South Africa’s biggest retail bank Amalgamated Banks of South Africa
(ABSA), is trawling the City’s financial PR market for an agency to
boost its corporate profile in the UK, US and the Far East.
The bank’s corporate affairs director Alec Hogg arrived from
Johannesburg last week to see presentations from at least six City
agencies. College Hill, Dewe Rogerson, Lowe Bell Financial, Ludgate and
Citigate are all believed to have been approached.
College Hill director Mark Garraway, who organised a one-off press
briefing for ABSA in London last year, confirmed that Hogg had visited
the agency but denied that there had been a formal pitch for a pre-
‘He wanted to get to know the consultancies and find out about their
capabilities,’ said Garraway. ‘The bank is the result of a number of
mergers and the time is right to market itself as a single entity.’
However, industry sources suggest the presentations were more akin to a
competitive pitch and would probably lead to the appointment of an
agency next month.
ABSA has a small base in London in the commercial banking sector, but is
keen to expand its international business over the next few years. Of
the agencies thought to have been approached three own offices in South
Africa: Citigate, Ludgate and Lowe Bell.