The Board of United Bank for Africa Plc has appointed its former Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tony Elumelu, as the new chairman of the bank to succeed Ambassador Joe Keshi.
Elumelu, who disclosed this when he visited the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday to ring the closing bell, promised that he would bring his experience to bear on leading the group forward.
He said, “UBA is a pan-African bank that operates in 18 other African countries; it operates in Paris, New York and London. So, UBA is very big and profitable.
“But what investors want to see is higher profitability and I think that with the experience that I bring to the table, coupled with the existing strong leadership at the bank and the strong board that we have, we will be able to surpass investors’ expectations.”
Elumelu is also the Chairman and CEO, Heirs Holdings, a pan-African proprietary investment company founded by him in 2010 and which has stakes in several companies, including Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc and UBA.
He explained that his experience at Transcorp and the success achieved with other ventures were evidence that UBA would be able to achieve greater growth in the future.
“I know we have a track record. When we took over Transcorp, the price of Transcorp (shares) was about 51 kobo. Today, the price of Transcorp share is close to N6 and that was achieved in a period of two years. So, if you extrapolate, you can tell what UBA’s price will be in a year’s time.”
According to him, considering that UBA is a bank that is already doing well, all that needs to be done is to get it to do better.
“We want to make sure we do better. What shareholders want to know is there is strong governance for sustainability, there is high performance and we are paying dividends,” he said.
He also said his responsibilities in other capacities and his work with the Tony Elumelu Foundation would not be in conflict with his new role at UBA.
Elumelu retired as GMD/CEO of UBA in 2010 after the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced the 10-year tenure limit for bank CEOs. He had served as CEO of the UBA Group for 13 years.
A statement by the Divisional Head, Marketing and Corporate Relations, UBA, Mr. Charles Aigbe, quoted the GMD and CEO, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, as saying, “Tony Elumelu’s track record at UBA speaks for itself.
“His return to the board brings a depth of knowledge and experience in the African financial services industry that is second to none. We are privileged to have him lead the Board at this critical stage in our development.