Published On: Mon, Dec 14th, 2015

Onasanya bequeaths an enduring legacy to FBN

Replacing Mr. Bisi Onasanya, as the Group CEO of the bank was no easy assignment for the Board as a result of the unfolding economic scenario in the country as well as the high standards already achieved by the departing leader.

It was speculated that the Board even had to travel as far as California in the United States to brain storm on who the cap fits.

A comparable rigour also went into the choice of Onasanya as the top man in the bank from a pool of sharp, bright and competent Executive Directors of the oldest surviving bank in Nigeria was not an easy one.

But one significant thing that made his appointment irresistible to the board was his effective and efficient management of one of its subsidiaries, First pension custodian Nigeria limited as Managing Director/CEO.

 This was six years ago, precisely, in 2009. Ever since, the bank has not looked back.

Stakeholders of the bank are, in fact, proud and happy that the board settled for Mr. Onasanya to pilot the affairs of the Century bank then.

Not many have forgotten the lacklustre performance of First Bank a few years ago when queues were a common feature in its banking halls.

While that is now history, Onasanya’s deliberate re-orientation of staff and purge of those who could not measure up with the new standards did indeed pay off.

The bank noted that Onasanya has been able to stabilise and modernise the expanding First Bank brand since his appointment in 2009, thus reinforcing the confidence of the bank’s diverse stakeholders and the global financial publics.

 Insider sources, told Hallmark that on assumption of office, the GMD confided in them that the bank needed a radical change to be able to compete and he focused first on working on the psychology of the staff to adopt ‘ I can do attitude’ and set goals and high targets for them.

 Looking back, the team, as Onasanya would say has in the last six years grown the Group’s total assets from a paltry figure of N2.009 trillion in 2009, representing about 116 per cent to N4.342trillion in 2014.

Similarly, its profit after tax has leapt by 559 per cent to N82.838billion in 2014 from N12.569billion in 2009 while Gross earnings rose by 120 per cent to N480billion in 2014 from N217billion in 2009.

Presently, other performance indicators of the bank which include; NPL at 3.9%, loans /deposits at 67.7%, CAR at 19.1% and ROAE at 17.0% have been fairly impressive.

 Even though the bank believes that target focus should apply now in its expansion plans, it had increased its branches from 510 in 2009 to 892 business locations. But it is a bit regrettable as it has started closing down non-profitable outlets which seen to have added to its huge cost of operations.

 ”In spite of the highlighted challenges, FBN Holdings Plc delivered solid financial results in 2014, across a number of key financial metrics including gross earnings and profit before taxes. This strong performance is championed by our Commercial Banking franchise, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and buoyed by our Investment Banking and Asset Management business which is rapidly growing into a powerhouse in the investment banking space,” said Chairman of FBNH, Oba Otudeko.

”The bank prepared me very well for that job unconsciously. I had the opportunity in my days as the deputy general manager and financial controller to also combine that with being the co-coordinator of the enterprise transformation project. This job gave me the opportunity to access and understand very deeply the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the bank.

In addition, my foray into First Pension Custodian gave me the opportunity to use the services of the bank as a customer. I was able to see the bank from the viewpoint of customers. After six months of being an executive director of banking, operations and services, I was appointed Group managing director, he once said.

This was after Mallam Lamido Sanusi was appointed Governor of Central Bank. Though a challenging task, I am delighted at my achievements.” Onasanya said

A seasoned banker and chartered accountant, Mr. Onasanya is a highly respected and personable executive who has established a reputation at FirstBank for solid performance and sound judgment, said a statement from the Bank.

” He is widely reputed as the architect of the modern FirstBank, associated with various innovative and creative achievements. He was Project Coordinator of Century 2, the new frontier, FirstBank’s far-reaching enterprise transformation project at the turn of the century, as well as Project Coordinator of the FirstBank Corporate Transformation project which has seen the bank accentuating its foothold on modernisation.

