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It’s been six years since Mr Emeka Emuwa was appointed the Group Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank Plc. As at the time of his appointment, his unstated mission was to refocus the bank on the path to profitability. This was a critical mission because the bank was just emerging from a financially difficult period which was occasioned by the 2009 banking sector crisis.

Shortly before Mr Emuwa’s appointment in November 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had intervened in the company and temporarily handed over ownership to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON). Eventually, about $500 million was used to recapitalise the bank. Consequently, it became essential for Union Bank Plc to return to financial stability and profitability, especially so under the management of newly appointed Mr Emuwa.

Six years down the line, it is only prudent to revisit this story by looking at how well (or otherwise) the CEO has performed. Is the company back to making profit? Is Mr Emuwa doing a good job? These are important questions which every shareholder would be interested in getting answers to, especially with portfolios at stake. So, we will answer them. But before then, let’s take a look at the impressive CV of the very accomplished business executive. He is Nairametrics’ corporate personality of the week.

The biography of Emeka Emuwa

There is no gainsaying the fact that Mr Emuwa is one of the most prominent business executives in Nigeria and indeed the African continent. Over the course of many decades, he has successfully established himself as a leading figure in the world of global finance.

He is an alumnus of the University of Lagos where he bagged a B.Sc. in Finance. He also studied at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, graduating with an M.Sc. in Management. Apparently, these degrees prepared him for his accomplished banking career, details of which you will see shortly.


His long career in banking

It was in 1986 when young and vibrant Emeka Emuwa first made his foray into the world of professional banking and finance. He was just employed as a Management Assistant at Citibank Nigeria Limited. Before long, he was promoted to the position of a Country Head, serving in Cameroun for some twenty years. As part of his job as Citibank’s Country Head in charge of Cameroun, he was also responsible for all of the bank’s activities in the Central African region, including Congo and Gabon.

He would later occupy key positions in Citibank’s operations in places like Tanzania, Ghana, Niger and also Nigeria. Most importantly, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Citibank Nigeria Limited between 2005 and 2012, when he left to take up his appointment at Union Bank Plc.

Mr Emeka Emuwa and his colleagues during a Facts Behind the Offer event

Here are his other engagements

Besides his full-time engagement as a top banker, Mr Emuwa also engages in other businesses. He once functioned in the capacity of a Director at ACCION Microfinance Bank Limited, as well as a number of other corporate entities such as American Business Council and HFC Bank Ghana Limited. In the same vein, he was the Chairman of Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc, and Chairman of Junior Achievement Nigeria.

Standard chartered

He currently sits on the board of Africa Finance Corporation, serving in the capacity of a Non-Executive Director. He serves as a Director of Union Bank UK Plc, after previously serving as the Chairman of the company’s board of directors between 2013 and 2016. He is also the Chairman of Union Assurance Company Plc, while also serving as the Chairman of the Nigeria-Portugal Friendship and Business Association. He has also been a Director at Union Bank Plc since 2012.

Standard chartered

 A look at his shareholding in the company 

According to information contained in Union Bank’s 2017 full-year financial report, Mr Emeka Emuwa’s direct shareholdings in the company stands at 53,354,517 units. He also has some 12,069,966 units of indirect shareholdings in the company. These units of shares, multiplied by the company’s share price of N5.15 as at yesterday December 3rd, translates to some N336.9 million.

How well has the company performed under his leadership? 

Union Bank Plc’s recently released third quarter 2018 financial report shows impressive growth. Revenue grew by 11.58% from N109.5 billion in Q3 2017 to N122.1 billion. In the same vein, profit after tax increased by as much as 18.16% from N12.4 billion in Q3 2017 to N14.6 billion in Q3 2018.


Overall, the bank’s financial performance in the 6-year period of Mr Emuwa’s leadership has been favourable. This is because revenue grew from N79.6 billion in 2013 to N105.9 billion in 2017. Similarly, profit after tax rose from N3.8 billion to N14.3 over the 6-year period.

The smile you have when you’ve done a great job.


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