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Arrie Rautenbach’s appointment as Absa’s new CEO has ignited a storm of comment — from concerns about racial transformation at the bank to applause for the lender for choosing one from among its own. But the important question is whether the newly appointed boss will execute on the bank’s strategy to increase market share in its retail and business banking unit and drive its (hopefully far more profitable) growth in the rest of Africa.

Rautenbach has been working for Absa since 1997. His  eventual rise to the top job was lauded by the investment community — it’s no secret he was passed over in favour of Absa’s first black boss in 2020, when former Reserve Bank deputy governor Daniel Mminele was appointed. ..

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