Opinion

Bruce Whitfield
  • The new TymeBank lost its CEO on Tuesday.
  • But the bank is bulking up on former Nedbank execs on its board. 
  • That comes not long after a new equity partner joined Tyme's existing shareholders.

TymeBank, the digital bank controlled by Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital (ARC), has parted ways with its CEO, and has bulked up its board with former Nedbank executives.

It’s unclear why Sandile Shabalala, himself a former Nedbank executive, has left. A statement from Tyme says his resignation is for personal reasons, the most important of which is to spend time with his family.

See also on Fin24: TymeBank's CEO resigns for personal reasons

New appointments to the Tyme board include ex Nedbank CEO Tom Boardman as deputy chairperson. Boardman, who turned around Nedbank as CEO between 2003 and 2009, stepped down as a non-executive director of the group in 2017. Former KwaZulu-Natal Deputy Judge President Thabani Jali, who retired from the green bank as chief governance officer in January, will serve as chairman of the new competitor bank. And Philip Wessels, who ran Nedbank’s retail and business banking until three years ago, will also serve as a non-executive director.

Boardman, who is also a director of ARC, has gone into his little black book to bolster the Tyme board with critical banking skills, it seems.

See also: You may soon get credit from TymeBank - and 5 other things to know about Patrice Motsepe's bank

The changes come just weeks after ARC and Ethos Private Equity announced an investment of R200 million by the Ethos Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fund and co-investors into TymeBank. That would give the Ethos fund an 8% stake in the bank, alongside ARC, founders, and management and a staff trust.

Shabalala’s departure does not appear to be linked to performance. But he becomes the latest in a growing list of CEOs to announce their departures without a successor in place. The unit, which has no branches but has kiosks in Pick n Pay stores, is on track to have half a million customers signed up by July.

See also: South African CEOs are falling like flies – with no replacements in sight

“He led TymeBank through its development phases and its public launch in February this year,” ARC Investments said in a statement. TymeBank started out as a project of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank but ran into a host of domestic issues in its home market. 

Deputy CEO Tauriq Keraan will run the business until a full time appointment is made.

Bruce Whitfield is a multi-platform award-winning financial journalist and broadcaster.

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