Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Diamond Bank Releases Full Year Result Ended December 31, 2010

Diamond Bank Plc, provider of comprehensive banking and other financial services to corporate and individual customers across Nigeria has announced its Group audited results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2010.

The audited result demonstrates continued growth in operating profit which recorded an annualized growth of 12% to N27.6 billion (N24.6 billion Dec 2009), while the operating income was up by an annualized rate of 8% to N74.2 billion (N68.8 billion Dec 2009). This growth is attributed to the Bank’s continued buoyancy in low-cost deposits and cost efficiency gains, emanating from its process reengineering initiatives implemented over the last 2 years.

According to a statement released by the Bank, the group made a provision of N22.9billion and a profit before tax of N4.8 billion which is a leap from loss of N12.4 billion in the previous 8-months financial year. The Group recorded a tax after profit of N1.3 billion from a loss of N8.2billion in the 8-months ended December 2009, while its liquidity ratio stood at 41.5%, (16.5% above the minimum regulatory ratio of 25%).

Speaking on the result, Dr. Alex Otti, Group Managing Director/CEO of Diamond Bank commented thus: “These improving results and our return to profitability are as a result of our employee’s hard work over the past few years. As the incoming Managing Director of the Group, I am in the exciting position of leading a Bank that has taken tough actions to strengthen its platform and now has the opportunity to become one of Nigeria’s top performing banks by 2012.”

“I have identified a number of key strategic initiatives that need to be addressed in order for us to reach our goal and I look forward to working with the Group to deliver top quartile returns for our shareholders, consistent service excellence and making our Company an employer of choice in all areas of expertise.”

The statement further hinted that Diamond Bank is positioned to deliver better performance given the high efficiency of its balance sheet. The Bank said that 2010 was characterized by sustained growth across its retail unit, with monthly fee income up 50% to an average of N320 million in 2010, from a customer base that grew from 1.3 million to 1.7 million. Retail deposits which include the Bank’s MSME and personal customers grew by 60% to N176 billion by year end and its retail liabilities now represent about 50% of the Bank’s total liabilities. Meanwhile, its retail asset base was N28 billion in 2010, up from N10 billion at the start of the year.

The above performance has helped the Group achieve the best of class net interest margin of almost 10%, and an improved cost to income ratio of 62.8% in 2010, from 70.9% in 2009. Although we saw improvement in cost of risk from 10.4% in 2009 to 6.4% in 2010, provisions remained high. It is expected that an increased focus on recovery will deliver lower figures in 2011.

Diamond Bank Plc began as a private limited liability company on March 21, 1991 (the company was incorporated on December 20, 1990). Ten years later, in February 2001, it became a universal bank. In January 2005, following a highly successful Private Placement share offer which substantially raised the Bank's equity base, Diamond Bank became a public limited company. In May 2005, the Bank was listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Today, Diamond Bank is one of the leading banks in Nigeria respected for its excellent service delivery, driven by innovation and operating on the most advanced banking technology platform in the market. Diamond Bank has over the years leveraged on its underlying resilience to grow its asset base and to successfully retain its key business relationships. The Bank has retained excellent banking relationships with a number of well-known international banks, allowing it to provide a bouquet of world class banking services to suit the business needs of our clients.

UK Eke Retires as Executive Director In Diamond Bank

The Board of Diamond Bank Plc, one of the leading banks in Nigeria, has announced the retirement of Mr. UK Eke effective April 30, 2011 after 19 years of dedicated service to the Bank and marking the end of his second term in office as Executive Director.

According to an internal Memo by the Group Managing Director/CEO, Dr. Alex Otti, announcing the retirement, Dr. Otti stated that the Board is very proud of the achievements of Mr. Eke and the significant contributions he made towards strengthening and sustaining Diamond Bank’s core values. He went further to express the Board and Management's gratitude to Mr. Eke for his invaluable contributions to the growth and development of the bank while wishing him success in his future endeavours.

