That’s how winning works. The only way winning works.

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Watch the 95-second cinematic version of the RMB rowing advertisement. The story includes the preparation, the competition and sustaining success after victory. RMB is proud to partner RowSA to bring the story of championship-grade collaborative thinking to life. Directed by Ian Gabriel.

The three 60-second commercials tell the story in distinct parts: before competition (with all the preparation and talent-nurturing that goes into it); facing competition (as on the water, so in the marketplace); and what happens after victory has been achieved. The stories salute the hard work and dedication of South Africa’s best rowing talent.


“It takes ten years to win gold at the Olympics,” according to the head coach of RowSA, Roger Barrow. Indeed — there is no substitute for meticulous planning. Rowing is a thinking person’s sport — it is as much brain as it is brawn.

This ad is a tribute to all the hard work of professionals everywhere and also salutes RMB’s owner-manager culture of cross-discipline collaboration.


At the end of the day — ideas, teams and services are tested in the open marketplace. Not everyday is easy — for the professional champion rower, the entrepreneur building a business or the business people working to create value for their clients.

RMB’s Traditional values drive us to perform for all those we serve — and our Innovative ideas are the result of several different skill sets and personalities united in common purpose. To add value.


It is said that you are only as good as your last victory. To win can be a dangerous thing. Only if you consistently strive to improve does excellence become a habit. The third part of the story concludes with a principle and a promise — like the rowing team, RMB will continue to offer multi-disciplinary solutions to complex problems, day after day.

Collaborative THINKING

For the team. For all those invested. For everyone whose trust you hold.
Thinking. Pulling. Together.

Collaborative THINKING
For the team. For all those invested. For everyone whose trust you hold. Thinking. Pulling. Together.

As in rowing, corporate and investment banking works best when diverse minds work together for a common purpose. RMB’s owner-manager culture has created an environment where diverse thinkers are empowered to contribute and add value to our clients’ businesses. From award-winning, innovative investment banking deals to bespoke corporate banking solutions, RMB has built its reputation on our ability to think collaboratively.

RMB website
Media coverage
Collaborative THINKING


The little details of the big picture — behind the scenes

It’s a culture that celebrates diversity, respects different thinking and values innovation.
Thinking. Pulling. Together.

In rowing, business, life and shooting commercials nobody is as smart as everybody. Have a peak at some of the behind the scenes action that culminated in eight commercials built around the central theme of collaborative thinking.

The story of RMB and RowSA

That’s how you navigate through any conditions… you focus on the boat.
Thinking. Pulling. Together.

Story of RMB and RowSA
Rowing and RMB
RMB’s unique people-centric culture creates an environment where talented individuals can outperform. The key is collaborative thinking — drawing on a diverse set of skills and personalities to create and unlock value for our clients.

It was in the sport of rowing that we found the ultimate analogy of practices key to RMB’s success as a leading corporate and investment bank. Recognising the discipline, teamwork, commitment and character required to be a success in rowing, we initiated a mutually beneficial partnership with Rowing South Africa (RowSA). RowSA provided us with access to the teams, trainers and facilities — enabling us to showcase South African rowing accurately and faithfully.

South African rowing’s stature and popularity has been growing steadily since the men’s lightweight coxless fours won gold at the London Olympics in 2012. Through our partnership, we hope to further enhance the profile of the sport. It is also essential for us to ensure that RowSA is not limited by our collaboration — but is free to pursue additional sponsorship opportunities.

RowSA website
SA National Rowing Squad
National squad
Story of RMB and RowSA


Is it the focus? The effort? It’s all those things and more.
Thinking. Pulling. Together.

Since 1934, RowSA has promoted and developed the sport of rowing in South Africa. Today, RowSA is committed to transforming the sport across race, gender, ability and geography — as well as developing the nation’s young talent into championship rowers. As a member of FISA (the International Federation of Rowing Associations), the Commonwealth Rowing Association and the African Rowing Federation, RowSA controls, manages and co-ordinates international competitions, including the Olympics and Paralympics. As the sole governing body of the sport of rowing in South Africa, RowSA aims to collaborate with others to nurture young talent, develop the sport and win gold.

Rowing’s Roger’s recipe for success

2016 World Rowing Coach of the Year: Roger Barrow
Behind every successful sports team there is usually an equally successful coach. The coach behind the SA Rowing team, and Rowing Coach of the Year at the 2016 World Rowing Awards
is Roger Barrow.

Barrow has spearheaded the development of elite rowing in South Africa which culminated in the first-ever Olympic gold medal in rowing, not just for South Africa, but the whole of Africa. This gold in the lightweight men’s four at the 2012 London Olympics was achieved using a small pool of athletes.

Barrow has since grown the sport by taking the biggest squad South Africa has ever fielded at an Olympic Games when five boats touched base in Rio last year. All crews made the A-final with the men’s pair winning silver.

"I never kick anyone out, I just don’t select them to the teams. But I encourage them to keep training with a club and if they beat faster people and get in, I’m always happy to be proved wrong," says Barrow on his philosophy of transforming a top club rower into an international rower.
Traditional values. Innovative ideas.

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. 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, and our collaborative spirit is what sets us apart and enables us to deliver on our brand promise Traditional values. Innovative ideas.

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