Profile - Southern synergy

South Africa

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It is never easy going through a merger. People are usually worried about their jobs, the culture of the two firms can be poles apart, and trading and risk management systems are often incompatible. It takes time. Indeed, in the 15 months since the UK’s Barclays Bank acquired a majority stake in South Africa’s Absa for around R30 billion ($3.9 billion), executives at Absa Capital, the group’s investment banking arm, have had to deal with a rebranding, have conducted a comprehensive rev