Yemi Adeola: Leader with Decades of Experience


Wole Olajide

Yemi Adeola is a banker with over 28 years of experience spanning many professional areas including Banking, Finance, Law and Corporate Consultancy. He currently serves as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank Plc.

Yemi studied at Obafemi Awolowo University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B). Thereafter, he obtained a Master of Laws degree from the University of Lagos, specializing in the Law of Secured Credit, Comparative Company Law, and International Economic Law. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1983. He lectured at the University of Benin and Lagos State University, before joining the firm of Price Waterhouse Coopers as a Consultant.

Mr. Adeola commenced his banking career with Citibank in 1988 serving as Chief Legal Counsel and Company Secretary. He later became Executive Director, Public Sector and Infrastructure Group and subsequently Executive Director, Expanded Target Markets (Commercial Banking).

He left Citibank in July 2003 to play a pivotal role in the turnaround project of Trust Bank of Africa Limited (TBA), serving as the Deputy Managing Director between 2003 and 2005. Upon the consolidation of TBA into Sterling Bank in December 2005, Yemi Adeola assumed the role of Executive Director, Corporate and Commercial Banking and remained in that capacity until he was appointed Acting Managing Director in 2007. He was later appointed Managing Director in February 2009.

Yemi Adeola is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and has undertaken senior management/executive education programs covering various business and leadership areas at leading institutions including Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School, Oxford University and Wharton.

Sterling Bank Plc “the one-customer bank” is a full service national commercial bank in Nigeria.
In over 50 years of operations, Sterling Bank, formerly NAL Bank has evolved from the nation’s pre-eminent investment banking institution to a fully-fledged commercial bank; and completed a merger with 4 other banks – Indo-Nigeria Merchant Bank, Magnum Trust Bank, NBM Bank and Trust Bank of Africa – as part of the 2006 consolidation of the Nigerian banking industry.

With the vision to be the financial institution of choice Sterling Bank delivers solutions that enhance stakeholders’ value

Under Yemi’s watch, Sterling Bank has received several awards which include:

  • Most Innovative Bank West Africa (2015)- The Banker Africa
  • Best Corporate Governance Bank (2015)- The Banker Africa
  • Best Bank Website of the Year 2015- Nigeria Technology Award
  • Most Innovative ICT Product In The Banking Sector -Nigeria Telecom Awards
  • Islamic Bank of the year, Africa 2016. Recognized for its contribution to Non Interest Banking By “The European”
  • Sterling came top ten in the world, top three in Africa and first in Nigeria in its Bank Quality Ratings which covers strategy, culture, customer care, brand promise and financial performance.- Lafferty quality ratings, 2016
  • Excellence in mobile banking (2016). Lafferty Global Awards
  • Top 3 finalists at the EFMA/Accenture awards held in the UAE in 2015

Sterling Bank has passion for excellence. This informs why the bank has recorded sustainable and solid growth, building a strong legacy of good corporate governance, excellence in banking, transparency and an organizational culture that has sustainability firmly entrenched in its processes.



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