By Dipo Olowookere
The growth strategy launched in 2016 by Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, the parent of the Ecobank Group, is already in its final stage.
Chairman of Ecobank, Mr Emmanuel Ikazoboh, while speaking on Monday at the 32nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the firm in Lagos, said the strategy, Roadmap to Leadership, has achieved most of the goals set out at the beginning.
Business Post reports that four years ago, Ecobank set a target to build a stronger and profitable financial institution in five years.
The lender put up ways to clarify portfolios across countries and businesses, maximize the value of portfolios, defend leadership positions in West Africa.
Also, the financial institution, in the roadmap, aimed to increase market share and improve profitability and return metrics in Nigeria by simplifying its operating model, leading to re-defining business segments and geographical regions.
At the meetings of the leading pan-African bank with banking operations in 33 countries, Mr Ikazoboh, who is retiring from the position, expressed confidence on the ability of his successor, Mr Alain Nkontchou, to sustain the progress recorded so far.
“We are in the final lap of our five-year Roadmap to Leadership, having laid and achieved much-improved business and operational foundations, leadership in digital products with scalability, strong corporate governance and continued expense discipline.
“We continue to focus on making substantial strides towards ensuring a return on equity above the cost of capital across the group despite the challenging economic conditions especially with the COVID-19, whilst also maintaining our commitment to driving economic development and financial integration across Africa.
“This was my last AGM, as I have now completed my tenure as director and Chairman. As I retire, it has been a privilege for me to have served this great institution and I am particularly proud of what we have achieved.
“I am further assured and confident that my able successor as Chairman, Mr Alain Nkontchou, will continue to lead the board in our journey to leadership.
“The world has its eyes on Africa, and we are positioning our Bank in a way that continues to ensure its commitment to, and development of the continent. I will remain a strong ambassador of this great institution and its ideals,” he said.
The CEO of Ecobank Group, Mr Ade Ayeyemi, while also speaking the gatherings, paid tribute to Mr Ikazoboh, who he said served the group diligently during his tenure and congratulated the incoming Chairman.
He said the firm recorded substantial progress last year on multiple fronts as “we broadened our innovative product range with our upgraded core banking application platform, increased customer numbers, established new partnerships and initiated programmes to transform customer experience and embed the desired conduct, culture and ethics throughout the organisation.”
“Each of our three business lines improved their profitability and positioned Ecobank for sustainable long-term success.
“Post-year end, the effectiveness of our digital ecosystem came into sharp focus amid the current global challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling us to provide seamless continuity of service to our customers.
“The virus is having devastating effects and is causing severe disruption to families, businesses and economies across our sub-Saharan footprint and we continue to provide our unwavering support in these unprecedented and extremely challenging circumstances,” he said further.
At the AGM, shareholders expressed delight at the company’s progress in 2019 and approved all the resolutions, including the election of two new directors – Professor Enase Okonedo and Mr Simon Dornoo. Professor Enase Okonedo will replace Ms Arunma Oteh who has resigned from the board.
They also ratified the co-option of Mr Deepak Malik, a nominee of Arise B.V, Ms Zanele Monnakgotla, a nominee of Public Investment Corporation and Dr George Agyekum Donkor, the representative of Ecowas Bank for Investment and Development as directors,
The mandates of the firms – Deloitte & Touche, Nigeria, and Grant Thornton, Côte d’Ivoire as Joint Auditors were renewed.
The AGM was followed by an EGM at which shareholders voted for the cancellation of the resolution on the consolidation of shares earlier approved on June 17, 2016.
Shareholders also voted for the amendment of Articles of ETI including a provision for the option of electronic general meetings going forward.
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