SA’s Banking CEOs Salaries: Unnecessarily Huge Or Deserving


We can all agree that the essence of salaries and earnings is to compensate workers for the tasks they were employed to carry out. If that’s the case, its logical that workers are paid based on their efforts and the load of duties they’re tasked with.  However, there are amounts certain workers earn that will get your eyeballs rolling to the point of babbling; “what exactly are they paid?”

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This is peculiar with CEOs and, as long as the banking sector remains a major controller of the economy, bank CEOs will remain renowned people to look out for.Take a look at the pay package of these bank Chief Executive Officers in South Africa. You’re free to make further inquisition to gather the details of their duties if you’re persuaded to ascertain whether they are really worth their pay hereafter.

1. Gerrie Fourie Of Capitec Bank

Basic Salary: R6.408 Million

Total Pay Package: R10.325 Million

Gerrie Fourie Of Capitec Bank

Fourie is definitely doing a good job. If not, he’s at least claiming to. In a recent interview with CNBC he stated that “When we started 15 years ago, one of our aims was to establish Capitec as a brand. I think that if you go and look at our success in the last two to three years, two figures stands out for me. If you look at our banking clients, which is now two-point-eight million; that’s 44 percent of our client base that actually banks with us.  Five/six years ago, that was 14 percent. Then, if you look at our retail savings clients, they’ve grown by 27 percent. Both of those figures tell you there’s trust…in Capitec”

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2. Jacques Celliers Of First National Bank (FNB)

Basic Salary: R5.513 Million

Total Pay Package: R13.513 Million

Jacques Celliers

Jacques Celliers is an engineer by training. He however, got an MBA at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and was an exchange student at Wharton College, University of Pennsylvania in the USA. Prior to his emergence as FNB’s CEO when he took over from Michael Jordaan in 2014, he was in charge of FNB Credit Card and FNB Retail Foreign Exchange. During his coronation as FNB’s CEO, he reportedly said “I am both humbled and excited to be offered this opportunity to take over from Michael… I will work…to ensure we maintain and build on the momentum that has been created.” Don’t think naughty. The created momentum Jacques was referring to is the innovation and profitable growth of FNB not earning huge pay or so we think.

3. Ben Kruger Of Standard Bank

Basic Salary: R7.352 Million

Total Pay Package: R19.010 Million


Having worked for Standard bank for 28 years, Ben was appointed as one of the joint CEOs of Standard Bank Group in 2013. Bloomberg summarized that Ben “is connected to 21 board members in 3 different organizations across 4 different industries” of this establishment. So, Ben is obviously indispensable to this outlet. He deserves his pay except if you think otherwise.

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4. Simpiwe Tshabalala Of Standard Bank

Basic Salary: R7.738 Million

Total Pay Package: R24.278 Million

Simpiwe Tshabalala

Sim emerged as the other CEO of the joint CEOs Standard Bank Group appointed in 2013 and equally the Chief Executive of Standard Bank South Africa. As reported, “Sim joined the Project Finance Division of Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank as head of structured finance in 2000, and worked himself up through the ranks, becoming a Director in 2000 and Managing Director of Stanbic Africa in 2001. In 2006, he was appointed Chief Executive of Personal and Business Banking, South Africa.” That’s not all. He was appointed as Chief Executive of Standard Bank South Africa, became one of three Deputy Chief Executives of the Standard Bank Group in 2009, became responsible for Corporate and Investment Banking’s client franchise in South Africa, and was eventually appointed joint Chief Executive of the Standard Bank Group in 2013. Now, is he not worth his pay tag?

5. Maria Ramos Of Absa

Basic Salary: R6.979 Million

Total Pay Package: R28.571 Million


Maria is married to Trevor Manuel who served as the minister of finance for a very long time. Before Maria joined Absa, she served as the Group Chief Executive of Transnet Limited, as South Africa’s director general of the National Treasury and joined Absa in 2009. Maria has appeared more than once on Forbes’ list of “Power Women”. To me, Maria is a remarkable and inspiring woman. Who is better qualified to pocket such huge earnings than remarkable and inspiring person?

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6. Sizwe Nxasana Of FirstRand

Basic Salary: R8.488 Million

Total Pay Package: R29.488 Million

Sizwe Nxasana

It was reported that Sizwe Nxasana will hand over to his deputy come September. Sizwe served as National President of Absa Group Limited and as the CEO of Telkom before he joined FirstRand as a non-executive director. He later became FirstRand Bank Holding CEO and subsequently emerged as FirstRand CEO in 2010. Under his watch, FirstRand group became Africa’s largest bank by market value and earnings. I really do think he deserves to earn big if he contributed to FirstRand earning more.

7. Mike Brown Of Nedbank

Basic Salary: R7.050 Million

Total Pay Package: R35.050 Million

Mike Brown Of Nedbank

Before Mike became the Chief Executive of Nedbank in 2010, he served as an executive director of BoE Ltd. The merger between Nedbank Ltd, BoE Ltd, Nedbank Investment Bank Ltd and Cape of Good Hope Bank Ltd, saw Mike emerge as the head of Property Finance at Nedbank Ltd. He was later appointed the Chief Financial Officer of Nedbank Group in 2004, and eventually became the CEO of Nedbank since 2010. News about Mike’s pay rise almost went viral when Nedbank increased his pay by 13% to its current amount. Mike drove Nedbank to an annual profit increase that rose by 16% to R8.64 billion. Do you still think his pay is unnecessarily high?

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