Posted: Saturday 3rd May 2014 at 16:06 pm

New Ecobank Group CEO seeks to make bank biggest in Africa, restore confidence


The new group Chief Executive of Ecobank, Albert Essien, says his main focus would be to grow the bank to become the biggest in Africa and address corporate governance issues that hit the bank earlier this year.

Mr. Essien was in March this year appointed as Chief Executive of the bank following the exit of Mr Thierry Tandoh.

Some analysts say that Mr. Tanoh’s exit follows alleged corporate governance flaws at the bank.

It is however unclear whether, Mr. Tanoh resigned willingly or was forced out by the board, following requests by other executive directors of the pan African bank.

Speaking to Joy Business in his first media interview in Accra, Mr. Essein said he also wants to restore investor confidence in the institution after fall outs between top executives of the bank.

“Essien is bringing confidence and trust, Essien is bring stability to the institution and also making sure that we [Ecobank Group] work as one united team”, he reiterated.

According to him, most companies have gone through the kind of corporate governance challenges the bank encountered early this year, but while some never survived, Ecobank has survived. “The past is behind us”, he added.

Prior to becoming the Group Chief Executive of the bank, Mr. Essien was the Regional Head for the Anglophone West Africa (excluding Nigeria) and Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) regions of Ecobank.

Mr. Essien’s appointment makes him the second Ghanaian Group  Chief  of  Executive  ECOBANK, after Dr. Jean Aka Nelson.

Earlier this year Ecobank earned media spotlight after its  Director in Charge of Risk and Finance, Laurence do Rego, accused Kolapo Lawson, the Chairman of the Bank, and Thierry Tanoh, then Chief Executive, of attempting to sell off non-core assets at “well below the market value”.

She also alleged that she was asked to write off debts owed by a real estate company which Mr Lawson was its Board Chairman and to manipulate the bank’s 2012 financial results.

Despite public denials of do Rego’s allegations, the Nigeria Securities Exchange Commission began an investigation into the matter.

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