Mr. Eke is the Bank’s Executive Director, Regional Businesses Lagos/West. He started his working career with Deloitte Haskins & Sells International (now Deloitte & Touche)-Chartered Accountants, in 1985 and specialized in audit, taxation and consulting. He joined Diamond Bank in 1992. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director in 2005, he had served in various capacities including Branch Manager (three branches), Regional Manager (two regions), and Divisional Head (three divisions across Nigeria’s geo-political zones). As Executive Director, Mr. Eke led three distinctive strategic business units—Commercial Banking, Corporate Banking and Specialized Industries. He also serves on the Board of the Bank’s West African subsidiaries. Between 2005 and 2009, Mr. Eke was actively involved in the bank’s capital raising campaigns and road shows locally and internationally. He thus possesses cross-functional competencies and a vast knowledge of markets.

He is a graduate of Political Science and International Relations, University of Lagos, also holds an MBA (Project Management Technology) from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri. He is a member, Institute of Management Consultants (IMC), Institute of Directors, an Associate, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, an Alumnus, Lagos Business School and Wharton Business School, a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and a member, Rotary Club District 9140. He has attended various business, leadership and professional courses and conferences both in Nigeria and overseas.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Alex Otti Takes Over As Diamond Bank’s Group Managing Director


The newly appointed Group Managing Director/CEO of Diamond Bank Plc, Dr. Alex Otti yesterday formally took over the leadership of the Bank, which is one of the leading banks in Nigeria.

Speaking at a brief hand-over ceremony in the Bank’s Head Office in Lagos, Dr. Otti expressed deep appreciation to the retiring Group Managing Director/CEO Emeka Onwuka for leading the institution to an enviable height and promised to speed up the implementation of the on-going re-engineering process in the Bank which he said “is a catalyst for the Bank’s growth and development”.

Dr. Otti further poured eulogies on the retiring GMD as he described him as a thorough-breed banker. “It is my honour to say that Emeka whom I have known for the past 15 years is a silent achiever who has made a mark in the industry. His footprints will stand the test of time in the industry and the Bank in particular,” he stated.

Earlier in his hand-over remarks, the retiring GMD/CEO, Emeka Onwuka thanked the Board, Management and staff for the support he received. “I am grateful to everyone in the Bank for the hard work, ingenuity and commitment to duty that has propelled the Bank into the premier league of Banks in Nigeria,” he said.

Onwuka further stated that the group’s strength remains its people, having one of the strongest teams of professionals; driven by a shared value work culture and accountability is an important feature that will continue to drive the group’s success in the years ahead.

“I am proud of the Diamond Bank heritage and grateful for the opportunity of working with you all,” he said.

Before his new appointment as the GMD/CEO of Diamond Bank, Dr. Otti was the Executive Director South of First Bank Plc. He graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with a First class honours degree in Economics in 1988. He subsequently received an MBA from the University of Lagos in 1994.

At the University of Port Harcourt, he was the best graduating student in the department of Economics and won the subject prize. He was also the best graduating student in the faculty of Social Sciences and won the Dean’s Prize, as well as the overall best graduating student for the year and valedictorian

He started his banking career with Nigeria International Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Citibank N.Y. in 1989 where he worked in Operations department. He subsequently moved on to Nigerian Intercontinental Merchant Bank Ltd (now Intercontinental Bank Plc). At Intercontinental, he was at various times in the Treasury and Financial Services and Corporate Banking Divisions. In 1992, he joined the then Societe Bancaire Nigeria Ltd (Merchant Bankers), a subsidiary of Banque SBA Paris. He left as Senior Manager in 1996.

Towards the end of 1996, he moved to United Bank for Africa Plc as Principal Manager, heading Corporate Banking Sector, South. His major responsibility was the development of the Oil and Gas businesses for the Bank. In the year 2000, he was promoted Assistant General Manager.

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 Deputy General Manager.

