FNB, a wholly-owned subsidiary of FirstRand, among South Africa’s biggest banks, has appointed Sizwe Nxedlana as chief economist, it was announced on Wednesday.

Nxedlana takes over the role from Cees Bruggemans effective Monday, 3 December this year.

Sizwe has held the role of senior economist at FNB Wealth and has also been a member of the investment and asset allocation committees.

Sizwe joined FNB in 2008 and was responsible for the analysis of South African and global economic trends and global markets, initially servicing the FNB Commercial and more recently the FNB Wealth segment.

He holds a Master of Commerce in Economics from the University of Kwazulu Natal. He completed his Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Cape Town.

Bruggemans has retired after nearly 28 years as chief economist of First National Bank and its precursor, Barclays National.

His period of office covered tumultuous times, best captured by the fact that when he joined Barclays National as chief economist on 1 May 1985 it was by far the biggest bank in South Africa, something it has again achieved only this month when going by Firstrand’s rapidly rising market capitalisation.

He says in between, the bank went all over the place, as did South Africa and the world at large. Yet the Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” is for economists a blessing in disguise, as tranquility can be pretty boring, like watching paint dry and grass grow.


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