The appointment of Mrs Miriam Olusanya Wednesday as first female managing director of Guaranty Trust Bank Limited by the newly established Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc brings the number of women in such positions in the country to six. Just a day earlier on July 13, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) appointed Ms Yemisi Edun to replace Adam Nuru as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). And at the beginning of this year, Fidelity Bank Plc’s Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe assumed office as the first female CEO of the lender, but it was Unity Bank Plc that started the recent trend by appointing Mrs Tomi Somefun its first female CEO on August 12, 2015.
CitiBank and Sun Trust Bank also have women at the helm in the country with Ireti Samuel-Ogbu and Halima Buba, respectively.
Many will point to these special females and say that women are taking over everywhere, they are on fire and unstoppable but there are others who will insist that for a country with such a diverse and lucrative banking sector, six women CEOs is rather small.
Interestingly, GTBank also announced its new board of directors as well as changes to the board of its banking subsidiary, Guaranty Trust Bank Limited naming two other women Ms Imoni Akpofure and Mrs Victoria Adefala as independent non-executive directors.
A statement said the banking subsidiary, Guaranty Trust Bank Limited, will be governed by a board of directors comprising, Mr Ibrahim Hassan as chairman of the board, Mrs Miriam Olusanya as managing director, Mr Jide Okuntola as deputy managing director, Mr Haruna Musa as executive director, Mr Olabode Agusto as independent non-executive director, Ms Imoni Akpofure and Mrs Victoria Adefala as independent non-executive directors.
It added that Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc would be governed by a board of directors comprising of Mr Sola Oyinlola as chairman of the board and Mr Segun Agbaje as the group chief executive officer, Mr Adebanji Adeniyi as executive director, Mrs Cathy Echeozo as non-executive director, Mr Suleiman Barau and Mrs Helen Bouygues as independent non-executive directors.
The appointments have the imprimatur of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Olusanya was an Executive Director in the bank until her appointment.
Olusanya’s counterpart at FCMB, Edun, is the bank’s former executive director/chief financial officer and was appointed in an acting capacity in January.
In January, the bank’s board appointed Ms Edun to hold the fort for Mr Nuru, to allow for an investigation into a paternity scandal involving the former CEO, Moyo Thomas, a one-time FCMB employee and Tunde Thomas, her late husband.
In a statement Tuesday the bank said its board reviewed the allegation and established that the former MD did not contravene its policies.
FCMB said Ms Edun was appointed simply because Nuru’s service at the bank had come to an end.
Fidelity Bank Plc’s Onyeali-Ikpe became the fourth Managing Director and Chief Executive and also the first female to occupy the position since the inception of the bank in 1988 when her tenure commenced on January 1, 2021.
She took over from Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, whose contract tenure ended on December 31, 2020, in line with the bank’s governance policy.
Onyeali-Ikpe, formerly the Executive Director, Lagos, and Southwest Directorate of the bank, has been an integral part of management in the last six years.
Then there is Unity Bank Plc’s Mrs Tomi Somefun, who prior to her current appointment worked at Credit Bank Limited and UBA Plc. She was also the MD/CEO of UBA Capital & Trustee Limited and the Founding Managing Director of UBA Pension Custodian Limited: two of UBA Group’s major subsidiaries.
Somefun also served as a Non-Executive Director on the boards of directors of UBA Foundations, UBA Trustees, UBA Nominees and UBA Registrars.
In the course of her career with Unity Bank Plc, she has served as an Executive Director in charge of Lagos and the Southwest region of Nigeria until August, 2015. She took over from the bank’s former CEO, Mr Henry James Semenitari, as the first woman ever appointed to that position in the history of retail banking in Nigeria blazing the trail for the three recently appointed and many more to come.
In August 2020, Citigroup announced Samuel-Ogbu as its first female Country Officer for Nigeria. Prior to assuming office in Nigeria, she served as managing director of payments and receivables, treasury and trade solutions for Europe, Middle East and Africa at the group’s office in London.
She had been on the Board of CitiBank Nigeria Limited since 2015 as a non-Executive Director.
In the last 32 years, Samuel-Ogbu has held various roles across Citi’s businesses in the UK, Nigeria and South Africa, having worked in each of these countries twice. Previous roles have included Relationship Management with Global Subsidiaries Group and the Public Sector Banking Team, as well as TTS Sales, Corporate Finance and leading Citi’s TTS business in two of the largest markets in Africa.
Buba, a seasoned banker with over 20 years cognate experience obtained from working in Allstates Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Inland Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc and Ecobank Nigeria Limited, is Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Sun Trust Bank.
She sits on the Board of several reputable Institutions, including those of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as a Non-Executive Director and Anchoria Asset Management Company Limited.
Halima is a Champion of youth and women empowerment, and consistently makes philanthropic contributions towards the girl child Education.