Allied Boss Steps Down

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Allied Bank CEO Stephen Gwasira and the institution’s head of retail banking Herbert Ncube have stepped down from their positions a month after a consortium of former Wall Street bankers took over the bank, businessdigest has established.

Sources said the duo stepped down on March 31.

Gwasira and Ncube are believed to have been pushed out as part of the shareholders’ plans to strengthen the bank’s management.

An internal memo seen by businessdigest to all staff dated April 1 reads: “This serves to advise that the bank’s chief executive officer, Stephen Gwasira and the head of retail banking, Herbert Paul Ncube retired from their positions effective March 31 2014.”

Gwasira and Ncube had been with the bank since its inception in 2005.

Florence Gowora has been appointed acting CEO of the bank.

Gowora, who was business director for the bank, has a wealth of banking experience spanning more than two decades.

She started her career at Standard chartered bank and rose to become a customer accounts supervisor, direct sales executive consumer banking division, branch manager, regional manager and value centre general manager.

She holds a masters degree in strategic management.

Informed sources said Gwasira and Ncube’s departure could mirror shareholder changes at holding level that saw a Mauritian-based consortium headed by former Wall Street bankers take over the financial institution led by Terence Mukupe, who is now Allied Financial Holdings’ CEO. The changes at bank level, sources say, are a reflection of a shift in strategic focus.

The sources said Allied Bank wants to tap into structured and trade finance, an area Stanbic Bank has excelled in.

Allied Fund, a Mauritian-based fund, will control Allied Financial Holdings while the owners of the bank will immediately unlock US$30 million in capital.

This will lift the bank’s capital base to between US$25 million and US$30 million.

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