Sim Tshabalala: Ahead of the pack
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Sim Tshabalala: Ahead of the pack

As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our May Africa focus.

In the South African Sunday Times on March 17 there was a not-so-flattering cartoon of Standard Bank Group’s chief executive, Sim Tshabalala.

In it, Tshabalala is in an aeroplane. To his right, there are a number of parachutes emblazoned with “VSP” – or voluntary severance package – and to his left is an open plane door. Above him is a bright blue sign, which reads: “Your fearless next.” Tshabaalala appears to be coaxing others in the plane to take a leap.

Sim Tshabalala_160x186

The slogan relates to a campaign launched by Standard Bank in July last year, inviting entrepreneurs to submit business plans in return for support and cash to amake their dreams a reality. The cartoon, however, refers to the recent closure of 91 bank branches and a cull of 1,200 staff members. The irony is jarring.

“When you are CEO of something as big as Standard Bank you are going to be in the public eye,” says Tshabalala from Standard Bank’s head offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg. “Having

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