Access Finance co-founder Chigogwana retires Mr Chigogwana

Business Reporter

Access Finance Group, whose strategic network of operations includes Zimbabwe, has appointed Mr Salim Eceolaza as the new chief executive.

Mr Eceolaza is succeeding co-founder Mr Raymond Chigogwana, who retires October 1, 2023.

Access Finance International is a Mauritius-based holding company that offers a broad spectrum of specialist financial solutions to a client base that includes corporate entities, public institutions, and private individuals.

It has a deep footprint in Africa and a strategic network of operations in Mauritius, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

The group, in a statement, said: “Eceolaza, who joins the business as a representative shareholder, has subsequently also been appointed to the group board, while Chigogwana will continue to support the business as a non-executive director of the same board,” the group said.

The company’s board described the leadership transition as a monumental evolution that would launch the next strategic cycle of the financial powerhouse.

“Since its establishment in 2014 and under Chigogwana’s leadership, Access has led the way in local and international remittances, fintech, and investment banking within the region,” the company said.

Mr Isau Bwerinofa, the group’s chairman, said during Mr Chigogwana’s tenure, Access focused on leading global money services businesses while consolidating its investment banking portfolio.

“Under his leadership, the technology and innovation pipeline was revitalized, and we successfully navigated the evolution of our remittance products.

“We anticipate a smooth transition as Ray (Chigigwana) built a strong leadership team and has been mentoring his successor for some time. Access will be well positioned to continue its momentum,” he said.

Commenting on his retirement, Mr Chigogwana said: “From a strategic, professional, and personal perspective, this is the right moment to hand the leadership reins of the company to Salim (Eceolaza). Our strong network and the strategic moves we have taken to focus the company have put Access on a strong path for the future.”

Mr Eceolaza is a seasoned executive with a track record of identifying and realizing business growth opportunities and adding value to businesses.

Prior to his appointment as CEO, Mr Eceolaza served as the first group finance director for Simbisa Brands Limited, steering its unbundling from Innscor Africa Limited and subsequently overseeing its listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

Thereafter, he was appointed as the managing director of the Simbisa group’s Kenyan arm, where he further demonstrated his ability to significantly grow business performance and operations.

Prior to this, Mr Eceolaza co-founded IH Group, a prominent capital markets advisory and corporate finance business with a distinct focus on the Zimbabwean market.

Mr Bwerinofa says the new CEO brings the unique vantage point of experience as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, and business operator, as well as group experience and networks that will serve the valued clients and business partners of the Access Finance Group.

“His mandate will be to solidify the group’s positioning on the global stage, grow our financial inclusion competitiveness, and strengthen our relationships with local and group partners,” he said.

Mr Eceolaza said the group would continue the legacy of delivering leading financial solutions to Zimbabweans and the world.


You Might Also Like