Atlas Mara Hire’s New CEO To Head Rwanda’s Largest Bank After Merger

Atlas Mara Hire’s New CEO To Head Rwanda’s Largest Bank After Merger

Atlas Mara, an investment vehicle formed by former Barclays chief executive Robert Diamond and Dubai-based businessman Ashish Thakkar, has hired outgoing I&M Bank Rwanda Managing Director Sanjeev Anand to head what would be one of the country’s largest banks after the financial group merges two lenders  acquired.

According to a KTPress report, Atlas Mara, a a rapidly growing sub-Saharan African financial services group, will merge BRD Commercial Bank and Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) that it acquired in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

After the merger the yet to be named bank will be “the largest bank by branch locations and the second largest by assets in the country, which is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most dynamic economies,” John Vitalo, Atlas Mara chief executive said in April when they announced they acquired a 45 percent in BPR.

Anand, A first class honors in commerce student from India’s Delhi Univerisity and who has 25 years of experience in corporate, Investment and retail banking, will head the new bank.

Prior o working at I&M Bank Rwanda he worked with Citibank where he ehld various positions across Asia, Africa and Europe. He is also the chairman of Rwanda Leasing Association and the deputy chairman of Rwanda Bankers Association.

He is credited with turning around a loss-making Commercial Bank of Rwanda after private equity firm Actis took control of the bank. He became the bank’s managing director after I&M Bank, a Kenyan incorporated bank, acquired 80 percent stake in the bank from Actis.

Atlas Mara, which was formed by a merger between Atlas Merchant Capital LLC, set up by Diamond in New York, and Africa-focused billionaire entrepreneur Thakkar’s Mara Group Holdings Limited, said last month it was eying more commercial banks in Africa in its bid to become the continent’s leading bank.

It has operations and investments in seven African countries so far, including Botswana, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.