Abuja — First Bank Nigeria Plc is set for a major change of baton as Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the executive director, risk and management control, takes over the company's leadership from the substantive chief executive and managing director, Mr. Jacob Moyo Ajekigbe,
who retires from the bank on December 31, 2008, after over three decades of meritorious service.
According to a release signed by the bank's head of corporate planning, Hasiz Bakare, and made available to LEADERSHIP Sunday, the succession plan of the bank is in consonance with its corporate governance practice which will see Sanusi understudying Ajekigbe, in order to enable him assume office without any hitches from January 1, 2009.
Sanusi shall be the first Northerner in the bank's more-than-a-century history to be appointed CEO of the bank. Born in 1961, Sanusi, a member of the Fulani ruling family in Kano and grandson of the 11th Fulani Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi, holds degrees in Economics from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Shari'ah and Islamic Studies from the International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan.
Sanusi started his working career as an academic at his alumni, where he taught economics. He later moved into banking, working first as a merchant banker with Icon Limited, a subsidiary of Morgan Guaranty Trust Bank of New York, and Baring Brothers of London. He also joined the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) as a risk manager from where he was invited to the board of FBN Plc.
A writer who has, over the years, participated in debates on politics, religion and society, Sanusi has also been invited to speak at international conferences in several countries. He is reputed to have championed remarkable developments in FBN enterprise, risk and management control mechanisms. As general manager at UBA, Sanusi anchored the transformation of the credit and risk management division into an enterprising risk management sector, and spearheaded UBA's Basal 2 focus by establishing the framework, policies, processes and systems necessary for compliance with the guidelines of the new capital accord.
The outgoing MD Ajekigbe has, during the six years of his leadership, successfully stabilised the bank from the crisis situation which he inherited on his appointment in 2002, thus reinforcing the confidence of the bank's diverse stakeholders and the global financial publics. Part of his landmark achievements was the establishment of the FBN Bank UK Limited as well as its spread to Paris and back-to-back local and international awards from 2004 to 2007.
Sanusi is expected to take the bank to the next level by providing reinvigorated leadership drawing from the vast experience of Mr. Ajekigbe.