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Maria Ramos

1. The Force behind Barclays and Absa’s Break Up

Maria Ramos says the sale of Absa, the South African bank, in 2017 by its former parent, Barclays was one of the biggest challenges of her career. The move marked the end of the British bank’s centuries-long presence in Africa. She was able to negotiate a separation deal with her former colleagues at Barclays that ended up costing the British bank $1 billion in compensation, as well as contributing a 1.5 percent stake in the African lender to fund Black economic empowerment causes.