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Ruth Leas

CEO

Investec Bank plc

London, UK

Ruth Leas
Piers Lea
Learning Technologies Group
Ronel Lehmann
Finito Education

Ruth’s Biography

Ruth Leas is the CEO of Investec Bank plc, the principal banking division of Investec plc, which houses the Group’s banking operations in the UK and other geographies outside Southern Africa.

The seasoned banking executive has led Investec Bank through a crucial period of transition, simplifying the business and reorganising it around its clients, shifting focus to growth opportunities, exiting certain activities and geographies, and increasing collaboration.

During her 24 years at Investec, Ruth has helped power its development. After establishing a solid banking foundation, including sales and derivative structuring, Ruth moved to London in 2002 and was appointed Co-Head US Principal Finance two years later. After a decade in client-facing positions, Ruth gained vital experience in roles such as Head of Investor Relations in the UK and Chief Risk Officer. This gave her deep knowledge of the company as a whole, as well as insight and experience across various banking areas. Ruth also had exposure to major stakeholders such as investors and shareholders, regulators and rating agencies.

Ruth...
Ruth Leas is the CEO of Investec Bank plc, the principal banking division of Investec plc, which houses the Group’s banking operations in the UK and other geographies outside Southern Africa.

The seasoned banking executive has led Investec Bank through a crucial period of transition, simplifying the business and reorganising it around its clients, shifting focus to growth opportunities, exiting certain activities and geographies, and increasing collaboration.

During her 24 years at Investec, Ruth has helped power its development. After establishing a solid banking foundation, including sales and derivative structuring, Ruth moved to London in 2002 and was appointed Co-Head US Principal Finance two years later. After a decade in client-facing positions, Ruth gained vital experience in roles such as Head of Investor Relations in the UK and Chief Risk Officer. This gave her deep knowledge of the company as a whole, as well as insight and experience across various banking areas. Ruth also had exposure to major stakeholders such as investors and shareholders, regulators and rating agencies.

Ruth sits on the Board of Investec Bank plc and was appointed CEO in 2019. As one of only nine women CEOs at FTSE 250 companies, Ruth is dedicated to driving inclusion, diversity and belonging at Investec and in the wider industry. She believes that diverse businesses lead to inclusive environments that allow employees to flourish.

Passionate about education and mentoring, Ruth is involved with several NGOs such as Arrival Education, The Executive Challenge (part of The Women’s Association), and Morpeth School. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for Cambridge Judge Business School and sits on the board of UK Finance.

Ruth holds an MPhil from Cambridge University and a BA Honours degree from Wits University in South Africa. She was awarded the Gold Medal of the Economics Society of South Africa for the best Economics Honours Thesis in the country.
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Ruth’s Newsfeed

Independent Online
Investec Group maintains strong balance sheet for new opportunities

Ruth Leas, CEO of Investec Bank, is quoted in an article by Independent Online regarding Investec's annual results and the market risks from the past year.

The Banker
Investec Bank plc’s CEO looks to the future

CEO of Investec plc, Ruth Leas has been mentioned in The Banker in respect of the future of the bank following the global pandemic.

View News Archive

Ruth’s Background

Investec Bank plc
CEO
2019 - Present
London, UK
Investec works with private, institutional, and corporate clients to provide international banking, investing, and wealth management services in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and several other countries. Established in 1974, Investec currently employs over 8,500 people. The group has a dual-listed company structure with listings on both the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
Investec Bank plc
Various
2002 - 2019
London, UK
Ruth made her move to the UK in 2002, after four years at Investec in South Africa, in the Financial Products Business. She held further roles as Co-Head of US Principal Finance, Credit Risk and Group Risk, Head of Investor Relations, Head of Risk Management and lastly Chief Risk Officer during this time.
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Ruth’s Gallery

Current Board Positions

Cambridge Judge Business School
Member of the Advisory Board
Dec 2020 - Present
Cambridge, UK
Cambridge Judge Business School is one of the world’s most esteemed business schools that is renowned for entrepreneurship and innovation. The school’s faculty has over 50 members and publishes research on a range of international business matters.
UK Finance
Board Member
May 2020 - Present
London, UK
UK Finance is a UK banking and financial services trade association. The organisation represents roughly 300 companies with a focus on enhancing competitiveness and facilitating innovation across the industry.
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Media

Investec Focus | Ruth Leas
Interviewed
Aug 2019
London, UK
Alex Bell interviews Ruth Leas about her professional journey leading to her appointment as CEO of Investec Bank plc.
Investec Focus | Women on the Rise
Featured
Aug 2020
Johannesburg, ZA
Cumesh Moodliar, Head of Private Bank, Investec Bank SA, leads the discussion between the top women in the banking and financial world. Ruth features at 17 minutes and again at 43 minutes.

Awards & Endorsements

The Economics Society of South Africa
Gold Medal
1994
Johannesburg, ZA
Ruth was awarded a Gold Medal by the Economics Society of South Africa for her exceptional Honours thesis, recognised as the best Economics Honours Thesis in the country.

Community Engagement

Beyond Business
Member of the Judging Committee
London, UK
Investec Beyond Business is a social entrepreneurship incubation programme in partnership with the Bromley by Bow Centre. Its goal is to assist bright entrepreneurs who are devoted to building profitable, long-term enterprises that also have a positive social impact. The programme operates in Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

Ruth’s Education

University of Cambridge
M.Phil
1996 - 1997
University of the Witwatersrand
BA Cum Laude (Hons) Economics
1990 - 1994