Think RMB.

RMB at a glance

RMB is a leading African corporate and investment bank.

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, is a leading African corporate and investment bank and part of one of the largest financial services groups in Africa. We offer our clients innovative, value-added advisory, funding, trading, corporate banking and principal investing solutions.

We structure the most appropriate financing solutions to meet the needs of our clients, whether for project finance, on-balance sheet lending or a combination thereof. Our ability to think differently and our collaborative spirit is what sets us apart and enables us to deliver on our brand promise: Traditional values. Innovative ideas.

We are a proud African corporate and investment bank with an extensive deal footprint across more than 35 African countries. RMB has funded several infrastructure and resource finance projects, mergers and acquisitions, and infrastructure developments in many African countries over the past decade.

Our knowledge of local financing requirements, legal and jurisdictional frameworks, together with the expertise and balance sheet of FirstRand Bank, enable us to service the needs of the rapidly expanding African economy.

As the investment banking arm of FirstRand Bank Limited (which is wholly-owned by FirstRand Limited), RMB has access to a network of retail banks in 25 African countries including representative offices and branches in the UK, India, China, and the Middle East.


RMB presence (operations)

1. Angola
2. Botswana
3. Kenya
4. Lesotho
5. Mozambique
6. Namibia
7. Nigeria
8. South Africa
9. Swaziland
10. Tanzania
11. Zambia


RMB’s international footprint

  • China (Shanghai) (FirstRand Bank representative office)
  • United Kingdom (London) (FirstRand Bank branch)
  • Middle East (Dubai) (FirstRand Bank representative office)
  • India (Mumbai) (FirstRand Bank branch)

Our strategy does not live in files, but in our people

Traditional values + Innovative ideas = Exceptional performance = RMB.

We believe exceptional performance is only possible with exceptional people, which is why our strategy does not live in files, but in our people. RMB is a place where exceptional people can embrace our collaborative and owner-manager culture and drive their particular lines of business as though it’s their own.  

In the business of corporate and investment banking, it’s not just the thought, but the quality and inventiveness of the thinking that counts. Our ability to think differently, our collaborative spirit, our client-centric solutions and our belief that great minds don’t always have to think alike, is what sets us apart.

At RMB we nurture and celebrate inspired thinkers and entrepreneurs who challenge the boundaries, engage in vigorous debate, create their own opportunities and apply thinking that can change our world. We do not subscribe to business-as-usual practices — rather big thinking that requires our employees to stretch themselves, to push the boundaries, to think differently, have an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to make a difference in the world.

Because we believe that a combination of skills is often the best way to reach innovative solutions, we create opportunities for talented individuals from diverse industries (over and above financial services) and walks of life. That’s why it is not unusual to run into lawyers, aeronautical engineers and even medical doctors at RMB.  Would you like to join our world? You can apply to join RMB through one of these avenues:

We create sustainable value for our clients and shareholders

Our vision and primary business objective at RMB is to create sustainable value for our clients and shareholders.

By placing our clients at the centre of our innovation, we unlock possibilities and opportunities for them to grow their investments and businesses. We nurture mutually rewarding relationships and constantly challenge the norm, question existing models and develop innovative and bespoke products to grow our clients’ businesses.

Sound business

Read more about RMB’s financial performance and year-end financial results.

Proud heritage, bright future

RMB has an impressive track record of profitability and innovation.

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) was founded by Paul Harris, Laurie Dippenaar and GT Ferreira in 1977. Paul Harris was the out-of-the-box thinker Laurie Dippenaar, the numbers man, and GT Ferreira, the skilled negotiator. The vision, drive and complementary strengths of this trio transformed the fledgling outfit into one of South Africa’s leading investment banks, and one of South Africa’s most powerful brands.

Today, RMB is one of the leading African corporate and investment banks, with over 3 200 employees and an impressive track record of profitability and innovation. The RMB brand is more than just a product or service — it is a promise of added value to our clients. It is supported by our values, encased in our culture, lived by our talented people and expressed in the different elements that make up our corporate identity.

  • The lion represents our African heritage and strength, and the pride we take in doing sustainable good business and good work
  • The key represents our ability to unlock the potential of our employees through our liberating and empowering culture. It represents protecting the interests of our stakeholders, while unlocking possibility and opportunity for our clients and our continent

RMB cemented its market leading position on a number of fronts the past couple of years.

Read more

The FirstRand family

FirstRand’s vision is to be the African financial services group of choice — creating long-term franchise value and delivering superior and sustainable economic returns to our shareholders within acceptable levels of volatility.

Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX), FirstRand Limited is the largest listed financial services group (by market capitalisation) in Africa. The Group is differentiated by its owner-manager culture and operates through a portfolio of four separately-branded franchises:

  • RMB — the corporate and investment banking arm of the Group — one of Africa’s leading corporate and investment banks by peer ranking and industry awards
  • First National Bank (FNB) — the retail and commercial banking franchise — Africa’s most innovative retail and commercial bank
  • WesBank — an instalment finance provider with over 40 years’ experience, WesBank has become the market leader in asset-based finance solutions in South Africa. WesBank also has asset-based motor finance operations in neighbouring African countries and in the UK. Through the Direct Axis brand, WesBank operates in the personal loans market in South Africa
  • Ashburton Investments — investment management — offers traditional and alternative investment solutions to individual and institutional investors

In addition to South Africa, the Group operates in eight key African territories: Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Nigeria. FirstRand is the first bank from Africa to be granted a full-scale commercial banking licence in India. The India branch in Mumbai primarily focuses on investment banking, fixed income, currency and commodity products, trade finance, debt capital markets and other structured products. FirstRand also operates fully-fledged Representative Offices in Shanghai and Dubai to facilitate the financing of cross border trade between Africa, the Middle East and China.

