Ecobank’s Albert Essien is African Banker of the Year

Group CEO of Ecobank Albert Essien has been adjudged the African Banker of the Year at the 9th edition of the African Banker Awards.

He received the award during a prestigious Gala dinner in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on May 27, 2015.

The event, hosted by African Banker magazine, was attended by over 500 dignitaries, among them were a number of African Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors, along with the CEOs of some of Africa’s leading Banks and financial institutions,

Mr Essien inherited a bank in a precarious position last year, but has managed to steady the ship and bring in some important shareholders to strengthen Ecobank’s capital base.

Ivorian Tidjane Thiam, the first African CEO of a FTSE100 company and Nigerian Jim Ovia, Chairman of Zenith Bank win in the African Banker Icon and Lifetime Achievement categories, respectively.

Morocco’s Groupe Banque Populaire triumphs as this year’s African Bank of the Year.

In the African Bank of the Year category, Groupe Banque Populaire beat stiff competition from four shortlisted nominees to win the coveted title.

Groupe Banque Populaire is one of the most important financial services groups in Morocco. It has recently taken a major stake in West African group Banque Atlantique and helped to turn around its performance significantly.

The incoming CEO of Swiss Bank, Credit Suisse, Tidjane Thiam was honoured with this year’s African Banker Icon award.

Thiam is one of Africa’s global leaders, the first African head of the top 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, as well as a former Minister of Finance of his country Côte d’Ivoire.

Alongside him, the Lifetime Achievement award was presented to the outstanding leader and entrepreneur Jim Ovia, founder and chairman of Zenith Bank, Nigeria, which is one of the country’s best performing banks.

The ninth edition of the African Banker Awards, hosted by African Banker magazine were held at a prestigious Gala dinner in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on 27th May, with over 500 dignitaries in attendance.

Among them were a number of African Ministers of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, along with the CEOs of some of Africa’s leading Banks and financial institutions.

Abidjan was host to the African Development Bank annual meetings. It is a historic year for many reasons.

This is the first annual meeting since the Bank returned to its Headquarters, the year of the AfDB’s 50th anniversary and also the meeting that will see the election of a new Bank President, as Dr Donald Kaberuka finishes his second term.

This year’s ceremony was hosted by MasterCard International. Speaking at the event, MasterCard’s Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Daniel Monehin said: “We believe that the African Banker Awards understands precisely what excellence in banking means – one only has to consider the Award winners and nominees tonight. This is why we are proud to support these Awards, where we recognize and commemorate our banking colleagues who have, in the last year, provided us with outstanding examples of progress towards our shared goal of banking excellence.”

Here is the full list of winners:
African Bank of the Year
Groupe Banque Populaire
African Banker of the Year
Albert Essien, Group CEO Ecobank (ETI)
Lifetime Achievement Award
Jim Ovia
Chairman, Zenith Bank
Finance Minister of the Year
Hon. Claver Gatete
Central Bank Governor of the Year
Prof Njuguna Ndung’u
African Banker Icon
Tidjane Thiam
Former Finance Minister of Cote d’Ivoire and CEO of Prudential

Best Bank in North Africa
Attijariwafa Bank
Best Bank in West Africa
Best Bank in Central Africa
Groupe BGFI Bank
Best Bank in East Africa
Bank of Kigali
Best Bank in Southern Africa
Banco de Comercio e Investimentos
Best Retail Bank in Africa
Standard Bank
South Africa
Investment Bank of the Year
Rand Merchant Bank
South Africa
Award for Innovation in Banking
Millennium BIM
Socially Responsible Bank of the Year
Award for Financial Inclusion
Fondation Attawfik
Deal of the Year – Equity
Seplat IPO
(Standard Bank)
Deal of the Year – Debt
$850m Commercial and ECA Backed Financing Package for the Ethiopian Railways Corporation

(Credit Suisse)
Trade Finance Deal of the Year
$1.3bn Petroleum Export Limited Syndicated Pre-export Facility

Commercial International Bank (CIB), Egypt
Infrastructure Deal of the Year
Africa Finance Corporation, Nigeria
Best Islamic Finance Initiative
Senegal Sukuk
Citi and ICD

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