African Bank has named Zwelibanzi (Zweli) Manyathi as Group Executive: Business Banking. This is a new position, and his core remit will be to establish and build a Business Banking Division.
Manyathi, who has worked in the financial services sector both in South Africa and the United States brings almost forty years of experience to the job.
Most recently, he was CEO Business and Commercial Clients at Standard Bank and prior to that, he was CEO of Personal and Business Banking at the same organisation. He has also served as CEO of Corporate Banking at FNB where he was responsible for client acquisition and retention. Manyathi has also been a visiting associate at Goldman Sachs in New York.
His appointment comes after African Bank published its financial results for the year ended September 2021 showing a net profit of R534 million, compared to a prior loss of R27 million.
African Bank CEO Kennedy Bungane says: “Zweli’s appointment is part of our robust growth strategy to become a broader financial platform in a sector that is rapidly changing. There is no question that expectations are changing in our industry and banks have no choice but to put strategies in place to help businesses prepare for the future where digitisation is at the core.
“Our intention is to create a business banking division that meets the new needs of South African business, particularly in the small and medium sized area. These enterprises are the engine room of the country’s economy but are often neglected when it comes to bespoke offerings that will enable their success and growth.”
Manyathi says: “A Business Banking Division is a bold and logical next step for African bank as it seeks to develop customer solutions beyond Personal Banking. Given the organisation’s increasingly strong brand presence in the market and building on its rapid turnaround, I am confident we can make meaningful inroads into this highly competitive space and specifically offer small and medium sized enterprises a partnership that will enable them to grow both profitably and sustainably.
“My approach in developing this new division will be to listen attentively to constantly changing client needs and to offer solutions that address their unique challenges in both an uncertain but exciting time in South Africa’s history”.
Strong entrepreneurial base
The Business Banking Division will offer solutions in the fast-growing digital realm, asset financing and mortgage origination.
Manyathi has an honours degree in commerce and has studied further at both Harvard and Wits Business Schools. He is also a member of the 21st Century Trust, a UK based organisation that focusses on training, development and creating networks for people across the world.
Manyathi started his banking career aged twenty at the then Trust Bank now part of Absa delivering letters. He is strong believer in the potential of South Africa, driven he says by the diverse nature of its people and economy as well as its strong entrepreneurial base including young people who have a unique way of doing things and older more experienced practitioners who bring wisdom to the business community.
Manyathi says it is this sector of the economy where he will be focusing much energy advising entrepreneurs to make decisions based on what they are good at and then committing to them: “These are the customers I’m looking forward to working and engaging with, as African Bank helps take them to new and profitable heights.”
In his spare time, Manyathi reads political books listens to music and says he pretends to be a golfer.