Sterling Bank appoints Abubakar Suleiman CEO as Adeola retires April
Sterling Bank Plc has appointed Abubakar Suleiman (Abu) as its new management director/chief executive officer (CEO) effective March 31, 2018. Suleiman is currently the Executive Director, Finance & Strategy, a role he has occupied since May 2012.
Suleiman will be succeeding Yemi Adeola, who is the bank’s founding director and long-serving Chief Executive Officer who effective April 1, 2018 retires from the board after over 14 years of service.
Suleiman’s appointment which came in line with market expectations helped clarify the bank’s management succession plan. At the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), investors raised bet on the shares of the bank which rose to N1.74, after adding 8kobo to yesterday opening price of N1.66.
Adeola’s banking career started in the then Nigeria International Bank Limited now Citibank Nigeria Limited in 1988 where he served in various capacities and rose to the position of Executive Director in 1998, one of the youngest officers and indeed one of the first Nigerian nationals to be appointed in that capacity with the Citigroup Inc’s Nigeria unit between February 1998 and May 2003.
In July 2003, Adeola became the Deputy Managing Director of the bank’s legacy component, Trust Bank of Africa Limited. He was instrumental to the formation of Sterling Bank in 2006, served as Integration Director in the immediate post-merger phase and up until 2007 as Executive Director covering Commercial and Institutional Banking and later Corporate Banking prior to becoming CEO.
Sterling Bank Plc recorded sustained growth in earnings with gross earnings rising to N94.6 billion during the third quarter of 2017 as against N79.7 billion during the corresponding period of 2016. Other performance indicators showed that non-interest income grew by 48.9 percent to N16.0 billion as against N10.8 billion in the third quarter of 2016.
Further analysis showed that net operating income increased by 0.5percent to N45.3 billion compared with N45.1 billion in 2016. Operating expenses however moderated by 0.6 percent to N38.8 billion as against N39 billion in 2016; profit before tax rose by 8.1percent to N6.6 billion as against N6.1 billion in 2016 while profit after tax also appreciated by 7.3 percent to close the quarter at N5.9 billion compared with N5.5 billion in 2016.
The bank’s financial ratios showed pre-tax return on average equity of 9.6 percent compared with 9.1 percent in 2016, post tax return on average equity was 8.6 percent as against 8.3 percent in 2016 while earnings per share rose to 21 kobo in 2017 from 19 kobo in 2016.
Asue Ighodalo, Chairman of the Board of Directors said, “In 2008, Yemi was appointed to the role of substantive CEO. Since that appointment, he has overseen a period of strong growth in market share and profitability with the institution moving from the 23rd ranked bank measured by assets to the top half of the domestic banking market.
“Additionally, Yemi and his team have navigated multiple economic and banking credit cycles with great skill, sound judgement and outstanding professionalism often thriving in the most difficult conditions evidenced by the emergence of the Bank as a consolidator in the 2009-2011 cycle despite its modest capital base and distribution footprint at the time, and its continuing success in growing organically thereafter. More than anything else, Yemi’s legacy is reflected in the excellent professional reputation of the Bank; the stability of its Board and Management – something rarely seen in merged institutions; and the overall strength of its institutional governance, all of which are achievements that I have no doubt that the new leadership team will build upon and extend even further. On behalf of the Board and all our colleagues, I thank first and foremost his family for their sacrifice, and Yemi himself for his outstanding service to the Bank and exceptional leadership while trusting that we can continue to call upon his counsel as ‘Emeritus CEO’, notable shareholder and friend of the Bank,” Ighodalo said.
“I am equally pleased to welcome Abu into the CEO role. Over the years, Abu has developed an outstanding strategic and operational track record across all our business areas and great relationships with customers and other stakeholders in key areas of our businesses,” he said.
Sterling Bank’s non-performing loan ratio dropped to 6.1percent in 2017 from 9.9percent in 2016, while capital adequacy ratio increased to 11.4percent in 2017 from 11.2percent in 2016.
The financial position statement of the bank showed that shareholders’ funds rose by 13.6 per cent to N97.3 billion as against N85.7billion in 2016 while total assets, excluding contingent liabilities, increased by 15.2percent to N961 billion against N834.2 billion in 2016.
Abubakar Suleiman said: “I am deeply humbled but delighted to be stepping into the CEO role at this time. Over the past decade under Yemi, our share of the banking market has grown significantly, and our brand has become established in the marketplace. I look forward to working with the Board and my colleagues in Management towards building on the excellent foundation already in place to deliver superior value for the benefit of all our stakeholders”.
Yemi Adeola, CEO said: ‘Our Bank has grown materially in all respects over the past decade moving from being a marginal player on the fringes, to an established operator trusted by millions of people today. The achievements highlighted by the Chairman in his remarks have required huge personal sacrifice on the part of many people. I am extremely grateful to all of them for their support and know that Abu and his team can continue to count on this support in the months and years to come.”
Sterling Bank Plc is a leading commercial banking establishment in Nigeria. It commenced operations as NAL Bank in 1960. Today, with over N830 billion in total assets, more than 189 business offices and over 770 ATMs nationwide, Sterling Bank has grown into a major financial institution.
IHEANYI NWACHUKWU & HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE
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