At the end of a conference charting economic transformation in the financial services sector, the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP) recognised men and women who excelled in the financial services sector in 2017.
“The awards recipients are representative of our key focus areas and theme of this year’s conference Towards a Transformed, Inclusive and Thriving Financial Sector by 2022,” said ABSIP President, Sibongiseni Mbatha.
Mbatha told delegates ABSIP was interested, affected and actively involved in influencing change, transformation and creating inclusive growth in the sector. “Effective leadership is transformational leadership. If South Africa is to achieve true transformation and growth in this sector, drastic change is required. We need the courage to create conditions that entice people to come out of their comfort zone and venture onto the critical path of transformation,” he said.
“If South Africa is to achieve true transformation and growth in this sector, the recipients of the awards are trendsetters,” he added.
Mbatha noted that in 2017 there could not be any better game changers than Geoffrey Qhena, Polo Leteka, Fatima Vawda and Standard Bank.
“ABSIP CEO of the Decade, Geoffrey Qhena has placed Industrial Development Corporation at the centre of South Africa’s economic development, providing businesses with access to finance to boost growth, stimulate investment and create jobs.
“Fatima Vawda, Managing Director of 27four Investment Managers and recipient of ABSIP Woman of Significance is a glass-ceiling-breaker who has made significant contributions towards growing a sustainable financial sector.
“Polo Leteka, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Venture Capital and Private Equity firm, IDF Capital and Recipient of the ABSIP Special Recognition Award, has been working hard to influence women’s contribution in the financial services sector.
“Standard Bank, recipient of The Company with Significant Progress towards Transformation in the Financial Services Sector, believes transformation improve productivity and product quality through increased flexibility in the use of labour and greater participation by workers in various production decisions.”
The annual conference brought together an elite group of financial sector professionals who shared their insights on economic transformation in their industry.
Qhena said: “I am honoured to be recognized as CEO of the Decade. I believe that the outlook of the IDC’s mandate is positive. It is not easy. It requires a lot of work and a lot of commitment, both from the government side and also from the private sector side, but overall we believe we are delivering on our mandate.”
Said Vawda: “I am extremely honoured and grateful to ABSIP for awarding me this prestigious title. This award is a representation of my modest contribution towards growing a sustainable financial sector.”
Leteka said: “I believe that being honoured by your own peers is probably one of the highest accolades any professional can receive. I am humbled and truly honoured. Of course this comes with more responsibility and expectations. I therefore take responsibilities that comes with this award seriously and will continue to work hard so that this recognition can have a lasting meaning.”