Bob Diamond's Atlas Mara appoints former Barclays man CEO

The Board of Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited has announced the appointment of John Vitalo as Chief Executive Officer.

Vitalo will join Atlas Mara from Barclays where he has held a number of senior managerial positions, including, most recently, as Chief Executive Officer, Middle East and North Africa, a position he has held since May 2009. In the four years prior to that, based in Johannesburg, he was responsible for building and leading Absa Capital, the pan-African investment bank.

As CEO of MENA, Vitalo's responsibilities in the region have included: wealth management, infrastructure, retail and business banking and corporate and investment banking. His experience has been focused on building banks, implementing strong management and risk controls and improving performance and culture.

At Atlas Mara, Vitalo will be responsible for directing and executing the Company's strategy to become Africa's leading financial services group by providing capital, liquidity and funding to the banking industry in sub-Saharan Africa. He will lead the Group Executive Committee that is comprised of Doug Munatsi, CEO of BancABC and Jyrki Koskelo, Atlas Mara's Head of Strategy. Their focus is on establishing a strong platform, cultivating best-in-class talent, and introducing leading-edge technology and innovation.

Bob Diamond, Director and Co-Founder of Atlas Mara, said: 'I am delighted that John has agreed to become Atlas Mara's CEO. I have worked with him over many years. He is a business builder, deeply knowledgeable in the critical areas of technology and risk and he is trusted by his colleagues and clients. As we continue to grow and attract more great assets like BRD and BancABC across the continent, his ability to drive synergies and operational efficiencies will be invaluable. I couldn't imagine a better leader for this group'.

Ashish J. Thakkar, Director and Co-Founder, said: 'It has been an exciting few weeks for Atlas Mara, having announced our intention to acquire ADC and BancABC, the MoU we signed with the Rwandan government and now, the appointment of John as CEO. As these recent developments show, we are maintaining the momentum and delivering on the vision to build Africa's premier financial institution. The focus for Bob and me now is to continue to work closely with John, Doug, Jyrki and the team to ensure we continue to deliver on our objectives'.

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