By Babajide Komolafe
LAGOS—GROUP Managing Director/Chief Executive of GTBank, Mr. Tayo Aderinokun, aged 56, died, Tuesday, in London after protracted illness.
A statement from the bank announcing his death said: “With a deep sense of loss, but with gratitude to the Almighty God, we write to notify you of the passing on to eternal glory of our dearly beloved Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tayo Aderinokun. Mr. Aderinokun who had been on medical leave, passed on this afternoon, Tuesday, June 14, 2011, in the United Kingdom.
“Aderinokun co-founded Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in 1990 and served as Deputy Managing Director for 12 years between 1990 and 2002, after which he became the Managing Director, a position he held until his passing.
“During his time as managing director, the Bank witnessed tremendous progress and growth and had emerged over the years as an industry leader, pacesetter of unique and progressive innovations in the banking industry.
Professionally managed institution
“The Bank is now easily acknowledged and recognised as one of the most profitable and professionally managed corporate institutions in Nigeria and has been the recipient of several awards for exemplary corporate governance practices and excellent customer service.
“In addition, Mr. Aderinokun was also the recipient of numerous awards as an acknowledgement of his sterling leadership role in the achievements of the Bank.
The awards include ‘Banker of the Year’ at the inaugural ThisDay Awards in 2006, Most Respected CEO by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2008 and ‘African Banker of the Year’ by the “African Banker” magazine in September 2009.
He was also a recipient of the National Award of Member of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Nigeria, FCIB.
“We wish to inform you that the operations of the Bank continue to run smoothly under the leadership of the Acting Managing Director, Mr. Segun Agbaje, who was Deputy Managing Director from 2002 till April 20, 2011, when he was appointed as Acting Managing Director of the Bank.”
Banking Institute, friends react
Registrar, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, described Aderinokun’s death as a big loss to the nation, the industry and those who knew him. He said: “We will always miss him. As a member of the banking family he contributed so well that the Institute gave him the honourary award.”
Former Executive Director, Public Sector and Retail Banking, Tank Plc, Senator Farouk Bello Bunza said: “He lived an exemplary life and he was among the young Nigerians that came out and showed that what a white man can do a black man can do and even better. He nurtured the bank into a bank of international repute and the legacy that he laid will endure for a long, long time.”
Lawson Omokhodion, former schoolmate of Aderinokun and ex-Managing Director of Liberty Bank said: “It is a pity, the bank has lost him. Aderinokun was a thorough professional, well-bred and incorruptible.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Owolabi Salami, Chief Operating Officer, Guaranty Trust Assurance Plc when contacted expressed shock saying he was not in the mood to comment on the death of Aderinokun.
Boniface Okezie, Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria said: “He has done his bit in the banking industry and we the shareholders of the bank are going to miss him having taken the bank to a greater height from where he took over from Fola Adeola. He continued to maintain the dividend and bonus policy he inherited from his predecessor.”
In fact, the man did not let shareholders down as he maintained clean record.
“We will miss him greatly for his good corporate governance and managerial efficiency. We also believe that his deputy Segun Agbaje should be able to carry on from where he stopped. We also hope Agbaje will maintain the tradition of excellent service delivery and good corporate governance principle. It is really a big loss and we hope Agbaje should be able to wear his shoe and take the bank to higher level.”
National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, ISAN, Sir Sunny Nwosu, said: “May his soul rest in perfect peace. He was a workaholic worker and has been proactive. He was meticulous in every thing he does in the bank.
He has done well for shareholders and we are going to miss him. The entire capital market community will miss him too because of his contribution to the growth of the market. He added value to the bank by growing all the fundamentals. We in ISAN will surely miss him and we felicitate with the family and the bank entirely.”