best candidate for the job.

The majority of management, 28percent of senior management and 33percent of executives are black and 25percent of management is female.

Brown, who acknowledged that Boardman and the management team "have done a great job" over the past five years, said he would continue their strategy "to be South Africa's most highly rated and respected bank by being a great place to work, to bank and to invest".

Brown will take over at a time when Nedbank will possibly have worked through the worst of the world's financial crisis.

He will also not be bothered by ongoing speculation that Nedbank is for sale, as Old Mutual's chief executive Julian Roberts has categorically stated that there is "no intention" to sell Nedbank.

Brown said he had no idea whether there would be any recovery from the financial crisis by February next year, but "Nedbank is strong, so we are in good shape, whatever the economy throws at us".