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Ecobank’s Management Style Unstable- Industry Watchers



Foreign Investors

Barely a week after the resignation of Charles Kie, Managing Director Ecobank Nigeria; Industry Watchers have tagged the management style of the financial institution as unpredictable and unstable.

This comes following the resignation of Kie last week. Kie resigned barely three years into his five year term. His resignation was confirmed by the bank in a letter of notification sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Kie, an Ivorian national was appointed following the expiration of the tenure of Nigerian Managing Director, Jibril Aku. Aku’s tenure as Managing Director came to an end on Dec. 31 2015.

Following the Ivorian’s appointment, many who had hoped for a Nigerian Managing Director felt disappointed. This formed bad blood within the top hierarchy of the financial institution, an Ecobank source informed us.

Backbiting soon became the order f the day, as Nigerian directors in the bank were unhappy with the fact that an Ivorian was running their ship especially when they had capable hands.

Having been appointed, there was nothing that could be done, the bank’s top echelon got used to Kie and hoped for the day the seasoned banker who joined the financial institution in October 2011 would be done with his tenure.

Soon, the relationship between the bank MD and other top directors went from bad to worse. This position was revealed by a bank insider who spoke with

According to him, “the resignation was long due. Kie had good plans for the bank, but they didn’t let him do his job. It was like they had to pull the plug on him. He was the one that introduced the idea of cutting cost by promoting more digital platforms, but his other plans were not allowed to produce result,” the source said.

With his ouster, Industry Watchers are now saying nothing is predictable at the bank, as anyone who assumes office as the new Managing Director would have to sit on the edge of his chair knowing he could be removed from office or sacked at random by those who don’t like his face.

A seasoned banker, he was the banks group executive responsible for leading the corporate and investment banking business across 40 countries, 36 of which were in Africa.

Charles Kie represents ETI on the Board of Directors of EBI.SA, the Ecobank subsidiary in France as well as Ecobank Development Corporation (EDC), the investment banking arm of the Ecobank Group.

Dark-complexioned and conservative Kie joined Ecobank in October 2011 as Chief Operating Officer of the then Ecobank Capital and was subsequently appointed the Head of the Group’s Corporate Banking business.

Between 2008 and 2011, he was Group CEO of Groupe Banque Atlantique, based in Togo and Cote d’Ivoire. “Groupe Banque Atlantique (now majority owned by Banque Centrale Populaire of Morocco) had operations in eight countries in West Africa and one in Central Africa as well as a representative Office in Paris (France).

He also had a successful career with Citibank between 1997 and 2008, rising to the position of CEO of Citigroup West Africa between 2004 and 2008.

A graduate of Ecole Superieure de Commerce d’Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), has an MBA from the London School of Economics and an MSc from the University Of Clermont Ferrand France.

Ecobank Nigeria has since appointed Patrick Akinwuntan as managing director designate. Commenting on the appointment, John Aboh, chairman, Ecobank Nigeria, said the new MD will get full support from the board.

“We warmly welcome Patrick back to Ecobank Nigeria and look forward to providing him with full support from the board,” he said.

A core Ecobank banker, Akinwuntan, started his career with Ecobank in 1996 as the head of the commercial bank and regional head in Ecobank Nigeria and held various senior and executive positions in Nigeria and within the Ecobank Group. Prior to his appointment, he was the Group Executive Director (GED), consumer banking, across Ecobank’s network in 40 countries.



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