The CEO of the Databank Group, Mr Kojo Addae-Mensah, has said the recent negative rumours circulating on social media about an alleged run on the investment bank – an apparent situation, which, according to the write-up, has purportedly plunged the firm into a liquidity crunch – could be the work of mischief makers who are trying to get at Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, a co-founder of Databank, for his perceived role in the banking sector reforms undertaken by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which led to the collapse of some banks and financial institutions.
Mr Addae-Mensah said on Monday, 18 March 2019 that Mr Ofori-Atta currently has nothing to do with Databank, although he co-founded the firm in 1990, thus, wondered why the financial institution would be used to fight a proxy war against the Finance Minister.
“Fact is fact: the Finance Minister is the one who started the company [but] let me again say he has absolutely zero to do with the firm.
“It was one of my conditions to take up the job: that I will not tolerate any interference whatsoever, and he has adhered to his part of the bargain. So, I don’t get it.
“The last time I saw him [Ofori-Atta] was at a social event, not even at Databank, he doesn’t even have time. The problems of Ghana are too many for him to even think about [Databank].
“I feel he’s left Databank to Ghanaians as a legacy, it’s not something that he’s using to do anything on a day to day basis, so, trying to get at Ken through Databank is really the wrong thing to do. If you want to get at him, get at him on his job”, Mr Addae-Mensah told Accra-based Citi FM’s Bernard Avle.
Asked if Databank invested in the now-struggling and defunct gold collectables firm Menzgold Ghana Limited, Mr Addae-Mensah exclaimed: “Absolutely not; how? Herh, it’s an abomination!” stressing: “No we don’t”.
“Look”, he said: “I have independent directors, each fund has a minimum of three independent non-executive directors, I’m the only executive director; you think all these independent people coming from various backgrounds with various degrees of knowledge in various areas, will sit down and allow us to use [depositors funds to invest in Menzgold?] And they are also invested in the funds themselves, every director is invested in the funds. It’s not in their interest to see the funds go down, so, I mean Menzgold is even a stretch…
“… That’s the thing about Databank, we are extra-conservative. The important thing for us is: you’ll get your money when you want it, it’s not about returns and I keep teaching people not to chase returns because it’s dangerous. The thing is longevity: you need to have time and, so, we go extra-conservative to ensure that we are not giving the highest of returns but we’ll give your liquidity”, he said.
Founded in April 1990, Databank currently offers corporate finance, brokerage, fund management and research services to local and foreign individuals as well as multinational companies, pension trusts and institutional investors in the ECOWAS sub-region.
Through its brokerage wing, investors have the opportunity to tap into fixed-income investments (including treasury bills), trade shares listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange and enjoy corporate finance advisory services.
Through Databank’s asset management wing, investors have access to mutual funds (Epack, MFund, BFund, ArkFund and EdIFund), institutional fund management for corporate, benefit and endowment funds, pension fund management and private wealth management services.
Databank currently has 19 locations across the country. The main branches are in Accra (Head Office), Ho, Koforidua, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, Tema and Sunyani. There are also 10 partner locations situated within GTBank branches in Accra, Ashaiman, Cape Coast, Tarkwa and Tamale, as well as a partner location in the UBA branch located at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).