Few people, it seems, want to take on the challenge of running the Absa Group since former group CEO Maria Ramos retired at the end of February. There is no shortage of strong transformation candidates among commercial bankers in SA, yet the frontrunner is a former regulator, Daniel Mminele, who retired as deputy governor of the Reserve Bank at the end of June.

Harry Botha, banks analyst at Avior Capital, says it would be great if Absa made an announcement sooner rather than later, especially as there has been speculation for a couple of months about Mminele taking over. Absa chair Wendy Lucas-Bull gave the strongest hint so far when she said the new CEO would be subject to a six-month cooling-off period before joining. This is standard practice for senior executives at the Bank. Mminele would still be only 54 after the period has ended, giving him a clear five-year run before retirement at 60.

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