15 CEOs to watch in 2015: Laurence Do Rego

Laurence Do Rego, Group Executive Director Of Finance, Ecobank, Togo

It has been a whirlwind 12 months for Laurence Do Rego, who was suspended, sacked, discredited and finally vindicated after she blew the whistle on what she saw as unethical practices at her employer, Ecobank.

A woman of conviction and principles, she fought for the integrity of the bank and took huge personal risks. She never doubted during the whole crisis that the fight was worth it and that she would win in the end.

Laurence Do Rego joined Ecobank in 2002 and was promoted to Group Chief Financial Officer in 2005. She became Director in 2010. She is a very hard worker and entirely dedicated to Ecobank.

In March 2014, the bank’s board decided to appoint Albert Essien as CEO and reinstate Do Rego.

It was a victory for the whistleblower, who survived attempts to discredit her professional qualifications and emerged from the farrago with her integrity intact.

Ecobank has now been stabilised and has attracted new investors and resumed its growth. Who will lead it next year is still uncertain, however.

Some analysts believe that when Essien steps down in 2015, Ecobank will look internally to replace him, searching for a degree of continuity.

Do Rego has a reputation for integrity and is trusted by major shareholders and the regulators, putting her towards the front of the pack to take over one of the continent’s biggest lenders.

Ecobank is proud of its gender policy. If an exceptional manager as experienced as Do Rogo is appointed CEO, it will be another clear signal by the board of its commitment to push further the cause of women in the Bank.