FirstRand’s RMB sets up office in New York


Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), the corporate and investment arm of banking group, FirstRand, has set up an office in New York, in a move that will see its business facilitate funds into Africa from the world’s largest economy.

The banking group and parent to RMB has received all the necessary approvals from the United States Federal Reserve Board as well as the New York State Department of Financial Services, RMB said in a statement on Monday.

In its new New York offices, the bank will work with US-headquartered multinational corporates with African subsidiaries, including non-governmental corporations.

In addition, it plans to work with US businesses that do not have an African presence but intend to engage in business or establish themselves in Africa, the company said.

RMB’s CEO, Emrie Brown, said the new office will link US investors to business opportunities on the African continent, citing that foreign investors are increasingly turning to Africa which has vast natural resources, extensive markets, young populations, and excellent technological prospects.

Brown added that the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement will also ease access into Africa, while stimulating intra-regional trade and boosting growth.

“As an established, on-the-ground corporate and investment bank with offices across the African continent, we understand the challenges and regulatory environments for business success in Africa” Brown said.

RMB’s offering will comprise corporate and investment banking products such as advisory services on mergers and acquisitions, lending, equity and debt capital markets, custody, foreign exchange, derivative hedging instruments, and cash management.

Its services will be offered across multiple sectors and industries in sub-Saharan Africa, such as mining and minerals, logistics, consumer goods, fintech, healthcare, energy, and infrastructure, the company said.

Head of the RMB’s US operations, Albert Maartens, said its New York presence enables the financial services firm to expend more time with critical corporate and institutional decision-makers and offer assistance to US corporates with ambitions of expanding into Africa.

“RMB will be able to act as trusted advisor for our existing and future US clients so that they can take advantage of our innovative product offerings within the environment in which they wish to operate,” Maartens said.

“As a division of FirstRand Bank, we can offer investors longer tenors due to our large capital base, access to deep expertise on the continent, an impeccable compliance record, and due diligence skills and processes that are firmly in place,” said Maartens.