News & Highlights

  • APRIL 2018
  • MBA EXPERIENCE

Making a Difference with the HBS/HKS Joint Degree Program

Class of 2018 graduate, Nanako Yano, had an interest in both public health and the development of private sectors in Africa. Her passion for these areas of study led her to pursue a joint degree at HBS and HKS. During her time at the School, Yano was involved in the Africa Business Club and spent her summers working with organizations in Rwanda and Ethiopia. As she leaves HBS, Yano is excited to see how the school has begun increasing its connection to Africa through the HBS Africa Research Office, the "Doing Business in Africa" elective course, and the short intensive program "Africa Rising."
  • APRIL 2018
  • ALUMNI NEWS

What I Learned From Visiting All 54 African Countries

Francis Tapon (MBA 1997) left his job in the corporate world to pursue his passion for travel and embarked on a five-year tour of Africa. During this trip, he visited all 54 countries in the continent. In his Skydeck interview, he reflects upon his travels and findings of what he calls the "unseen Africa."
  • JANUARY 2018
  • MBA EXPERIENCE

HBS Announces New Fellowship Opportunity (GO: Africa)

Beginning with the MBA Class of 2018, HBS will offer a Global Opportunity Fellowship (GO: Africa) to supplement the income of MBA graduates who go on to work in Africa following graduation. As the School contiunes to establish its global footprint in Africa, the fellowship is another way of building and enhancing ties with the continent.

New Research on the Region

  • October 2018
  • Case

African Bank Investments Limited (A)

By: Lynn S. Paine and Will Hurwitz

Less than a year after joining the board of African Bank Investments Limited (ABIL), the newest director finds himself in difficult discussions with other directors about removing the struggling company’s CEO. The case is set in South Africa in mid-2014 as shares in ABIL, which traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, are declining precipitously. The case describes ABIL’s origins and evolution, including the acquisition and growth of its wholly owned subsidiary African Bank, a provider of unsecured loans to help individuals pay for expenses such as vehicle repairs, home renovations, funeral costs, medical bills, and education. As ABIL’s profits rose and share price soared, it became the darling of analysts. However, when the South African economy turned sour, customers started defaulting on their loans, and ABIL and African Bank began to struggle. As ABIL’s stock price dropped, the management team faced difficult questions about the company’s lending practices, risk management processes, and plans to turn the business around. By 2014, the situation was grim, and pressure mounted from shareholders and market regulators for the board to take action. The case details the history of unsecured lending in South Africa, describes the regulatory, social, and legal contexts for the company and its business model, and explores the company’s unique corporate structure and executive and director dynamics.

  • October 2018
  • Teaching Material

African Bank Investments Limited (B)

By: Lynn S. Paine and Will Hurwitz

Less than a year after joining the board of African Bank Investments Limited (ABIL), the newest director finds himself in difficult discussions with other directors about removing the struggling company’s CEO. The case is set in South Africa in mid-2014 as shares in ABIL, which traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, are declining precipitously. The case describes ABIL’s origins and evolution, including the acquisition and growth of its wholly owned subsidiary African Bank, a provider of unsecured loans to help individuals pay for expenses such as vehicle repairs, home renovations, funeral costs, medical bills, and education. As ABIL’s profits rose and share price soared, it became the darling of analysts. However, when the South African economy turned sour, customers started defaulting on their loans, and ABIL and African Bank began to struggle. As ABIL’s stock price dropped, the management team faced difficult questions about the company’s lending practices, risk management processes, and plans to turn the business around. By 2014, the situation was grim, and pressure mounted from shareholders and market regulators for the board to take action. The case details the history of unsecured lending in South Africa, describes the regulatory, social, and legal contexts for the company and its business model, and explores the company’s unique corporate structure and executive and director dynamics.

See more research

Johannesburg Staff

Pippa Tubman Armerding
Director