By Omoh Gabriel and MICHAEL EBOH, With Agency Report
United Bank for Africa Plc yesterday said it has restructured its operation into a Holding company, comprising three financial companies, namely UBA Plc, UBA Capital Holdings and UBA Africa Holdings as subsidiaries.
According to a statement issued by the bank, the decision followed approvals-in-principle it got from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the bank’s Board. The holding company structure, it said, is aimed at strengthening the bank’s operational excellence and continental aspirations.
The statement said: “UBA will now be restructured into a Financial Holding Company to be known as “Holdings Plc.”
Meanwhile, Diamond Bank Plc has applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to acquire Oceanic Bank International Plc.
According to Abdulrahman Yinusa, Chief Financial Officer, Diamond Bank Plc, this move will speed up its plans to expand its operations in Nigeria and also help the bank meet the September 30, recapitalization deadline stipulated by the CBN.
He said: “Talks are very preliminary, we have registered our interest (with Central Bank) and we are doing due diligence.”
He said that Diamond Bank was one of the three firms that had indicated interest to acquire the troubled lender.
Oceanic Bank is one of the banks whose management was sacked by the Sanusi Lamido-led CBN management in August, 2009.
Also, in the statement by UBA, the bank said, “we are a commercial bank with international authorisations and will comprise of the banking operations in Nigeria (UBA Plc) and New York, and UBA Pensions Ltd. It will be regulated by the CBN as an International Commercial Bank and remains listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. All of the Group’s banking operations/subsidiaries outside Nigeria and across Africa (currently 18 countries) will now be held under Africa Holdings Limited. This company will also be regulated by the CBN”
The bank further said: “Capital Holdings Limited will comprise of all the Group’s non-banking businesses, and will be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other regulators. These businesses include UBA Trustees, UBA Asset Management, UBA Insurance Brokers, UBA Capital Africa, and UBA Capital Europe (London).
In line with the CBN’s directive that banks can no longer own Registrar and Property businesses, the Group will divest its interest in UBA Registrars Limited and UBA Properties Limited”.
Following the restructuring, the Group also announced some key appointments that flow from its long-term succession plan. In the new appointment, the Group Managing Director Phillips Oduoza will now run the International Bank (UBA Plc) while Victor Osadolor, a Deputy Managing Director, becomes Managing Director of UBA Capital Holdings Limited.
Gabriel Edgal and Emeke Iweriebor have respectively been appointed the Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director of UBA Africa Holdings Ltd.
According to the bank statement, Victor Osadolor was prior to this appointment, in charge of the bank’s business across Southern Nigeria. He has also served as the Group CFO. He has a strong finance and accounting background and a deep knowledge of capital markets. Gabriel Edgal until recently was the CEO of UBA West Africa comprising of 8 countries after a very successful stint as UBA Ghana CEO. Emeke Iweriebor, the pioneer CEO of UBA Cameroon was until this appointment the CEO, East, Central and Southern Africa country operations.
As pioneer professionals in the Group’s expansion into Africa, they will bring their strong business and technical skills to bear in strengthening and growing the Group’s footprint across the continent.
The task of ensuring synergy, integration and coordination of the various businesses of the Group will be run from the parent Holding company– UBA Holdings Plc. Emmanuel Nnorom, the bank’s Executive Director (Finance) has therefore been appointed to UBA Holdings Plc.
With the movement of these top executives to the Holding Companies, the Group also announced some other key appointments in the International Bank (UBA Plc). Erstwhile Executive Director (Resources) Kennedy Uzoka has been appointed Deputy Managing Director while General Manager (North Bank) Mr. Dan Okeke has been appointed Executive Director, all subject to CBN approval.
Mr Dan Okeke will take over from Mrs Faith Tuedor-Matthews who has resigned from the services of the bank to pursue other personal endeavours. Prior to her resignation, Mrs Tuedor-Mathews was the Deputy Managing Director covering the bank’s operations in Abuja.
“All the appointments reflect the personal strengths of the appointees as well as the deep talent pool of the group and a further confirmation of the well-established succession plan in the group” said Mr. Phillips Oduoza, the Group Managing Director, UBA Plc.
UBA is a leading Pan-African group with banking presence in 19 African countries, New York, London and Paris. Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, the group provides universal banking services to diverse customer groups across Africa.