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Business News of Thursday, 13 March 2014


Bankers hail appointment of Albert Essien as ETI CEO

Banking Consultant and Principal Consultant at Osei Tutu II Centre for Executive Education & Research, Nana Otua Acheampong has described the appointment of Albert Essien as the new group CEO of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) as a good choice.

He said: “This is a good choice am confident he will be one of the best for the bank.”

Albert Essien was nominated for that role by the bank’s board on Tuesday. He assumed his new role as group CEO of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated today.

He replaced Thierry Tanoh whose departure from the bank was announced on Tuesday.

Prior to this development, South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation, the bank’s biggest shareholder had called for the immediate resignation of Tanoh.

The resignation call followed allegations that Tanoh used “strange tactics” to stop Ecobank’s board meeting on February 25 and continued to use the bank’s platform to pursue his political and personal interests.

Four other directors of the bank including Albert Essien had also called for his resignation following serious indictments on the bank by the Nigeria Security and Exchange Commission.

Essien’s appointment brings to an end the board room wrangling at least for now in the bank over issues of corporate governance among others in the bank.

With operations in 35 countries across Africa and one of the leading pan-African banks on the continent Albert Essien’s latest appointment makes him one of the most powerful bankers in Africa.

He also becomes the second Ghanaian to assume this role.

Albert Essien has been at Ecobank for more than twenty years rising to the position of Deputy Group CEO two years ago.

Prior to becoming Deputy CEO Mr Essien was the Regional Head for the Anglophone West Africa (excluding Nigeria) and Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) regions.

He started his banking career in 1986 with the National Investment Bank in Accra, Ghana and joined the Corporate Banking Department of Ecobank Ghana in 1990. In 1997, he became Country Risk Manager.

He was appointed Deputy Managing Director in 2001 and became Managing Director in December 2002.

Albert Essien has a degree in Economics from the University of Ghana and is an alumnus of the Executive Development Program of INSEAD (France / Singapore).

He is also an honorary fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana.

Commenting after his appointment Albert Essien said he was committed to achieving the bank’s vision of building a world class pan-African bank which contributes to the economic development and financial integration of Africa and to the bank’s mission of providing its retail and wholesale customers with convenient, accessible and reliable financial products and services.

According to him though the bank has faced challenges at the governance level in the recent past, but they are not insurmountable.

But with these challenges facing the bank will Albert Essien be able to steer the bank in the right direction.

Banking consultant Nana Otua Acheampong expressed the believe that “he has been there before although at a national level, now he is going international. He is a type of person who relishes challenges because the challenge they gave him to set up affiliates in Southern Africa and Eastern Africa were done creditably so am pretty sure he will be able to weather the storm.”

Meanwhile, the Board of Directors of ETI has also announced that in line with a directive from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria, Mrs. Laurence do Rego has also been reinstated as Group Executive Director of Finance and Risk with immediate effect.