 Mr. Onasanya also superintended the latest composite Corporate Identity/Brand Refresh of the FirstBank Group, a bold step heralding the international expansion of the FirstBank brand.”

Accolades from stakeholders

Analysts were unequivocal in their impressions about the man who modernised the operations of First Bank will be remembered for many things.

”Onasanya achieved a lot. He stirred the bank to safety in difficult times. Onasanya took the first bank to greater heights from where it was in 2009. A very safe and stable pair of hands, to have run the biggest bank in Nigeria in a time of turbulence was not an easy feat”, a Nigerian based Managing Director/ Chief Executive of Financial Derivatives Company limited, Bismarck Rewane said.

Dr. Richard Mayungbe, a financial analyst reckons that Mr.Onasanya brought a lot of re-engineering and innovation in the bank as well as improved the human assets of the financial institution.

President Association of Stockbrokers of Nigeria (ASHON) Emeka Madubuike told Hallmark in a telephone interview that looking at Onasanya’s performance from the capital market perspective is satisfying given that First Bank is a foundation stock. ”He has done well,” said he

 ”He is also reputed as a people person having pioneered significant transformation in the development of staff at FirstBank. His tenure saw the transformation of the bank’s training centre into FirstAcademy, a best in class corporate university that recently clinched the 2015 Global Council of Corporate Universities Award for best impact by a corporate university on the implementation of business strategies. The bank has also received the highly coveted Best Place to Work award.

”An articulate and insightful thought leader in the financial services industry, Mr. Onasanya has made meaningful contributions as a member of the Bankers Committee and is the Chairman of the Sub Committee on Ethics and Professionalism.

 He has served as a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Sub-Committee on Fiscal and Monetary Policies and a member of the Presidential Committee on Reduction of Interest Rates. He has also delivered several papers and served on various conferences C-Suite panels across the globe. He is Editor of the new book, “Perspectives on Banking in Nigeria”, featuring a collection of learned articles by banking and finance professionals including operators, regulators and academics.

”Mr. Onasanya is a Director of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and has been Chairman of First Registrars Nigeria Limited, Kakawa Discount House Limited, FBN Bank UK Limited and Unified Payments Limited. A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria he is also an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Taxation and a Fellow and Member of Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Mr. Onasanya was early in 2015 honoured as The Sun Man of the Year 2014 and Newswatch Man of the Year 2014 respectively, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to national development in the financial services industry.

”Under Mr. Onasanya’s leadership FirstBank has been back to back winner of both national and international awards, having been named “The Best Bank Brand in Nigeria” four times in a row – 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 – by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group. Several other awards have also been won by him.

BY OKEY ONYENWEAKU

© 2015, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article.

Reactions from Facebook

comments and opinions

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • Python Dance 3: Uwazurike condemns planned military operation in the South East as unnecessary intimidation

    By OBINNA EZUGWU Senior lawyer and president emeritus of Igbo think tank group, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike has condemned the planned military operation in the South East zone, Python Dance 3, as unnecessary and an attempt to intimidate the people of the zone. Chief Uwazurike who registered his displeasure over the planned military exercise […]

  • Stocks: Oil sector stocks defy economic downturn in 2nd Quarter

    By TESLIM SHITTA-BEY Despite a mild economic recovery in 2018, Oil sector stocks listed on the main board of Nigeria’s stock exchange are only recently shaking off the anguish of last year’s sector melt down. Indeed of the six leading Oil-related companies that have published 2nd quarter results in 2018, Seplat beat the blues by […]

  • Bears clobber Bulls in major rout

    By FELIX OLOYEDE After a stellar 2017, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has collapsed to becoming the fourth worst performing equity market on the global over the last six months as political pressure and a United States of America (USA) interest rate hike intensify investor’s apathy. The local bourse plunged 18.24 per cent over the […]

  • PDP Coalition: anxiety mounts over flag bearer

    By OBINNA EZUGWU With the recent defection of Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the list of anticipated presidential hopefuls under the main opposition party’s platform is complete. But it now faces an imminent danger of being torn apart by the collision of […]

