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Cass designs course for high-flying South African bankers

Programme supports South African government drive to boost the banking and microfinance industry

High-fliers from the South African banking industry are in London for an executive training programme designed by Cass.

More than 20 delegates are taking part in the two-week course developed together with WITS Business School (SA) for the Banking Sector Education and Training Authority (BANKSETA).

BANKSETA is a statutory body set up by the South African government to boost the current and future level of skills in the banking and microfinance sectors across the country.

The training course forms part of BANKSETA's ambitious International Executive Development Programme (IEDP), which aims to develop the skills of high-potential senior managers from historically disadvantaged backgrounds.

"We are delighted to be working with BANKSETA to help young managers from the South African banking industry develop their leadership and financial skills in an international setting," said course director, Professor Steve Thomas.

"The programme combines structured learning together with project work, networking, coaching, business simulations and visits to top-level City firms such as Deloitte, Barclays and Investec.

"The focus this year is very much on retail banking developments but also includes M&A, economic policy, customer relationships, and personal development . This is combined with other essential components of leadership in the 21st century such as strategy, visioning and change management. The group are visiting London at a crucial time for the future of UK banking following the publication of the Vickers' Report.

"We hope the programme supports the South African government's drive to advance the national and global position of its broader banking and microfinance industry."

BANKSETA CEO, Max Makhubalo, said: "Prudent management of the banking sector is becoming absolutely critical as more people join formal banking and the financial products are becoming increasingly complex. These require that those working in the sector have the broader understanding of the industry from a global perspective, making interactions and cooperations such as these a necessity."

Enroute to London the group met with Cass Business School Dubai for an overview of banking activities in the region, with a particular focus on Islamic Banking.

Highlighting the close ties between the UAE and South African banking sectors, the  22-strong South African delegation was hosted by Cass Business School Dubai and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Ehsan Razavizadeh, Regional Director of Cass Business School, MENA region, said: "BANKSETA understands that international skills and experience are critical in an increasingly global market. The delegation had a chance to learn first-hand about the opportunities that exist within the UAE financial sector, which will in turn bring long-term benefits to the South African banking industry."

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