Access Bank hasannounced the resignation of Bennie van Rooy as CEO of Access Bank South Africa.

Van Rooy stepped down to pursue other career opportunities with effect from 1 September 2021.

“Access Bank South Africa is a special bank with special people associated with the organisation. I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunities I have had to make a meaningful difference and contribute to positive and constructive changes in the Bank,” says van Rooy.

Chrisanthi Michaelides, the chief financial officer (CFO) who was a driving force behind Access Bank Plc’s acquisition of Grobank Limited, has been appointed acting CEO of Access Bank South Africa.

During the transition from Grobank Limited to  Access Bank SA, Michaelides’ expertise was focused on cementing the bank’s sub-Saharan footprint as the groundbreaking African Continental Free Trade Agreement works towards regional integration.

“South Africa is the perfect space for a truly pan-African bank like Access Bank to enter what is set to be an exciting time on the African continent,” says Michaelides. “We are working on ways to embrace the treaty and offer our clients a prosperous future through access to a single market.”

It is indicative of Access Bank’s core belief in equality within its operations that they chose a woman as acting CEO. Says Patrick Mathidi, Access Bank South Africa acting Chairman: “Across all spheres of our business, individuals are chosen purely on their abilities. Chrisanthi is highly skilled in the financial arena, with robust knowledge of the banking sector in Africa. We wish her well in this acting position.”

Michaelides’ appointment is effective immediately, subject to South African Prudential Authority approval.