Daniel Mminele. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Daniel Mminele. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Absa Group has completed the process of appointing its new CEO but will only announce his name at a later stage, it said on Monday.

The group, which owns the country’s third-largest bank, said the name was held back to comply with conditions imposed by the Prudential Authority.

The new CEO will only take office in January 2020.

In June, Absa committed to announcing a permanent replacement for former CEO Maria Ramos just before its half-year financial results presentation which takes place on Tuesday.

At the time, Absa Group chair Wendy Lucas-Bull said candidates that Absa was eyeing had cool-off periods of at least six months imposed by the Reserve Bank.

When Daniel Mminele retired as deputy governor of the Reserve Bank few weeks later, speculation was rife that he bowed out to take up the position of Absa CEO.

By January 2020, Mminele would have completed the six months cooling-off period. He would also be only 54 by the time the new Absa CEO is supposed to take office, giving him a clear five-year run before retirement at 60.

Analysts say speculation that the former regulator was a frontrunner for the top job has been going on for a couple of months in the financial services circles. Apart from being at the Bank for little less than 20 years, Mminele has spent his entire career within the banking and financial services sector in SA, UK and Germany.

Before joining the Bank in September 1999, he worked at African Merchant Bank, German bank Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale and in the Johannesburg branch of Germany’s Commerzbank.

The new CEO will join a company that is facing fierce competition from old rivals and newly launched digital banks vying for young, tech-savvy banking consumers.

But Absa has mapped out an ambitious growth strategy that includes winning back market share at home and building a stronger business elsewhere on the continent.