Bankers’ Lives Beyond Finance



Finance is the underpinning of a modern economy and a strong banking industry is critical to economic growth especially in a developing country like Ethiopia that has 17 commercial banks in total, including the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) and 16 private banks. Those who head these banks, the presidents, have much weight on their shoulders being the custodians of the financial assets of the country. This year, for the banking industry, has been a profitable one with commercial banks registering an aggregate net profit of 22 billion Br, of which eight billion Birr came from the private banks, under the leadership of its presidents. How such prominent figures of the economy could manage all the pressure and how their lives could differ from others? Fortune gives a glimpse of the lives of the of these bankers and how they celebrate the holiday.


Addisu Habba

Addisu Habba, married and a father of two, is an Economics graduate of Addis Abeba University (AAU). He obtained his Master’s degree in Banking and Finance from Italy. Before joining Debub Global Bank three years ago, he served as President at the Bank of Abyssinia (BoA) for five years. He has also assumed several positions at the Construction & Business Bank (CBB), including as a credit clerk and internal auditor, before rising to the post of President. Along with his presidency at Debub Global, he heads the Ethiopian Bankers’ Association

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

Yes, I have spent many holidays in office.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

Casual.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

I allocate a maximum of 3,000 Br.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

I do it myself.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

Toyota.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

Hawassa

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

I am not good at cooking.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

She likes Dolce & Gabbana. I always buy her D&G.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I don’t like any of the social media, nor do I have an account in any.

 

Abie Sano

Abie Sano, a father of one, became President of Oromia International Bank in 2009.  He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Addis Abeba University (AAU) two decades ago. A few months later, he joined the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) where he served as President for a year. He also completed his Master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of London in 2010.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

No, but I have an office in my house, I spent many holidays there.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

Sportswear.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

Not more than 2,000 Br.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

Deju Barbershop, around Mesqel Flower. I have been his loyal customer for almost 11 years.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

Toyota.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

If I spend one day away from papers, that’s vacation.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

I don’t cook these days. But when I was a student I used to prepare special “Moffo”, a very soft bread found in Arab restaurants.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

She is very particular about it. She prefers lightly scented ones, but not a specific brand.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I don’t use any.

 

Araya G. Egziabher

Araya G. Egziabher joined the then infant private banking industry almost two decades ago at Wegagen, where he became President in 2007. He was Vice President for six years until his promotion to president’s post in 2008. A father of three, Araya has more than four decades of experience, including at the then Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED). With a Bachelor’s degree from Addis Abeba Univerisity (AAU), Araya did his Master’s in Leadership seven years ago.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

Whenever there is a big project, I prefer to stay in the office, even on holidays.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

I wear traditional Ethiopian clothes.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

I allocate around 10,000 Br for holiday-related expenses.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

I have been going to the same place, located around Filwuha Hotel, for the past eight years.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

As long as it serves me well, I don’t have an issue with the brand.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

I had the chance to visit my family for two weeks in the United States (US), while I was travelling for work.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

I wish I could cook as many recipes as possible, but I can’t. I believe I can easily prepare spagetti.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

Dior.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I have an account on Facebook, but I don’t use it.

 

Asfaw Alemu

Leading Dashen Bank since May 2015, Asfaw Alemu, a father of two daughters, has been working here for over 12 years. Before he assumed the position of a President at Dashen, he worked as an Operations Vice President. His experience is not limited to the private sector. Asfaw has also worked at the then Agricultural & Development Bank, now the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE), for six years. Asfaw has the experience with Non-Government Organisations (NGO) such as GTZ. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Economic Management through a World Bank (WB) scholarship.

 

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

No, my wife forbids it strictly.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

Mostly casual. I want to be free from the formal way of dressing. I prefer sweat suits.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

We spend 2,000 Br visiting our relatives.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

I have two barbers; one around Mesqel Flower and the other is located along Haile G. Sellasie Avenue.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

BMW

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

Dubai.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

Yes. I love vegetables, and I am good at salads. I love making fruit-punch.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

She likes soft perfumes, but I can’t remember the name now.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I watch Ted Talks.

 

Getachew Solomon

Getachew Solomon, a father of four and president of Lion International Bank (LIB), has a BA Degree in Accounting from Meqelle University (MU) and obtained his Masters in Business Administration from Greenwich University, London, specialising in International Business. He has worked in the banking industry for over two decades starting his career at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) and rising through the ranks of a bank clerk, corporate communications branch manager and district manager. He worked as Operations Vice President at LIB for a year, before becoming the President three years ago.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

Yes, eight years ago.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

Jeans. I do not wear a suit during holidays.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

It does not exceed 5,000 Br.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

Bole and around Laphto Mall.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

BMW.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

I was at Adulala Resort, Bishoftu.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

I have never been in the kitchen.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

I have never bought perfume for my wife.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I have never used social media.

 

Hailu Alemu

Hailu Alemu, president of Addis International Bank and a father of three, has earned a BA Degree in Accounting and Economics from the Addis Abeba University (AAU). He has worked in the banking industry for over two decades, starting his career at the Construction & Business Bank (CBB) as a Credit Manager. He also served as  Vice President at Nib International Bank. He is the founding President of Addis, which started operations in the 2011/12 fiscal year.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

No, I have never spent holidays in the office.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

Causal, I do not wear a suit on holidays.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

We don’t have a special budget for holidays.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

At home, my wife does it.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

I don’t have any.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

At home with my family.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

Yes. I am good at making Shiro and Misir Wot is my favourite.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

I have never bought perfume for my wife.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I don’t use social media.

