Alan Pullinger. Picture: KEVIN SUTHERLAND.
Alan Pullinger. Picture: KEVIN SUTHERLAND.

FirstRand deputy CEO Alan Pullinger will succeed Johan Burger as CEO on April 1, in a management reshuffle that also sees MMI deputy CEO Mary Vilakazi join the bank as chief operating officer.

Burger, who reaches the bank’s retirement age of 60 years in 2018, will remain a FirstRand director.

When Burger succeeded Sizwe Nxasana as FirstRand’s CEO in March 2015, the bank appointed then Rand Merchant Bank CEO Pullinger as his deputy.

"The board is pleased to announce a smooth group CEO succession process, which is possible following Alan’s appointment as deputy CEO three years ago. Since then, Johan and Alan have been jointly driving execution on the group’s growth strategies," chairperson Laurie Dippenaar said in Tuesday’s statement.

FirstRand’s announcement came shortly after MMI announced Vilakazi’s resignation on Tuesday morning.

MMI, which was created by the merger of insurance groups Momentum and Metropolitan, announced a management reshuffle in January in which Nicolaas Kruger was replaced as CEO by former Momentum CEO Hillie Meyer.

Part of MMI’s management reshuffle included appointing former Allan Gray director Jeanette Marais as a second deputy CEO alongside Vilakazi, which according to market speculation may be the reason Vilakazi has decided to help FirstRand beef up its insurance division.

"Expanding the insurance profit pools in FirstRand’s domestic business is one of the most significant levers for future growth and shareholder value creation, and the board is excited to have someone of Mary’s calibre driving that strategy," Dippenaar said.

"Mary’s time at MMI also means she has an excellent understanding of the financial services regulatory environment, which will be a critical underpin to the domestic strategy of delivering integrated financial services to our customers.

"Alan has been with the group since 1998 and has a deep understanding of FirstRand’s operations. He has been fully involved in the design and build-out of the current domestic, regional and UK diversification strategies and the board believes that he is the ideal candidate to lead the group forward in the realisation of those strategies," Dippenaar said.