Unveiling, The Big Boys Managing Nigeria’s Biggest Banks (2)

It is a moment of unveiling of ten of the big boys calling the shots in ten of the topmost banking outfits in the country.

AS you know, behind every successful business enterprise, moreso, a money market institution,  is obviously a thoroughbred professional, what you could call a best among equals. 

Though surrounded by no less qualified financial and banking wizards, they buck normally stops on their table, so they take the credits when the transactions return in all green, and also carry the cans, when the figures hit red.

 The sector has become very sophisticated and the environment overtly challenging, and if anyone needs more than mere guts to stay on, it is these CEOs..

Of course, this is not the result of a scientific survey, but you cannot but acknowledge that these ones stand out. Follow us:

Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer , Access Bank

When it was time to declare trading results recently, Access Bank Plc declared N45.10 billion as profit before tax, for its first quarter ended March 31, 2019, representing 64.4 per cent increase compared to N27.44 billion posted in the corresponding quarter in Q1’18.

Earnings rose by 16.4 per cent to N160.12 billion on the back of 9.1 per cent increase in interest income.

Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, said: “The group delivered solid earnings underscoring the value potentials of the newly expanded business model.”. That same Wigwe is the driver behind all the success that Access Bank has been associated with in the Nigerian banking industry.

Mr. Wigwe started his professional career with Coopers and Lybrand Associates, an international firm of Chartered Accountants. He spent over 10 years at Guaranty Trust Bank where he managed several portfolios including Financial institutions, Corporates and Multinationals.

He left Guaranty Trust as an Executive Director to co-lead the transformation of Access Bank Plc in March 2002 as Deputy Managing Director. He was appointed Group Managing Director/CEO effective January 1, 2014.

He is an Alumnus of Harvard Business School Executive Management Programme, holds a Masters degree in Banking and International Finance from the University College of North Wales; a Masters degree in Financial Economics from the University of London and a B.Sc. degree in Accounting from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), the Chairman of The Access Bank (UK) Ltd  and Interim Chairman of Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company Plc.

How else do you measure success order than look at the firms one steers? Being one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions, and a total asset of N2.412 trillion and a revenue of 51billion are clear indicators.

Add to these, over 5.7 million customers in Nigeria, 309 branches, 9000+ employees and 8 subsidiaries in Sub-Saharan Africa including United Kingdom. It is indeed clap, clap, clap for Wigwe

Kennedy Uzoka GMD/CEO United Bank for Africa

Kennedy Uzoka
Kennedy Uzoka, GMD/CEO, United Bank for Africa

Even in the sophisticated banking industry, it is not difficult to identify a man of vision, and a diligent group player. He ensures the credits are generally shared, despite bearing the mantle of leadership.

Perhaps, that is the best way to introduce Kennedy Uzoka GMD/CEO of UBA.  He oversees a bank having 20 African subsidiaries, contributing about 20% of the Group’s balance sheet, with a target of contributing 50% and then on a quest to build the strongest domestic and African brand.

Says Uzoka, “Our strategic intent is to be the leading financial services institution in Africa by 2020. Our corporate statement focuses on how we intend to drive this; the statement ‘Excellent Services… Delivered’ demonstrates the required focus on our customer regardless of sector or segment.

To further re-enforce this, we have introduced a new set of company values – Enterprise, Excellence and Execution. These values drive the behaviour of over 20,000 direct and support staff across the globe in our organization”.

Uzoka is not the kind of CEO that just preaches, but sets the standards of behavior first with his own conducts. He asserts thus: Place the customer first always. Work with motivated and productive people; and – Consistently create value for all our stakeholders.

Thus, when the  United Bank For Africa Plc released its unaudited first quarter results for the period ended March 31, 2019 recently, stakeholders,  even critics agreed it had taken diligence at top management level.

Gross earnings grew by +10.3% to N131.67bn from N119.37 in the previous quarter.

Interest Income grew by 9.1% from N90.33bn in Q1 2018 to N98.56bn in Q1 2019

PBT grew by 13.6% to N30.16bn while  PAT grew by 20.8% to N28.66bn

Also, net Assets also grew by 8.1% to N543.22bn from N502.61bn as at 31st December, 2018.

Mr Emeka Emuwa, CEO/Group Managing Director, Union Bank

Emeka Emuwa
Mr Emeka Emuwa, CEO/Group Managing Director, Union Bank

At Union Bank, the vision is “We make lives better by delivering the simplest, smartest solutions and guaranteeing the best experience every time”. Welcome to the basic driving force and motivation of Mr Emeka Emuwa . Why not? He is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Group Managing Director of Union Bank.

