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Barclays headhunts Moleta for CEO post

PAULINE DIKUELO
BotswanaPost CEO Pele Moleta is on the verge of joining Barclays Bank Botswana as chief operations officer, a position market insiders say has been offered to him to understudy Reinette Van der Merwe and eventually take over as managing director of the bank next year.

According to industry sources, Moleta was headhunted by the Bank’s board in a quest to localise the post, which was delocalised two years ago when South African citizen, Van der Merwe, took over the reins at the bank.

“Moleta was supposed to have started his duties at Barclays Bank Botswana this month but is still at BotswanaPost waiting for the Minister of Transport and Communications to release him,” said the source.

Barclays appointed Van der Merwe in September 2013, becoming the only bank among the top four to be headed by an expatriate.

“I cannot make any comment at the moment. The bank will make a formal announcement on senior leadership appointments in due course. As things are now, Reinette is still the bank’s managing director,” Barclays Chairmanm, Rizwan Desai said on Wednesday when contacted for comment.

For his part, BotswanaPost board chairman, Pedro Motau said he could not disclose employee information, as it was confidential.

“All I know is that Moleta still has a running contract with us,” he said.

Before joining BotswanaPost in 2008, Moleta had worked for First National Bank Botswana (FNBB).

He has a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting

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and Economics from the University of Botswana, among other qualifications.

When he assumes the top seat at Barclays, Moleta will have to continue the turnaround strategy implemented by Van der Merwe as she sought to change the bank’s fortunes, which have been dwindling for the past three years.

The bank is soon expected to announce its results for the year ended December 2014.

In its interims for last year, Barclays’ profits tumbled for the third reporting period in a row with management attributing the poor performance to the current low interest rates.

The bank reported that its profit after tax fell by 35 percent to P123 million in the six months to June 2014. 

In the interims, Barclays stated that its loans and advances grew by 17 percent while total income decreased by six percent to P608 million.  The bank’s operating costs also increased by 10 percent to P347 million.

In the interim results commentary, Barclays pointed out that given constrained consumer incomes, its key focus area in its retail business was mortgages and group scheme lending, with the sector achieving a one percent growth rate in the period.



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