United States Marine Corps Veteran
Investing in Emerging Markets
From a Marine to a CEO: His Amazing Story
After serving four years in the United States Marine Corps and a 27 year career in banking that took him around the world, including in three distinct CEO roles, John Vitalo now works as an independent board member, entrepreneur and consultant.
John was the initial CEO and a board member of Atlas Mara Ltd., a London Stock Exchange ("LSE")-listed company specializing in acquiring and integrating local banks in Africa, from 2014 to 2017. He was Atlas Mara's first employee, joining when it was a newly established bank holding company with only a board of directors, the LSE listing and cash in a bank account. Working with the board, he planned and put in place anew the platform to bring the board's chosen vision to life and simultaneously executed on that vision, including making and integrating numerous turnaround acquisitions of banks in a range of African countries.
John joined Atlas Mara from Barclays PLC where he was its CEO of Middle East & North Africa ("MENA"), a position he held from 2009 to 2014. In this role he was responsible for all Barclays businesses in the MENA region including retail, private, corporate and investment banking. During this time he worked closely with senior government and business leaders throughout the region, especially in the Arab Gulf. Prior to that he was CEO of Absa Capital, the pan-African corporate and investment bank based in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 2005 to 2009. In that role he led Absa Capital from the lowest ranking to the premier investment bank in the sub-Saharan Africa region.