Emeka Emuwa: Brilliant leader with decades of banking experience

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Wole Olajide

The heights by which great men reach and kept were not attained by a sudden flight, but they while there companions slept, were toiling up in the night. Emeka Emuwa, CEO and Group Managing Director of Union Bank is a typical example of success which obviously could be linked to hard work, commitment and tenacity.

Emeka Emuwa was appointed to the board of Union Bank as the Chief Executive Officer and Group Managing Director in November 2012.

He joined Union Bank after 25 years at Citibank where he rose through the ranks from Management Associate in 1986 to Managing Director, Citibank Nigeria Ltd, and Citi Country Officer, Nigeria.

While at Citibank, he served as Citi Country Officer in Cameroon, Tanzania, Gabon, Congo, Ghana and Niger and also worked in various positions within Nigeria. In 2005, he became the first Nigerian to be appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Citibank Nigeria Limited.

He has extensive experience in credit risk management, strategy, negotiating, leadership and people management in addition to treasury, corporate finance and cash management product training.

Mr. Emuwa holds a BSc. in Finance from the University of Lagos and MSc. in Management from the Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, USA.

He has also lead in various capacity which include: Director at Accion Microfinance Bank Nigeria, Chairman of Nigeria-Portugal Friendship and Business Association, Chairman of Junior Achievement Nigeria, Director at HFC Bank Ghana Limited and
Director at American Business Council.

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc is a full-service commercial bank that caters to the retail and commercial needs of individuals, small and medium sized companies, and major corporations.

With the vision to be Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted banking partner, Union bank is making lives better by delivering the simplest, smartest solutions and guaranteeing the best experience every time for customers.

Union Bank’s history can be traced to 1917 when it was first established as Colonial Bank. In 1925 the bank became known as Barclays Bank DCO (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas) resulting from its acquisition by Barclays Bank. Following Nigeria’s independence and the enactment of the Companies Act of 1968, the bank was incorporated as Barclays Bank of Nigeria Limited (BBNL, est. 1969).

Between 1971 and 1979, the bank went through a series of changes including its listing on the NSE and share acquisitions/transfers driven by the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Acts (1972 and 1977); this resulted in its evolution into a new wholly Nigerian-owned entity. To reflect the new ownership structure, and in compliance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990, it assumed the name Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.

In 1993, in line with its privatisation/commercialisation drive, the Federal Government divested by selling its controlling shares (51.67%) to private investors. Thus, Union Bank became fully owned by Nigerian citizens and organizations all within the private sector. During the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) banking sector consolidation policy, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc acquired the former Universal Trust Bank Plc and Broad Bank Ltd. and absorbed its one-time subsidiary, Union Merchant Bank Ltd.

Following the banking crisis in 2009 and the intervention of the CBN via Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), the bank was recapitalized in 2012 with an injection of $500 million by Union Global Partners Limited (UGPL), a consortium of local and international investors. UGPL acquired 65% of the bank’s shareholding and in the last quarter of 2014, AMCON’s remaining 20% stake in the bank was acquired by Atlas Mara.

Union Bank is committed to the highest ethics and transparency in doing business. The bank implements best practices in corporate governance and accountability to stakeholders.

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