Absa’s Arrie Rautenbach. Picture: SUPPLIED
Absa’s Arrie Rautenbach. Picture: SUPPLIED

Barclays Africa Group has largely completed the restructuring of its South African retail and business banking unit’s executive team and filled most of the newly created positions.

Staff members were notified of the appointments in an internal memorandum seen by Bloomberg News and confirmed by Barclays Africa spokesperson Songezo Zibi. The lender, to be renamed Absa Group on July 11, had spent about two weeks consulting leaders about the changes, which has seen the division’s management more than halved.

Absa will now field applications from the rest of the organisation to fill four vacancies that remain in the new top structure, according to the memo. The division’s CEO, Arrie Rautenbach, was not affected by the changes, while deputy chief, Bongiwe Gangeni, was also made head of relationship banking.

This is the first round of management cuts after CEO Maria Ramos reshuffled the lender around four divisions in April: retail and business banking; corporate and investment banking; rest of Africa; and wealth management and insurance. Absa is pushing to regain market share in SA and double revenue from its operations on the rest of the continent after London-based Barclays Plc reduced its stake.

The retail and business bank’s new, flatter structure eliminated as many as four layers of managers, a person familiar with the matter said earlier this month. The changes look to foster closer relationships between the bank and its customers, as well as among employees, according to the memo. According to Absa the model also gives each executive and their team "full accountability for delivering on their part of our strategy".