Eke Retires As FBN Holdings Plc’s Group Chief Executive Officer

  • Buildings Sustainable Synergies Across Group

The Board of FBN Holdings Plc, Nigeria’s foremost banking and financial services group, on Thursday announced the retirement of Urum Kalu Eke as Group Managing Director, after successfully completing two three-year terms, with effect from December 31, 2021.

A statement by the group, based on a notice by Seye Kosoko, the company secretary to the Nigerian Exchange Limited, said its board approved the appointment of Nnamdi Okonkwo, immediate past chief executive of Fidelity Bank Plc, who brings on board more than 30 years unbroken banking career spanning local and international experience, as a replacement for Eke from January 1, 2022.

Kalu had tendered his notice of retirement on August 10, 2021, after a 35-year career in the nation’s financial services, strategy, auditing, consulting, taxation, process re-engineering, and capital market operations, including almost 11 years in the FBNHoldings Group, the last six years of which he was Group Managing Director.

The statement said he has been able to build sustainable synergies across the FBNHoldings Group, fostering collaborations to maximize business development opportunities with diverse stakeholders globally.

His tenure, the group continued, witnessed an upsurge in value creation for shareholders and other stakeholders, with a diversified and healthier portfolio, including the growth in its share price from N5.13 each on January 1, 2016, translating to the market capitalization of N175bn, and a price to book value of 0.29; to N12.40 on October 26, 2021, with a market capitalization of nearly N445b and PBV of 0.58 each.

Eke assumed office as GMD, FBN Holdings Plc on January 1, 2016, five years after joining the board FirstBank, an FBN Holdings Company, in 2011 as Executive Director, Public Sector South, with responsibility for all state and federal government relationships in addition to tertiary and health institutions in the South. He later became Executive Director, South, supervising all retail, commercial, and Government accounts domiciled in the South-South and South-East regions of Nigeria, with concurrent responsibility for Private Banking and Wealth Management. His sound managerial and motivational skills, coupled with his vast experience, helped develop FirstBank’s businesses within the Public Sector, Retail, and Private Banking Groups.

In 2017, he was appointed to the board of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (Sovereign Wealth Fund), where he chaired the Externally Managed Investment Committee among other critical assignments including helping the Authority to drive capital raise and other capital market engagements.

Eke has served on the boards of quality institutions including First Bank of Nigeria Limited, FBN Bank (UK) Limited, FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited, First Pension Custodian Limited, Diamond Bank Du Benin, and Diamond Capital. He has chaired and served on various board committees over this period including human capital, governance, audit, risk management, credit, strategy and finance, compensations, and investment committee. He has also chaired several committees for the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) and the Institute of Directors (IoD).

 Eke was Executive Director, Regional Business, Lagos & West, Diamond Bank Plc. His other work experience includes Deloitte Haskins & Sells International where he rose to the position of Audit Senior.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, Fellow of the Institute of Directors, and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, holds a first degree in Political Science (University of Lagos) and an MBA in Project Management Technology (Federal University of Technology, Owerri).

Meanwhile, before becoming CEO of Fidelity Bank for seven years, Okonkwo was Executive Director for Southern Nigeria of the bank, and was prior to that appointment, MD of UBA Ghana; director, UBA Liberia and a director of the Ghana National Banking College.

He served in various leadership positions across other financial institutions including Broad Bank of Nigeria Ltd; Citizens International Bank, Nigeria; FSB International Bank Plc, Nigeria; Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Nigeria; and Merchant Bank of Africa, Nigeria.

His appointment is subject to the regulatory approval, just like that of Mrs. Tope Orhionsefe Omage as a Non-Executive Director of First Bank of Nigeria Limited by its board. The bank’s board also announced the renewal of the appointments of Dr. Adesola Adeduntan and Gbenga Shobo as the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director of FirstBank respectively, for another term.

The board also announced the renewal of appointments of Kayode Akinkugbe and Taiwo Okeowo as the Managing Director and Deputy of FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited respectively, also for another term.

The Board also announced the appointment of Meristem Registrars Limited as the new Registrars to take over the register of members of FBN Holdings Plc from First Registrars and Investors Services Limited, its erstwhile subsidiary of several years, from December 1, 2021.