One of Zimbabwe’s most decorated business executives, Raymond Chigogwana, retires from Access Finance Group effective October 01. 2023, paving way for Salim Eceolaza to take over as new Chief Executive Officer of the financial services firm.
Chigogwana, however, continues to support the business as a non-executive director of the same board.
Access Finance International is a Mauritius-based holding firm that offers specialist financial solutions to its wide clientele base that includes corporates, public institutions and individuals.
It has a huge footprint in Africa and a strategic network of operations in Mauritius, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
“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 will 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,” reads the statement.
Isau Bwerinofa, the group’s chairman, said during Chigogwana’s tenure, he focused Access on leading global money services businesses while consolidating its investment banking portfolio.
“Under his leadership, the technology and innovation pipeline was revitalised, and we successfully navigated the evolution of our remittance products.
“We anticipate a smooth transition as Ray 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.
Chigogwana said; “From a strategic, professional and personal perspective, this is the right moment to hand the leadership reins of the company to Salim. Our strong network and the strategic moves we have taken to focus the company have put Access on a strong path for the future.”
Eceolaza is a seasoned executive with a track record of identifying and realising business growth opportunities and adding value to businesses.
Prior to his appointment as CEO, Eceolaza served as the inaugural Group Finance Director for Simbisa Brands Limited, steering its triumphant unbundling from Innscor Africa Limited and subsequently overseeing its listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
He was thereafter appointed as the managing director of the Simbisa Group’s Kenyan arm, where he further showcased his ability to significantly grow business performance and operations.
Prior to this, Eceolaza co-founded IH Group, a prominent capital markets advisory and corporate finance business with a distinct focus on the Zimbabwean market.
Bwerinofa added that 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.
Eceolaza said the group will continue the legacy of delivering leading financial solutions to Zimbabweans and the world.