  • H1: Zenith Bank waves the magic wand

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU Despite weak economic tailwinds, Zenith Bank Plc is fashioning a path to stronger corporate earnings in the year 2018. The bank’s management has recently struck a pact with lower operating expenses relative income while putting a spear through the heart of nonperforming loans (NPLs) as the banks half year (H1) 2018 results […]

  • I will disclose my 2019 presidential ambition in due time – Saraki

    By OBINNA EZUGWU Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki has said he will tell Nigerians whether or not he will run for president in 2019 when the time is ripe. Saraki who stated this while responding to questions from journalists during his world press conference earlier on Wednesday in Abuja, following Tuesday’s invasion of the National […]

  • 2019 election budget: NASS leadership meets INEC in Abuja

    The leadership of the National Assembly (NASS) is currently in a meeting with the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. The meeting is a special hearing on INEC’s budget for the 2019 elections. The ongoing meeting was also tweeted via INEC’s official handle, @inecnigeria, where it was stated that the meeting […]

  • At last, Senator Akpabio dumps PDP for APC

    Former Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Wednesday officially decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Akpabio was welcomed to the ruling party at a rally organised for him by the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the APC. Some of the senators in attendance were Abdullahi […]

  • Sack of DSS boss: Osinbajo has made it clear invasion order didn’t come from him – Uwazurike

    Senior lawyer and president emeritus of Igbo think tank group, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike has commended Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo for summoning courage to sack the Director General of the DSS, Lawal Daura over Tuesday’s invasion of the National Assembly, noting that the Acting President, has, by his action, made it clear […]

  • NASS siege: Acting President, Osinbajo sacks DSS boss, Lawal Daura

    Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has sacked the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Lawal Daura following the siege on the National Assembly by security operatives on Tuesday. Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, disclosed Daura’s sacking on his Twitter handle, @akandeoj. He wrote, “AgP Yemi Osinbajo has directed the termination of the appointment of the […]

  • We want to restore Abia to its deserved glory—Otti

    Okey Onyenweaku Dr. Alex Otti, a forefront contestant for the post of Governor of Abia State, yesterday Sunday August 5, 2018 said in Lagos that he was gunning for position of Governor of the State to change the story of the Igbo man in Nigeria and perhaps the world. Otti, who met with friends at […]

  • Stocks: Investors scout for hidden value as market turns bearish

    By TESLIM SHITTA-BEY As Nigeria’s Stock Exchange’s All Shares Index (ASI) dips below a year-to-date yield of zero per cent (-4.58 per cent at the close of the previous week’s business on Friday), a growing number of investors have put gun sights on emerging hidden value opportunities in the market. So far the results have […]

  • Naira remains stable as foreign portfolio investors take lackluster position

    By FELIX OLOYEDE Review of Nigeria’s foreign exchange market in the last one month has revealed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regular intervention in the market has kept the naira stable as foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) adopt a wait-and-see position in the equities market.  The local currency has been stable within a band […]

  • Saraki’ defection deepens NASS-APC logjam

    …as impeachment plot thickens and lawyers sing discordant tunes By OBINNA EZUGWU Last week, Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, capped what has been days of the ruling All Progressives Congress’s (APC) unraveling when he finally and formally quit the party for the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), taking with him the governor of […]

  • SARAKI: Power, Wealth, Mystic

    By OBINNA EZUGWU Bukola Abubakar Saraki is a political force of nature. His meteoric rise to national prominence in a relatively short time has left even his most ardent critics grudgingly envious of his achievements that have since overshadowed that of his late father, Abubakar Saraki, who bestrode the politics of the North Central State […]

  • Booming oil prices puts Nigeria at risk

    By AYOOLA OLAOLUWA Rising oil prices, once a big blessing may now be a curse for Nigeria, BusinessHallmark findings have revealed. The nation is now daily raking in millions of dollars as proceeds from crude sales due to rising oil prices. Since December 2017, the Brent benchmark oil price has soared by about 40%, to […]