Sterling Bank Plc, on Thursday, announced the voluntary retirement of its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Yemi Adeola, with effect from April 1.
He will be succeeded by Abubakar Suleiman, the current Executive Director, Finance and Strategy.
Adeola, who was appointed CEO in 2008, notified the bank of his intention to retire in accordance with a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive limiting the duration of a bank CEO to 10 years.
Adeola’s banking career started in the then Nigeria International Bank Ltd now Citibank Nigeria Ltd in 1988 where he served in various capacities and rose to the position of Executive Director in 1998, one of the youngest officers and indeed one of the first Nigerian nationals to be appointed in that capacity with the Citigroup Inc’s Nigeria unit between February 1998 and May 2003.
In July 2003, he became the Deputy Managing Director of Trust Bank of Africa Limited, one of the legacy banks that formed Sterling Bank.
Adeola was instrumental to the formation of Sterling Bank in 2006, served as Integration Director in the immediate post-merger phase and, up until 2007, as Executive Director covering Commercial & Institutional Banking and later Corporate Banking prior to becoming CEO.
In his reaction to the retirement, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sterling Bank Plc, said, “In 2008, Yemi was appointed to the role of substantive CEO. Since that appointment, he has overseen a period of strong growth in market share and profitability with the institution moving from the 23rd ranked bank measured by assets to the top half of the domestic banking market.
“Additionally, Yemi and his team have navigated multiple economic and banking credit cycles with great skill, sound judgement, and outstanding professionalism often thriving in the most difficult conditions evidenced by the emergence of the bank as a consolidator in the 2009-2011 cycle despite its modest capital base and distribution footprint at the time, and its continuing success in growing organically thereafter.”
The chairman also said concerning the incoming MD, “I am equally pleased to welcome Abu into the CEO role. Over the years, Abu has developed an outstanding strategic and operational track record across all our business areas and great relationships with customers and other stakeholders in key areas of our businesses. Some of those outstanding contributions have spanned the leadership of our Corporate Treasury and Finance functions, Mergers & Acquisitions having served as Integration Director & Interim CEO of Equitorial Trust Bank (“ETB”) prior to its consolidation into Sterling Bank.
Suleiman said: “I am deeply humbled but delighted to be stepping into the CEO role at this time. Over the past decade under Yemi, our share of the banking market has grown significantly, and our brand has become established in the marketplace. I look forward to working with the board and my colleagues in management towards building on the excellent foundation already in place to deliver superior value for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
Adeola, said, “Our bank has grown materially in all respects over the past decade moving from being a marginal player on the fringes, to an established operator trusted by millions of people today. The achievements highlighted by the Chairman in his remarks have required huge personal sacrifice on the part of many people. I am extremely grateful to all of them for their support and know that Abu and his team can continue to count on this support in the months and years to come.”