FirstRand’s Board Reshuffle: New Leaders, New Horizons

  • Chairman Roger Jardine steps down, making way for Johan Burger effective December 1, 2023.
  • Group CEO Alan Pullinger to retire on March 31, 2024, succeeded by COO Mary Vilakazi.
  • FNB CEO Jacques Celliers shifts to fintech strategy, while CFO Harry Kellan becomes FNB CEO.

In a significant shake-up in South Africa’s financial landscape, FirstRand Limited has announced crucial changes in its board and senior executive positions. These changes, set to take effect in the coming months, mark a strategic move aimed at ensuring the bank’s continued growth and stability.

Change in Chairman

FirstRand’s long-serving Chairman, Mr. Roger Jardine, has decided to step down from his position and the board at the upcoming annual general meeting on November 30, 2023. Mr. Jardine’s departure, while marked with gratitude for his substantial contributions, opens the door for a new era in FirstRand’s leadership.

Stepping into this esteemed role is Mr. Johan Burger, effective from December 1, 2023. With a wealth of experience garnered during his tenure as FirstRand’s chief executive officer (CEO) until his retirement in 2018, Mr. Burger’s appointment is poised to bring stability and strategic insight to the organization.

Change in Group CEO

FirstRand bids farewell to Mr. Alan Pullinger, the Group CEO, on March 31, 2024. Mr. Pullinger’s legacy at FirstRand spans over two and a half decades, showcasing his unwavering commitment to the institution. Following his departure, the baton will be passed to Ms. Mary Vilakazi, the current Chief Operating Officer (COO) of FirstRand, effective April 1, 2024.

Ms. Vilakazi’s appointment is a testament to FirstRand’s commitment to fostering internal talent. Her extensive experience within the organization, coupled with her deep knowledge of the financial landscape, positions her well to steer FirstRand into the future.

Changes in FNB Leadership

Meanwhile, First National Bank (FNB), a key subsidiary of FirstRand, will also witness a change in its top brass. After a decade at the helm of FNB, Mr. Jacques Celliers will transition into a pivotal role, spearheading the group’s fintech strategy. With FNB’s digital initiatives at the forefront of innovation in the South African banking sector, Mr. Celliers’ expertise in this area is set to drive the bank’s technological evolution.

Simultaneously, Mr. Harry Kellan, after serving as CFO and financial director for ten years, will take on the mantle of CEO at FNB. His extensive experience, particularly in shaping FNB’s strategic imperatives, positions him as a natural choice for this crucial role.

PositionOutgoing ExecutiveIncoming Executive
Group CEOAlan PullingerMary Vilakazi
FNB CEOJacques CelliersHarry Kellan
Group CFOHarry KellanMarkos Davias
FNB CFON/AGideon Joubert

These significant leadership changes underscore FirstRand’s commitment to continuity and growth. The appointments, meticulously planned over several years, reflect the bank’s dedication to a seamless transition. Subject to regulatory approvals, these changes herald a new chapter for FirstRand, promising continued excellence in the South African financial landscape.



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