The moment that opened doors for RMB CEO Emrie Brown

Emrie Brown

After 21 years at Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), CEO Emrie Brown stepped into the banking giant’s top position in October 2022.

Speaking on the Money Show, hosted by Bruce Whitfield, Brown said she never had her eye on a corner office.

She comes from a modest background, as the youngest of four children with a father who worked on the railways.

“When I grew up, Mauritius was an island and not a holiday destination,” she said.

However, Brown stood out because she is “blessed with a fair amount of brain cells”.

She excelled at mathematics at school and graduated cum laude as a chartered accountant (CA) from Rand Afrikaans University in 1994.

The moment that propelled her forward was when she placed second nationally in the accounting board exams. “I believe that, coming from my background, that really opened the door for me,” she said.

She spent a year at an auditing firm after graduating and a year lecturing before entering the world of financial services in 1997 at Nedbank.

Four years later, Brown joined RMB, where she has stayed for the last 21 years. She had moved around quite a bit within RMB, which helped her to understand the company. 

RMB started South African business giants such as Discovery and OUTsurance.

She tries not to look too far into the future when thinking about career progression.

“Your career can be much more like a jungle gym than the traditional career ladder in your journey to achieve success,” she said.

She hopes that RMB can help solve South Africa’s problems.

“I love South Africa. I think it’s the most amazing country. As a financial institution, we are in a fortunate position that we can play a meaningful role in delivering economic growth in South Africa.”


Top JSE indices