Case Study

Ecobank: A passion to build a world-class Pan-African bank

12 pages
October 2012
Reference: IMD-3-2326

The Ecobank case is a pan African strategy/business development case with strong elements of Human Resources and talent management issues as well as governance and organizational design. The case is an inspirational story about a group of visionary people from 14 West African countries who in 1984 – with limited resources – decide to create a pan African bank to further the development of Africa. Today, Ecobank has 8.3 million customers, 18,000 employees and a footprint that covers 32 African countries – more than any other bank. In July 2012 Ecobank was named “Best Bank in Africa” by Euromoney for the second year in a row. The case covers the three expansion stages of the bank, and the strategy it has employed in managing rapid growth both organically and through cross border acquisitions. It has a unique approach of “acting locally, while being one bank” which is strongly reflected in its governance systems and organizational design. And it has above all been phenomenally successful in attracting and developing local talent – perhaps the most scare resource of all in Africa.

Learning Objective

This is an inspirational story that should be “told” rather than “read.” Because of this, the written case is intentionally very short, but supported by video interviews with senior Ecobank executives. A total of 86 minutes of video (of which 28 minutes is designed to be watched by students before the session) structured in 12 “modules” gives the instructor great flexibility in how to use the case in class. The case and video modules can be used to demonstrate: strategy and business development in an African context. How to manage organic growth and growth through acquisitions across borders. Human Resources – how to attract, retain and motivate talent in an emerging market. Organizational design as an organization grows. Governance issues in emerging markets.

Financial Services, Expansion, Brand, Human Capital, Banking
Field Research
© 2012
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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