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Home Lifestyle Billionaires How South African Billionaire Maria Ramos Made Her Fortune from Gold Mining
Billionaires - August 2, 2022

How South African Billionaire Maria Ramos Made Her Fortune from Gold Mining

South African businesswoman and former banker, Maria Ramos became the chairperson of AngloGold Ashanti in 2020. She was appointed after Sipho Pityana quit.

In 2009, she held the CEO position in  Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (Absa) Group Limited. Before holding the position at Absa, she was the CEO of Transnet

Ramos worked for South Africa’s first post-apartheid administration from 1996 to 2003 as director general of the National Treasury. She juggles a fast-paced career with a high-profile personal life. 

She is married to Trevor Manuel, a politician from South Africa who was the finance minister for more than ten years.

Ramos is a skilled educator who has had teaching positions at several institutions. In 1986 she obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and a Bachelor of Commerce degree with honours in Economics also from Wits in 1987. In 1992, she got a Master of Science (Economics) from the University of London.

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Maria Ramos background 

Source: BusinessLive

She started working as a clerk at Barclay’s Bank. Ramos was informed that only men could apply for the bank’s university scholarship programme. 

Ramos was born in Lisbon, but she and her family moved to South Africa when she was six years old. She started working right out of college due to her family’s financial struggles.

She convinced the bank to grant her the scholarship and enrolled at Wits to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce in 1984. While a student and later as a lecturer, she became active in politics.

After the African National Congress (ANC) was unbanned in the country, Ramos assisted in establishing its economic strategy. In 1996, she was appointed director general of the Treasury, where she collaborated closely with Trevor Manuel, the country’s then-finance minister, whom she later married.

She started an ambitious restructure of the transportation parastatal when she was appointed CEO of Transnet in 2004. This helped make the organisation viable.

Ramos sits on the executive committee of the World Bank’s Chief Economist Advisory Panel and was selected Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year 2009 at the African Business Awards. 

From 2004 to 2007, Fortune magazine recognised her as one of the most powerful women in global business.

Marie Ramos in Absa 

When Ramos assumed control of Absa, which was formerly known as Barclays Africa, in 2009, it was a quite different bank. 

The Portuguese-South African economist expertly steered the business through its transition from a Barclays subsidiary to a stand-alone organisation with 11.8 million clients and a presence in 12 countries during her 11 years at the company.

Ramos is the only female CEO of a company among the top 40 on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Ramos in AngloGold 

Source: eNCA

AngloGold Ashanti Limited is a multinational gold mining firm. AngloGold and the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation merged to become it in 2004. It presently has 21 businesses spread over four continents and is a major producer of gold. 

The corporation is traded on the New York, Johannesburg, Accra, London, Australian, Paris, and Brussels stock exchanges.

Maria Ramos has also been a member of the boards of Standard Chartered PLC since January 1, 2021.

She has been a member of the Wits Foundation Board of Governors since March 2022 and the International Advisory Board of Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government.

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