Babade Replaces Bickersteth As Diamond Bank Chairman

Exactly two months after the alleged resignation of four non-executive directors, including Oluseyi Bickersteth, its chairman (READ MORE), in yet unclear circumstances and despite protests from the quartet in a letter to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as other regulators, the board of Diamond Bank Plc, on Thursday, December 27, 2018, announced the appointment of Dele Babade, as replacement in acting capacity.
In a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the bank said Babade’s appointment with effect from December 24, 2018, followed his nomination by First Carlyle Growth V (Carlyle), one of the major shareholders.
He is expected in the new capacity to play a pivotal role in the ongoing acquisition and consequent business combination between Diamond and Access Bank Plc, for which a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed a last week. As part of the agreement, Access Bank has offered N3.13 for each of the entire shares of Diamond Bank to be paid by way of N1.00 for each share, as well as an exchange rate of two Access Bank shares for seven of Diamond Bank. The merger will create a new Access Bank with customer base of 27m, making it the biggest bank across Africa and Nigeria (READ MORE).
Babade, who was first appointed as a Non-Executive Director effective April 20, 2017, holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in law from the University of London and was called to both the Nigerian and English Bars.
He commenced his career with Midland Montagu London (the predecessor of HSBC Investment Bank) on the graduate training programme in 1988 and at various times worked in the UK and Greece mainly in corporate and merchant banking.
Thereafter, he joined Citibank in 1993, where he garnered experience from Citibank’s Emerging Markets business focusing on businesses beyond Africa, becoming Vice President in charge of all cross border/international deals for Africa in 1996.
In 1998, he joined Nomura International in London as a Director for Investment Banking for Africa, returning to Citibank in 2000, where he was moved to Nigeria and Ivory Coast in 2001 as Executive Director covering Nigeria and West Africa. He appointed board member of the bank’s Nigerian arm between 2001 and 2006, while also serving as Citibank’s Director & Regional Head Sub-Sahara Africa Corporate Finance & Investment Banking based in South Africa from 2002 to 2006.
Babade founded African Capital Partners, his own investment advisory firm in 2007, but left briefly to join Ecobank Transnational Incorporated as Head of Ecobank Capital from 2010 to 2012 and was also a member of the Group Executive Committee, the top executive body for overall direction of the Ecobank Group. Since 2012, he has been running his firm focusing on inward cross border transactions across the African continent.
He currently serves as Chairman of the Africa Risk Capacity Pan African Insurance Company (ARC Ltd) and is also the Chairman of its Finance and Investment Committee. ARC Ltd is a financial affiliate of the African Risk Capacity, a specialized agency of the African Union (AU), an initiative designed to improve current responses to climate-related food security emergencies.