Maria Ramos is a corporate leader and banker who was appointed Chairman of AngloGold Ashanti in December 2020 having previously served on its board. She was appointed to the board of Standard Chartered PLC as an independent non-executive director in January 2021. She also serves as independent non-executive director on the board of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA.
She served on the boards of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Saudi British Bank (SABB) until December 2020.
Maria Ramos served as Chief Executive Officer of Absa Group Limited (previously Barclays Africa Group Ltd) until 28 February 2019 when she retired from the business. Absa is a diversified financial services group with operations in 12 African markets.During her tenure Ms Ramos led the Group through a number of significant milestones
including the acquisition of Barclays Plc’s Africa subsidiary banks to create Barclays Africa Ltd in 2013 (Barclays Plc was the majority shareholder with 62.3%). Following Barclays Plc’s decision in 2016 to sell down their controlling share, she negotiated the sell down transaction and started the complex separation process involving multiple regulators. She also developed the new strategy for the standalone pan-African institution as well as the brand refresh in South Africa and the name change of the listed company.
Before joining Absa as Group Chief Executive in March 2009, she served as the Chief Executive of Transnet Ltd, the state-owned freight transport and logistics service provider, for five years. Ms Ramos led Transnet through a significant financial, cultural and operational turnaround. This included a substantial infrastructure investment
programme, strengthening of the balance sheet, improved profitability and culture change. Ms Ramos served as the Director-General of South Africa’s National Treasury for eight years. During her tenure as Director-General of the National Treasury (formerly the Department of Finance), she led the team that merged the departments of Finance
and State Expenditure to establish the National Treasury. This was also a period of significant change in all aspects of South Africa’s public finances from fiscal reform to large scale institutional reforms including legislative reforms. The National Ttreasury was transformed into one of the most effective and efficient state departtments in the
post-apartheid administration. As DG she also represented South Africa on a number of key international institutions including the G20 Deputies 1997-2003 as well as the relevant committees of the IMF and WB, AfDB, SADC . She also served as a member of the Task Team on the Reform of the Global Financial Archictecture and a member
of the World Bank Chief Economist Advisory Council. Ms Ramos also served as an economist on the African National Congress’s Department of Economic Planning and played an active role in the drafting of the chapter on finance in South Africa’s Interiim Constitution. She co-Chaired the Secretary General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals from October 2018 until August 2020 when the Final Report was launched.
She is a member of the Group of Thirty. She serves on the International Advisory Board of the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University, and serves as a member of the High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery and Growtth (HLAG). She previously served on the Advisory Board of the Bretton Woods
Committee and the Global Board of Advisors Council for Foreign Relations (USA). She was also a member of the WEF’s International Business Council which she chaired for two years. She is a member of the IWFSA (International Womens Forum South Africa).
She has in the past served as a non-executive and independent director on the boards of Sanlam Ltd, Remgro Ltd and SABMiller PLC .
Her contribution has been recognized through numerous awards. She was ranked in Fortune’s annual survey of the 50 most powerful women in business for a number of years.
Ms Ramos obtained an Institute of Bankers’ Diploma (CAIB) in 1983. She followed this with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in 1986, a Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Economics (also from Wits) in 1987 and a Master of Science (Economics) from the University of London (SOAS) in 1992. An
accomplished academic, Ms Ramos has taught at a number of academic institutions. She is also a recipient of honorary doctorates from the Universities of Stellenbosch and Free State.
Maria Ramos has been a member of the Portuguese Diaspora Council since december 2022.