Black executive quits MMI for FirstRand

Black executive quits MMI for FirstRand
Published: 27 February 2018
Mary Vilakazi, MMI's deputy chief executive and group finance director, has quit the group and joined FirstRand Limited.

The resignation was announced by MMI's interim CEO, Hillie Meyer, in an internal memo

"It is unfortunate that I have to be the bearer of bad news before I have met all of you, and only eight working days into my new role at MMI. I regret to inform you that Mary Vilakazi has resigned, effective 31 March 2018. She has accepted a senior position at another financial services company - a promising career opportunity for her," said Meyer.

"Mary's decision is a disappointment for the MMI Group, but also for me personally, as I looked forward to working with her. It is never easy to replace a role model with the stature and reputation that Mary has. I am thankful for the significant contribution Mary has made to the group over the years. She has displayed strong leadership and great technical expertise in the execution of her various roles at MMI. I wish her success in pursuing her new career opportunity," Meyer continued.

FirstRand announced on the Stock Exchange News Services today in the morning.

Below is the announcement:

In compliance with paragraph 3.59 of the Listings Requirements of the JSE Limited, FirstRand Limited announces the following changes to its executive management team:

 - Johan Burger, who reaches the retirement age of 60 in 2018, will retire as group CEO, effective 31 March 2018, however, he will remain as an executive director until 31 August 2018. Subject to regulatory approval, he will transition to a non-executive director on 1 September 2018.
 - Alan Pullinger, currently group deputy CEO, is appointed group CEO, effective 1 April 2018.
 - Mary Vilakazi, previously deputy CEO of MMI Holdings Limited (MMI), is appointed group COO and executive director, effective 1 July 2018.

Commenting on the changes, Laurie Dippenaar, chairman of FirstRand said: "The board is pleased to announce a smooth group CEO succession process, which is possible following Alan's appointment as deputy CEO three years ago. Since then, Johan and Alan have been jointly driving execution on the group's growth strategies."

The appointment of Mary Vilakazi as group COO adds significant strategic and operational capacity at an executive management level, particularly given her experience and track record. During her tenure at MMI, Mary was responsible for the balance sheet management strategy, the group CFO portfolio and the retail operations as CEO of the Momentum and Metropolitan businesses. Her portfolio at FirstRand will include driving the group's insurance and rest of Africa strategies. In addition, she will pick up direct responsibility for group internal audit, regulatory risk management and enterprise risk management.

"Expanding the insurance profit pools in FirstRand?s domestic business is one of the most significant levers for future growth and shareholder value creation and the board is excited to have someone of Mary's calibre driving that strategy," said Dippenaar.

"Mary's time at MMI also means she has an excellent understanding of the financial services regulatory environment, which will be a critical underpin to the domestic strategy of delivering integrated financial services to our customers."

"We are very fortunate that Johan is staying on in an executive director role until the end of August," said Dippenaar, ?as this provides ample time for an effective transition of responsibilities. Johan has been an outstanding member of FirstRand?s management team since its creation in 1998 and the board wishes to extend its thanks and appreciation for his hard work and dedication. Johan has been instrumental in FirstRand?s track record of delivering superior shareholder value and subject to regulatory approval, the group hopes to draw on his knowledge and wisdom as a non-executive director.

"Alan has been with the group since 1998 and has a deep understanding of FirstRand?s operations," Dippenaar said. "He has been fully involved in the design and build-out of the current domestic, regional and UK diversification strategies and the board believes that he is the ideal candidate to lead the group forward in the realisation of those strategies."
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Tags: FirstRand, MMI,


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