Governance and compliance

We believe the way we conduct our business plays a central role in the strength and health of the global economy.

The world is demanding greater corporate transparency. Investors want access to more accurate and relevant information about companies, transactions, markets and risks. Our banking system is robust and strong because of our outstanding corporate governance practices. We believe the way we govern our corporation, and our commitment to fair dealing and integrity in the way we conduct our business, play a central role in the strength and health of the global economy.

Read more The Board Directors’ Code of Ethics and the Promotion of Access to Information Act and Table of Legislation.
Read more The complaints procedure for the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

Making a difference in the world right now

Citizen RMB — good business, better world

A business that makes nothing but money, is a poor business, which is why one of our core values at RMB is to be a good and responsible corporate citizen. We believe that good business creates a better world, and while business is a fundamental part of society, it also has the responsibility to have an interest in the success of society. As proud RMB citizens we are concerned about who we are, the business we are in, why it matters, and what contribution we can each make in society through education and skills development.

We believe Corporate Social Investment (CSI) is more than just an ad hoc philanthropic gesture. Instead it has become an integral, strategic business consideration at RMB, that generates long-term value for our shareholders only, by delivering value to society as well.

Through the RMB Fund, RMB’s Corporate Social Investment focuses on:

CSI is an opportunity to make a social investment in sustainable programmes and projects that will change lives for the better — support the growth of new businesses, build stronger and more cohesive communities — for people to ultimately achieve their full potential and to create lasting change.

In 2015/16, the RMB Fund's investment in the Creative Arts and the Environment Programmes amounted to ZAR43 000 000.00.

Committed to managing environmental and social risk

Being part of the FirstRand Group, we are continually exploring ways to address environmental concerns.

The FirstRand Group adopted the Equator Principles in July 2009 to demonstrate our long-term commitment to manage environmental and social risk in project finance transactions. As subscribers to the Equator Principles, we want to ensure that the projects we finance are developed in a manner that is socially responsible and reflect sound environmental management practices to avoid negative impacts on project-affected ecosystems and communities.

The Equator Principles are based on the International Finance Corporation Performance Standards on social and environmental sustainability, and on the World Bank Group Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines.

Read more

Committed to reducing our carbon footprint

Climate change is real and is affecting all of us, as well as our stakeholders and their communities. Being part of the FirstRand Group, we are continually exploring ways to address environmental concerns. One way to minimise the impact of climate change is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Together with FirstRand, we undertake regular carbon footprint audits to monitor our progress to reduce emissions.

Read more

Embracing transformation

We actively promote and drive transformation and skills development in all our portfolio companies.

We support FirstRand’s belief that transformation is about more than scorecards or Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) credentials — it’s about improving the macro-environment; redressing investment balances by financing development infrastructure; supporting employment equity; developing black business and equitable ownership.

We actively promote and drive transformation and skills development in all our portfolio companies, through training and apprenticeship opportunities, procurement and creating a representative workforce.

Read more

Download our latest BBBEE Verification Certificate

All eyes on Africa

Our vision is to create sustainable value and superior economic returns for our clients and shareholders in Africa and beyond.
RMB is no newcomer to doing business and unlocking value in Africa. We have funded several infrastructure and resource finance projects, mergers and acquisitions, and developments in more than 35 African countries over the past decade.

We believe in the African growth story. Over the past decade African economic output has more than tripled; Africa’s share of global fdi flows has been improving year on year; and the continent has seen a rapid rate of urbanisation and a growing consumer class. The ongoing need for sustainable infrastructure and technology, coupled with the need for reliable financial services leads us to believe that Africa today holds the greatest overall investment potential for all frontier markets globally.

Making the most of Africa as an investment destination requires specialist skills, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit. RMB understands the unique challenges of doing business in Africa and has the necessary skills, experience and good relationships to mitigate regulatory risks and challenges on the continent.

At RMB we believe Africa rewards those who invest with a long-term agenda, those who take time to build relationships and those who understand the intricacies of doing business across multiple geographies. Potential investors need a reliable, on-the-ground financial services partner who understands the unique challenges and regulatory frameworks of doing business in Africa. RMB is that partner.

RMB firsts

RMB has pioneered many of the products and services that form the backbone of the South African investment banking sector.
  • FirstRand Bank is the first bank from Africa to be granted a full-scale commercial banking licence in India
  • RMB was the first investment bank in South Africa to give investors access to Inflation-linked Bonds through the JSE
  • RMB underwrote and managed South Africa’s first listed convertible bond, issued by Aquarius Platinum
  • The South African Futures Exchange (Safex) was originally a division within RMB and only became an independent licenced exchange in 1988
  • RMB launched South Africa's first Krugerrand denominated bond on the JSE