The Board of Directors of the Liberian Bank for Development & Investment (LBDI) has appointed Mr. Christian N. Allison, II, as the bank’s new CEO, effective July 1, 2023. Mr. Allison comes to the LBDI with a unique perspective after working as a financial services regulator and risk management professional at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) for more than 21 years.
Having been recruited directly from college in 2002 as one of the high-performing students of the UL Golden Class of 2000/2001, Mr. Allison served in several capacities at the CBL and rose through the ranks under the stewardship of six different governors over the years. He served as Junior Bank Examiner for five years; Senior Bank Examiner for one year; Assistant Director for Supervision & Surveillance for four years; Assistant Director, Regulation & Policy for one year; Chief Risk Officer/Head, Risk Management Section for four years; and as Director for Enterprise Risk Management for the last six and half years.
From an education perspective, he earned his high school diploma and WAEC certificate (Division 1) from St. Patrick’s High School in 1995; earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (Magna Cum Laude) with an emphasis in Accounting and Economics from the University of Liberia in 2001; and earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA), with emphasis in Corporate Finance, from the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town in 2006. He is completing the distance learning doctoral program of the California Southern University to be awarded a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree in 2023.
Mr. Allison has several professional certificates from various training programs. These include cybersecurity risk management from the HarvardX online program; business risk management from the University of Cape Town; Enterprise Risk Management from Ethan Hathaway; Advanced Risk-Based Supervision from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Advanced Banking Supervision, West African Institute of Financial & Economic Management (WAIFEM) and the Central Bank of Nigeria; Specialized Course in Bank Supervision from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, etc.
Additionally, in 2008, Mr. Allison became an Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow, awarded after an advanced leadership course provided by the African Leadership Institute in conjunction with Oxford University. The Fellowship represents an elite group of Africa’s highest potential young leaders from various sectors. It is characterized by an intensive learning and broadening experience on the principles and application of leadership and an opportunity to explore the issues and specific characteristics of leadership in Africa and the global challenges and dimensions of an African leader.
During his tenure with the CBL, Mr. Allison represented the Bank at a plethora of international fora: the 8th High-Level Meeting of Supervisors in Cape Town, South Africa; the Harmonization of Supervisory Rules Across the West African Monetary Zone in Conakry, Guinea; the Macro-Prudential Supervisory Framework of African Association of Central Banks in Douala, Cameroon; the 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th and 13th meetings of the College of Bank Supervisors of the West African Monetary Zone. Other activities include representing CBL at the Meeting on the Harmonization of Supervisory Frameworks by WAMI in Cotonou, Benin, and representing CBL at the 14th Annual Meeting of the Committee of Bank Supervisors of West & Central Africa (CBSWCA) in Banjul, The Gambia.
Mr. Allison has also been a critical player in capacity building for the local and regional financial scenes. He has facilitated training courses for bankers in the West African region on corporate governance and risk management at the West African Institute for Financial & Economic Management (WAIFEM). He also conducted training courses for bank Supervisors across West Africa in Corporate Governance and Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) at WAIFEM.
On the local scene, Mr. Allison has conducted training courses for the Banking Institute of Liberia (BIL) in Credit Administration and Management and Treasury Management; training courses for various financial and other institutions (LBDI, IBLL, AFBLL, SIBLL, NASSCORP, and Insurance Company of Africa) on risk management, operations management, credit management, leadership, human resource management, and strategic financial planning; and training courses in Corporate Governance for the boards and senior management of various financial and other institutions (EBLL, LBDI, AFBLL, NASSCORP, IBLL, and Insurance Company of Africa).
Mr. Allison is no stranger to the LBDI. For the last three years, as the CBL Resident Administrator of LBDI, he has played a leading role in implementing the IMF-approved resolution strategy for the resuscitation of LBDI. In this role, Mr. Allison oversaw significant decisions affecting the bank and was critical to the restructuring exercise and cost rationalization that resulted in the bank’s stabilization. During that period, he oversaw a US$31.5 million recapitalization of the bank; the settling of more than US$13 million of outstanding obligations to the bank; increases in the vault, reserve, and current account holdings; and the corporate governance restructuring of the bank. The conjoined effect of these actions was a significant catalyst in restoring the confidence the bank currently enjoys.
With this appointment, the Board of Directors of LBDI signals its intention to take the bank in a new direction to revive its image and restore credibility in the institution. Assurances of support and guidance have, therefore, been pledged to the new leadership of the bank, and customers and stakeholders are assured of a continued commitment to excellence and stellar service.