FMBcapital Holdings’ appoints Jaco Viljoen as new Group Managing Director

Jaco Viljoen

* An accomplished banker with more than 27 years of senior management experience

* Working in various African countries for Standard Bank and Barclays

* Holds an MBA from Oxford Brookes University in the UK and degrees from the Universities of Stellenbosch and Orange Free State

By Duncan Mlanjira

The Board of Directors of FMBcapital Holdings has appointed Jaco Viljoen as its Group Managing Director, effective January 2022 — taking over from Mahendra Gursahani, who is the current interim GMD.

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A statement from the Board says Mahendra Gursahani led the Group after the departure of former Group Managing Director in October 2020, saying the Board greatly appreciates Mahendra for his “decisive leadership and contributions over the past year”.

“He has committed to continue in this role until the end of the year, to ensure a smooth transition of leadership, and from 2022 he will remain a non-executive board member on the FMBCH Group board and on some of our subsidiary boards.”

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On Jaco Viljoen, the Board says he “is an accomplished banker with more than 27 years of senior management experience working in various African countries for Standard Bank and Barclays”.

“He holds an MBA from Oxford Brookes University in the UK, as well as degrees from the Universities of Stellenbosch and the Orange Free State [and] the Board wishes Jaco the greatest of success in his new role,” says the statement from Group Board chairman, Terence Davidson issued on Wednesday, December 15.

FMBcapital Holdings, operates in Malawi Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe and its main subsidiary in Malawi is First Capital Bank, which was founded by Hitesh Anadkat in 1995 as First Merchant Bank with only one branch in Delamere House in Blantyre.

Livingstone Towers along Glyn Jones Road

Over the years, First Capital Bank has tremendously experienced growth acquiring other banks in the process both in Malawi and beyond the borders. As of 2021, the bank has many branches and agencies across Malawi — offering employment to hundreds of people.

First Capital Bank Malawi Limited, the country’s first private bank and was granted the third-ever banking licence by the Reserve Bank of Malawi, is headquartered and main branch in Livingstone Towers, along Glyn Jones Road, in the central business district of Blantyre City.

With focus on Malawi’s corporate market, and with a large emphasis on service and customer relationships, First Capital had a successful start and began to show profits after only two years of trading.

In 2000, First Capital wholly acquired the Leasing and Finance Company Malawi Limited, which was since been dissolved and merged into First Capital Bank Malawi.

In 2008, the Bank led a consortium that was granted a banking licence in Botswana, where a subsidiary of FMBCapital Holdings Plc, First Capital Bank Botswana Limited trades.

The bank — that listed on Malawi’s stock exchange in 2009 when almost 10% of its net shares were offered in the IPO — expanded its regional footprint in 2013, with the acquisition of  ICB Banking Group’s businesses in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique.

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In 2017, First Capital announced that it was in the advanced stages of talks with Barclays Plc to acquire a controlling stake in Barclays’ Zimbabwe operation and also announced in same year the acquisition of Opportunity Bank of Malawi.

In December 2017, First Capital Bank Malawi de-listed its shares from the Malawi Stock Exchange and the value of its stock shares were acquired by the newly-created holding company, First Merchant Bank Capital Holdings Plc (FMBCH), whose shares are now listed in the MSE.

Member companies of the FMBCapital Holdings Group include First Capital Bank Malawi Limited at 100% ownership; First Capital Bank Botswana;  First Capital Bank Mozambique at 40% ownership (established July 2008); First Capital Bank Mozambique at 70% ownership (acquired June 2013); First Capital Bank Zambia at 49% ownership (acquired June 2013) and First Capital Bank Zimbabwe at 62% ownership (acquired October 2017).

The Bank’s operational branches in Malawi are Blantyre Branch (First House, Glyn Jones Road); Capital City Branch (Chief M’mbelwa House, Robert Mugabe Crescent, City Centre); Limbe Branch (FMB Building, Churchill Road); Lilongwe Branch (Old Kandodo Building, Kamuzu Procession Road); First Corporate Service Branch (Livingstone Towers, Glyn Jones Road); Mzuzu Branch (Orton Chirwa Avenue) and Zomba Branch (Kamuzu Highway & Main Road).

In addition to the seven brick-and-mortar branches, the bank maintains another 22 agency banking locations, where many of its financial institution’s services can be accessed.

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