In May 2021, it was revealed that the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Segun Agbaje, would be stepping down as the bank’s CEO having served the bank meritoriously in this capacity for the maximum allotted period of ten years. It was also revealed that the creation of a holding company for the bank was in the works, to be led by Mr Agbaje as CEO.
Yesterday, July 14, 2021, the bank officially announced the completion of its reorganisation process; the creation of its holding company, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO); the constitution of board members for GT Bank and GTCO; and the appointment of Mrs Miriam Olusanya to take over the bank’s leadership as Managing Director.
Mr Abgaje, who has transitioned into a higher office as the head of GTCO will play a crucial supervisory role in the newly formed parent company, overseeing the bank and various other subsidiaries which are projected to include Fintech, insurance and e-commerce amongst others.
In the last 10 years, Segun Agbaje has run GT Bank with an aggressive focus on increasing its customer base with the undeniable result of the bank’s over 8 million retail customers. The growth in GT Bank’s customer base stems from the implementation of the bank’s retail strategy which focused on “excellent customer service delivery, digital innovation and a well cut-out partnerships and collaboration strategy.”
Despite a -8.96% decline in share price year-to-date, GT Bank remains one of the most successful companies in the country with a market value of over N866 billion and a total staff strength of over 3,000 employees. The bank has paid N621 billion in dividends to investors in the past 10 years competing with fierce rival, Zenith Bank.
In the light of the bank’s achievements under Mr Agaje’s leadership, incoming MD, Miriam Olusanya definitely has big boots to fill, despite taking the helmsman’s position in a bank that has already attained an enviable height.
Miriam Olusanya holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Ibadan and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), majoring in Finance and Accounting, from the University of Liverpool. She was appointed as an Executive Director of the bank in 2018 after a successful period as the General Manager/Head, Wholesale Banking.
Notable among her achievements is GT Bank’s appointment as a Primary Dealer/ Market Maker in Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds with the Debt Management Office (DMO) and also the bank’s appointment as a Money Market Dealer in Nigerian Treasury Bills by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Miriam’s over 17 years journey in GT Bank has brought her through various phases of the bank’s evolution, from when it was a high-end wholesale bank to post-2007 when it expanded to focus on the retail segment. Having spent much of her career in the wholesale banking division, it will be interesting to see what direction she steers the bank during her tenure as Managing Director.
Possible challenges that Olusanya may encounter in her new role
GT Bank is not devoid of challenges. In recent times, complaints and drawbacks plaguing the bank and its customers have surfaced. Cases of lagging bank application system have been reported by customers trying to use the app to make payments and settle bills. The functionality of the bank’s USSD code alternative has also been less than stellar in recent times, despite being one of the pioneer banks to launch the service in Nigeria.
In addition, recent reports have surfaced, revealing that the bank’s employees may be more than averagely disgruntled. Both former and current employees have alleged that internal leadership may be faltering within the bank with issues such as delayed promotions, overwork and high staff turnover besetting the bank, leading to a high frequency of loss of experienced hands and the resultant gap in service delivery. One testimony alleged that at a time, more than half of the members of a development team resigned within six months over a lingering issue.
What they are saying
An employee of GT Bank who spoke to Nairametrics on the condition of anonymity had the following to say about Mrs Olusanya and her recent appointment.
“Miriam is an astute leader who is very skilled at her work. Her focus and visionary leadership will definitely impact the bank’s operations going forwards.”
Another respondent told Nairametrics “She has the grit and charisma to take over from Mr Agbaje. She has been a top performer and a great team-builder from her time as a general manager. She also has the requisite experience in various sectors of the bank that we are hopeful will come to bear in her leadership of the bank.”
Having been officially announced as GT Bank’s new captain, it is believed that Miriam’s experience in the banking industry will help her transition smoothly into her role as Managing Director and influence her actions as she strives to attain new milestones and propel the organisation further than her predecessor.