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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 has been Chief Executive of Investec Bank plc, the holding company for Investec Group’s banking operations in the UK and other geographies outside Southern Africa, since November 2019.

She oversees a bank that employs over 2,200 people. While the UK market is its core focus the bank is internationally connected, with offices located in the Channel Islands, the US, India, Ireland and Switzerland. Ruth heads an executive team responsible for delivering performance in each of these geographies, and is responsible for shaping and implementing the Bank’s growth strategy. She is one of the only female bank chiefs worldwide.

In addition, Ruth sits on the board of UK Finance, a trade association representing UK banking and financial services. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for Cambridge Judge Business School.

Ruth began her career as Treasury Economist at Gencor Ltd, a leading mining company in South Africa (which became part of BHP-Billiton), after graduating cum laude with a BA Honours in Economics at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Ruth...
Ruth Leas has been Chief Executive of Investec Bank plc, the holding company for Investec Group’s banking operations in the UK and other geographies outside Southern Africa, since November 2019.

She oversees a bank that employs over 2,200 people. While the UK market is its core focus the bank is internationally connected, with offices located in the Channel Islands, the US, India, Ireland and Switzerland. Ruth heads an executive team responsible for delivering performance in each of these geographies, and is responsible for shaping and implementing the Bank’s growth strategy. She is one of the only female bank chiefs worldwide.

In addition, Ruth sits on the board of UK Finance, a trade association representing UK banking and financial services. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for Cambridge Judge Business School.

Ruth began her career as Treasury Economist at Gencor Ltd, a leading mining company in South Africa (which became part of BHP-Billiton), after graduating cum laude with a BA Honours in Economics at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Ruth excelled academically, receiving the Gold Medal of the Economics Society of South Africa for the best Economics Honours Thesis in the country. She furthered her studies at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, where she was awarded an M.Phil.

Ruth has dedicated over two decades of her career to Investec, a FTSE-250 company. Originally based in South Africa, she moved to London for a position within Financial Products, including derivative structuring and sales, a division later renamed as US – Principal Finance, where she was Co-Head. She has worked as UK Head of Investor Relations and in the Credit and Group Risk teams. As Chief Risk Officer, she managed the rating agency relationships and steered all areas of risk management for the Investec Group Bank in the UK. She was also an Executive Director, responsible for risk management, on the Board of Investec plc.
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Ruth’s Newsfeed

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.

Investec
Investec’s Ruth Leas joins ranks of world’s top 2%

Ruth Leas, CEO of Investec Bank plc, is one of just 2% of female bank CEOs globally, according to an IMF analysis from 2017.

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