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”.