Sim Tshabalala

Sim Tshabalala

Director: BLSA

Q: How do you think business can become the “go-to partner” of society and government in creating a better SA?

A: “There’s often a lot more that unites government, labour and business than that which divides us. We all want a transformed South Africa with a fast-growing economy that creates jobs for everyone. In order to create jobs and prosperity, business needs to be competitive and profitable. So we need to work closely with our social partners to make South Africa both a better place to do business and a better place to live. These two goals are actually one. Both demand that we live up to the Constitution’s vision of South Africa as a country united by the rule of law and by a commitment to right the wrongs of the past. There can be no lasting prosperity unless we all share in it.”

Simpiwe “Sim” Tshabalala is chief executive of the Standard Bank Group and chief executive of Standard Bank South Africa.

Sim was born in Hlabisa, a poor area in rural KwaZulu Natal. He grew up in Soweto and obtained his matric from the Sacred Heart College in Johannesburg.

Sim went on to attend Rhodes University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988, and a Bachelor of Laws in 1990. He served his articles at Bowman Gilfillan, and went on to do a Master of Laws at Notre Dame in the US, which he was awarded summa cum laude, in 1993.

Sim was admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa in 1994. He joined Real Africa Durolink Investment Bank in 1994 and worked in its structured finance division until 2000. In that time he continued his studies on a part-time basis, and completed the Higher Diploma in taxation law from Wits University in 1996.

Sim joined the project finance division of Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank as head of structured finance in 2000, and worked himself up through the ranks, becoming a director in 2000 and managing director of Stanbic Africa in 2001. In 2006 he was appointed chief executive of personal and business banking, South Africa. In the same year, he completed Harvard University’s advanced management programme.

In March 2008, Sim was appointed chief executive of Standard Bank South Africa. He was appointed as one of three deputy chief executives of the Standard Bank Group in April 2009. In June 2012, Sim took on the additional responsibility for corporate and investment banking’s client franchise in South Africa.

In March 2013, Sim was appointed chief executive of the Standard Bank Group, extending his responsibilities to the banking businesses on the African continent outside South Africa and to the bank’s wealth business, including Liberty Holdings.

Sim sits on the boards of the Liberty Group; Standard Bank’s subsidiary in Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC; and the Banking Association of South Africa. In May 2016, he was elected to the board of the International Monetary Conference.