With Onyeagwu, Zenith Bank Set for Next Growth Phase

Ebenezer Onyeagwu GMD/CEO

Obinna Chima

Zenith Bank Plc yesterday announced the appointment of Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu as the Group Managing Director/CEO of the bank as it enters its next phase of growth.
The appointment which becomes effective from June 1, 2019, is however subject to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approval.
Onyeagwu replaces Mr. Peter Amangbo, whose tenure expires on May 31, 2019.

Amangbo leaves the bank at the end of a very successful career built on integrity spanning over 27 years, with the last five years as GMD/CEO.
A statement from the bank explained that the appointment was consistent with its tradition and succession strategy of grooming leaders from within.

Onyeagwu is a vastly experienced banker and financial expert, trained in reputable institutions of learning in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and United States of America.
He is an alumnus of the prestigious University of Oxford, England, from where he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Strategy, and certificate in Macroeconomics.

He also undertook extensive executive level business education in Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Business School of Columbia University, the Harvard Business School of Harvard University (all in the United States) and Lagos Business School of Pan African University, now Pan Atlantic University, Nigeria.

Onyeagwu is a Chartered Accountant and was named a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), in 2003.
As Deputy Managing Director, he had oversight over the bank’s Financial Control and Strategic Planning, Risk Management, Retail Banking, Institutional and Corporate banking business portfolios, IT Group, Credit Administration, Treasury and Foreign Exchange Trading, as well as general administration of the bank, among others.

With nearly 30 years’ experience in the banking industry in Nigeria, Onyeagwu, who is a graduate of accounting from Auchi Polytechnic, began his career at the defunct Financial Merchant Bank in 1991 and later held several management positions in the erstwhile Citizens International Bank Limited until 2002.

He joined Zenith Bank Plc in 2002 as a Senior Manager, in the Internal Control and Audit Group of the bank. His professionalism, competence, integrity and commitment to the set objectives of the bank saw him rise swiftly between 2003 and 2005, first, as Assistant General Manager, then Deputy General Manager, and eventually as General Manager of the bank. In these capacities, he handled strategies for new business and branch development, management of risk assets portfolios, treasury functions, strategic top-level corporate, multinationals and public institutional relationships, among others.

He was named Executive Director of the bank in 2013, and put in charge of Lagos and South-South Zones as well as strategic groups/business units of the bank including Financial Control & Strategic Planning, Treasury and Correspondent Groups, Human Resources Group, Oil and Gas Group, and Credit Risk Management Group, etc. He was named Deputy Managing Director of the bank in 2016.

Onyeagwu is on the board of Zenith Bank Ghana, Zenith Pensions Custodian Limited, Zenith Nominees Limited and African Finance Corporation. He brings to his job strategic thinking, inspirational leadership, energetic and entrepreneurial skills. He is married with children.

The Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia, in his statement at the bank’s recently held Annual General Meeting in Lagos, said Zenith Bank remains a clear leader in the digital space, with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products, solutions and an assortment of alternative channels that ensure convenience, speed and safety of transactions.

“In order to continue to cater to the varied appetites of our customers in a constantly changing world and stay ahead of the competition, therefore, we have invested massively in new technologies and innovative solutions in the last financial year.
“This is geared towards ensuring that we continue to provide best in class quality services that create value for all our stakeholders,” he had said.

Zenith Bank’s total deposits was N2.82 trillion as of the year ended December 31, 2018, representing a 2.9 per cent increase over the previous year’s figure of N2.74 trillion. Its profit before tax in same period rose by 13.6 per cent, from N169 billion in 2017, to N192 billion in 2018. Also, profit after tax rose by 7.8 per cent, from N153 billion in 2017 to N165 billion in 2018. During same period, its total assets grew by 2.7 per cent, from N4.83 trillion to N4.96 trillion; while shareholders’ fund declined by 3.3 per cent, from N698 billion to N675 billion. Gross earnings similarly declined by 20.2 per cent, from N674 billion in 2017, to N538 billion.