Edward George has been named the new head of Ecobank UK in London. He will continue to serve as the bank’s head of group research, a role he has held since 2014.

With the new appointment, George will oversee the operations of the four teams and 10 staff that make up the UK representative office of the pan-African bank. He reports to the recently-appointed head of Ecobank in Paris, Ibrahima Diouf.

Commenting on his new responsibilities, George tells GTR: “My job is to continue building the rep office’s operations and showing that we can funnel business into Africa, and also get ourselves out to the market here in London. The focus of our business will be treasury, corporate banking, financial institutions/international organisations and research, and we hope to expand our services in the future.”

George has worked at Ecobank for the past five years. Before joining the bank, he was a senior economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit, specialising in commodities in Africa.

“It’s such an interesting opportunity, London as a market for Africa,” George adds. “There are so many investors and institutions that use London as a gateway for investing into Africa. So it’s all about us using the right model so that our banking platform in Africa can be leveraged. It’s great to be able to try and influence the way that we develop this,” he says, adding that Brexit could be a “huge opportunity” for driving more business to Africa as Britain is looking for new trade partners.

Ecobank operates in 36 countries across Africa and has four offices outside of the continent, including the UK. George will take over the role as head of Ecobank UK from David Pitts, who will continue to work as a consultant supporting Ecobank’s business with the financial institutions and international organisations in London.