Standard Bank believes in training its relationship managers (RMs) and future leaders to deliver the best possible service and even trains its young clients in finance, winning it Best Next-Generation Offering and Outstanding RM Training and Development Program at the virtual PBI Global Wealth Awards 2021. Its efforts mean it was also awarded Outstanding Global Private Bank: Africa and was commended in three other categories (see bullet point at end).

The judging panel at the PBI Awards 2021 commented that it was “an awareness of how advancing your people is the best way to advance your business,” that won Standard Bank its trophy for Outstanding RM Training and Development, “thanks to its its digital and physical training academies, which also span to training its young clients about how best to invest their money.” This client-facing work won it the Best Next-Generation Offering trophy. “Its excellent work on intergenerational wealth preservation and transfer and data-rich technology options deservedly won it the Outstanding Global Private Bank: Africa award as well.”

The advancement of your people represents the advance of your company over the long-term. That is why Standard Bank Wealth and Investment values employee and client relationships so highly. It believes so strongly in intergenerational wealth preservation and transfer that it even financially educates its own young customers, offering them Next Generation Academies, the only wealth manager to do this in Africa, in order to help them ensure they get the most out of their good fortune. It won the Best Next-Generation Offering trophy specifically for its unique efforts delivering:

  • Junior Leaders Academy: events for the 10-12 year old offspring of wealthy clients. Teaching them young about the challenges of making, investing, spending and giving money pays dividends later in life, and aids future loyalty. Parents are of course often a central part of the event too. An example event was guest speaker Kitty Phetla, a Ballerina, addressing the young audience.
  • Young Leaders Academy: events for 13-17 year olds teaches Standard Bank’s young wealthy clients about their wealth profile and how they can best navigate their future financial lives. Paul Ballen of Pauls' Homemade Ice-cream addressed the young leaders.
  • Future Leaders Academy: for 18-24 year olds deepens an understanding of how to create, manage and grow wealth. Dinesh Patel, CEO of OrderIn, addressed them.

Standard Bank also hosts Leadership Academy: Thought Leadership events for adults as well, sparking intergenerational debates and digital academies. During the Covid-19 outbreak, for instance, it hosted a webinar with John Sanei of Duke Corporate Education in Johannesburg. He talked about the effects the pandemic is likely to have on the future in South Africa and globally. Another virtual event, held during the pandemic, was the African Wealth Report Launch on 13

12 August 2020. This shed light on the ‘Art of Creating Wealth’ in Africa and presented research findings across South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Mauritius.

The bank’s future plan to use data analytics and insights to segment its entire customer base into baby boomers, X, Y, Z and so on – and identify and cater for the needs of each – show that it is developing a whole life strategy for its client base from the cradle to the grave.

Outstanding training leads to an outstanding African PB

Standard Bank Wealth and Investment has its own internal Academy to facilitate staff training for relationship managers (RMs) and others, winning it further trophies for its development program, and ultimately its status as a successful African private bank (PB). It posted 50% growth in new clients last year. Despite Covid-19 challenges and headline earnings suffering, it still saw Assets under Management (AuM) grow 12% to R46,983m.

The internal Academy at the bank is focused on talent mapping and identifying future leaders via the NexGen Manco program, which helps junior and middle managers in their journey into senior management positions. There is a mentoring program and a Journey to Greatness initiative as well for those earmarked for the top.

For RMs starting out there is a lot of help with planning and time management support and a step-by-step guide to best practice behaviors that will improve the quality of their client engagements. A Client Discussion guide is also available covering key topics and discussion points they should be aware of in order to ensure a focused engagement with clients that is packed full of insights. In addition, there is a:

  • Training Bytes and Knowledge Hub: Daily or weekly bite size learning nuggets are distributed to RMs to ensure they are up-to-date with internal and market knowledge. They can be saved in a Knowledge Hub.
  • Digital learning platform: the team has access to various digital libraries and can select the skills they want to focus on, join relevant groups and follow various learning paths, with LinkedIn learning, abstracts, courses, a Harvard Online Learning portal, and many other such tools.
  • The Perform to Grow online journal: houses RMs development plan, key performance indicators (KPIs) and action plans to ensure they know what to do in order to progress.

Digitally-speaking a new group-wide customer relationship management (CRM) module from Salesforce introduced last year has also been helpful in delivering a single shared view of the client. RMs can pull data from the core banking system to capture client information, identify opportunities, requests for fulfillment and manage email workflows. It has helped increase knowledge and fast client engagement.

The over-arching Challenger model that the bank introduced a few years ago to remodel how it approaches clients brings with it an assumption that insight-rich engagements are the norm, rather than a demonstration of products, as this drives deeper interactions and ultimately better sales. The Challenger concept flows throughout the bank and is evident via:

  • Challenger Coaching: for everyone to buy into the concept and specific leadership modules to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and help fast track the best performers.
  • Challenger Portal: provides access to guides, insights, messages, and industry-related topics, to ensure that RMs our engaged with the philosophy. Complex problems can be shared on the portal to crowdsource good responses and upskill everyone.

Standard Bank is confident it will continue to grow due to its focus on client and employee training and support. It is rightly proud of its low staff turnover rate of 7.3% compared to the industry average of 15%, which it thinks further helps educate its clients about how to preserve their wealth, thanks to the experience of the staff. Training them up delivers better loyalty, and ultimately better end results.

Standard Bank were also HC: Highly Commended in the Best Family Office category at the Private Banker International (PBI): Global Wealth Awards 2021, which were held virtually on 8 October, and in the Outstanding Wealth Management Technology Initiative - Front Office and - Back Office categories.

Commenting on their PBI Awards accolades, Sanah Gumede of Standard Bank Wealth & Investment, said: “We are both honoured and humbled by the various recognitions we have attained this year, which bears testament to our ability to adapt in the face of challenging conditions, and to craft holistic solutions that are relevant for our valued clients.”


The Private Banker International Global Wealth Awards is an annual platform that celebrates the most impressive and successful initiatives from private banks and wealth management companies who have deployed market leading, disruptive approaches to deliver globally recognized, industry changing strategies and products.