Ecobank Group, the Pan-African lender has appointed Ehouman Kassi, an accomplished banker, as the new Managing Director for its Kenyan subsidiary, Ecobank Kenya.
Mr Kassi, who now takes the reins from the outgoing Managing Director Anthony Okpanachi, has worked for Ecobank for almost two decades and has previously held a similar position in Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal. Mr Okpanachi moves to the bank’s Nigeria affiliate, the largest in terms of number of branches and revenue contribution to the Group.
Kassi started off his stint at the Bank as Credit Analyst and Relationship Manager at Ecobank Cote d’Ivoire, before rapidly rising through the ranks to become Deputy Head of the Corporate Banking Department, Cote d’Ivoire and later in Ghana as the Regional Investment Manager in charge of developing structured and corporate finance business in francophone countries in West and Central Africa.
He has since served Ecobank in several capacities including Managing Director, Ecobank Investment Corporation–Côte d’Ivoire and Director & Regional Manager, Ecobank Development Corporation in charge of business development in francophone Africa between 2003 and 2005. From 2006 to 2010 he was the Managing Director of Ecobank Senegal where in 4 years, Ecobank Senegal tripled its total Assets, branch network grew five times, number of clients 10 times, net profit tripled effectively positioning the Bank from the 9th position to the 3rd and 1st respectively in terms of total assets and return on equity in the market.
Before joining Ecobank Kenya, Mr Kassi was the Group Head, Investment Banking & Managing Director Ecobank Development Corporation. He holds a Masters in Finance from the University of Abidjan and University of Paris Val-de-Marne and has undergone an Executive Management Programme at INSEAD Singapore; INSEAD is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious graduate business schools.
The banker joins Ecobank at a time the parent company, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, has injected an additional capital of KSh2.1 billion (USD 25 million) after the Group posted its strongest financial performance in its 25 years of operation.
In his double role as head of the bank’s East African cluster, he will be seeking to bolster its corporate and trade finance as well as its retail businesses in the region by riding the rising curve of intra-regional trade and the growing middle income consumer. The Group has largely followed a bottom-up strategy to build its retail operations which has led it to build a vast network across Africa.
The steady capital flow from the Group has powered the Kenyan subsidiary’s continued expansion of footprint pushing the branch network to the current 25 branches.
Last year, Ecobank opened a new branch in Karen and added one more in Nyali at the start of this year. In its last five years of operating in the Kenyan market, the bank has rolled out several savings products and offered its customers a wide menu of products to choose from.
Ecobank has upgraded its retail internet banking, launched a versatile corporate Internet banking platform and recently launched a mobile banking platform ,all aimed at leveraging on technology to grow its business.
The Group has over 18,000 employees drawn from 36 different countries in over 1,200 branches. Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transactional banking services to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, local companies, SMEs and individuals.