FBN Holdings (FBNH) Plc Monday announced major changes to its leadership team, effective January 1, 2016.
In a statement Monday, the holding company said the pioneer Group CEO, FBN Holdings, Mr. Bello Maccido, would step down to become the pioneer Chairman of the newly-licensed FBN Merchant Bank Limited, while the current Executive Director, South, First Bank of Nigeria (FirstBank) Limited, Mr. U.K Eke, would replace him as Group Managing Director-designate, FBN Holdings Plc.
Other changes will see the current Chairman of FirstBank, Prince Ajibola Afonja, retire and Mrs. Ibukun Awosika takes over as the new Chairman of the bank.
FBNH added that following a rigorous selection process driven by the board and supported by Heidrick & Struggle, the internationally renowned executive search firm, the current Executive Director/CFO, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, emerged Managing Director-designate of FirstBank, while the current Executive Director, Lagos & West, Mr. Gbenga Shobo, emerged Deputy Managing Director-designate.
Prior to yesterday’s announcement, the post of Deputy MD did not exist in the bank.
The appointments came on the heels of the FBNH’s earlier notice of Mr. Bisi Onasanya’s retirement as GMD/CEO of the bank.
The holding company added that the decisions had been ratified by the board of directors, subject to all necessary regulatory approvals, and would take effect from January 1, 2016.
FBNH said: “As pioneer Group CEO of the FBN Holdings Group in very critical times, Maccido birthed the process to establish the multi-faceted group to comply with diverse regulatory requirements, navigating through uncharted territory.
“He will undoubtedly bring his wealth of experience, spanning over 30 years post call to the Bar experience as an accomplished retail, corporate and investment banker, to bear in his new role chairing the board of the emergent FBN Merchant Bank Limited.”\
The incoming GMD-designate of the holding company, Eke, has over 30 years post experience in financial services, auditing, consulting, taxation, process engineering and capital market operations.
“Dr. Adeduntan, the Managing Director-designate, has garnered diverse expertise in treasury and financial management, risk management, accounting, corporate governance and strategy development, advisory and compliance.
“The new DMD-designate, Mr. Shobo, has a banking career spanning over 25 years with experience in corporate banking, institutional banking, commercial banking, retail banking and treasury,” the statement said.
Speaking on the appointments, the group Chairman, FBNH, Mr. Oba Otudeko, said: “Following an exhaustive and competitive process, we are proud to announce these appointments. In reaching these decisions, we were mindful of the imperatives for a more efficient group structure that will benefit the group’s need to deploy systems which deepen efficiency while expanding revenue and returns on investment.
“We are confident that we have made the right choices in these appointees. In selecting our MD and DMD of FirstBank, we were particularly mindful to identify outstanding and topnotch professionals with complementary and mutually reinforcing skills set.
“These appointments are a testament to the strength of our succession planning mechanism and the calibre of candidates it produces. It also re-articulates our commitment to put our customers first with the confidence in the value that this new leadership team brings to bear on behalf of the group, customers and employees, even as we strive to return greater value to shareholders.”
Reacting to the announcement, a market analyst said the new appointments made by the holding company were a step in the right direction.
The analyst, who preferred not to be named, said FirstBank, which accounts for up to 90 per cent of the group’s earnings, was still a market leader and remains one of Nigeria’s largest banks, but has been hobbled in recent years by its high cost structure.
“The MD-designate, Adeduntan, has only been with the bank for about a year. But he got there purely on merit and is a well-known cost manager. So the market will be looking up to him to drive revenue and cut costs at FirstBank to increase profitability.
“The operating environment is quite challenging right now, so FirstBank and the holding company needed a breath of fresh air with a new dynamic team to take them to the next level and take back its pole position in the banking sector,” he said.