In September 2005, Dr. Otti was appointed Executive Director. As Executive Director, he started as Head of Commercial Banking and subsequently, Head of the Regional Businesses in the South-South and South-East geo-political zones comprising over 180 branches.

He had served on the Board of several companies and presently sits on the Governing Council of two Nigerian universities – University of Port Harcourt and Babcock University.

In addition to receiving an honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration, he is an Alumnus of Harvard Business School (AMP 177). He also trained at Stanford Business School, California, Wharton Business School (University of Pennsylvania) and Columbia Business School, New York. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and Honorary Senior Member of Chartered Institute of Bankers.

He loves playing squash, listening to music, reading and meeting people. He is married with three children.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Alex Otti Takes Over As Diamond Bank’s Group Managing Director

The newly appointed Group Managing Director/CEO of Diamond Bank Plc, Dr. Alex Otti yesterday formally took over the leadership of the Bank, which is one of the leading banks in Nigeria.

Speaking at a brief hand-over ceremony in the Bank’s Head Office in Lagos, Dr. Otti expressed deep appreciation to the retiring Group Managing Director/CEO Emeka Onwuka for leading the institution to an enviable height and promised to speed up the implementation of the on-going re-engineering process in the Bank which he said “is a catalyst for the Bank’s growth and development”.

Dr. Otti further poured eulogies on the retiring GMD as he described him as a thorough-breed banker. “It is my honour to say that Emeka whom I have known for the past 15 years is a silent achiever who has made a mark in the industry. His footprints will stand the test of time in the industry and the Bank in particular,” he stated.

Earlier in his hand-over remarks, the retiring GMD/CEO, Emeka Onwuka thanked the Board, Management and staff for the support he received. “I am grateful to everyone in the Bank for the hard work, ingenuity and commitment to duty that has propelled the Bank into the premier league of Banks in Nigeria,” he said.

Onwuka further stated that the group’s strength remains its people, having one of the strongest teams of professionals; driven by a shared value work culture and accountability is an important feature that will continue to drive the group’s success in the years ahead.

“I am proud of the Diamond Bank heritage and grateful for the opportunity of working with you all,” he said.

Before his new appointment as the GMD/CEO of Diamond Bank, Dr. Otti was the Executive Director South of First Bank Plc. He graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with a First class honours degree in Economics in 1988. He subsequently received an MBA from the University of Lagos in 1994.

At the University of Port Harcourt, he was the best graduating student in the department of Economics and won the subject prize. He was also the best graduating student in the faculty of Social Sciences and won the Dean’s Prize, as well as the overall best graduating student for the year and valedictorian

He started his banking career with Nigeria International Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Citibank N.Y. in 1989 where he worked in Operations department. He subsequently moved on to Nigerian Intercontinental Merchant Bank Ltd (now Intercontinental Bank Plc). At Intercontinental, he was at various times in the Treasury and Financial Services and Corporate Banking Divisions. In 1992, he joined the then Societe Bancaire Nigeria Ltd (Merchant Bankers), a subsidiary of Banque SBA Paris. He left as Senior Manager in 1996.

Towards the end of 1996, he moved to United Bank for Africa Plc as Principal Manager, heading Corporate Banking Sector, South. His major responsibility was the development of the Oil and Gas businesses for the Bank. In the year 2000, he was promoted Assistant General Manager.

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 Deputy General Manager.

In September 2005, Dr. Otti was appointed Executive Director. As Executive Director, he started as Head of Commercial Banking and subsequently, Head of the Regional Businesses in the South-South and South-East geo-political zones comprising over 180 branches.

He had served on the Board of several companies and presently sits on the Governing Council of two Nigerian universities – University of Port Harcourt and Babcock University.

In addition to receiving an honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration, he is an Alumnus of Harvard Business School (AMP 177). He also trained at Stanford Business School, California, Wharton Business School (University of Pennsylvania) and Columbia Business School, New York. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and Honorary Senior Member of Chartered Institute of Bankers.

He loves playing squash, listening to music, reading and meeting people. He is married with three children.