Stephen van Coller, who left Barclays last week, has been hired by MTN group to head up the wireless carrier’s M&A initiatives. The former head of Barclays’ commercial and investment banking business in Africa takes up the reins as MTN’s VP of Strategy and M&A in October this year, according to a press release announcing a number of group management changes that was issued last week.
Van Coller spent the last 10 years of his career at Barclays, where, as CEO of the bank’s corporate and investment banking unit he oversaw more than R250 billion (approximately $17.2 billion) in assets spanning 13 African countries. Prior to joining Barclays, he had spent 10 years at Deutsche Bank as a Managing Director of Investment Banking, an executive committee member and foundation trustee for the German financial services giant in South Africa.
Van Coller’s appointment points to a renewed focus on M&A for MTN Group as it looks to broaden its revenue base in the enterprise and adjacent sectors. As its voice business comes under increasing pressure, the company is looking for new growth from the provision of e-commerce, financial services, media and entertainment products and services to its wireless customers. The company already has a number stakes in online consumer companies, including Africa Internet Group, the owner of several e-ventures including Jumia, the continent’s largest online retailer.