The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Essien’s Ecobank charm offensive

Albert Essien has brought much-needed calm to a bank that, just a few months ago, was in crisis. Ecobank’s African network remains intact. It now has two powerful, strategic shareholders. But can the bank avoid repeating the mistakes of the past?

Albert Essien

Money doesn’t like noise.”

Albert Essien, chief executive of Africa’s Ecobank for a little more than six months now, speaks these words with a resigned smile. He knows all too well the truth of the statement he has just repeated.

Ecobank was the boardroom battle that played out in the media. It resulted in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria, the removal of a chairman and the dismissal of the CEO. The bank was in turmoil.

When you start washing your dirty linen in public, anything can come out,” says Essien. “If for some reason you start bringing issues from the house onto the street, you may not be the worst couple, but you start to appear that way. Problems like this should be resolved at home.”

He goes on: “Everything that happens in the boardroom should stay in that room. But it didn’t. After every board meeting something was leaked, something went out. Ask yourself who was this mole and why would people do that?”

There was speculation that the bank would struggle to recover from the infighting and hostility that had come to characterize the board.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree