United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, a leading pan-African banking group with operations in 19 countries on the continent and presence in London, Paris and New York, has announced the appointments of Ayo Liadi, Oliver Alawuba, Ibrahim Puri, Uche Ike and Chuks Nweke as executive directors of the UBA Group.
A statement by the banking group on Tuesday said their appointments were subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“All the appointees bring considerable experience to the board and as a sign of the depth of internal talent and the group’s commitment to fostering promotion of its own human capital, all have been promoted from within the bank,” UBA said in the statement.
Liadi has over 20 years banking experience, having worked in Tier 1 banks in Nigeria and West Africa, before joining UBA in January 2014 as the Director for Lagos and West Bank, overseeing over 200 branches of UBA. A chartered accountant and graduate of Business Management from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Liadi received the Dean’s award for Outstanding Academic Performance.
Alawuba, currently the CEO Africa, Anglophone, joined the UBA Group in 1997. He is a member of the Association of Bank Directors in Nigeria and also a Catholic knight, Alawuba had previously supervised the bank’s Public Sector and Personal Banking businesses. He has over 25 years of banking experience.
Puri, currently the Directorate Head of the North Bank, is a graduate of Banking and Finance. He joined the UBA Group in 2006 and has contributed immensely to the growth of the bank in both the private and public sectors. Puri has over 25 years of banking experience.
Ike, the Group Chief Risk Officer, is a chartered accountant, with an MBA from the University of Benin. He has been with the group since 2006 and has served in a number of prominent roles, first as Group Head of Operations in South and South East Banks and then for a period of five years, as General Manager at the bank’s New York branch. Ike has over 27 years of banking experience.
Nweke, currently the Head of Operations and Information Technology, is an accounting graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (best graduating student) and holds an MBA from the same university. Nweke is also a qualified chartered accountant. He has over 25 years banking experience.
While congratulating the newly appointed executive directors, the Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, said: “These appointments will greatly assist in the plans we have to transform the UBA Group into a truly customer-led bank and the foremost financial institution in Africa.
“These are exciting times for UBA,” he continued. “And with this leadership, I have no doubt that the bank will continue on its strong growth trajectory.”
The newly appointed executive directors join Kennedy Uzoka, who was appointed as the incoming Group CEO in March 2016. Uzoka will assume his role on the 1st of August, on the retirement of Phillips Oduoza.
Uzoka said: “I am extremely optimistic about the future of the bank. These appointments show the strength of the talent available within UBA and demonstrate our commitment to institutionalisation. We could not have put together a better executive leadership team.”
Elumelu also commended outgoing directors, saying: “I take this opportunity to inform you that two of our executive directors, Femi Olaloku and Obi Ibekwe, will be retiring from the board effective June 30 and May 31, 2016, respectively.
“I would like to thank them for the enormous contributions they have made during their time of service.”
In April this year, UBA held an intensive three-day strategy session which brought together the group board, subsidiary CEOs and board chairs to set a path for the pan-African bank’s future.
At the group’s strategy session, the bank resolved to deepen its commitment to its pan-African strategy and accelerate its expansion across the continent.
The appointment of five executive directors yesterday was a visible manifestation of the group’s strategic intent, UBA added in its statement.
UBA reported strong financial results for the financial year ending 2015, in what was recognised as a challenging macro-environment.
It declared gross earnings of N315 billion while operating profits approximated to N70 billion. Its first quarter profits in the current financial year of N18 billion illustrate the resilience of the bank’s business model.