NEDBANK, a subsidiary of the Old Mutual group which appointed a new boss recently, has made substantial changes to its group executive committee, including appointing a new head for the retail and business banking division.

The bank said on Wednesday that Ciko Thomas, its consumer banking managing executive, would take over the retail and business banking unit from Phillip Wessels, who has taken early retirement for personal reasons.

The bank said Mr Thomas’s appointment would ensure continuity in the retail and business bank’s strategy.

"Ciko … has been part of the (retail and business banking) leadership team and the group executive committee for six years," Nedbank said in the announcement. "He has wide-ranging banking and leadership experience across the group."

His appointment will be effective from March 31.

It comes after Nedbank reorganised its executive committee last year after chief operating officer Graham Dempster, who had reached retirement age, was replaced with Mfundo Nkuhlu, its managing executive for the Nedbank corporate banking unit from January 2015.

Other changes to the executive committee during the year included Brian Kennedy’s appointment as head of the merged Nedbank corporate and investment banking unit; Mike Davis as executive of balance sheet management; Iolanda Ruggiero as managing executive of Nedbank Wealth; and putting Priya Naidoo in charge of strategic planning and economics.

Mr Thomas joined the bank in January 2010 as its group executive for marketing, communications and corporate affairs, and quickly rose to the post he currently holds. He went through the advanced management programme at Harvard University, and has BSc and MBA degrees.

The retail and business banking unit Mr Thomas takes over from Mr Wessels was Nedbank’s second-fastest growing unit last year, contributing R4.4bn in headline earnings, 10.6% up on the previous year. 

The rest of Africa operations, which grew 93.6% mainly as a result of Nedbank’s investment in pan-African banking group Ecobank Transnational, contributed R691m. Its corporate and investment banking division remained the largest contributor at R5.2bn, 10.2% up on the previous year.

Earnings rise

The bank on Wednesday reported headline earnings of R10.8bn for the year to December, a 9.6% increase on the previous year.

In the year to December 31, diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) rose 8.5% to 2,242c while noninterest revenue grew 7.1% to R21.7bn.

Impairments increased 6.3% to R4.8bn and the credit loss ratio improved slightly, to 0.77% from 0.79% in the year-earlier period.

Nedbank declared a gross final dividend of 570c per ordinary share.

The bank said risks remained elevated, so growth for 2016 was forecast to be lower than the growth achieved in 2015.

Nedbank shares were up 2.06% at R189.69 at 9,28am, valuing the company at about R91.9bn.