Analysis: Emefiele, the Transformer at Zenith Bank
By Nat Amogu
Zenith Bank PLC, under its current Chief Executive Officer/Group Managing Director, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has consistently met and surpassed the regulatory requirements by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to maintain a certain ratio of total regulatory capital to the risk-weighted asset. The bank is today rated as a low risk institution, with a sound capacity to generate and retain reserves. As a result, the bank’s liquidity profile remains very strong and its risk management practices have given assurance that this profile will be sustained. Through various innovations and initiatives by the Emefiele’s administration, the bank has become the biggest bank in Nigeria by Tier 1, showing strength in asset base, liquidity, profitability, asset quality and capitalisation. This is because, the management’s strategy for assessing and managing the impact of the bank on the industry forms an integral part of its strategic plan and the bank considers how the present and future capital requirements will be managed and met, especially in view of projected capital requirements based on its assessment and against the regulatory capital requirements.
Emefiele, who joined Zenith Bank over 19 years ago, was appointed Managing Director/ Chief Executive on August 1, 2010. He assured the bank’s stakeholders that they will continue to reap rewards, as Zenith Bank continues to roll-out its superior customer services model through a leading technology platform from its highly talented pool of employees. His strong leadership skills have no doubt become a significant advantage as his management has set in motion the combined vision for the Zenith Bank Group. He has been instrumental in developing Zenith Bank into a world-class institution. Emefiele served as Executive Director in charge of Corporate banking, Treasury, Financial Control and Strategic Planning and has had over 18 years of banking experience. He also served as Director at Zenith Bank Limited(Gambia).
Before commencing his banking career, he had lectured Finance and Insurance at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he obtained a BSc Degree in 1984 and an MBA Degree in Finance in 1986 respectively. He also lectured Finance and Insurance at the University of Port Harcourt and served as Director of ACCION Micro Finance Bank Limited. An alumni of Executive Education at Stanford University, Harvard University (2004) and Wharton Graduate Schools of Business (2005), Emefiele, joined Zenith Bank over 19 years ago and was appointed Deputy Managing Director in 2001 and given a pivotal role. The bank has benefited from his in-depth knowledge of Finance and Banking. The bank’s strong focus on Corporate governance and Global best practices is attributable to the joint efforts of the Chief Executive and his Executive Directors which had been the driving force behind the success story of Zenith Bank.
Since the inception, its management had always taken the employees and technology very seriously and as a result, the bank has been able to develop a lot of innovative products and Zenith happened to be the first bank in Nigeria to adopt technology platform. The bank , which has a total of 3,911 employees has also listed its shares on the London Stock Exchan ge to take advantage of the strategic benefit there-from through a non-capital raising Technical Global Depository receipts. Zenith Bank was established in May 1990 and became a public Limited Company in July 2004 after an initial public offering on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) on October 21 of that year. Also in that same year, credit rating agency, Fitch identified its credit as an AA- on their long-term scale.
Other awards include Bank of the Year, 2005, by The Banker Magazine, Most Respected Bank, by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Socially Responsible Bank of the Year, 2007, by African Banker Magazine among others