Sunday, September 27, 2020

Will Aupa Monyatsi return to Barclays Botswana as its MD?

The process to identify the new Barclays Botswana Managing Director is underway and Absa Group management is hopeful that they will deliver the appointment within time, as current Reinette Ven der Merwe departs before end of the year.

Absa Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Peter Matlare recently told Sunday Standard in Johannesburg, South Africa that the regulator in Botswana made it very clear that there is definitely a preference to localise the appointments rather than bringing foreign nationals.

“We are in the process to make this appointment and hopefully we will make a replacement in time. We are looking for local talent in Botswana, we also have talent like Aupa Monyatsi who is based here at our Johannesburg centre and have done exceptionally well and he continues to grow. Aupa is very talented,” said Matlare.

While Ven der Merwe prepares to leave Botswana, the nation awaits to see if the bank which is also expected to change names and identity will usher in a local as its head. The locals who previously held the position were prematurely booted out due to various controversies.

Aupa Monyatsi, who is likely to return to the country at a substantive Chief Executive, was at some point appointed to the position on acting capacity after the unceremonious departure of Wilfred Mpai in 2012.

Should the Monyatsi tick all the required boxes for the position, he will not be new to the industry nor to the Bank.

At the time of his departure to South Africa, Monyatsi had been with the Bank for 10 years, during which he has held various senior roles, including that of Head of Performance, Chief Operations Officer and interim Managing Director.

In his most recent role where he left Botswana to be appointed Head of Customer Network-Africa in 2014, he has successfully led innovation initiatives in West Africa (Ghana), in which Matlale indicated that Aupa worked with a FinTech to build a banking platform on Blockchain to drive financial inclusion and innovative financial products.
In his current role Head of Alternative Business Models Africa, Aupa will be responsible for developing alternative business models through strategic partnerships in a structured experimentation approach.

From Matlale’s highly expression of Monyatsi, again it would be a great loss for the Group should he return to Botswana.

He worryingly expressed that; it would be kind of suicidal for Absa group CEO (Maria) to be surrounded by Ex-co of South African talents only. The group CEO needs people of Aupa’s calibre, he said.

According to Matlale, it would be a tragedy to have country businesses only restricted to their locals, and forcing themselves into a narrow way of looking at the world, than being a pan-African Bank. He emphasised on the much importance for the Bank to work with regulators and other key stakeholders and demonstrate that Absa (former Barclays) continue to develop this African talent that it wants to continue to rotate across the world. “Imagine having Aupa who has just been given this massive job and having been the most qualified here in South Africa. He is the best qualified and has built himself up for this job. He is the best in this group for this job, but it would be unfair to him for his personal growth and send the wrong signal to say because you are a Motswana you will have to go back to head Botswana,” he said.

However, what remains a challenge that Matlale highlighted, is the ultimate decisions that are somewhat brought about by the regulations that put them in a tight corner to have only locals being appointed to run their businesses in the countries that they operate.

At the time of the exhaustive hunt for almost two years in 2014, Monyatsi was a prime candidate for the position.

During those years, Barclays Bank Botswana Board Chairman Rwizan Desai highly expressed that he was one of the brightest banking prospects they had in Botswana. At the time, Monyatsi is said to have wanted to broaden his experience in the international arena and be an international banker, and therefore the Board could not hold him back from spreading his wings.

Barclays Botswana Board Chairman, Oduetse Motshidisi recently told the local media that the process of identifying a new chief executive is already underway.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.