Group Chief Executive of Ecobank, Ade Ayeyemi

Group Chief Executive of Ecobank, Ade Ayeyemi has given the firm assurance that the bank has turned the corner and is back to posting strong earnings. 

Mr. Ayeyemi has maintained that the Bank will continue to implement those measures that put the bank on the strong earnings path since 2020, together with the board and the staff of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.

“We can look at the first-quarter results for 2022 which demonstrate things are again going to be good this year”.

We are back to strong growth in profits - Ecobank Group CEO assures

Mr. Ade Ayeyemi was speaking to JoyBusiness’ George Wiafe in Abidjan Ivory Coast After Ecobank Transnational Incorporated held its Annual General Meeting in that country.

 The Group CEO of Ecobank noted that the results that we saw in 2021, can be described as work that started in 2019 to put the bank on a sustainable path.

ECOBANK’s Profits and Dividend Payment

ECOBANK ended last year posting some strong results in most of its areas of operations. Profit after Tax for instance when up by some 305 percent to hit 357.4 million dollars. 

We are back to strong growth in profits - Ecobank Group CEO assures

Deposits from customers also reached 19.7 billion Ghana cedis after going up by 8 percent.

Its Profits for the first quarter of 2022 also went up by 21 percent to reach 92.1 billion cedis. The Bank as a result of this performance recommended a dividend of 16 cents per share, this should represent about 40 million dollars payment made to shareholders.

Mr. Adeyemi added that the growth in earnings, cannot be linked to shortcuts, but to building on measures instituted over the past year.

The Group CEO also added that “Our investments in technology proved valuable as we transacted with our clients during the difficult periods of the lockdown and provided prompt support once they were ready for an economic restart”

The Group CEO added that the “overarching goal of our ‘Execution Momentum’ strategy is to deliver sustainable returns on tangible shareholders’ equity (ROTE) above the cost of the equity allocated to us by shareholders.”

For 2021, ROTE of 19 per cent was a record coming in above 14.5 per cent, which is our internal estimate of the cost of equity.

We are back to strong growth in profits - Ecobank Group CEO assures

He also noted that “this achievement is an outcome of our vision and the benefit of our diversified operating model when returns fall short in one region.”

Ecobank’s growth strategy and Expansion

Mr. Ayeyemi revealed that the growth strategy in the terms of market presence will still be focused on linking up with partners in areas where they do not have a physical presence, rather than establishing “physical” offices in those countries.

He added that our engagement with these partners in Southern Africa, and Northern Africa has indeed been fruitful.

Mr. Ayeyemi’s planned retirement from Ecobank Group 

Group CEO of Ecobank, Ade Ayeyemi is set to retire from the Bank by the end of 2022. But who will take over him and could there be a gap? But Mr. Ayeyemi tells JOYBUSINESS that should not be a problem at all, because the necessary structures are in place for a smooth transition. 

He added that “we want to make this transition as an example for everyone to see that an African Institution can do things that is methodical as well as planned”.

We are back to strong growth in profits - Ecobank Group CEO assures

“We want to build to an institution and we don’t want the performance of an organization to be linked to an individual, adding that “I am comfortable with the team that I am living behind.”

Mr. Ade Ayeyemi was in September 2015 appointed as the new Group CEO of ECOBANK Group taking over from Albert Essien was retired in June 2015 after 25 years of service with the Group. 

Mr. Ayeyemi is an experienced banker who, before joining Ecobank, had a successful career with Citigroup, where he was CEO of the Sub-Saharan Africa division, based in Johannesburg.

He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme. A Chartered Accountant, his many interests include business strategy, economics, process engineering and technology.