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Leadership 4 December 2020

Standard Bank appoints Mercia Geises as new chief executive

SBN Holdings Limited, the Namibia Stock Exchange-listed holdings company of local bank, Standard Bank Namibia Limited, has appointed its Head of Personal and Business Banking, Mercia Geises, as its new Chief Executive. Mercia Geises will take over from current Chief Executive Vetumbuavi Mungunda with effect from 1 May 2021.

 “The Board is excited at the appointment of Mercia to lead us into an exciting new future following a well-planned and well-executed leadership management and succession programme, which, inter alia, is a demonstration of Standard Bank’s relentless commitment to growing our people and creating Namibian leaders. The success of this leadership development programme is further reflected in the young, dynamic and diverse executive leadership team in charge of the group. We are proud that the leadership transition process has been smooth and in accordance with our plans,” says chairperson Herbert Maier.

In her current role, Mercia has been responsible for the retail banking franchise, the largest division in the bank, which includes personal markets, the branch network and business banking with a headcount of over 1,000 employees. “Mercia has transformed and repositioned our retail banking division to be future-ready and spear-headed the development of innovative initiatives and products such as PayPulse and BlueFuel. I am proud to have worked with Mercia and I am confident that she is the right leader to take Standard Bank to the next level. I look forward to working with Mercia over the ensuing 4 months in a different role, the role of ensuring a smooth and seamless transfer of the leadership baton,” says outgoing Chief Executive Vetumbuavi Mungunda.

Mercia will focus on creating value for clients and shareholders by continuing the transformation of Standard Bank into a strong, digitally focused financial solutions provider. “We want to be the bank of opportunity, offering seamless services that let our clients get on with what is important to them. Whether you start a business, or save for the future, we will be there to help you grow,” she says. Born and raised in Namibia’s Otjozondjupa region, Mercia is an experienced leader and an admitted attorney whose qualifications include a B. Juris (UNAM), LLB and LLM Mercantile law (University of the Free State), and an MBA (Stellenbosch University). Before joining Standard Bank in 2016, Mercia worked at Old Mutual for 12 years, rising to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Old Mutual Investment Group (Namibia).

“It is an honour to succeed Vetumbuavi, who has been an extraordinary leader for Standard Bank and Namibia. Vetumbuavi has created a unique culture within Standard Bank that has enabled the team to be empowered and to innovate with purpose,” says Mercia. “I am proud and delighted to serve as the next Chief Executive and grateful to the leaders that found and nurtured me throughout my professional journey, and to the Board of Directors for its trust.”