Henry F. Saamoi, Chief Executive Officer, IBLL

Patricia M. Findley, Head of Administration Ms. Ethel V. Knuckles, Chief Financial


The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of International Bank Liberia Limited (IBLL), Henry

F. Saamoi, has disclosed that IBLL is committed to being in Liberia for the next 60 years and more. He disclosed that the bank’s operations in the country would continue to be characterized by a high sense of professionalism, trust, reliability, integrity, resilience, diversity, and foresight to meet the best interest of its valued customers and the Liberian nation.

He made the statements on 1st May 2021, at the program marking the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of IBLL new Corporate Headquarters on Tubman Boulevard, 11th and 12th Streets in Sinkor.

Mr. Saamoi disclosed that IBLL’s operational theme is “Then, Now, Next.”

According to him, IBLL is one of the oldest banking institutions in Liberia with over 60 years of services and has prevailed through some of the most challenging times with citizens and residents. He indicated that during those difficult moments in Liberia’s history, IBLL had maintained uninterrupted services to its valued customers except for momentary closure when the situation in the country escalated.

IBLL’s CEO also revealed that the bank’s vault at its iconic headquarters on Broad Street, Central Monrovia, had over the years experienced multiple failed attempts by marauding criminals and other evil people to loot its contents.

He emphasized that the bank’s vault remained impermeable, leaving its contents fully intact throughout the civil crisis.

He said, “If we miss anything from our Broad Street office, it will be our vault for its safety and security.”

Jacqueline B. Williams-N’Tow, Head of Bank Operations


Mdm. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Former president, RL

However, CEO Saamoi added that the bank’s building itself suffered severe infrastructure damage to both its physical assets and its intangible assets, its loan book. Recovering from the civil crisis, IB remained strong and resilient even after a brief seizure by the Central Bank of Liberia in 2004 because of insolvency.

After the crisis, IBLL could not recover its USD reserves held at the National Bank of Liberia. This inconvenience occurred because it did not have the necessary documents to prove to the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) that they had a reserve in both United States and Liberian Dollars. He added that IBLL was, however, able to recover the Liberian dollars reserves.

Accordingly, he noted that from 2014-2015, IBLL ably braved the storm of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak that severely impacted the economics of countries in the West African sub-region, particularly Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

During the EVD outbreak in the country, he said, IBLL officials and personnel demonstrated

maximum professionalism, resilience, commitment, and dedication in the service of its valued customers while taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones.

He further stated that IBLL continued to expand its operations from a one-branch location on Broad Street to now 19 locations across Liberia during these critical and challenging times. “During these times, we faced challenges, but we saw such challenges as an opportunity for growth, creativity, and innovation,” he said.

He noted that Liberia once again finds itself facing the devasting effects of the lethal covid-19 pandemic, which has taken many lives and shuttered businesses in an already fragile Liberian economy and economies worldwide.

He stressed that IBLL, as a true partner, to the Liberian people, believes that there is no better time to reaffirm to the Liberian people that the bank is here to stay.

“Now, the skylines of Sinkor are today glittering

Michael A. McCarthy, Ambassador, US Embassy Prayer of Dedication by Bishop Dr. M. Wolo Belleh

Henry F. Saamoi, Chief Executive Officer, IBLL

Stephen D. Cashin, Director and Majority Shareholder, IBLL

Opening Prayer by Sister Barbara Brilliant

by our up-to-the-minute headquarters in the new commercial district of Monrovia, signifying our commitment to giving our esteemed customers world-class service experience while efficient IT platform now allows us to reach new customers with an array of products and services,” Saamoi indicated.

At the same time, the IBLL CEO noted that in their “now,” they have cemented relationships with some international partners, including Development Finance Corporation (DFC) based in the United States.

In 2017, the bank benefited from a US$20 million facility for SME lending. IBLL will pay off that facility in September 2021.

He also disclosed that they are about concluding a new 20 million facility for SME lending again in the Liberian market.

In its December 2020 press statement, ‘Expanding access to financing for SME in Liberia,’ a 20 million USD loan to IBLL will provide a credit line for lesser term SME lending in Liberia, offering much-needed support in the challenging market.

He disclosed that IBLL prioritizes women on its senior management team and within its entire workforce, thus qualifying the DFC Two X Women Initiative bank.

He maintains that at IBLL, the leadership structure with the Senior Management Team is 75% women and 25% men.

Meanwhile, IBLL maintains a relationship with several leading financial institutions, including Africa Export and Import Bank, Crown Agent Bank in London, City Bank of New York, and Ghana International Bank in London, the United Kingdom.

