Albert Essien has been appointed the new Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, ETI.
Essien, currently Deputy CEO/ Group Executive Director for Corporate and Investment Bank of the bank replaces Thierry Tanoh, the troubled former CEO who has been under pressure to quit his job over poor corporate governance allegations.
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, he 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 and 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.
ETI Interim Chairman, André Siaka, who announced the new appointment on Tuesday thanked Tanoh, who is not being given any directorship position and wished him every success in the future.
“We believe that Mr Albert Essien has the experience and knowledge that Ecobank needs to take us forward as we continue to implement our strategy which is to deliver outstanding customer service, to improve long-term shareholder value and returns and to be the employer of choice in our markets,” Siaka said.
In his acceptance speech, Essien said he has been working for Ecobank for more than 20 years and “I am proud of what we have achieved so far.
“I am committed to achieving our vision of building a world class pan-African bank which contributes to the economic development and financial integration of Africa and to our mission of providing our retail and wholesale customers with convenient, accessible and reliable financial products and services. We have faced challenges at the governance level in the recent past, but they are not insurmountable.
“We have put in place a detailed governance action plan which will strengthen us to meet these challenges. We have put in place measures to improve our controls and systems as required, further to completion of all internal and external reviews,” he said.
The Board of Directors of ETI also announced that, in line with a directive the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria, Laurence do Rego has been reinstated as Group Executive Director of Finance and Risk with immediate effect.
The Board reaffirmed its commitment to implement the detailed 51 point Governance Action Plan adopted by shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting held at Ecobank’s Pan African Centre in Lomé on 3 March 2014.
The plan, which is expected to be implemented by the end of April 2014, aims to strengthen governance within the Ecobank Group.