Absa CEO Daniel Mminele joined Cartesian Capital’s Anthea Gardner and CN&CO’s Carel Nolte in a general discussion on matters financial. Much of the initial part of the conversation focused on Covid-19 and its effects on the economy.

Here are some of the highlights of the conversation:

  • Daniel said the cheapest from of stimulus is confidence. The focus should be on policy, structure reform and implementation. “Our problem is not the what, but the how and the when,” he said.
  • “Fixing” the economy comes down to collaboration – asking for help, pulling in the private sector, pushing public private partnerships. “We have infrastructure needs and it’s important to increase the capacity of the economy.”
  • The impact of Covid on the economy – is it as bad as we think? (The answer is no, by the way, but paired with high levels of uncertainty, high forecast risk – but we are likely to see a much better second half than the first half.)
  • Balancing risk versus growth
  • Daniel’s journey from working for the regulator to being part of “the regulated”
  • How it feels to head up Absa. (Here Daniel provided some tips for business owners, including: focus on keeping your colleagues healthy and safe; be there for clients; show up as a responsible corporate citizen.)
  • The opportunities available to investors of all types: first-time, institutional, individual. (There was a sell off during the first few months of lockdown, but in the last three months things have been picking up.)
  • The banking sector is priced solidly, so there’s no reason not to be buying banking shares. Investors have been resilient despite the doom and gloom suggested by the ratings agencies. (There was also some discussion around the disparity between the overall general economic ratings and the ratings of the banks themselves.)
  • Servant leadership and getting more people in our country involved in a broader good. Daniel expressed his hope that Covid 19 is not all that defines what 2020 was about. “It’s important for leaders to continue to be visible and add value in many areas.”

The final topics of the conversation focused on doing business on the diverse continent of Africa, cryptocurrency, technology within Absa, keeping healthy, stimulated and relaxed outside of the office, and the future of human capital at Absa.

Watch the whole webinar below: