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UCT GSB is first African business school to win prestigious global award

An exceptional learning and development programme run by the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) and Standard Bank has won a Gold award in the Professional Development category in the prestigious EFMD Excellence in Practice (EiP) Awards. UCT GSB is the first African business school to win this award.
The Masterclass in Strategic Client Management Programme (MSCMP), a customised executive education learning intervention co-designed by the GSB in partnership with Standard Bank, has been running since 2014 and has graduated nearly 400 delegates from 17 African and 6 international countries.

EFMD Global, an accreditation body for business schools with more than 900 members across 91 countries, plays a central role in shaping the global approach to management education and provides a unique forum for information, research and debate on innovation and best practice. The EiP Award seeks to build a bridge between business education institutions and corporations.

Kenny Fihla, Chief Executive, Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank Group says, “The MSCM programme represents our Corporate Investment Banking wide focus on delivering exceptional client experiences in all markets in which we operate and it’s wonderful to be acknowledged by the EFMD for excellence in delivering an impactful learning experience for our people in partnership with UCT GSB.”

Director of Executive Education at the UCT GSB, Kumeshnee West, notes that the win is a joint achievement. “The award acknowledges the importance of collaboration between the corporate and the learning provider to develop and deliver high-impact and sustainable results. It also celebrates excellence in the design, delivery and evaluation of the MSCM programme.”

She adds, “As a business school focused on delivering sustainable impact in African business and society, this award is an affirmation of what we can achieve with our clients and shows that we can deliver on par with other global institutions.”

Winners in the Excellence in Practice awards are chosen by an international judging panel based on the real and measurable impact that a learning and development initiative has had on the people and the organisation.

Kim van der Merwe, Senior Learning Partner for CIB at Standard Bank who was involved with the programme since inception says that what has made it so successful is the continued refreshing of content to keep it relevant and valuable across the business. “We also undertook a return on investment study with data and quantifiable information on the programme to get a tangible sense of what was being achieved in terms of learning, and impact, but an added benefit of the programme has been the networking opportunities within the business. This has strengthened our internal relationships, as well as our relationships with our clients.”

Lenie de Waal, Senior Learning Partner for CIB at Standard Bank, adds that the MSCMP is a testament to the true partnership between all stakeholders who continuously worked on the programme to ensure it delivered business impact and value for the individual delegate, the team, the bank and ultimately the external client. “The programme’s innovative design builds client-centricity skills that balance risk and reward and help deliver solutions to our clients that ensure we live our strategic purpose - that Africa is our home and we drive her growth.”

According to Anre Klopper-Stroh, Head of Human Capital, CIB at Standard Bank, it is important to the bank to provide learning experiences for its people which are relevant and impactful for its business, to ensure that its teams are confident and empowered to deliver meaningful and exceptional client experiences. “The programme, and this award, is an example of our intention being materialised,” she says.

The success of the MSCM programme is grounded in the fact that it was leader-led from the start, says Rayner Canning, Director of Business Development at the GSB. “Standard Bank’s top Corporate and Investment executives attended the first programme and helped shaped its content, structure and delivery. The Executive’s active participation on assessment panels and redesign processes kept the programme firmly on an upward trajectory within the bank and maintained the very high standards.”

But ultimately, he says it was the strong and responsive partnership between the GSB and Standard Bank’s Learning and Development team has ensured the programme continues to deliver on its mandate. He says that the UCT GSB strives to provide all of its clients with dedicated support and real partnership to develop and deliver learning interventions that advance their business.

“The trust developed between our two organisations has contributed directly to its strong impact and outcomes,” he concludes.

UCT Graduate School of Business' press office

UCT Graduate School of Business
The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (GSB) is recognised as one of the best business schools in the world. Its innovative approaches to teaching and learning and commitment to relevance and social impact set it apart from most.
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