Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ecobank, Nedbank Alliance, building a Pan-African brand

Written by vanguard, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Mr. Arnold Ekpe has said that the bank’s alliance with Nedbank of South Africa is designed to build a true pan African brand.

Mr Ekpe who was speaking in at the Ecobank Headquarter in Lome, Togo reiterated that Africans no matter where they might be will benefit from an enhanced accessibility to banking services across the combined footprint of the two institutions through a “one bank” experience.

In his words: “We are excited about this strategic alliance which is designed to build a true pan-African champion. It represents a win-win solution for both institutions, their shareholders and particularly their customers.

Speaking further Mr. Ekpe maintained that the alliance represents not only a commitment to Africa , but also a commitment to providing world class service across the countries in which they operate. He said, “The collaboration with Nedbank will allow Ecobank to extend its operations more effectively from middle Africa to the southern African market in a very capital-efficient manner. It also offers a good platform for Nedbank to grow its business in other parts of the African continent.

In his reaction, Tom Boardman, Chief Executive Officer of Nedbank Group, said, “We are committed to becoming southern Africa’s most highly rated and respected bank and this alliance allows us to focus on this vision, while providing our clients access to the largest geographic banking footprint in Africa. In Ecobank we have a partner who shares similar values and who has extensive local knowledge of doing business across Africa. Ecobank has demonstrated an ability to expand and grow in new markets. The alliance will help us grow our business in the rest of Africa and together we will explore new investment opportunities.

Ecobank currently operates across 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, while Nedbank is one of South Africa's leading banks. No other banking group can currently match this alliance. Through the Alliance both groups will be positioned to deliver country specific tailored banking solutions across the African continent in the most convenient and simplified way to corporate and individual clients spanning day to day transactional banking, financing and investment banking advisory services.

In addition to enhancing accessibility to banking services across the combined footprint through a ‘one bank’ experience and exploring joint investment opportunities, other anticipated benefits from this relationship include; the leveraging of existing client and business relationships; utilising of each banks expertise on sector specific advisory skills such as Nedbank”s expertise in the minerals resources, energy and infrastructure sectors; Retaining and attracting skilled resources; and Utilising state of the art technology, electronic banking and the use of existing innovative products and solutions in the field of cash handling for the benefit of clients.

Both banking groups adopt decentralised business models where they base responsibility and decision making close to the clients in the individual businesses, which operate under a standard set of policies, processes and procedures.

This relationship will be governed by an alliance committee comprised of senior executives of both banks, structured to include specialised sub-committees for execution of the alliance initiatives. A ‘one bank’ experience across the largest geographic banking footprint makes this unique alliance a natural choice for seamless banking across the African continent.