Rand Merchant Bank appoints new CEO

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), the corporate and investment banking business of FirstRand, on Thursday (5 May) announced that Emrie Brown has been appointed chief executive effective 1 October 2022.

Brown will take over from current chief executive, James Formby, who will hand over the role after seven years as RMB CEO.

Current RMB CEO, James Formby, said: “I am delighted to be able to pass the baton to someone of Emrie’s talent and experience. The time is right to hand over and I have the right person to hand over to.”

Brown began her career with RMB in 2001 as a transactor and became head of Leveraged Finance in 2006. In 2009 she moved to Cape Town to head up the Western Cape investment banking team. She relocated to Johannesburg after being appointed as co-head of the Investment Banking Division in July 2015.

Brown is currently the head of RMB’s Banking Division, which includes Corporate Transactional Banking, Investment Banking and Coverage, and accounts for the most significant portion of RMB’s total earnings.

“I am following in the footsteps of remarkable CEOs before me that has built a business that I am proud to have been a part of for most of my banking career. I look forward to working with our diverse and high-performing teams to deliver a distinctive experience to our clients,” Brown said.

Formby has a number of options available to him within the broader group, which he is considering, the group said.

FirstRand CEO, Alan Pullinger said: “Emrie taking over as RMB CEO endorses the group’s approach to succession planning, which is designed to ensure strategic and operational continuity at our customer-facing operating businesses. Her long and successful track record in the business and the quality of her client relationships, combined with the fact she is already overseeing the largest business unit within RMB, mean that she is the natural successor to James.

“The group is grateful to James for his stewardship of RMB, which, during his tenure, continued to be a leader in the markets where it operates, generating growth and returns for FirstRand shareholders.”

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Rand Merchant Bank appoints new CEO