Albert Essien To Head Amalgamated Trust

Renowned banker Albert Kobina Essien has been assigned to chair the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT).

He will be leading other members of the board: Susan Ohene, Sampson Akligoh and Abenaa Kessewaa Brown to start the process of raising funds to assist some of the local banks to meet the new capital requirement.   

The beneficiaries of the GAT programme are Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), National Investment Bank (NIB), OmniBank Ghana Limited / Bank Sahel Sahara Ghana (OmniBank / BSIC), Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) and Prudential Bank.

"GAT has committed funds from pension funds and other investors, through a bond programme, with proceeds of up to GHS2.0 billion to be used for equity investment in the eligible indigenous banks, as determined by the investors. The bonds issued to the Pension Funds will be listed on the Ghana Fixed Income Market (GFIM) for liquidity purposes" a statement from the Finance Ministry indicated some few days ago.

Background of Albert Essien

Mr Essien is a seasoned banker with about 30 years of experience in banking. He served as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) from March 12, 2014 to June 30, 2015 during which he led major business transformation programmes.

He served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated from January 1, 2012 to March 12, 2014.

He started his career in 1986 at the National Investment Bank (NIB) before joining Ecobank Ghana in 1990. At Ecobank, Mr Essien served in various roles including Corporate Banking and Risk Management before becoming Deputy Managing Director in 2001 and Managing Director from 2002.

Mr Essien is an honorary fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana, and holds a B.A. (Honors) in Economics from the University of Ghana.

He is an alumnus of the Executive Development Programme of the prestigious INSEAD (France/Singapore) and a World Fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Mr Essien serves as an Independent Non-Executive Director at Old Mutual Ltd., South Africa.

Mr Otoo, on his part, has about 15 years of experience in investment banking, consulting and private equity, having worked with Goldman Sachs, Mckinsey and Duet, among others. 

His experience in Finance was honed at Goldman Sachs & Co.’s New York City office from 2007, where his responsibilities included coordinating and managing origination, valuation, acquisition and due diligence for investment transactions.

In 2006 and later between 2010 and 2013, he worked as a strategy consultant at McKinsey’s New York City office, where he worked with senior executives and boards across different industries on various strategic, finance and operational issues.

His work involved transformation programmes at some of the major US banks and the broader financial services sector.

He was recently a Director at Duet Private Equity where he managed companies in the firm’s investment portfolio with additional duties including finding new investment opportunities.

He worked closely with senior management of the portfolio companies to develop and implement strategies and improve business performance.

Mr Otoo received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School with second year honors as a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar. He also has certifications as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and a Certified Financial Manager (CFM).  Mr. Otoo attended Grinnell College in the US, for his undergraduate studies where he received majors in Economics and Computer Science with Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Building on the track record of the five indigenous banks, Messrs. Essien and Otoo will work with the Board and build a team to lead the transformation process at the selected banks.