• July 3rd, 2020
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Homegrown Dempsey to take the reins of FirstRand Namibia

Conrad Dempsey, currently CEO of RMB Namibia, will take over the reins of one of the largest financial services institutions in the country.
 He has been appointed group CEO designate effective 1 July 2020, and will officially become CEO of the FirstRand Group effective 1 October 2020. 

“He brings a wealth of work experience from around the world as well as Africa and successfully has led and developed RMB into the most successful corporate and investment bank in Namibia. He has an incredibly deep understanding of the group’s businesses and our culture and I know he will take FirstRand to even greater heights,” said current FirstRand Namibia CEO Sarel van Zyl, who will retire at the end of September this year.

Said Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi, chair of the FirstRand Namibia board; “The board is delighted to have appointed Conrad Dempsey as CEO: FirstRand Namibia. Before Dempsey’s career in investment banking with RMB, he worked in Europe, Australia, and South America and across Africa in financial services and the natural resources sector. He filled a number of roles in M&A and corporate finance locally and internationally.” 

Dempsey is a qualified Chartered Accountant, Global Chartered Management Accountant, Associate Corporate Treasurer and holds a Masters of Philosophy in Futures Studies. 

“Dempsey’s vision, energy, and commitment is well known in the market and the board of directors and I wish him well in his new role, while assuring him of our full support,” said Zaamwani-Kamwi. 
FirstRand Namibia’s Group recently confirmed in a notice to shareholders that Van Zyl will retire on 30 September 2020. 
Van Zyl, who has been hailed as a visionary, veteran banker, has been at FNB Namibia, and subsequently the FNB Holdings Group, then FirstRand Namibia, for more than 38 years. 

From his early days in 1982 as a clerk in Okahandja branch to Chief Executive Officer of the most comprehensive end to end financial services group in Namibia, his leadership tenure evidenced disciplined execution, strong leadership recruitment and the building of a profitable group of companies that ploughs back direct and indirect taxes into the market to the tune of nearly N$1 billion annually. 
The 42% locally-owned financial services group expressed their gratitude: “The group is thankful for Van Zyl’s energetic drive to introduce innovative customer-centric solutions such as E-Wallet and FNB Rewards, N$100 million in non-collateralised loans for SMEs, and for taking the leap into being the bank of the future through digitalisation and transformation, and increasing the group’s corporate social investment into the communities within which it operates. More than N$100 million were ploughed back into communities over the past five years through the FirstRand Foundation.” 

Zaamwani-Kamwi said Van Zyl’s firm hand “guided the group’s commitment to its planet, partnership, profit and people’s mandate successfully through the past few years’ tough macro-economic environment. It’s time for the next level of leadership to take FirstRand Namibia further.” 

Said Van Zyl; “We have developed a strong core leadership team over the last five years, and I have complete confidence in the team I leave behind. I wish them well as they build on the solid foundations we achieved to date.”

Instrumental in developing and driving strategy, culture and new business initiatives across the group and its subsidiaries, FNB Namibia, RMB, WesBank, Outsurance and Ashburton Investments, Van Zyl leaves behind a stronger, more integrated and collaborative financial powerhouse, poised to lift client experience ever higher, even while continuing to reduce costs annually.
Along with handing over his current role at FirstRand Namibia, Van Zyl has also relinquished his role as chairman of the Bankers Association of Namibia. 

Staff Reporter
2020-05-26 09:24:21 1 months ago

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