Standard banks on new finance head’s experience

STANDARD Bank Group has appointed the head of its treasury and capital management division, Arno Daehnke, as group finance director.

Mr Daehnke replaces long-serving finance director Simon Ridley who has reached Standard Bank’s mandatory retirement age of 60, but is expected to continue serving the group in various roles.

Mr Daehnke has headed the bank’s treasury and capital management division since 2010 and is said to have experience in managing a “complex banking group balance sheet in volatile financial markets”.

He was appointed from a handful of internal and external candidates.

Analysts said Mr Daehnke was highly rated and had the skills required to take Standard Bank forward. “I think it will be a good appointment. Mr Daehnke is an internal appointment. He is different to accountants. He has a risk background and that would be good and refreshing,” one analyst said.

The analyst said with Standard having had risk challenges with some of its investments it was probably ideal to have someone with his risk background.

Mr Ridley is expected to make way for Mr Daehnke on his retirement on April 30.

Commenting on his future, Mr Ridley said: “I am going to be available for nonexecutive roles in our subsidiaries, particularly in our banks across Africa.

“We are in 17 African countries and these banks each have a board of directors. As vacancies come up, I will probably be serving in some of them.”

Mr Ridley took over as chief financial officer at Standard at a time when SA was grappling with the collapse of Saambou. He also had to steer the bank out of the financial crisis.

One of his challenges at the group was when it had to exit some of its investments in emerging-market countries such as Russia and Brazil.

“Post-crisis was a different world. So, we started pulling out. In most cases we got our money back,” Mr Ridley said.

He said that his proudest moment was when Standard created the Tutuwa black economic empowerment scheme that created net wealth of more than R10.7bn for more than 6,000 participants.



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