Liberia: LBDI President Deo Delaney Resigns 'Over Academic Fraud'

Former LBDI President Deo Delaney

.... … “It has however come to the attention of the Board that there were inaccuracies in the academic qualifications supplied to the recruitment firm. As a result of this anomaly, Delaney has tendered his resignation which has been accepted by the board,” a release from the Bank Board Chair, Samuel Tweah said.

The President of the Liberian Bank of Development and Investment (LBDI), Deo Delaney has resigned after it was discovered that he lied about his academic credentials.

Delaney's resignation came after the Bank Board of Director found out that he inflated his curriculum vitae while applying for the job.  His departure brings to an end the integrity crisis issues that have been hovering the bank for the last few days. 

“It has however come to the attention of the Board that there were inaccuracies in the academic qualifications supplied to the recruitment firm. As a result of this anomaly, Delaney has tendered his resignation which has been accepted by the board,” a release signed by the Bank’s Board Chair, Samuel Tweah, said. 

“Effective December 6, the Board has designated Mark Akwenah Nyeamene, Jr. the General Manager/DCEO, as Acting President/CEO of LBDI. The Board assures the general public, particularly our customers, our stakeholders, our potential investors, and all other stakeholders, that LBDI remains strong in its operations and that the depositors’ funds are safe and secure. Also, LBDI continues to retain a competent and highly dedicated workforce to deliver the excellent banking services it is known for.”

Delaney, while applying for the Bank top’s job claimed that he had broad international experience spanning more than 15 years in global finance, trade and commerce, and digital strategy for financial institutions.

The more contentious issue was when he claimed to hold a Master’s Degree in Global Business with academic distinction from the University of Oxford Said Business School.

At Oxford, he said, his thesis was awarded academic distinction for its analysis on the role and relevance of market institutions in sustaining growth of industries in emerging markets.

At Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Delaney claimed to have completed post-graduate studies in Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance.

However, this later appeared false as the both universities disclosed that their programs are for professional development and are not tied to any academic credit, grades or a degree after an inquiry by the activist Martin K. N. Kollie, and his Campaigners for Academic Crimes Court in Liberia. 

Delaney, who in April, took the helm of LBDI, Liberia’s only Development Finance Institution, envisioned strengthening the bank’s balance sheet, digitalization and climate finance among other tasks, is yet to respond to the claim of academic fraud.

In a release announcing his appointment, the Bank said that Delaney earned a Master’s in Human Rights and Conflict Affairs at the Institute of Law and Politics of the Scuola Superiore S’Anna di Pisa in Italy.

The 37-year-old Delaney’s CV noted that he was a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), and worked as a strategy, management and technology consultant at Accenture in Amsterdam before joining LBDI. 

As a practice lead at Accenture, he oversaw digital transformation strategy for financial institutions and multinationals, it added.

But he said that he was joining the LBDI with job experience including posts across the United Nations system, including UNMIL, the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC) headquarters in Bonn, Germany, and UNICEF’s headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.

His CV said that he has also worked at the European Commission’s External Action Service - Common Security and Defense policy (CSDP) and the British Chambers of Commerce, where he led the European Union and international trade team. In that role, it claimed that  Delaney played a key role in negotiations of the largest free trade deal in the world: the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), leading the EU Nordic public consultations.

Prior to Accenture, Delaney told the LBDI that worked at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing, China, managing the institution’s financial services outsourcing portfolio covering treasury and controller operations.

At AIIB, he said he supported the issuance of the Bank’s first USD global bond, raising US$3.5 billion. He also worked on the team that launched Renminbi (RMB)-denominated bond issuance, raising US$500 million; and worked with the bank’s External Fund Management Program (EMP) for liquid asset management of US$6 billion.

Delaney said he also supported Liberia’s accession to the AIIB.

During the pandemic, he said he was appointed to the World Bank Global Steering Committee COVAX Traceability Expert Advisory Board, leading Accenture’s efforts on the design and build of the Global Trust Repository for COVID vaccines.

At UNICEF,  Delaney said he headed the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunization (GAVI) co-financing program covering 76 countries.

A contributing writer to the Huffington Post, Delaney claimed that he has written lots of articles and co-authored scores of publications and white papers on business, free trade, technology, investment protection and sustainable investment. 

Whether Delaney also lied about his work experience may be a conversation for another day, as the discovery of academic fraud on his part was enough for the bank’s board to require his resignation.