Ato Ermyas returned to Ethiopia in 1996 after 8 years of undergraduate and graduate education and 12 years of successful investment banking experience in the United States.
His career in the United States included key executive positions with top international firms such as Manufacturer's Hanover Trust (1984-1987) and Kidder Peabody and Co. (1987-1991), in New York and Los Angeles. He also served on the board of Pacific Thrift and Loan, a mid-size bank in the Western United States. Before leaving for Ethiopia, he was the Managing Director of Amray Capital Advisers in Orange Country, California.
Upon returning to Ethiopia in 1996, Ato Ermyas purchased a large edible oil company from the Ethiopian Privatization Agency and partnered in establishing Lovely Biscuits, a dry biscuit manufacturing company. In addition, he co-founded East Africa Investment Securities, a non-bank financial service and consulting company and was the lead member in the initiative to establish the Addis Ababa stock exchange.
He is best known for establishing the pioneer bottled water company, Highland Spring Mineral Water. Since its inception, Highland Spring has grown to become the leading bottled water company in Ethiopia with over 700 employees. Ato Ermyas has moved on from operational management but remains the Executive Director of Ethiopian Ventures Ltd., which operates Highland Spring Mineral Water, Royal Crown Cola soft drinks, and a plastic products manufacturing operation.
Since 2006, he has focused on the financial services sector and has established Access Capital Service S.C., a leading equity investment firm in Ethiopia whose strategy is to leverage local and foreign investment to develop strong businesses in new areas of opportunity.
He is also the founder of Zemen Bank S.C., Ethiopia's most technologically advanced bank catering to high net worth depositors. He recently founded Access Real Estate S.C. and Access Leasing S.C. (Under formation). Companies founded by Ato Ermyas employ in excess of 1,600 full time personnel in all capacities. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Zemen Bank and CEO of Access group of companies.
His academic qualifications include a MBA in Finance from Boston University, Graduate School of Management (1984), a MA in International Economics from Boston University, Graduate School of Economics (1982) and a BA in Economics and Political Science from Amherst College (1980).
Dr. Berhane Ghebray has run his own Law and Consultancy firm since 1995, after a distinguished career as a business executive, a diplomat and an international civil servant as well as teaching law in the Addis Ababa University Faculty of Law. His legal practice is well-established and he enjoys a solid reputation in Ethiopia and abroa
Recent work experience includes legal due diligence work as part of the Société Française d’Etude et de Conseil (SOFRECO) team working for 9 enterprises in the textile and food sectors on behalf of the Ethiopian Privatization Agency and previously with the international consulting firm Ernst & Young for due diligence reports on 17 enterprises in the transport and agricultural sectors. Other due diligence studies have been done for the Commonwealth Development Corporation (UK). He has represented foreign companies in negotiations with the Public Enterprises Supervising Authority (PESA) and significantly contributed to bringing deals to a successful conclusion.
Dr Berhane is a leading expert in arbitration, including acting as arbitrator on behalf of the UN World Food Program and the European Union and has served as Counsel, expert witness and attorney in several cases brought before the ICC International Court of Arbitration. He is included in the roster of a small number of lawyers kept by the Ethiopian Investment Agency, international organizations and diplomatic missions and he provides legal services on a regular or occasional basis to public enterprises, private businesses and individuals.
Currently, he is also on the Board of Directors of Bank of Abyssinia. His academic qualifications include a Doctorate in Law from the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and he has been a visiting Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University, New York, USA.
Haile Leul Tamiru is a Certified Public Accountant with rich experience over 16 years in auditing and consulting private companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and programs and projects funded by government and NGOs in the USA and Ethiopia. Auditing work includes enterprises up for privatization in Ethiopia. He is the Senior Partner and founding member of HST (now Deloitte) and he has previously worked as a sole proprietor of a business. He has worked with international teams on financial audits, compliance audits, management consulting and analyzing organizational structures and operational efficiency for a wide range of organizations, including trade associations and strengthening the capacity of a Chamber of Commerce. Haile Leul brings computer skills to his work, including installation and training given on comprehensive financial reporting systems. Education qualifications include a BSC degree in Accounting and Economics from California State University and he is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
Yoseph Asrat is CEO in ECBG Group of Companies. ECBG is extensively engaged in construction-related activities. Under his leadership, the business started as a small-scale machinery rental private company a decade ago and now owns 5 companies, i.e. ECBG Con (a GC 1 Construction Company), Kingong Orientrac PLC (a machinery rental company), JAB Rock Drilling and Blasting PLC (engaged in a drilling, blasting and machinery hire), JAB Stone Gravel PLC (engaged in manufacturing crushed gravel and related products), and Inter ET PLC (runs road marking and furnishing activities).
Before moving to Ethiopia, he was in Canada, as the principal franchisee of Gateway Newstands, a 500-store chain in North America. Currently, Yoseph represents the Principals of Gateway Newstands and its affiliates in the Middle East, especially in the U.A.E., as a full partner and Manager of Foreign Business Development.
Internationally, he has appeared before the International Chamber of Commerce as a witness for the Ethiopian Roads Authority on a case litigated between the Ethiopian Government and a French contractor. Yoseph still owns a business in Toronto. His academic qualifications include an Accounting Diploma from the Commercial College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and a Management Diploma from SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary, Canada.
Eskinder started his career at Ethiopian Airlines, working as an airline pilot for two years. He emigrated to the USA to pursue his studies, attending Santa Barbara College, California and Georgetown University, Washington D.C. He worked as a legal clerk at Joel S. Crosby International Law and as a bank officer at Santa Barbara Savings & Loan Bank in California.
Upon his return to Ethiopia, Eskinder became founder and Managing Director of Meskel Flowers Plc, which is the first private cut-flowers and horticultural farm in Ethiopia. He also manages and runs a fleet of refrigerator-mounted trucks providing transport to companies involved in the production and export of cut flowers. At YEMCO Trading PLC, he serves as the Managing Director, providing flower arrangement services to prestigious hotels such as Sheraton Addis, Addis Ababa Hilton and high-end shopping centres such as Novis Supermarket. Also in Beta Associates, he provides advisory services to agricultural firms. Eskinder has a BA degree in Economics and International Studies from Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California. He is a member of the Ethiopian Horticultural Enterprises Association and is a member of the Advisory Board of Ethiopian Children’s Village.
The following research has recently been released by Access Capital: (Research documents are downloadable PDF files)