First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) announced last week the appointment of John Kienzley Macaskill as Chairman to its Board of Directors.
Prior to this official appointment, Macaskill had been acting in the position. In the bank’s 2015 annual report Macaskill shared a message as the acting Chairman. His message in the annual report captured the achievements the bank had made over its 25 years of existence in Botswana which he broadly described as move from being the new kid in the block to being the largest bank in the country. He also on the other hand acknowledged the difficulties which the operating environment exerted on the bank and in addition recognized opportunities poised to address such challenges. His appointment suggests that his contribution going forward will take a more solid posture but in terms of working relations Macaskill is not new to the bank. According to FNBB Macaskill has been with the bank since 1972. “Formerly CEO of FNB Botswana (1996-2003), he has held various senior positions within the FirstRand Group in South Africa, London and Hong Kong. His career in financial services spans across human resources, international corporate and retail banking. He retired from the First Rand Group in 2013. John serves on the boards of FNB’s operations in Mozambique and Zambia. He is a graduate of the University of Pretoria and UNISA. John joined the FNBB Board on the 4th March 2014,” stated the bank. Peter David Stevenson was the Chairman of the Board before Macaskill filled his shoes.
According to FNBB the Chairman of the Board is a non-executive Director, citing further that the Board has enough non-executive Directors for their views to carry significant weight in Board decisions. “To ensure that the direction and control of the bank is firmly in the Board’s hands, it has a formal schedule of matters that have to be referred to it for decision. There are agreed procedures for Directors to follow in the execution of their duties. This includes taking independent professional advice, if necessary, at the bank’s expense,” indicated the bank.
Another new appointment is that of Sifelani Thapelo, coming in as second in command to the Chairman in the position of Deputy Chairman. His appointment is however as an Independent Non-Executive Director. Sifelani has been a member of the FNBB Board of Directors since November 2002, the bank stated. He also serves on a number of Boards which include Tati Company, Prime Time and Unchartered Safari Co Limited. As a non-executive Director Sifelani will offer independent judgment on strategic issues, use of resources, key appointments and standards of conduct, as is cited by the bank. “The majority of our non-executive Directors are independent of management. If a potential conflict of interests arises, the non-executive Directors concerned are disqualified from the related decision-making processes,” highlighted the bank.