Zimbabwe: Time to Make Money Responsibly

20 February 2020

The Herald Finance & Business Special Correspondent (HFB) sat down with Stanbic Bank's newly appointed executive director, corporate and investment banking (CIB), Betty Murambadoro (BM), to hear her views on the new role at the financial institution and get investment insights from a career investment banker. Murambadoro has been with Stanbic Bank for an illustrious career spanning over 15 years and has contributed immensely through her experience in investment banking.

Her contribution to Standard Bank Group extends to Standard Bank Eswatini (former Swaziland,) where she held the position of head CIB from May 2017 to April 2019. Upon her return from Eswatini, Murambadoro was appointed deputy head of CIB and head of client coverage Zimbabwe. In addition to her stint in the Standard Bank Group, Murambadoro previously held different positions in various local financial institutions, adding to her wealth of experience in the financial services sector. She holds a Master of Commerce in Development Finance (MCOM), a Master of Business Leadership (MBL), Bachelor of Commerce Finance Honours and a Diploma in Credit Management. She recently completed the Africa Expansion Programme, administered by BankSETA and Duke Corporate Education. Murambadoro takes over from Rhett Groves, who has moved to a new role within Standard Bank Group. She is ready to conquer the banking world. The following are experts of the discussion.

HFB: Congratulations on your appointment. How do you feel about this milestone in your career?

BM: Thank you very much. Positions of authority are an opportunity to bring positive influence in the organisation and marketplace. I believe that we are not in these positions for ourselves but for the benefit of multiple stakeholders who look up to us to be enforcers of acceptable business principles, which benefit the society, economy and the environment. I appreciate the recognition and confidence that Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe has shown in me through this appointment.

HFB: Please give us a bit of your personal profile before we delve into your professional opinions as an investment banking subject matter expert.

BM: I am married with three children. I am an avid reader and my top three topics to read are business, leadership development and Christian books. I have benefited a lot from reading in both my professional and personal life, which is why I have made it a habit to always read something.

HFB: Now to get into the business of the day, what vision do you have for Stanbic Bank CIB given your new role?

BM: My vision is to build on what has already been invested in by my predecessor and to implement both radical and incremental changes in the business that will deliver more value for the shareholder and for our valued customers. Profit-making is the bottom line for every business and I endeavour to lead my team in making money responsibly in a manner that promotes sustainable development.

HFB: And how do you plan to drive the vision?

BM: As you may know, our CIB business has contributed immensely in terms of the size of investments and deals we have facilitated for the energy, mining, agriculture, and telecommunications sectors in Zimbabwe.

We remain a trusted advisor and strategic partner to clients we serve, so we deliberately seek to know our clients' priorities as the economy continues to evolve. It then becomes my responsibility to employ a leadership approach that harnesses the bank's capabilities and the CIB team's expertise, this includes our specialist teams across the Standard Bank Group footprint in Africa.

HFB: What are your views on the prevailing economic trends and their influence on the banking sector?

BM: Every economy has its cycles. To the extent possible we should strive to tailor-make solutions that are relevant to the dynamic environment.

No doubt our skilfulness gets tested throughout the seasons as we navigate the waters and some days are indeed better than others.

However, we celebrate the positive social, economic and environmental impact we can still make in the peaks and troughs of our economy.

HFB: As an expert in Investment Banking, please comment on the concept of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as a solution for Zimbabwe's current challenges.

BM: There is so much debate on the role FDI plays in the attainment of sustainable development goals. While FDI is generally embraced as beneficial, its full potential impact is largely dependent on interconnected and countless conditions prevalent in the operating environment.

Therefore, on a standalone basis, it is difficult to assess the impact FDI could have on the alleviation of challenges any economy faces.

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