Conversation with Sizwe Nxedlana

Marvin: What attracted to you to economics?
Sizwe Nxedlana: I wanted to understand why we are so poor as a continent when others are so rich and what to do about it.

Marvin:  Tell us about your current role as CEO of FNB Wealth.
Sizwe Nxedlana: We are trying to make it easy and simple for people to save and invest by providing appropriate investment products and making it easy for people to access them digitally through our online and app banking platforms.

Marvin:  What are the key challenges of your new role?
Sizwe Nxedlana: We have worked very hard to simplify what we sell, who we sell to and what we sell. This means improving the efficiency and coordination of our existing face to face investment distribution and opening up digital distribution of investment advice and products. The biggest challenge is executing this strategy on budget and on time.

Marvin: With entrepreneurship growing in this country what does it mean to you as the CEO of Wealth and Investment at FNB?
Sizwe Nxedlana: This will increase the amount of wealth in SA, which despite the negative press in the last decade has been growing. More wealth means more opportunity for businesses like ours.

Marvin: What in your view are key attributes of a good leader?
Sizwe Nxedlana: I think you have to be yourself, you have to open and transparent and you have to be honest with people. This builds trust and respect which is most important.

Marvin: What is the best advice you have received?
Sizwe Nxedlana: Doing what you say gets you what you want.

Marvin: What is your motto?
Sizwe Nxedlana: Doing what you say gets you what you want.

Marvin: What is your outlook of the country’s youth?
Sizwe Nxedlana: The outlook for the countries youth depends on the economic outlook. The economic outlook depends on a number of things including reducing corruption, rebuilding the confidence of the South African business sector and consumers so that investment into the South African economy can increase. With higher investment will come higher growth and jobs.

Marvin: If you are not crunching numbers and leading your organisation, how do you relax?
Sizwe Nxedlana: I hang out with my wife. We hike, watch movies, go to the theatre and we also travel a lot.

Marvin: We are aware that you spent some time driving the new S-Class with our motoring colleagues. What are your impressions of the car?
Sizwe Nxedlana: It’s big, it’s powerful, it’s extremely comfortable and very luxurious. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Photography: Fortune Digomo with Khulekani On Wheels