Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, First Bank, Adesola Adeduntan has had a whirlwind few years since his elevation into his current position. He has enjoyed moments of uplifting highs and contended with the kinds of demoralizing lows that would topple a strong dynasty. Yet he still stands tall, having weathered the strain that comes with the job.
The accomplished banker was in the joyous mood this week as he serenely sailed into his golden age. He has many things to be thankful for and many more to contemplate. Above all, Adeduntan has the rest of already stellar life and career to look forward to. All eyes are on him as the supremo of the biggest and oldest financial institution in Nigeria and he is mindful of the reproach that would come his way if he slacks off. No wonder he devotes his heart and soul into the bank to the extent that he couldn’t be bothered to throw a huge celebration as he turned 50. Duty called, and Adeduntan obeys.
Despite being a low-key occasion punctuated by a few private clinks of celebratory wine glasses, his peers in the banking industry still took out time to felicitate with him on his new age. The event was held at his Ikoyi, Lagos home. There is a quiet acknowledgment of his role as an industry pillar and compass of direction whose policies as First Bank helmsman generate ripple effects that move the banking industry in a certain direction.
Since joining the sector via the defunct Afribank in 1994, Adeduntan has consolidated or acquired diverse expertise in Treasury & Financial Management, Risk Management, Accounting, Corporate Governance, and Strategy Development, Advisory and Compliance. He became First Bank MD/CEO in January 1, 2016, after the former head Olabisi Bola Onasanya stepped then.
Despite his best intentions to sail a serene ship, Adeduntan has had his share of stormy weather to contend with. Reports and rumours of fraud running into billions of Naira have been rocking the grand old institution in recent times, threatened to erode customer confidence. Not to mention the clouds of debt fogging the sky. Those in the known intimated that the bank boss is frantically trying to recover billions in bad loans taken by some prominent Nigerians who have absconded with the money.