Rhodes alumnus steps up as Standard Bank CEO


Rhodes University alumnus Simphiwe ‘Sim’ Tshabalala has been appointed as Standard Bank’s sole Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by assets, appointed Tshabalala after he shared the role for four years with Ben Kruger as joint CEO.

South Africa’s financial sector, the economy’s largest, is often criticised for lack of
transformation and remains dominated by white executives 23 years after the end of
apartheid. Tshabalala is the first Standard Bank black CEO.

“The board is satisfied that the structure, which was necessary in 2013, has met and in many
respects exceeded expectations. Accordingly, Ben Kruger steps down from the role of joint-
group chief executive with immediate effect,” Standard Bank said in a statement.
Kruger will stay on as an executive director of the company, and will report to Tshabalala as
new group chief executive, Standard Bank said.

Tshabalala has Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law degrees from Rhodes University,
obtained in 1988 and 1990 respectively. He also has a Higher Diploma in Tax Law from
Wits and a Master of Laws from the US.

In 2006, the prestigious Old Rhodian award was conferred on Tshabalala for outstanding performance in the finance sector.

When he joined Standard Bank in 2000, Tshabalala was the head of structured finance in the
corporate and merchant banking division until taking on the top job in the Africa division. His
variety of positions at Standard Bank – from structured finance to retail – suited his career
progression for the top.

“We are extremely proud of Tshabalala’s achievements. As institutions of higher learning
we have a duty to prepare graduates who can add value and contribute meaningfully to the
transformation of our great country,” Rhodes University Vice Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela said. “Mr Tshabalala epitomises this objective.”

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