He indicated that they, as one family of IBLL, are humbled and honored by the unwavering support of partners and clientele in line with the then and now. He assured that in their next, IBLL’s dedicated staff would continue to provide its respected customers with professional, high quality, and generally affordable services and products.

Mr. Saamoi stated that when they think of their achievements, as a Liberian management team, overseen an almost 100% foreign own investment, the thing that comes to mind is Opportunity, Excitement, and Legacy.

He added that they had had the opportunity to serve their valued clients and the country in the

Samuel D. Tweah, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, RL Jefferson T. Koijee, Mayor, City of Monrovia


Dignitaries pose before IBLL’s famous Pepperbird with its Creator Roland Seh Washington next to Madame Taylor

Madam Vice-President cuts the ribbon of the edifice while dignitaries look on.

Ali Tarhini, the construction contractor for the project

Some staffers of the IBLL

Mr. Cashin and Amb. McCarthy share chit- chat

capacity as providers of services. The IBLL’s new building provides the perfect venue for excellent service delivery and networking opportunities to expand their outreach.

He used the medium to appreciate the IBLL Board of Directors, shareholders, valued customers, and staff to deliver people-centered services and allow them to lead.

He asserted that IBLL is one of the very few foreign investments in the country, entirely run by a Liberian management team.

“This new building offers us, the employees, a landing space comparable to none for more focused customer service experience and delivery. The new facility also provides our clients the much-needed space and comfort to perform and transact in an environment like no others in this country,” he said.

He also appreciated former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, incumbent President George Weah, for allowing them to do business in a peaceful environment under their respective leaderships.

In brief remarks, the mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson

T. Koijee, extended gratitude to IBLL for the honor they have bestowed upon him to be a part of the formal opening of IBLL offices in Sinkor. Mayor Koijee indicated that IBLL has stood firm with the Liberian people during difficult times and has heavily invested in human capital development.

He expressed delight that the bank, though foreign-owned, is being managed by hard- working and reputable Liberian professionals and experts. He moreover pledged its commitment to the whole partnership and cooperation with the bank for results-focused implementation, and the city government is prepared to partner with the bank through a well-structured public-private partnership,” he said.

Also, in brief remarks, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Hon. Samuel D. Tweah said the magnificent corporate headquarters of IBLL symbolizes the flowering and maturing of the bank as a sound financial institution that is here to stay.

He said the leadership of IBLL, headed by Liberians managing foreign capitals, mobilizing and deploying the means to productive uses during difficult moments over the last seventy- four years, symbolizes we must celebrate Liberia’s success.

“Mr. Saamoi, you and your team are a monument of success of Liberia leadership in the financial sector, and we look forward to replicating this in other sectors of this country,” he said.

Minister Tweh admitted that the country, as a whole, has “a then, now and next,” and as a government and minister of Finance, they share in the then and difficult moments.

“We share in the now and the future because that is where we want to go as a government and people. We are committed to creating an enabling environment to solve the big challenges in partnership with banking institutions. The government has done something to help the

Minsiter of State, Nathaniel McGill, pulls the banner off the newly opened bank

banking sector, and we are working to resolve

(L-R) CEO Saamoi, CFO Ms. Knuckles, Majority Shareholder Cashin, Head of Administration Mrs. Findley, Head of Operations Mrs. Williams-N’Tow

bottlenecks in the financial sector, which has been hit hard. The government is doing all in its power to ensure that you retain strong, solvent, and non- performing loans amongst others, so we share with you that future, and we look forward to your successful program, and we wish the bank all the best,” Minister Tweh said.

The United States of America’s Ambassador to Liberia, Michael A. McCarthy said the entire leadership of IBLL’s dedication to Liberia and its investment in the country’s banking sector and commercial growth for two decades should be recognized and congratulated.

He emphasized that opportunities commemorating major US-driven investments in Liberia are much too rare these days. However, the American Ambassador said the completion of this beautiful and significant building symbolizes IBLL’s resilience and commitment to global indexes and local experts alike.

He described IBLL as a very difficult[PM1]

(L-R) Majority Shareholder Cashin, Madam Taylor, and CEO Saamoi,

periods, carrying forward a vision of modern and professional commercial banking that can be a driver of economic growth.

“At the US embassy, we are strongly convinced that IBLL shareholders had choices to invest its money elsewhere, but they decided to invest it in Liberia, an investment that has already provided short- term construction jobs, will lead to long term additional jobs and will provide increased security in the local banking environment,’ Ambassador McCarthy said.

