Monday, January 24, 2011

EMEKA ONWUKA RETIRES AS DIAMOND BANK GMD

… Alex Otti Appointed to Replace Him
The Board of Diamond Bank Plc, one of the leading banks in Nigeria, has announced the retirement of Emeka Onwuka effective April 30, 2011 after 19 years of dedicated service to the Bank and marking the end of his second term in office as the Group Managing Director/CEO. Alex Otti has been appointed to take over from him, subject to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s approval. According to an internal Memo by the Chairman of the Board, HRH Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe (the Obi of Onitsha), announcing the changes, the appointment is part of a robust succession plan which the Board of Diamond Bank Plc commenced a while ago to ensure that the long term strategic goals of the Bank remain sustainable, despite major financial and operational challenges facing the industry presently.

He highlighted the Bank’s achievements during Emeka’s tenure to include the successful handling of the industry consolidation and recapitalization challenges in 2004/05 through private placement, listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and Initial Public Offering in 2005, and the acquisition of Lion Bank Plc and its integration into the Bank in 2005. Other achievements are the strategic equity partnership with Actis; Global Depository Receipts (GDR) offering in December 2007; and listing on the Professional Securities Market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in January 2008.

These achievements contributed immensely to the growth of the Bank’s business during Emeka’s tenure as the Bank’s branch network increased to 210 branches from 75 in 2005 while the balance sheet size rose to ₦710 billion from ₦170 billion. Emeka also successfully led the diversification of the Bank’s business through the acquisition and establishment of subsidiaries in insurance, pensions fund custodian, mortgage finance, investment banking businesses and expansion of the bank’s footprint in West Africa.

Igwe Achebe stated that the Board expresses its gratitude to Emeka Onwuka for his invaluable contributions to the growth and development of the Bank. He described Emeka’s nineteen years of service as both staff and Group Managing Director as exemplary, adding that they express their best wishes to him in his future endeavors. “The Board of Diamond Bank Plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Alex Otti as the new Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank, following the gracious retirement of Emeka Onwuka after a meritorious career spanning almost two decades in the Bank,” he said.

Until his appointment as the new Group Managing Director/CEO, Alex Otti presently serves as an Executive Director (Public Sector South) in First Bank Plc. He started his banking career with Nigeria International Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Citibank where he worked in Operations department. He subsequently moved on to Nigerian Intercontinental Merchant Bank. At Intercontinental, he was at various times in the Treasury and Financial Services department and Corporate Banking.

In 1996, he moved to United Bank for Africa Plc where he headed Corporate Banking Sector, South. His major responsibility was the development of the Oil and Gas business for the bank. In May 2001, he joined First Bank of Nigeria Plc as an Assistant General Manager with responsibility for Energy Group. In April 2004, he was promoted to Deputy General Manager and became Executive Director. Alex has attended several local and offshore courses. He had gone through the Executive Development Programme of the Columbia Business School, New York and also trained in the prestigious Stanford Business School. He graduated from University of Port Harcourt with a first class honors in Economics and subsequently received an MBA from University of Lagos. The Chairman also said that “Alex comes highly recommended and we look forward to his taking the Bank to the next level”.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

DIAMOND BANK PUBLISHES TARIFFS & FEES GUIDE FOR ITS CUSTOMERS

In keeping with its tradition of being upright and transparent in its operations, Diamond Bank, one of the leading banks in Nigerian has published its tariffs and service fees for all its products and services to show that there are no hidden charges in all its transactions. The Tariff and Service Fees publication is a guide for customers indicating the applicable charges for every product and service offered by the Bank.

In an interview with Journalists in Lagos, the Head, Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank, Mr. Charles Udoh disclosed that the measure is part of the Bank’s philosophy of being a customer centric Bank, adding that the Bank does not only advertise its products but also goes further to ensure that its customers are better informed about the actual fees payable even before the transaction takes place.

According to Mr. Udoh, “Diamond Bank is issuing a tariff and service fees guide in keeping with our tradition of being a Bank of choice for our customers. Our focus is to ensure that our customers are better informed about our products and services and this includes knowing the fees that they pay, even before deciding on any transaction. Because we feel the pulse of our customers, we do not want them to have any surprises, hence we use every opportunity to not only advertise our products and services but also provide vital information concerning the fees charged for very transaction up front, so the customer knows what is involved.”

He further stated that Diamond Bank strives to always live up to the tenets of its banking culture, etched on the tripod values of transparency, accountability and professionalism. “We are transparent and upright in our operations, giving our best as professionals in every aspect of our businesses. In Diamond Bank, our operations are transparent and we report our fees openly, so that the quality of our operations can also be assessed by customers,” he stated.

He also said that the published fees cuts across trade products, savings account products, cash management, commission on bond’s guarantees and indemnities, foreign exchange commission, travelers’ cheques and sight bills for negotiation. Other includes legal, discountable instruments, Bancassurance, current account products, Visa Credit card, mortgage and retail assets and investment management and share trading.

To ensure that the publication remains valid at all times, Mr. Udoh assured that the Tariff and Service Fees Guide will be updated, revised and published twice per annum.