May 19, 2020

Executive profile: Ken Ofori-Atta

Banking
government
Ghana
politics
Polycarp Kazaresam
2 min
Executive profile: Ken Ofori-Atta

In one of his first moves, Ghana’s new president Nana Akufo-Addo is likely to appoint banker Ken Ofori-Atta as finance minister. Sources close to the presidency told Reuters that Akufo-Addo will nominate Ofori-Atta to implement his financial plans (i.e. cutting taxes and strengthening the economy).

What do we know about Ghana’s potential finance minister? Here’s a brief profile:

  • Ofori-Atta is 57
  • He co-founded Africa-wide investment banking group Databank Group in 1990 and was its executive chairman until February 2012
  • He is also a graduate of Yale and Columbia universities
  • From there, Ofori-Atta worked with Wall Street investment bank Saloman Brothers and Morgan Stanley on debt and equity management
  • He currently serves as the Chairman of Trust Bank Ltd., Family Ventures and Offices in Ghana and Databank Agrifund Manager Ltd.
  • He also serves as a Director of Acumen Fund, Inc.
  • Because of his contributions to the financial industry, Ofori-Atta has been nominated to be listed in the world’s top 50 financial managers for the 21st century. He is the only black man to be chosen for this accolade.
  • He was twice honoured by PWC Ghana as one of the Top 5 Most Respected CEOs in Ghana. 
  • Ofori-Atta was the first African to testify in the US Congress to support the Africa Growth & Opportunities Act (AGOA)

 

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Tapoly
Insurance
Leadership
Digital
Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.

Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills. 

What do you do, in a nutshell?

I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.

How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?

I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.

They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?

The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless. 

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.

 

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