Maria Ramos is presently the CEO of Barclays Africa Group Limited, formerly Absa Group, which is the subsidiary of Barclays Bank in South Africa. It is a chief financial services provider in the country, offering credit cards, business and personal banking, investment and corporate banking, investment and wealth management services and more. Formerly, she has also been the Group Chief Executive for Transnet Limited, and the Director-General for National Treasury. She is also a board member of a number of boards, including World Bank Chief Economist Advisory Panel. Fortune Magazine has rated Maria as one of the top ten most influential businesswomen in the world.
Born in Lisbon in 1959, Maria was raised in Mozambique where her family moved in 1960s. She was one of the four daughters of her parents, who were immigrants from Portugal. Their father was a brick layer, and they had to walk 3 kms everyday for school. Later, she joined the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and gained a degree in Economics. She also got her Master’s degree in Economics from University of London. She has also received honorary doctorates from University of the Free State and the Stellenbosch University.