The Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP) said on Monday Absa’s appointment of black executives in the corporate and investment banking division showed the bank now recognised the importance of transformation and ethnic diversity.

Last November, ABSIP expressed concern at the bank’s appointment of two white men as new CEO of Corporate and Investment Banking and Chief Executive for Engineering Service, saying this made the top echelons of the bank’s investment banking too white and too male.

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At a meeting with Absa CEO Maria Ramos and Chairperson Wendy Lucas-Bull, it called for redoubled efforts to ensure that boardrooms and executive positions reflected South Africa’s demographics. The Black Business Council and Black Management Forum also engaged the Absa leadership team, ABSIP said.

“We are happy that Absa took our advice into consideration that those appointments perpetuated a lack of ethnic diversity that did not reflect the profile of its customers and the country,” ABSIP President Sibongiseni Mbatha said.

“Now we are pleased that the bank has recognised that there is no shortage of black skills.

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Mbatha cited as examples, the appointment of Yasmin Masithela as Managing Executive: Transactional Banking, Anand Naidoo as Managing Executive: Client Coverage, KG Bako as Managing Executive: People and Culture, as well as the similar appointments of Lindz Zwane, Stephen Seaka and Temi Ofong.

Established in 1995, ABSIP advocates for black professionals’ interests and black business in the financial services sector.

– African News Agency