The former Managing Director of HFC Bank, Asare Akuffo, has emphasized the need for bankers to improve their skills continuously, saying skills combined with integrity and patience can only lead to success.
Asare Akuffo made this statement in response to a Lifetime Achievement Award presented to him at the 14th Ghana Banking Awards ceremony in Accra.
He also advised and urged young bankers to endeavor to be ethical always in order to earn the respect that they strive for.
The Ghana Banking Awards is organized by Corporate Initiative Ghana in partnership with Graphic Business to recognize industry players who excel in their field of work.
Asare Akuffo’s Lifetime Achievement Award was inspired by his 25 years of effective and dedicated service to the nation through his immense contribution to the banking and finance industry.
The citation lauded him not only for the leadership role in the establishment of the first collective investment scheme in Ghana, HFC Unit Trust; and the HFC Investment Services, but also for the establishment of the first Real Estate Investment Trust in Ghana.
“Under your guidance and leadership, HFC Investment Services has established itself as a reputable institution in Ghana today”.
Among other achievements, the citation stated that in 1995, Mr Akuffo played a vital role in overseeing the listing of the first corporate bonds on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
As Managing Director for 10 years he established HFC firmly in the banking landscape in Ghana, expanding branch network from five to over 40.
He also extended the Bank’s diversified financial services to the cocoa growing areas of the Western Region.
Besides the introduction of special affordable housing scheme for public servants at interest rates of 15% and lower, Asare Akuffo’s tenure recorded growth in assets, growth in share price and the HFC brand attractiveness.
The citation established that he served as President of the Ghana Association of Bankers, President of the Private Enterprise Federation and Chairman of the African Union for Housing Finance.
A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana, and an honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana, Asare also has an honorary doctorate degree from the KNUST. “In 2013, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology conferred on you an Honorary Doctorate Degree”, the citation noted.
The 14th Ghana Banking Awards ceremony was attended by more than 25 banks across the sector, on the theme: ‘Identifying and Rewarding Excellence in the Banking Services Proposition’.
Mr Akuffo dedicated his award to his seniors including the late Mr. Henry Dei, the pioneers of HFC Bank, Mrs Stephanie Baeta Ansah and Edusei Derkyi as well as his immediate family.
Until his retirement from HFC Bank in June, 2015 Asare Akuffo was a council member of the Ghana Association of Bankers.
Last month the Association honoured him for his exemplary and transformational leadership qualities, lauding him for his achievements in his ten years membership of the Association.
He served the Association in various capacities including Vice-President from 2009 to 2011 and President from 2011 to 2014.