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Zenith okays Godwin Emefiele to take over from Ovia

By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
The Board of Zenith Bank PLC has named Godwin Emefiele as the Managing Director/Chief Executive designate following CBN directive that banks whose Chief Executives have served for 10 years and above should draw up a succession plan and leave the banking scene at the end of July 2010.

According to a statement issued by the board of the bank, the appointment, which is subject to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) confirmation, takes effect from August 1, 2010.

Godwin Emefiele to take over from Jim Ovia

The Managing Director – designate the bank said is a pioneer staff of Zenith Bank and has been instrumental in developing the Bank into a world-class institution. He holds a BSc and an MBA in Finance from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and is an alumnus of Stanford University, Harvard and Wharton Graduate Schools of Business.

Before commencing his banking career over 23 years ago, he lectured Finance, Bank Management, and Insurance at the University of Nigeria and University of Port Harcourt.

Emefiele joined the bank over 19 years ago and was appointed Deputy Managing Director in 2001.  Given his 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 collaboration of the six Executive Directors that comprise the Executive Committee.

With an average Zenith Bank tenure of seventeen years, the Committee will no doubt continue to support the new GMD/CEO in growing the bank from strength to strength.  The Committee has been the driving force behind the success of Zenith Bank governed by the collaborative approach that has built Zenith Bank into Nigeria’s second largest bank by market capitalization (N360 billion).

Stakeholders will continue to reap rewards as the Bank continues to roll-out its superior customer service model via a leading technology platform from its highly talented pool of employees.   The Bank is therefore confident that a seamless transition will ensue with enduring continuity anchoring the handover process.

Emefiele’s strong leadership skills will no doubt be a significant advantage as he sets in motion the combined vision for the Zenith Bank Group.

The Board, with the new appointment, rests assured that shareholder value will continue to be the primary factor driving strategic thinking.

The Bank continues to rely on the strength of the Board, management and all staff to sustain superior performance.


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