He recommended that for Liberia’s development to be sustainable, it needs more such investments. If leaders are serious about growing the economy and creating more jobs, they need to invest in an investment climate in which Capital will flow. “IBLL is committed to Liberia more than just making a profit, and so, we are proud of IBLL. The US Government is gratified by the hard- American investment that has helped to support and sustain this investment which is representative

Madam Mary Broh (left) and Mrs. Patricia Findley

Staffers of IBLL in matching uniforms.

business partner during many challenging

of the long-standing and continuing people-to- people engagement that characterizes US-Liberian treasury,” the US Ambassador said.

For her part, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said IBLL’s story is one of a friendship with a value that exceeds reward financially or otherwise and a friendship that shares a dream for a better life and does something significant to achieve it and a story of triumphant Liberia that started of investment in 2007 when Monrovia was still basically recovering from 12 years of civil war to better home on Broad Street and today to this modern facility on Tubman Boulevard.

Madam Sirleaf thanked Mr. Stephen D. Cashin, Director of Majority Shareholders of IBLL, and other partners who stood up and ensured that the bank remained solvent.

The Director of Majority Shareholders of IBLL, Stephen D. Cashin, thanked the IBLL staff and clients for giving them the confidence to reconnect Liberia with investment in the iconic building.

He also thanked Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor for her service to Liberia over a long period and was a long-standing client of IBLL.

(L-R) Former Vice President, Joseph Boakai, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and current Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor

He also thanked customers for their commitment to working with their young, innovative, and dedicated team of Liberians they have supported for many years.

Mr. Cashin also appreciated Madam Sirleaf for her tireless effort towards promoting Liberia to the world and bringing the country back onto the world stage, building a respectable democratic environment, and allowing democracy to take its course when her time of service was over. He emphasized that it is because of democratic leaderships that businesses like IB strive.

He further thanked President George Manneh Weah and all leaders of Liberia for allowing the democratic process to exist throughout the country.

He said the leadership of IBLL has a level of commitment to him, the world, and Liberia, stressing that trust is hard to come back, but he trusts IBLL CEO.

Mr. Cashin appreciates the women staff of IBLL, stating that without their commitment, they, as investors, would not be here today, and things could not be possible.

He said people understand that that IBLL is here for them, and the new IBLL building is designed to improve customers’ experience and improve the services they give their customers. He emphasized that they do not belong here if they cannot be a service to their customers.

The Minister of State of Liberia, Hon. Nathaniel

F. McGill, also in brief remarks, thanked IBLL for keeping the financial sector going with the many challenges they have faced.

He also thanked the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the CBL for working closely with IBLL and its shareholders, who remain loyal to Liberia.

“Thank you to IBLL, and we look forward to working with you,” Minister McGill said.

In remarks, HE Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, congratulated IBLL shareholders, management, and staff for its excellent project.

CEO and Madam Vice President share a moment of joy

Nattie B. Davis, former Chairman of NIC (left) greets John B. S. Davis President of Liberia Bankers Association

Members of the Liberian Bankers Association

Central Bank Governor J. Aloysious Tarlue Jr. chats with Madam Sirleaf during luncheon

Vice President Taylor, who cut the ribbon to the new building, said three things that caught her attention: she listened to the IBLL CEO Statement, which is the 75% to 25% gender ratio of women to men IBLL worth celebrating.

VP Taylor believes that IBLL is the only institution in Liberia that has taken the gender ratio to such a high level.

She appreciated the IBLL women who have worked so hard and provided additional space for more women to come on board, stressing that if they had not stepped up to the plate at being the best, they would not have made such commendable gain.

“This bank speaks to the long-term relationship between IBLL and Liberia, including the US and Liberia’s relations that have existed for many years. The profiling of your bank seems poised to help ease the economic hardship of our people, especially the projects that have been announced

for women and young people,” VP Taylor said. She looks forward to seeing IBLL not in just 19 locations across the country but every Capital across the region because Liberia needs banking institutions.

VP Taylor hopes that this will be a trajectory to ensuring that each capital city across the country has an IBLL branch that will ease the financial crises of the people who have to come from Gbarnga or Ganta to Monrovia to do simple banking activities.

“I hope this will be a priority for you to look at in 2021-2022. This bank speaks to the hope that its investments, not just in this building, but in the relationships and long-term work, someone said compete, collaborate and support a new lesson learned from all of our organizations and interactions, and engagements with one another. Stay the cause; the best is yet to come. Congratulations to everyone!” VP Taylor said.

The occasion was graced by an array of dignitaries, including former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and CBL Governor Hon. J. Aloysious Tarlue, Jr.

CEO Saamoi addresses dignitaries at the luncheon on the fifth floor of the new headquarters

An array of dignitaries being escorted on a guided tour of the new facilities

Former Minister of Commerce and current IBLL board member Miata Beysolow and Former Vice President Joseph Boakai

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