South Africa’s FirstRand has promoted two high-profile bankers to bolster new and existing divisions within the banking group.

Minos Gerakaris has been appointed sector director of FirstRand’s new banks and development finance institutions (DFI) division.

The new business unit is a result of merging the group’s emerging and developed markets international financial institutions teams.

Based in Johannesburg, Gerakaris is responsible for liaising with representative offices in Africa, Shanghai, India and Dubai to manage the group’s relationships with banks and DFIs globally.

Gerakaris has more than a decade’s experience working with the FirstRand group; most recently he has been responsible for African bank relationships and the emerging market financial institutions team.

Also welcoming a promotion is Gregory Havermahl, who has been appointed head of structured trade and commodity finance at Rand Merchant Bank, one of the FirstRand group’s franchises.

Havermahl will now be responsible for all elements of the bank’s Africa-originated deals between India and China.

Havermahl has worked in Africa for more than 15 years, the last six of those with Rand Merchant.

“We see Africa as having huge growth potential and would like to play a bigger part in arranging and underwriting transactions in African countries while using our presence in India and China to capture flows from other parts of the globe,” he tells GTR.