BY ZAKA KHALIQ, Lagos
One of Nigeria’s leading banks, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), is set to announce a successor to the current managing director/chief executive officer, Mr. Segun Agbaje, in a short while, LEADERSHIP investigations have revealed.
This followed the conclusion of selection process that started about eight months ago for which an independent consultant was employed by the bank.
According to sources, what the bank is waiting for before making it public is regulatory approval.
The bank had last year announced that Agbaje would be retiring from the bank he took over as the MD/CEO in 2011, spending 10 years in the process and turning the financial institution into a global bank.
He supervised the process of the bank operating a holding company (Holdco).
To this end, insider sources yesterday revealed that some restructuring is ongoing, hence Bolaji Lawal and Demola Odeyemi, both of them executive directors of the bank, have been asked to retire.
This, however, paves the way for the emergence of Miriam Olusanya as managing director of the bank under the Holdco structure. In this line, she would assume the position of the MD/CEO of GTBank Nigeria.
Similarly, out of the nine general managers of the bank, it was learnt that four general managers (GMs) have been asked to leave the bank.
Further findings show that the GM, Risk, George Uwakwe; GM, Corporate Banking, Lagos Mainland, Femi Akerewusi; GM, Systems and Control Division, Segun Fadahunsi and chief compliance officer, Subuola Abraham, have all been relieved of their jobs in the bank.
Hence, the new structure of the bank under a Holdco has brought in new appointments with John Thomas to become the managing director, West Africa, GTBank Holding Company; Bayo Vera Cruz as MD, East Africa; Angela Koech, regional chief financial officer, East Africa, and Caleb Osei, regional chief financial officer (CFO), West Africa.
Others are: Olumide Oguntuase, divisional head, ERM; Olayinka Odusote, divisional head, digital banking; Osa Aimerioghene, CCO compliance group; Muinat Lanre Kasim, divisional head, Syscom, and Ijeoma Esemudje, divisional head, corporate banking/Mainland/Agric.
Speaking on the succession plan last year, Agbaje explained: “What we are looking for now is a managing director for Guaranty Trust Bank, Nigeria. The process has started and I have always told people that we have five executive directors, and so all of them are going through a process at the moment.
“We are working with a consulting firm in the United Kingdom. We are looking at what we think the future would hold and what we think the Nigerian banking industry would look like.
“At the end of the process – which would end at the beginning of the fourth quarter – we will have a managing director for GTBank Nigeria. So, we are on track. So, succession in GTBank Nigeria is well under control.”
Earlier, the shareholders of GTBank Plc had approved the holding company structure for the bank as they expressed excitement over the benefits they would derive from the new structure.
At the court-ordered meeting held recently, the investors gave their approval to the company for the transfer of the 29,431,179,224 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each in the issued and paid-up share capital of the bank held by them to Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc.
The bank’s gross earnings expanded 4.58% year-on-year to N455.23 billion in 2020 on the back of a relatively strong growth in non-interest income.
In the year, the bank’s non-interest income swelled up 11.06% above the amount reported in financial year 2019. Interest-related income surged marginally at 1.53% as a result of low interest rates’ environment in the Nigerian economy.
Lender’s net interest margin (NIM) contracted, albeit slightly, to 9.26% from 9.28% in 2019, supported by efficiency in deposit mix.
In a new report, analysts at Meristem Securities said the bank’s non-interest income was buoyed by FX revaluation and financial instruments trading gains, as fee-based income (net) declined significantly by 14.80%.
Meanwhile, other than the spike in impairment charges, costs were largely kept in check with cost-to-income ratio at 38.24% – below management guidance of 40% – from 36.11% in 2019.
The bank’s improved current and savings account (CASA) mix and low cost of funds that dropped to 1.19% from 2.30% in 2019 helped mitigate the impact of higher operating expenses.