Markos Davias to succeed Harry Kellan as FirstRand Group CFO


Markos will take over the FirstRand Group CFO role from 1 April 2024, among a number of other changes.

The FirstRand Group has announced a big leadership shakeup, including the appointment of FNB CFO Markos Davias as the new group CFO. All the changes are effective from 1 April 2024. 

Prior to transferring to FNB in 2020, Markos was CFO of RMB from 2015, and so has held finance leadership positions in the two largest franchises in the group.

Gideon Joubert, who is currently the CFO of the group’s broader Africa portfolio, will take over from Markos. And Taufeeqa Waja will succeed Gideon.

Harry Kellan, the current group CFO, and 2023 CFO Awards nominee, has been appointed as FNB’s new CEO. Harry will be taking over from Jacques Celliers, who has been appointed as the group’s executive of fintech strategy.

“Going home to FNB is an exciting prospect,” said Harry. “I feel energised at the prospect of leading a motivated, already high-performing team and working alongside them to shape the future of these famous brands, FNB and Wesbank.”

Harry joined FNB in 2005 and spent seven years as CFO, after which he was appointed FirstRand CFO in 2014.

“I believe the insights and learnings I have gained as group CFO can bring new perspectives to the business, in particular unlocking greater collaboration with the wider portfolio,” he explained.

“I am inheriting a great business in great shape, with a brand recognised for excellence in innovation and exciting customer positions,” he added.


CEO shake-up

The leadership changes come after FirstRand CEO Alan Pullinger announced that he will be stepping down in March 2024, at which time he will be succeeded by current group COO and previous CFO Awards judge Mary Vilakazi.

“I am delighted to be entrusted to lead one of the largest and most profitable financial institutions in Africa,” she said.

Mary joined FirstRand in 2018 from MMI Holdings, where she held the roles of CFO and deputy CEO. She is one of the three FirstRand executive directors, and has worked closely with Alan in executing the company’s strategy.

“I take over at a time when the portfolio is in good shape in all of its jurisdictions,” she explains. “The things that set FirstRand apart from its peers and enable it to outperform remain firmly in place. Our portfolio of leading brands, our top-quality talent, our unique and long-standing culture of empowerment and accountability, and our relentless focus on shareholder value creation will continue to underpin the group’s success on my watch.”

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