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The new face of FirstBank

Posted by By SEUN ADESIDA on 2008/08/11 | Views: 1527 |

The new face of FirstBank

It is no longer news that Mr Jacobs Mayo Ajekigbe is on his way out of First Bank, at least as Managing Director and Chief Executive. It is also clear that Ajekigbe’s exit is not as a result of any board room squabbles interestingly the new helmsman is a Sanusi – not Joseph Sanusi, though.

It is no longer news that Mr Jacobs Mayo Ajekigbe is on his way out of First Bank, at least as Managing Director and Chief Executive. It is also clear that Ajekigbe’s exit is not as a result of any board room squabbles interestingly the new helmsman is a Sanusi – not Joseph Sanusi, though.

FirstBank Nigeria Plc over the weekend announced the appointment of a new Managing Director and Chief Executive, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Sanusi who is currently Executive Director, Risk & Management Control of FirstBank will take over from Ajekigbe, January 1, 2009 as Ajekigbe will be retiring from the Bank on December 31, 2008 after a meritorious career spanning over three decades in the Bank.

A statement from the bank said the succession plan is in sync with FirstBank’s corporate governance practice, “as Sanusi will be understudying Ajekigbe, with a view to assuming office in a seamless manner. As is well known, the Bank’s corporate governance posture has won it much respect and awards both locally and internationally, the appointment is expected to take effect from January 1 2009.

The new managing director has the new MD is coming a background of championing remarkable developments in the Bank’s enterprise, risk and management control mechanisms. He was General Manager at United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), where he anchored the transformation of the previous Credit Risk Management Division into an Enterprise-Risk Management sector and spearheaded UBA’s Basel 2 focus by establishing the framework, policies, processes and systems necessary for compliance with the guidelines of the New Capital accord.

Sanusi graduated with a B.Sc in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in 1981 and was later in the M.Sc class and started his working career in academics, teaching undergraduate Economics (1983-1985) at the Ahmadu Bello University. He then proceeded to a banking career, first with ICON Limited (Merchant Bankers), where in a period of about seven years he gained wide experience in Issuing House activities, Financial Advisory Services, Privatization, Debt-Conversion and Credit and Marketing, before joining UBA.

Sanusi is expected to provide reinvigorated leadership taking the Bank to the next level, drawing from the vast experience of Mr. Ajekigbe, an industry icon in his own right. The seamless transition will ensure that FirstBank remains focused and maintains its leadership position in the industry.

Mr. Ajekigbe is retiring at the impressive peak of an outstanding career with FirstBank, spanning over 30 consecutive years, the last six of which he is serving meritoriously as Managing Director/Chief Executive. He has been able to stabilize the Bank from the crisis situation which he inherited on his appointment in 2002, thus reinforcing the confidence of the bank’s diverse stakeholders and the global financial publics.

Ajekigbe’s tenure has witnessed a plethora of laudable achievements. He has succeeded in growing all of the Bank’s financial performance indices from year to year. In addition to initiating a record-making and highly successful hybrid offer, he has succeeded in making the Bank the first Nigerian quoted company to hit the N1 trillion mark in market capitalisation.

Also, the FirstBank group, under Ajekigbe’s able leadership, now boasts of eight (8) local subsidiaries (with another one in formation having been approved in principle by the Central Bank of Nigeria) and a full-fledged bank in the United Kingdom, FBN Bank (UK) Limited, a branch in Paris through FBN Bank (UK), with the strategic intent to spread across Europe, as well as a representative office in South Africa, with further application to set up in Asia under processing.

It is noteworthy that the establishment of FBN Bank (UK) Limited as well as its spread to Paris were pioneering landmarks in the Nigerian banking industry during Mr. Ajekigbe’s tenure.
Back to back winner of both local and international awards, FirstBank was the winner of the Emerging Markets Banking Achievement Award for Africa at the World Bank/IMF 2007 meetings, Washington DC, USA; winner of “Best Bank in Nigeria”, “Best Trade Finance Bank in Nigeria”, and “Best Foreign Exchange Bank in Nigeria” for four (4) consecutive years - 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 – awarded by the US-based Global Finance magazine, to mention a few of the awards won by the Bank recently.

In further evidence of the Bank’s present strength, two foremost international risk-rating agencies Standard and Poor’s and Fitch have, once again this year, rated the Bank highly. Standard and Poor’s assigned the Bank a long term rating of “BB -” and “B” short term rating with stable outlook. This is the same rating assigned the country by the same agency. Fitch assigned the Bank “B+” (long-term) and “B” (short-term), with stable outlook, which translates into a notch below what the agency assigned the country, while it also affirmed the Bank’s “A+” and “F1” (nga) national long-term and short-term ratings for the past six (6) years respectively.

Extolling Mr. Ajekigbe’s outstanding achievements recently, Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Mutallab, Chairman of FirstBank, noted that, “The Board of Directors and Management of First Bank of Nigeria Plc are immensely pleased with the professional and impressive way their Managing Director/Chief Executive has been piloting the affairs of the Bank in the past six years...We take vicarious pride in the fact that Mr. Ajekigbe as the Managing Director/Chief Executive has succeeded in taking First Bank of Nigeria Plc to impressive heights.”

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown