CEO, Investec Bank
- MPhil Management Studies (Trinity Hall 1996)
Ruth Leas is Chief Executive Officer of Investec Bank, the main banking subsidiary of Investec, a FTSE 250 listed company which houses the Investec Group’s non-Southern African operations (including the UK, US, Channel Islands, India and Ireland).
Ruth has led the Bank through a critical period of transformation, simplifying the business, exiting certain geographies and activities; reorganising the business around its clients, enhancing collaboration and focusing on growth opportunities.
Throughout her 24-year career with Investec since 1998, Ruth has occupied roles in the UK (for the last 20 years) and South Africa that have helped fuel the development of the business. After building a strong foundation in banking, including derivative structuring and sales, Ruth moved to London in 2002 and was appointed Co-Head US Principal Finance in 2004, focusing on credit derivatives and structured credit. After 10 years in client-facing roles, Ruth gained invaluable experience in various areas including Credit, Head of Investor Relations in the UK and Head of Risk Management, giving her a holistic view of the company, as well as deep knowledge and experience across multiple areas of banking. Through these roles, Ruth also had exposure to key stakeholders such as shareholders and investors, rating agencies and regulators.
In July 2016 she was appointed as an Executive Director to the Board of Investec Bank plc, she was appointed as Chief Risk Officer in June 2017 and then appointed as Chief Executive Officer in November 2019.
As one of only nine female CEOs in the FTSE 250 index, Ruth is focused on driving belonging, diversity and inclusion at Investec and in the financial services industry.
“Diversity is critical to increasing our ability to innovate, adapt, and perform in this fast-paced world. We believe that more diversity in our business will give rise to a more inclusive environment where everyone can thrive,” says Ruth.
Ruth is passionate about education and mentoring young people from all backgrounds and is involved with NGOs, including The Women’s Association (CEO Executive Challenge), Arrival Education and Morpeth School that support students gaining skills, confidence, and insights into a career in finance.
Ruth holds an MPhil Degree from Cambridge University, as well as a degree in economics from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. At the end of her Honours year, Ruth was awarded the Gold Medal of the Economics Society of South Africa for the best Economics Honours Thesis in South Africa.
Ruth sits on the UK Finance Board and the Cambridge Judge Business School Advisory Board.
Ruth is married with three children.