 

Kibru Fonja

President of Nib International Bank and a father of three, Kibru Fonja has a diploma in Plant Science & Technology and a BA in Economics from Addis Abeba University (AAU), as well as an MA in Economic Policy Management from Ghana. He worked for the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) for 24 years before he joined NIB in July 2010 as Vice President. He assumed his current role after serving the Bank as a VP for three years.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

Yes, as it was urgent, for half a day.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

Causal.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

Within the 3,000 Br and 4,000 Br range.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

At a barbershop around Edna Mall.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

Toyota.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

The United States (US), but I was also attending a conference there.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

I am not much into cooking.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

I usually get a reasonably priced one.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I don’t even know how to use most of them.

 

Mulugeta Asmare

Mulugeta Asmare, married and a father of three, president of Bank of Abyssinia (BoA), started his career in the banking industry at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) where he served for 18 years in different posts. Mulugeta, who received his BA degree from Addis Abeba University (AAU) in Accounting and Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Greenwich University in London, has served BoA for four years before he was promoted to the role of a President in 2015.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

Never; I always spend holidays with my wife and my children.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

Causal.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

I do not know. My wife handles holiday expenses.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

Around Hayahulet, I have a female hairdresser who has been making my hair for the past eight years.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

Nissan.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

Gojjam.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

I have never been in the kitchen.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

Dolce & Gabbana (D&G)

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I use LinkedIn.

 

Tadesse Chinkle

Tadesse Chenkel, married and a father of two, president of Bunna International Bank, earned his first degree in Business Management from Addis Abeba University (AAU) and has close to four decades of experience in the banking industry. He started his banking career at the Construction & Business Bank (CBB), which was merged to the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). For a decade now, he has been heading Bunna Bank.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

No, but I have spent some eves there.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

I will probably wear a sweat suit.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

I will spend about 10,000 Br, and I have set aside another 10,000 Br to help out the needy.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

I do it at home.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

I don’t have one.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

I have not taken one in a long time.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

I am not much into cooking, but I enjoy making Tibs.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

I usually get ones from duty-free shops whose brands I do not remember.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I am inactive on social media.

 

Taye Dibekulu

Taye Dibekulu, a father of one, graduated from Addis Abeba University (AAU) with a Bachelor’s in Accounting in 1985. He started his career at the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) after a few months of his graduation. He completed his Master’s in Business Administration from the UK in 2001. He joined United Bank as Vice President 10 years ago, and seven years later he became President.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

No, I haven’t.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

I wear casual clothes, sportswear.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

I don’t have any particular budget.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

Around Bole Medhaniyalem church, Tsegaye Barbershop.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

Toyota.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

Dubai.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

I do. I can make Shiro and Pizza.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

SRI.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I don’t use any.

 

Tsegaye Tetemke

Joining the banking industry two decades ago, Tsegay Tetemke, a father of four, became president of Zemen Bank in 2010 after serving in the same post at lion Bank for three years since 2006. Tsegay was also vice president of the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) between 2000 and 2006. He first graduated from Addis Abeba University (AAU) in Accounting in 1989. Then, 11 years later, he completed his Master’s degree in Economic policy Management from the University of ghana.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

Yes.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

My family and I dress up in traditional white garb.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

No more than 5,000 Br.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

I do it myself.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

Toyota.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

In Axum and Lalibela.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

Yes. I make excellent Shiro , spaghetti and beef.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

I pick the one that the shopkeeper recommends.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I use none as it consumes my time.

 

Tsehay Shiferaw

Tsehay Shiferaw was appointed to lead Awash Bank in 2010. A father of three, he received his Bachelor’s degree from the Addis Abeba University (AAU) and did his Masters in Leadership at the International Leadership Institute in Addis Abeba. Before joining Awash in 2005 as a branch manager, he served the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) in the same position.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

A: Yes, but only if I am out of the country.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

Casual clothes, maybe sportswear.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

Close to 5,000 Br.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

Around Bole Medhanialem, Yemer Barbershop.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

Toyota.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

It was in the US; I went there for work but also spent my summer vacation.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

I do. I cook Shiro which is my all-time favourite, and I can also make Tibs.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

Dior.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I use Twitter.

 

Wondossen Teshome

Wondossen Teshome, president of Enat Bank, received his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the Addis Abeba University (AAU) and a Master’s degree in Business Administration, majoring in International Business, from the University of Greenwich in London. He worked in the banking industry for about four decades, including as the President of the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) between February 2006 and January 2009.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

Yes, many holidays, especially the mornings.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

Causal.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

I have never set aside a budget for a holiday. I spend money on necessary things.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

At a barbershop in Laphto Mall.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

Toyota.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

Ambo.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

Not at all. I prefer to eat what I am served.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

I would give her the choice to pick whichever she likes best.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

LinkedIn, casually.

 

Yehuala Gessesse

Yehuala Gessesse, president of Abay Bank, has a BA in Business Management & Public Administration from the Addis Abeba University (AAU) and MBA from Greenwich University in International Business Administration Management. He has over 18 years of experience in the banking industry. He was Vice President at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), and now heading Abay International Bank.

Q. Have you ever spent a holiday at the office?

No, I have never been in the office on holidays.

Q. What kind of outfit do you wear on holidays?

Traditional clothes.

Q. How much is your family’s holiday budget?

There is no specific budget, most probably between 2,000 Br and 3,000 Br.

Q. Where do you go to make your hair?

I usually visit Wende Barbershop located inside Ghion Hotel.

Q. What is your favourite car brand?

Toyota Land Cruiser.

Q. Where were you on your last vacation?

I was with my family.

Q. Do you enjoy cooking? What type of food are you good at?

When I was single, I used to cook Shiro and Injera Firfir.

Q. What perfume brand do you buy your wife?

I do not have a specific brand, but I choose the best in the market.

Q. Which social media do you use most frequently?

I am not an active user, but I sometimes use Facebook.



Published on Jan 07,2018 [ Vol 18 ,No 924]


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