He joined Union Bank after 25 years at Citibank where he rose through the ranks from Management Associate in 1986 to Managing Director, Citibank Nigeria Ltd, and Citi Country Officer, Nigeria.

While at Citibank, he served as Citi Country Officer in Cameroon, Tanzania, Gabon, Congo, Ghana and Niger and also worked in various positions within Nigeria. In 2005, he became the first Nigerian to be appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Citibank Nigeria Limited.

With a BSc. in Finance from the University of Lagos and an MSc. in Management from the Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, USA. Enuwa has extensive experience in credit risk management, strategy, negotiating, leadership and people management in addition to treasury, corporate finance and cash management product training.

From  Accion Microfinance Bank Nigeria to Nigeria-Portugal Friendship and Business Association, Junior Achievement Nigeria,  HFC Bank Ghana Limited down to  American Business Council, he is a monumental asset to Union Bank as demonstrated by soaring profile of the bank in the recent.


Adamu Nuru
Adamu Nuru, Managing Director, FCMB

Adam Nuru, Managing Director, FCMB

When FCMB Group Plc released its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2018, it reported a gross revenue of N177.4 billion, an increase of 4.3% compared to the N169.9 billion for the same period in 2017. In addition, profit before tax (PBT) rose by 73% to N18.4 billion as against N11.5 billion in the preceding year. Following these, the financial institution has recommended a dividend of 14 kobo per share to shareholders.

The group added, ‘’the Commercial and Retail Banking Group (which includes First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited) grew its profits by 76%, driven by improved performance in retail lending and increase in fees and commissions. That is where Mr. Adam Nuru holds forte.

Announced as Managing Director of the financial institution in 3017, he has been building on the foundations left by Ladi Balogun, who had served as Group Managing Director of the commercial banking arm for 10 years.

Nuru holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a specialisation in Finance from the Ahmadu Bello University.

He has over 20 years experience covering Corporate Finance, Consumer Banking, Public Sector, Treasury, Commercial/Retail Banking and Human Resources Management. Mr. Nuru began his career at the Nigerian Agricultural & Cooperative Bank. He also worked at Oceanic Bank and FSB International Bank (Now Fidelity Bank), where he headed Public Sector, later Retail Banking (Lagos), and eventually Human Resources Management Group. He joined FCMB in 2005 as Head of Enterprise Management overseeing Human Resources, Administration & Logistics and Branch Development.

He joined FinBank Plc in 2009 as Executive Director, North Nigeria and rejoined FCMB as Executive Director Abuja & North Nigeria, following the merger of FCMB and FinBank in 2012.

Nnamdi Okonkwo, Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc

Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo,
Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, Managing Director, Fidelity Bank

There may be many banks in the country, but not all know how to ease the transaction hassles for customers. This is one of the things that has made Fideltity Bank stand out. . The presiding officer here is none other than Nnamdi Okonkwo,

A graduate of University of Benin, in Agricultural Economics, he also holds an MBA in Banking and Finance from Enugu State University of Technology, Nigeria, and an Advanced Management Programme of INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, France.

Nnamdi has attended business, leadership and management training programs locally and overseas, in some of the world’s leading institutions including Harvard Business School, Wharton Business School and Stanford Graduate School.

His banking career started in 1990 at Merchant Bank of Africa, Nigeria, was nurtured at Guaranty Trust Bank, and at other financial institutions, notably United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc

He holds various managerial and leadership positions including Regional Bank Head in Lagos, Regional Director, Federal Capital, Nigeria, Project Director, and Head of Corporate Banking and Multinational Corporates Division. The high point of his career in UBA came when he was appointed Managing Director/CEO of UBA Ghana and later elevated to Regional CEO of the bank’s West Africa Monetary Zone covering Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

In 2012, Nnamdi took advantage of an existing opportunity and joined Fidelity Bank Plc., Nigeria as Executive Director in charge of the Bank’s businesses in Southern Nigeria, a position he held until January 1, 2014 when he was appointed Managing Director/CEO of Fidelity Bank.

Mr. Okonkwo also serves as a Non-Executive Director of Nigeria Inter-Bank settlement system Plc and Unified Payment Services Limited.

The experiences he garnered have been brought to bear on Fidelity’s operations as the bank has since grown to reckoning.

With over 240 branches, 774 ATM’s across Nigeria, as well as credit as the most capitalized bank in Nigeria in 2011 and 25th in Africa, and total asset size of N1 trillion, Fidelity cannot be ignored. By implication, the one calling the shots there can only be a banker of substance.

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