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Keystone bank new acting MD awaits CBN’s approval as former CEO resigns


Barring any last minute change, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to approve the appointment of Abubakar Sule as the Acting Managing Director and CEO of Keystone bank, this is just as the former head of the bank has resigned eight years before the end of his tenure.

According to a statement by the commercial bank on Saturday, Obeahon Ohiwerei resigned after spending two years as the MD, CEO to pursue other interests.

As the regulator of the financial institutions in Nigeria, the central bank has the mandate to approve an appointed MD, CEO of the commercial banks and in this case, Sule.

He was until his appointment as Acting MD, CEO, the Deputy Managing Director of Keystone Bank Limited.

Checks by BusinessDay revealed that the former MD, CEO of keystone bank, Ohiwerei directed the affairs of the non-listed bank for almost two years.

Sigma Golf-Riverbank Consortium took over Keystone Bank in its distressed state, from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in March 2017 which led to the appointment of Ohiwerei.

His early resignation is coming 8 years before his term ends.

In furtherance of the banking reforms in Nigeria, the apex bank pursuant to the powers conferred on it by Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (LFN), 2004 issued that the CEOs of “banks shall serve a maximum tenure of ten years.”

In a statement by the General Counsel and Company Secretary of keystone bank, Michael Agamah, said the Board recognized and appreciated Ohiwerei’s immense contributions to the growth of Keystone Bank and the visibility the Bank had attained as a brand in the past eighteen months.

On assumption of office in August 2017, Ohiwerei drew up a holistic and integrated approach to business modernization which elevated the bank to deliver a superior customer-centric experience.

The banks financials for the half-year ended June 30, 2018, revealed that the lender recorded a Profit Before Tax of N5.9billion compared with a loss of N7.1billion over the same period in 2017 while deposits also grew from N209 billion in August 2017 (when the new management came on board) to N358 billion as at November 2018.

Meanwhile, the new acting MD, Sule is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria; an Honourary Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria; a Governing Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria; and an Alumni of both the INSEAD (France) and Wharton Business School in Pennsylvania, USA.

He has over 29 years of cutting-edge banking experience with competences in Corporate Banking, Operations, Treasury Management, Credit Structuring, Corporate Planning, as well as possession of very strong relationship management skills.

Sule had also served briefly as the Managing Director of Sterling Capital Limited, the Investment Banking Subsidiary of Sterling Bank Plc in 2009.

While at Sterling Capital Limited, he was appointed by the CBN as part of the Executive Management team to turnaround the fortunes of erstwhile Intercontinental Bank Plc.

He eventually returned to Sterling Bank Plc as Executive Director in charge of the North and Corporate Banking. He also worked briefly in Standard Chartered Bank Limited before he joined Keystone Bank.

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