MICHAEL LARBIE has been appointed the Head of International and Broader Africa at Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) from 1 November, 2022.
Previously, he was CEO and Managing Director of RMB Nigeria Limited, and Regional Head of West Africa.
RMB CEO Emrie Brown said, “Michael brings years of experience and outstanding leadership to this integrated portfolio. With over US$30 billion worth of advisory and financing transactions across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa in his career to date. I’m confident that Michael will be key in realising RMB’s geographic expansion strategy and the future growth of our business.”
In taking up his new role, Larbie said his focus would be on helping African businesses and governments get through the current difficult economic and socio-political environment, while stepping up RMB’s efforts to facilitate investment flows into Africa.
“Times are tough but global investors are always on the lookout for good opportunities. We will continue to tap into investor flows into the continent and provide our on the ground insights and expertise.
“With our ambitions comes the responsibility to make a better Africa, which includes helping drive ESG principles towards a more sustainable future for our clients and the societies we operate in.”
Larbie noted that much of his current focus was advising African businesses on how to navigate a volatile economic environment of weakening local currencies, rapidly rising inflation, higher energy costs, higher interest rates and the ongoing power shortages across the continent.
“In unpredictable times, businesses need to ensure they optimally manage their cash flows and margins. Which means ensuring they manage their currency exposures, raw material and input costs, while also managing interest rate risk,” he said.
Larbie added that a growing focus for RMB was an increase in climate adaption and mitigation finance and advisory across the continent. “Sustainable finance and ensuring companies are tailoring their business to meeting ESG ambitions is a growing priority.”
Prior to joining RMB in 2010, Michael was the Head of Corporate and Investment Banking for sub-Saharan Africa (excluding SA) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and before that, Head of Financial Institutions Investment Banking for Africa in London at the same bank.
Larbie holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Sociology from the University of Ghana.
He is currently a board member of First National Bank Ghana, a member of RMB’s Corporate and Investment Banking Executive Committee, and a member of FirstRand’s Broader Africa Executive Committee.