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Sonja van Vliet
Head of Customer Centre of Excellence
Absa Bank


As a seasoned Banking Sector Specialist, Sonja van Vliet has an impressive 25 years’ worth of experience. Sonja is a specialist in building all aspects of customer facing businesses that includes the implementation and prioritisation of a holistic, group wide customer strategy. As a behavioural economist she lives, eats and sleeps Consumer and Customer Insights and trends. Sonja holds a Global Executive MBA from TRIUM (Associate for London School of Economics, HEC in Paris and New York University, Howard Stern Business School), a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Economics and Business Economics, and a Postgraduate Program in Strategic Business Management. Over the years, Sonja has collected numerous awards and has been acknowledged for achieving impressive milestones which has further entrenched her as a leading specialist in her profession. She was awarded the Absa Chairman scholarship for studying towards her MBA; she has won the Absa Group Prestige award for Innovation. Sonja is no doubt a globe trotter and loves to experience foreign lifestyle and cuisine. She is very passionate about giving back to communities through lecturing at local Business schools, providing education opportunities for the underprivileged. She assists with projects that educate disadvantaged individuals on financial health and wellness so they are better equipped to make sound financial decisions. In her free time, Sonja loves being outdoors, enjoy watching art movies and surfing the latest social media apps. One of her favourites quotes by the famous Albert Einstein “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new” has always inspired and motivated her passionate approach of auctioning her inquisitive nature.