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Barclays Africa to Split Into Four Units in Growth Strategy

Barclays Africa Group Ltd., South Africa’s third-biggest bank, will split into four operating units as the lender outlines its growth strategy after the sale by its U.K. parent, Bloomberg reports.

The Johannesburg-based firm will separate retail and business banking, investment banking, wealth and insurance, and its operations in the rest of Africa, it said in a statement on Monday. Deputy Chief Executive Officer David Hodnett, who became finance director in 2010, will take a two-month sabbatical, while Arrie Rautenbach will become head of retail and business banking in South Africa.

Barclays Africa is separating its business from its U.K. parent in a process that started in 2016 and is due to be completed in early 2021. The London-based bank paid 765 million pounds ($1.1 billion) for the split and the deal has allowed Barclays Africa to set out its own strategy for growth in South Africa and on the rest of the continent where it has operations in more than 10 countries.

Yasmin Masithela, former head of compliance, will become chief executive of strategic services, responsible for digital strategy, group strategy and the bank’s separation from its British parent. Bongiwe Gangeni will head the lender’s private and business banking, and will become deputy chief executive of retail and business banking in South Africa. Charles Russon will take on the role of chief technology officer, while August Van Heerden will become chief risk officer and part of the executive committee.

Barclays Africa plans to double in size and capture at least 12 percent of banking revenues across the continent. CEO Maria Ramos said in March she will consider acquisitions to support the company’s growth, explore strategic partnerships and new markets, and use technology to make the lender’s operations fully digitized. To do this, Ramos said it would create a consumer-finance business across Africa, build a payments hub and boost its transaction banking platform.

Barclays Africa, which will change its name to Absa Group Ltd. later this year, rose 0.2 percent to 187.23 rand as of 10:04 a.m. in Johannesburg.

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