The Absa Group Executive Committee oversees the execution of the strategy for the Group which includes Absa Bank.
Akash Singh (49)
Akash Singh was appointed as the Group Chief Compliance Officer with effect from November 2019.
Prior to this role, he was the Chief Compliance Officer of Retail and Business Bank SA. Akash was the Head of Operational Risk: Africa for Barclays Africa Group with oversight across 14 countries. He has also held various Internal Audit roles within the Absa Group. Before joining Absa, Akash was with Nedcor Limited in the Finance function.
He has extensive knowledge and experience in strategic and technical management of operational risk, as well as regulatory and compliance risk management.
Qualifications: BCom (Hons); CA SA
Arrie Rautenbach (57)
Group Chief Executive Officer
Arrie was appointed as Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director of Absa Group and Absa Bank, effective from 29 March 2022. He was previously the Chief Executive: Retail and Business Banking South Africa. He is a member of the Group Risk and Capital Management Committee (GRCMC), Group Credit Risk Committee (GCRC), Social, Sustainability and Ethics Committee (SSEC), and Information Technology Committee (ITC).
With more than 25 years banking experience, Arrie previously served as the Group’s Chief Risk Officer simultaneously providing executive leadership for the Group Separation Program and Group Strategy Office. His earlier roles within the Group included a number of leadership positions such as the Head of Retail Banking in South Africa, Managing Executive of Absa Card and Head of Absa’s Distribution portfolio.
Arrie has contributed to the industry through his board executive membership of the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) and board memberships of Ford Financial Services (Pty) Limited and Woolworths Financial Services (Pty) Limited. He has also been a director of Absa Financial Services Limited.
Qualifications: BBA, AMP, MBA.
Cowyk Fox (48)
Chief Executive: Everyday Banking
Cowyk was appointed as Chief Executive: Everyday Banking with effect from 1 July 2022. He was previously Managing Executive: Everyday Banking within Absa Group’s Retail and Business Banking (RBB) unit.
Cowyk has more than 23 years of experience in the financial services sector (16 years at Absa) mainly in Retail Banking, with extensive skills in Credit Cards, Retail Credit, Transactional, Deposits and Payments. He has held various executive level roles covering overall Business Unit Management, Risk Management, Operations and Finance.
Cowyk has served as the Chief Risk Officer for Barclays Africa RBB SA, and as Head: Absa Card and Payments. He previously held non-executive directorships, on behalf of Barclays Africa, at Virgin Money South Africa, NuPay and Edcon Financial Services Namibia. He is also the responsible Senior Officer on payments for Absa to the SARB.
Qualifications: B.Com; CA(SA)
Charles Russon (56)
Chief Executive: Corporate and Investment Bank
Charles was appointed Acting Group Executive: Absa Regional Operations with effect from 25 May 2021. He joined the Group in 2006 and the Executive Committee in 2014. He was previously the chief executive: Engineering Services.
He completed his articles with KPMG and then joined Merrill Lynch in London as financial controller for credit products. Charles worked for Deutsche Bank in London and Frankfurt from 1998 to 2006 as the rates head of product control, before he joined Absa Capital in September 2006 as chief financial officer. He became the chief operating officer of Corporate and Investment Bank in October 2007 and regional head of Finance for Absa Group in September 2012. Charles was appointed as chief operating officer for Absa Group in May 2014.
Qualifications: CA (SA)
Deon Raju (45)
Group Chief Risk Officer
Deon Raju was appointed as Absa’s Group Chief Risk Officer with effect from 1 June 2021 and is a member of the Executive Committee.
Deon has been with Absa for over 20 years of his 22 years in banking. Most recently, Deon was the Group Treasurer, primarily responsible for the liquidity risk, funding, capital, and non-traded market risks of the Group. Deon has held a variety of roles within the organisation, including within Enterprise Risk, Finance, Investment Banking, Credit Portfolio Management and Global Markets, and is a seasoned banking professional with deep institutional knowledge of the Group, as well extensive and diversified banking experience in business, finance and risk management.
Qualifications: B.Com (Hons); CA (SA); CFA.
Faisal Mkhize (51)
Chief Executive: Relationship Banking
Faisal Mkhize is the Chief Executive of Relationship Banking and was appointed as a member of the Group Exco from 1 July 2022. He was previously Managing Executive: Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance (AVAF).
Faisal has over 25 years of banking experience and a solid track record in Retail and Business Banking. He has served in a number of senior leadership roles in the bank, including Managing Executive of Retail and Business Banking in KwaZulu-Natal, Head of Market Leadership and Change in Absa Business Bank as well as Regional Executive of Private Bank in the Northern Region. Faisal was also a Managing Director with Barclays Bank Mozambique.
Qualifications: B. Admin (Hons); Masters in Development Finance; Advanced Business Ethics Leadership.
Geoffrey Lee (52)
Chief Executive: Product Solutions Cluster
Geoff was appointed as Chief Executive: Product Solutions Cluster with effect from 1 July 2022. He was previously Managing Executive: Secured Lending.
