Finweek English Edition - - COMPANIES & INVESTMENTS -

one but two CEOs to fill the void left by the re­cently de­parted Jacko Ma­ree. This is an ar­range­ment that the chair­man ad­mits is com­plex, but work­ing well af­ter the f irst month of it be­ing in­sti­tuted. Also, he says, he doesn’t need to be phys­i­cally in the group’s Jo­han­nes­burg of­fice all the time.

“What has changed is that dur­ing Derek ’s t i me Sta ndard Bank was en­gaged in a broad emerg­ing-mar­ket ex­pan­sion strat­egy – our fo­cus now is more or­ganic,” says Phaswana, whose pay-off for hav­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary work­ing f lex­i­bil­ity is that his life is or­gan­ised with mil­i­tary pre­ci­sion.

Stan­dard Bank de­ter­mines its board sched­ule in Au­gust ev­ery year, his di­ary then goes to his wife for the in­clu­sion of fam­ily com­mit­ments and is co­or­di­nated then with the re­quire­ments of the group Com­pany Sec­re­tary and is looked af­ter by a ded­i­cated PA.

“Peo­ple un­der­es­ti­mate the power of tech­nol­ogy,” says Phaswana, who main­tains mul­ti­ple homes – one in Bel­gium, a fam­ily res­i­dence in Cape Town, use­ful for Naspers board meet­ings, and an apart­ment in Jo­han­nes­burg; all are wired with high-speed In­ter­net ac­cess to give him in­stant con­nec­tiv­ity to the Stan­dard Bank net­work and staff in­tranet. They each have stor­age for sets of iden­ti­cal Tay­lor Made and Call­away golf clubs too. The fourth, built on his late mother’s land in Lim­popo, has no telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ac­cess at all. It’s the place he goes to think with­out fear of in­ter­rup­tion and where he re­treated to when con­tem­plat­ing t he com­plex­i­ties of t he re­cently an­nounced ex­ec­u­tive over­haul of the group.

“Last year I spent 46% of my work­ing time phys­i­cally at the bank,” says Phaswana, but you have to keep in touch daily to make sure that you stay on top of all the is­sues.”

There­fore, no mat­ter where he is in the world, the f irst two hours of ev­ery

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