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Ghanaian Albert Essien appointed Deputy Ecobank Group CEO, Arnold Ekpe to step down

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Albert Essien of Ecobank Group

Ghanaian Albert Essien has been appointed Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank, the bank has announced December 23, 2011.

Mr Essien is the current Executive Director responsible for Corporate Banking at Ecobank Group.

His new role takes effect from January 1, 2012, said the bank with over 1,100 branches and offices across 32 African countries.

The bank also appointed Evelyne Tall as a co-Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer.

“I am also pleased to announce that Albert Essien, 56, currently the Group Executive Director responsible for the Corporate Bank, and Evelyne Tall, 53, the Group Chief Operating Officer, have been appointed Deputy Group Chief Executive Officers with effect from January 1, 2012,” said Chairman of the Togo-based lender, Mr Kolapo Lawson in a statement.

Mr Essien is credited for playing a pivotal role in building Ecobank in Ghana. He also played a leading role in opening the bank’s operations in eastern and southern Africa.

The bank also announced that the current Group Chief Executive Arnold Ekpe, 58, “will step down at the end of 2012.”

Mr. Ekpe will be leaving after seven and a half years with the group – his second period of running the Ecobank Group, which he previously led between1996 and 2001, said Ecobank.

Ekpe’s successor will be the current International Finance Corporation (IFC) Vice President in charge of Africa, Latin America and Western Europe – Mr Thierry Tanoh.

Mr Tanoh, 49, is an Ivorian national.

In a related development, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has defended its approval of the sale of The Trust Bank (TTB) to Ecobank.

Mr Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, governor of the BoG told journalists during its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) press conference in Accra December 21, 2011 that the sale of TTB will rather boost the SME sector contrary to views that the sector will be affected as a result of the sale.

Mr Amissah-Arthur said all shareholders of TTB were in favour of the transaction.

He indicated that the BoG was not in a “hurried form” when it okayed the deal.

The deal was worth $135 million.

By Ekow Quandzie

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