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Abyssinia Bank Sacks President, Loses Depít Managers



Following the dismissal of Aselefech Mulugeta, former president of the Bank of Abyssinia, Tarekegn Assefa and Emawayish Adissu, Corporate Planning and Business Development and International Banking Department managers, respectively, resigned.

Sources from the bank have disclosed that the resignations of the two senior officials are related to the dismissal of Asselefech. Officials, however, refute this.

"Tarekegn's resignation had been submitted a month ago," the new Acting President of the bank told Fortune. "Emawayish's resignation, however, occurred after Aselefech was relieved from office."

Emawayish resigned because she was highly frustrated with the stiff management system of the bank, knowledgeable sources told Fortune.

"The management system lacks flexibility, a key element in managing banking business," the source disclosed. 

After assuming office, the new Board of Directors of the Bank of Abyssinia (BoA) sacked Aselefech in a surprise move on January 27, 2009.

Aselefech has been managing the Bank since October 9, 2007.

The board held an extraordinary meeting on January 26, 2009, at which the members unanimously decided to remove Aselefech from the helm of the bank, according to bank officials.

"Convinced of the need to change the management of the bank, the board has decided unanimously to relieve you from the post of the President, as of January 27, 2009," reads a letter signed by Minwuyelet Kassa, chairman of the Board, who replaced Philippos W. Mariam. The letter is addressed to Aselefech and is dated January 27, 2009.

On the same day, the chairman wrote another letter to Chanyalew Yilma, vice president for Administration and Finance, notifying him of his appointment as acting president of the bank.

"Until the Board passes an alternate decision, you have been assigned to the post of Acting President," states Chanyalew's appointment letter, a copy of which has duly been submitted to the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE).

Aselefech joined the Bank of Abyssinia nine years ago, and was in charge of the International Banking Department. Later on she was promoted to the vice-president level, responsible for Operation and Strategic Planning. Prior to that, she had been working for the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) ever since she graduated from the Addis Abeba University in Accounting.

The board was elected at the bank's general assembly meeting held on December 7, 2008, at Hilton Addis. However, the NBE approved it on January 13, 2009.

"Upon its official inauguration, the board planned to revise the structure of the bank and composition of the top management," Minwuyelet told Fortune. "The board assigned a new president to install a prudent management."

Chanyalew has about 25 years of experience in the banking industry. He worked at the CBE, where he started as a junior clerk and rose through the bank's ranks to become Assistant Vice President, a post he held when he left the bank on February 10, 2006.

Chanyalew earned his master's in Corporate Management and Finance from the University of Sorbonne, Paris, in 2001.

He, joined BoA as vice president for Finance and Administration on February 10, 2006. Since then, he has been immersed in building capacity and developing a new system in the bank.

"BoA has now developed a better system of operation," the Acting President told Fortune, with joy and sense of accomplishment evident on his face.

He is also working as the Chief Strategist to improve the corporate governance, corporate work culture and capacity of the bank. He hopes that the success of the work in these areas will make BoA the bank of the future, and allow him to leave a legacy.

Established in 1998 by 1,301 shareholders, the Bank of Abyssinia has as of June 2008 an authorized capital of 630 million Br and a paid up capital of 407.59 million Br. Its assets have over the years increased to 4.53 billion Br, while its advances and deposits were 2.82 billion Br and 3.48 billion Br, respectively. Last year, the Bank however was forced to keep 142.7 million Br for provisions, the consequence of which was a 16.6 million Br profit. This was in sharp contrast to other much younger banks, which reaped five times or more profit.





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