FirstRand’s Top Execs Rake in Millions

FNB CEO and FirstRand execs score massive R200 million payday

FirstRand, one of South Africa’s leading financial services groups, has released its annual remuneration report for 2023, shedding light on the eye-popping earnings of its top executives. For the tech-savvy Rateweb audience with a keen interest in finance and technology, this report offers insights into the financial health and leadership changes at the institution that oversees a vast array of services ranging from banking and lending to insurance and personal finance.

Impressive Financial Performance

FirstRand reported robust financial results for the year ending June 2023. The group saw a remarkable 12% growth in headline earnings, reaching a staggering R36.7 billion. Additionally, the net asset value surged by 10%, landing at an impressive R180.7 billion. These numbers underline the institution’s resilience and financial prowess, even in a challenging economic landscape characterized by high inflation, interest rates, and stiff competition.

In a move that will surely please its shareholders, FirstRand announced an annual ordinary dividend of 384 cents per share, marking a 12% increase year-on-year. This decision reflects the company’s commitment to rewarding its investors.

“The 12% increase in the group’s normalized earnings was driven by good topline growth, reflecting continued momentum in new business origination in all large lending portfolios, ongoing growth from the deposit franchise, and the performance of the group’s transactional franchise,” the report stated.

Leadership Changes on the Horizon

One of the key highlights of this report is the forthcoming leadership changes at FirstRand. Both Group CEO Alan Pullinger and FNB CEO Jacques Celliers will be stepping down from their roles, effective from April 1, 2024.

Pullinger will hand over the reins to Mary Vilakazi, currently serving as the group chief operating officer (COO). Simultaneously, Jacques Celliers will transition to a new role, taking executive responsibility for the group’s fintech strategy. He will be succeeded by FirstRand group chief financial officer (CFO) Harry Kellan.

These transitions mark a significant shift in the institution’s leadership, with Mary Vilakazi becoming the first female CEO of FirstRand.

Executive Paychecks

The report reveals the hefty paychecks of FirstRand’s top executives, offering a glimpse into the lucrative world of corporate leadership in South Africa. Jacques Celliers, FNB CEO, topped the list with a total pay package of R31.92 million for 2023.

Celliers’ remuneration comprised a guaranteed pay of R8.7 million, short-term annual incentives (STIs) of R18.2 million, and long-term share options settled under the Covid-19 scheme during the financial year, amounting to R5 million. This translates to Celliers earning approximately R87,458 a day.

Alan Pullinger, FirstRand Group CEO, closely followed with a total pay package of R31.55 million for the year. Pullinger’s remuneration included a guaranteed pay of R10.17 million, STIs of R14.95 million, and long-term share options under the Covid-19 scheme, totaling R6.42 million.

Among the top executives, Mary Vilakazi received the “smallest” pay at R25.81 million. However, it’s worth noting that Aldermore CEO Steven Cooper earned more than Pullinger and Celliers, with a total pay package of £2.248 million, converted to R53.11 million*.

Combined, the seven executives at FirstRand received a staggering total of R200.5 million in salaries. The table below breaks down each executive’s earnings and their daily equivalent:

  • J Celliers (FNB CEO): R31,922,000 (R87,458 per day)
  • A Pullinger (FirstRand CEO): R31,546,000 (R86,427 per day)
  • E Brown (RMB CEO): R27,477,000 (R75,279 per day)
  • HS Kellan (FirstRand CFO): R25,934,000 (R71,052 per day)
  • M Vilakazi (FirstRand COO): R25,811,000 (R70,715 per day)
  • S Cooper (Aldermore CEO): R53,113,000* (R145,515 per day)*
  • J Formby (Former RMB CEO): R4,743,000 (R12,994 per day)

*Rand equivalent as of GBP 2.248 million as of October 9, 2023.

These figures underscore the competitive nature of executive compensation in the financial sector, sparking conversations about income inequality and executive remuneration in South Africa.

In conclusion, FirstRand’s 2023 remuneration report paints a picture of financial strength and leadership changes at the helm of the institution.



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