Nedbank targets West Africa growth with new venture

Pedro Gonçalves
clock • 1 min read

Nedbank is partnering with EcoBank Transnational in a wealth business expansion push into West Africa to target a region that has seen a steady rise in economic growth.

Nedbank, the biggest holder in Ecobank with a 21%, started offering wealth products to the pan-African company’s clients in Ivory Coast and wants to replicate the service in Senegal, the Johannesburg-based lender’s executive for Ecobank Investment, Mark Weston, said told Bloomberg in an interview in Abidjan. Benin and Burkina Faso may follow thereafter, he added.

“If we’re going to get value out of our relationship with Ecobank, we really have to explore what we can do here,” Weston said in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital. “Part of that is exploring where we can add value” for Ecobank’s customers in more than 30 countries, he said.

However, Nedbank is not alone looking to tap into West Africa’s HNWIs. Citigroup is making a push into funding governments and Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group opened a branch in Ivory Coast.

Standard Bank sees Ivory Coast as an entry point for Francophone West Africa and will target to have all the necessary permits for Senegal in 12- to 18 months.

For the region’s English-speaking countries, the venture is planning expansion to Ghana in 2019, growing from its existing base in Nigeria to cover West Africa’s two biggest economies, Rufaro Mucheka, head of strategy and continental operations outside South Africa for Nedbank Wealth Management, said in the same interview.

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