Mulegeta Alemayehu, former vice president of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, has become the fourth president of Bunna Bank effective September 12, 2018, following in the footsteps of Tadesse Chinkel, Eshetu Fantaye and Negede Abebe.
He took the helm of the 10-year old bank following approval of his appointment by the National Bank of Ethiopia, the nation’s central bank.
“We recruited our new President through a headhunter,” said Tibebe Eshete, chairman of the Bank’s board of directors.
“We scrutinised his experience and knowledge,” Tibebe told Fortune. “He is eligible and met our criteria, and we believe he lives up to our expectations.”
With close to two decades of experience in the banking industry, Mulugeta has worked in different positions, including as a junior officer, chief risk & compliance management officer, chief of finance all the way up to vice president.
“My priority is to set a clear governance framework,” Mulugeta told Fortune.
For this, he and his team are working on identifying the strength and loopholes in the Bank’s system, he said.
Mulugeta will be advised by Tadesse, whom he replaced. Tadesse, the president of the bank since 2017, was moved to an advisory role until April 2019.
“I resigned in an agreement with the board,” said Tadesse, who holds a first degree in Business Management & Public Administration and has acquired four decades of experience in the banking industry. “I have to retire and help the company in whatever way I can.”
Tadesse expects to see ongoing big projects be finalised in due time.
Bunna is ready to build a 30-storey building in the Central Business district of Addis Abeba, leasing a 1,043sqm plot of land from the city administration. The construction of the building could cost Bunna an estimated 800 million Br.
“I hope Bunna will finish constructing its head office and launch the electronic payment system in the scheduled time,” he added.
The bank also invested close to 100 million Br in upgrading its electronic banking system. The system will introduce mobile, internet and agent banking and comes with an upgrade to its servers and the installation of new switches. The new services will begin operating at the end of next month.
“My success, from all the results we have brought at the bank, is the sense of collective leadership we created,” Tadesse told Fortune.
In addition, the bank has created a coaching system through which many young employees are coached to middle management level, according to Tadesse.
Mulugeta, a father of three, envisions delivering a new perspective and strategy for the bank, which is implementing a five-year plan for the third time.
“We should be innovative, efficient and deliver services that adds value to the Bank,” Mulugeta told Fortune. “We can’t keep operating by only expanding physical branches.”
Currently, Bunna Bank has over 1,300 permanent and 1,500 outsourced employees. With 1.5 billion Br in paid-up capital, the Bank has 175 branches. In 2017, the bank registered a net profit of 265 million Br, six percent higher than the previous year, with a deposit balance of 7.5 billion Br.
“We will establish a system where we attain the vision of the bank and get ready for the changes that are coming in the sector,” Mulugeta told Fortune. “For this, my team and I will start with changing our way of doing business and our culture.”