ABSA Group Limited has announced the passing of its executive director and deputy chief executive Peter Matlare, who succumbed to COVID-19-related complications.

In a statement, Monday, Absa stated that the seasoned corporate executive, who was responsible for Absa’s regional operations on the continent outside of South Africa, passed away on March 7, 2021, due to COVID-19-related complications.

“It is with profound sadness that the Absa Group announces the passing of our executive director and deputy group chief executive Peter Matlare on March 7, 2021, due to COVID-19-related complications. Peter joined the Absa Group Limited board as an independent non-executive director in 2011. In August, 2016, he was appointed group deputy chief executive officer, as well as chief executive responsible for Absa regional operations, covering our presence on the continent outside of South Africa,” read a statement availed via Absa Bank Zambia Plc.

Absa Bank Zambia managing director Mizinga Melu extoled Matlare as a great and selfless leader who was instrumental in driving the bank’s growth.

“The board, management and staff of Absa Bank Zambia Plc mourn the loss of a great leader and we send our deepest condolences to the bereaved family and colleagues at Absa Group. Peter was a selfless leader who was very instrumental and contributed immensely to the growth of the Absa Group. We remain grateful for his strategic leadership in driving our business in Zambia,” said Melu in a statement.

And at group-level, Absa’s chief executive Daniel Mminele stated that he would miss Matlare’s leadership qualities and friendship.

“Peter was a seasoned corporate executive, a good leader, inspirational, and passionate about his work, always strongly invested in the success of our continent. I will miss his friendship, collegiality, guidance and wise counsel,” said Mminele.

Absa Group Limited chairperson Wendy Lucas-Bull recalled that Matlare played a key role in overseeing the bank’s regional operations and safely leading its banks through the major separation from Barclays to the rebranded Absa.

Matlare, who visited Lusaka in October, 2019, during the unveiling of Absa’s first branch at Kabulonga’s Centro Mall made a significant contribution to the Group.

His leadership was critical in ensuring that the separation from Barclays, a complex multi-year project, which also included the largest single data and systems migration in Africa, was successful across Absa’s operations on the continent.