Africa’s most influent banker


Portuguese born, Maria Ramos is the CEO of Absa Group and Barclays Africa.

34 years ago, the young Maria Ramos was sitting behind a counter as an apprentice of the Barclays Bank in South Africa. No one, and probably not even they would have thought then that the daughter of Portuguese immigrants once was to become the most powerful banker in Africa – and again at Barclays, which had passed in the meantime from South Africa, is in the service. In the past week sealed the UK’s second largest bank and the South African Absa Bank has long forged the plan to combine their African businesses. From the 1.6-billion-euro transaction is the largest bank emerge on the continent, with 14.4 million customers, 1,300 branches and 43,000 employees.

She also helped drafting the South Africa’s pos-apartheid Constitution and was a member of Nelson Mandela’s government.


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