• Friday, December 08, 2023
businessday logo


Moruf Oseni: From academic excellence to industry leadership

Again, Wema Bank wins Nigerian Bankers Game

In the perpetually evolving corporate realm, individuals embarking on transformative journeys stand out as beacons of inspiration to people looking for quality role models and mentors.

Among such luminaries who have been blazing the trail in the corporate world is Moruf Oseni, the managing director of Wema Bank. His odyssey to the top of the banking industry in Nigeria is a testament to his commitment, vision, and tenacity. This article provides an in-depth exploration of Moruf Oseni’s remarkable journey, shedding light on pivotal moments shaping his ascent, his invaluable expertise, and the impact of his transformative leadership.

Moruf Oseni’s journey goes back to his early days at the prestigious King’s College, Lagos, from which he graduated to Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), where he earned a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering, an early showcase of his intellectual prowess.

Moruf Oseni’s unrelenting pursuit of excellence propelled him towards international education. He earned a Master’s in Finance (MIF) from the renowned London Business School, gaining insight into the global financial landscape. Subsequently, he pursued an MBA at the Institut European d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) in France.

Moruf is also an alumnus of the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at the prestigious Harvard Business School, underscoring his commitment to continuous learning and self-improvement.

With a robust educational foundation, Moruf Oseni entered the professional sphere, eager to apply his knowledge and create an impact. For over two decades, he accumulated a wealth of experience, including over 16 years in senior to executive management roles.

Read also: Moruf Oseni takes over as MD/CEO of Wema Bank

His corporate journey led him to serve as an Associate at Salomon Brothers/Citigroup Global Markets in London, where he honed his skills in the global financial markets. He further solidified his expertise as Vice President at Renaissance Capital.

Moruf Oseni then founded MG Ineso, a principal investment, and financial advisory firm, where he held the position of MD/CEO. This entrepreneurial endeavour underscored his versatility and ability to navigate diverse business landscapes.

In 2012, a new chapter of Moruf Oseni’s career unfolded as he joined Wema Bank as the Executive Director overseeing the Abuja and North business. He then assumed the role of Deputy Managing Director in 2018, an attestation to his exceptional leadership capabilities and his significant role as the Executive who birthed ALAT—Africa’s first fully digital bank, and a game changer in the financial services ecosystem.

Over the past decade, Moruf Oseni has overseen key divisions within Wema Bank, including North & Abuja (Commercial Business), Digital, Retail, Treasury, Operations, and Technology. He also served as the Executive Compliance Officer of the Bank, further highlighting his commitment to promoting regulatory integrity and sound governance.

His expertise cuts across technology, investment and commercial banking, treasury management, and banking operations. This multifaceted knowledge has enriched his personal repertoire and played a pivotal role in driving Wema Bank’s success.

Moruf Oseni’s corporate journey is one of lifelong learning and indisputable impact. His core competence lies in finance, but with a slant towards technology and digital innovation, areas he has fervently embraced throughout his career. His astute understanding of digital transformation has been instrumental in positioning Wema Bank as a pioneer in the digital banking sphere.

Under his visionary guidance, Wema Bank has achieved remarkable success, surpassing a myriad of targets in the first half of the year (H1). His vision for the bank is to restore it to its rightful place at the peak of the Nigerian Financial Services industry.

Moruf Oseni’s era at Wema Bank has been marked by the implementation of groundbreaking initiatives focused on fostering a family-friendly work environment, supporting working parents, and prioritising employee wellbeing. One such initiative is the ‘Purple Creche’ programme which provides much needed succour to employees who are parents of young children and infants. In the same vein, Moruf Oseni responded to recent market realities by increasing the monetary compensation and benefits for all employees of Wema Bank.

Read also:Wema Bank records N39bn Q1 gross earnings

He is a firm believer in the role of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the development of any country. This is why the bank, through the Hackaholics Series—the annual youth-empowerment hackathon targeted at Nigerian universities—continues to pioneer technology and innovation not just in financial services but across other key verticals of the economy.

The ALAT Summer Internship programme initiated at Wema Bank in 2023, is another proof of his commitment to youth empowerment. The Internship provided a valuable platform for young talent to gain hands-on experience in the banking sector. This forward-looking initiative has invested in the youth and solidified the bank’s position as a leader in talent development.

As Moruf Oseni reflects on his transformational journey, one profound realisation stands out: the most crucial element in any transformation effort is people. Amid discussions of technology and disruption, it is the human element that forms the bedrock of meaningful change.

Moruf Oseni’s wisdom is encapsulated in the belief that, despite the relentless march of technology, it is individuals who create disruptive innovations and must adapt to their impact. Therefore, his secret ingredient for success is simple yet profound: Get people right, and everything else falls into place.

His journey serves as a wellspring of inspiration for those aspiring to make a meaningful impact in their respective fields. His story reaffirms that with the right combination of education, experience, and a focus on people, one can navigate the intricate corporate terrain and emerge as a true leader.

Moruf Oseni was recently awarded the Top 25 CEO Award for his excellence and exceptional leadership in business by Nigeria’s foremost business news media, BusinessDay Media Limited in collaboration with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).