Absa has appointed Cheryl Buss as its new CEO to oversee the bank’s international growth.

Buss joined Absa in 2008 as its head of multinationals, based in Johannesburg. In 2014, she became managing principal of the group’s Global Clients Africa (GCA) business in its corporate and investment banking (CIB) arm. Since Barclays sold its majority share in Barclays Africa Group (now Absa Group) in March 2016, Buss has managed the separation of the GCA business.

Prior to her joining Absa, Buss worked at Standard Chartered, where she held roles in corporate banking and as a global relationship director for corporates.

A spokesperson for Absa confirms to GTR that Buss replaces CJ Giddy, who held the position of managing director at Absa Group for the last three years. Giddy resigned in October to pursue other opportunities.

Absa is one of Africa’s largest financial services group, with offices in 12 countries on the continent.

In her new London-based role, Buss will manage Absa’s UK office and will lead the bank’s efforts to scale the business globally, by connecting with corporate and institutional clients through having a stronger international presence.

In November, Absa revealed that it will open a New York office in the next six months, subject to regulatory approval, to help US companies expand into Africa. Absa established its UK office in September 2018, initially led by Giddy, and is also looking at opening offices in other locations, such as Asia.

Buss says: “This is a pivotal moment in terms of Africa’s relationship with the wider globe. International organisations are pursuing the exciting economic potential the African continent has to offer, and Absa’s international strategic intent enables our client-led strategy to be a leading and relevant African bank to institutions investing on the continent.”

Last month, Absa and the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed an unfunded US$250mn risk participation agreement (RPA) to address the trade finance gap in Africa. The three-year facility will see both parties share default risk on a portfolio of eligible trade transactions originated by African issuing banks across key sectors including agriculture, energy and light manufacturing, with a special focus on SMEs in fragile and low-income African countries.