Geoff has 15 years banking experience having held a number of senior leadership positions across the disciplines of Retail Banking including Managing Executive: Home Loans, Managing Executive: Absa Card and Payments, Head: Product and Pricing Centre of Excellence, CFO: Absa Mortgages; CFO Absa Card division.
Qualifications: B.Com; B. Acc; CA(SA); AMP (Insead)
Group Chief People Officer
Jeanett was appointed as Group Chief People Officer with effect from 1 January 2023. She was previously Group Human Resources director at Sanlam Limited, a position she has held since July 2019. Prior to joining the Sanlam Group, Jeanett held senior HR roles at a number of blue-chip companies including SAP, AngloGold Ashanti, Industrial Development Corporation, Mutual & Federal and Hewlett Packard among, others. Jeanett started her career as a professional nurse and Midwife prior to pursuing opportunities in the HR profession.
Qualifications: MBL; Senior Executive Programme, Harvard; Advanced Management Programme; B. Com,(Business Management); General Nursing and Midwifery Diploma.
Johnson Idesoh (52)
Group Chief Information and Technology Officer
Johnson was appointed as Group Chief Information and Technology Officer with effect from 1 January 2023. He was previously the Group Chief Information Officer at Old Mutual, a position he has held since 2018. He has 25 years of experience in leading digitalisation in regulated industries. Johnson was previously employed at Aviva, a UK insurance, wealth and retirement business, during 2005 - 2014, holding various information and technology roles, including COO Shared Services Director and Group Functions IT Directors. Prior to this, he was Executive Vice President, Programme Director at biopharmaceutical business AstraZeneca (1998-2005).
Qualifications: Advanced Management Programme; MBA; B.Eng.
Prabashni Naidoo (47)
Group Chief Audit Executive
Prabashni was appointed Group Chief Audit Executive effective from 4 January 2021 and is an ex officio member of the Executive Committee. Prabashni is a seasoned Audit practitioner, with extensive experience in the banking industry.
Prior to joining Absa Group, Prabashni served as the Group Chief Internal Auditor at Nedbank Group, preceding that, she spent just over 15 years at Standard Bank in various senior risk management and assurance roles. Prabashni’s responsibilities include leading the Internal Audit team’s implementation of the Absa Group Audit Programme, while providing strategic leadership and counsel to both the Exco and the Board on internal and external audit matters. She also works closely with the Group Compliance and Risk functions in dispensing of her duties as Group Chief Audit Executive.
Qualifications: B.luris; Advanced Management Programme (AMP) and certifications in Risk Management, Banking and Digital Business Transformation
Punki Modise (53)
Group Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer
Punki was appointed as the Group Chief and Sustainability Officer with effect from 1 July 2022. She has previously held the roles of Interim Chief Executive: RBB and Interim Financial Director.
Punki joined Absa Group in 2008 and has held various senior management positions, including that of Chief Financial Officer: Retail and Business Banking since June 2016. Previous roles include Head: Transactional Banking, Chief of Staff: Retail Banking and Chief Financial Officer: Distribution Channels. Prior to joining Absa Group, she held positions at Standard Bank and Fedsure, having completed her articles at PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc.
Punki is a non-executive director of Absa Life Limited, Woolworths Financial Services (Pty) Limited and Ford Financial Services (Pty) Ltd.
Qualifications: B.Com; CA(SA); Masters in Financial Management
Saviour Chibiya (51)
Chief Executive: Absa Regional Operations
Saviour was appointed Chief Executive: Absa Regional Operations (ARO) with effect from 1 November 2021. In addition to his regional stakeholder responsibility, Saviour is responsible for RBB ARO as Chief Executive: ARO with effect from 1 July 2022.
Saviour has been with Absa since December 2010, having joined as Managing Director and CEO of Barclays Bank Zambia. More recently, he was Regional Managing Director in ARO, responsible for overseeing the Group’s businesses in Botswana, Mozambique, the Seychelles, Tanzania (Absa Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce) and Uganda.
Saviour is a seasoned, senior executive with extensive banking experience that spans over 28 years, having started his career in the Corporate and Investment Bank of Citigroup, building his regional expertise as Country Representative in Ghana in 2003 and was subsequently appointed Managing Director and CEO of Citibank Zambia Ltd in 2006.
Qualifications: BA Econ, Fellow of the Zambia Institute of Banking and Financial Services (FZIBFS), IMD Senior Executive Breakthrough Program Certificate.
Group Chief Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs Officer
Sydney was appointed as Group Chief Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs Officer with effect from 1 January 2023. He was previously the Chief Executive: Brand at Sanlam Group and a member of the Group Executive Committee. He joined Sanlam in 2019 from Liberty Group, where he was Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. He was Executive Head – Group Marketing at Nedbank Ltd from 2011 to 2017. Prior to this, he held brand and marketing roles at consumer sector companies including SAB Miller, Unilever, Cell C and DIAGEO. Sydney is currently chairman of the Marketing Association of South Africa.
Qualifications: MBA; Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Marketing Management; B. Social Science.