Ecobank Côte d’Ivoire is in turmoil over its Asset management subsidiary. Directed until recently by Mike Coffi, Ecobank Asset Management is said to have suffered billions of CFA francs of losses on nearly 60 billion CFA francs (90 million euros) of investments that do not comply with the rules governing the management of mutual funds. (FCP) ..
The case was decided by the market gendarme, the CREPMF, which was severe in the sanction. Thus, Mike Coffi is banned from exercising for ten years while the PCA, who is none other than Paul Harry Aithnard, Managing Director of Ecobank Côte d’Ivoire, was forced to return the apron as PCA, after a socially tumultuous year 2020.
If a priori his function as CEO of Ecobank Côte d’Ivoire with the status of boss of UEMOA subsidiaries of ETI does not fall within the scope of the sanction pronounced by the CREPMF, nothing indicates that the Banking Commission of the UEMOA will abound in the same direction. Crazy rumors quickly denied evoke a possible assignment of Paul-Harry Aithnard in Paris to replace Ibrahima Diouf, debauched by BOAD. At Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) headquarters, the case is being followed closely by CEO Ade Ayeyemi, who has always viewed Paul Harry Aithnard as a potential rival. The two men had applied for the post of CEO of ETI at the expense of the Togolese disqualified because of his modest experience in banking.
If for the moment, the criminal aspect of the file of the management of the asset management subsidiary cannot be ruled out, the fact remains that this case which shakes the financial sector of the UEMOA will have the merit of posing on the table the issue of supervision and regulation of the financial sector and the responsibility of the Board of Directors in the governance of companies and financial institutions in particular.
In a context of the Covid crisis where banks risk seeing their results degraded due to the failure of many companies, will the regulator and the banking commission be stricter in the supervision of the functioning of the Boards of Directors?
At the start of 2020, Ecobank Asset Management was managing FCFA 180 billion through a range of equity and bond mutual funds with nearly 27% of the market.
“Our success stems from the quality of our managers and salespeople as well as our open mindedness to innovation,” Mike Coffi told Financial Afrik. The company had attracted Proparco, Saham, Allianz and, among others, Sunu. Great is the disillusionment.