Barclays and StanChart looking for African talent

News Release

Barclays and StanChart looking for African talent

20 May 2011

Africa is calling. As economic growth, foreign investments and trade links continue to grow, banks – both local and international – keep expanding and recruiting. The stumbling block is lack of local candidates with the relevant skills and some experience, so the banks come to London to try and lure African expatriates back with the offer of a job.

For this reason both Barclays and Standard Chartered had stalls at last weekend’s Careers in Africa summit at Canary Wharf in London, organised by the Global Careers Company (GCC), an international recruitment consultancy. “Due to the brain drain in the past finding good people in Africa has been a challenge, but now things are looking up,” says Shaun Limwatana, head of resources at Barclays Africa. “We are here to build up a talent pool, because we need people in all the ten African countries we are in. Bob Diamond has made Africa a focus so it is a big growth area for us.” Barclays interviewed over 60 candidates and is hoping to recruit at least fifteen.

Standard Chartered is on a similar quest: “We are here looking for talent, because in Africa it is very hard to get good people with international experience and exposure,” says Annie Kinuthia, area head of corporate affairs for East Africa at StanChart in Nairobi. “We are looking to recruit people in every country we are in across the Continent and in sectors across the board, from consumer banking to technology to corporate banking. We have 60 interviews lined up and we hope to hire at least four people.”

According to Rupert Adcock, managing director of GCC, “financial services are really taking off across the Continent, from retail to corporate banking to private equity to venture capital, so there is a strong pull for African expatriates with experience in the sector to go back and join these exciting markets where it’s all happening. They can secure a guaranteed job before they go back, and they leave the City knowing they might move to a smaller pond, but they’ll be big fishes.”

They do seem to be aware of this. A survey GCC conducted among the African diaspora at the

London summit shows that the key reason for returning to the Continent is ‘opportunities to fast track my career’, followed by ‘Africa’s growing economy’. “Africa is not seen as just going back home but as a great opportunity for a better career in an exciting growth environment,” says Limwatana.

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