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Chuks Udo Okonta
Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking group, said Jubril Mobolaji Lawal has been appointed as Regional Executive and Managing Director designate of Ecobank Nigeria, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Group in a statement made available to Inspenonline said the appointment was made ahead of Patrick Akinwuntan’s upcoming retirement, due to him reaching retirement age in January 2022.
Mobolaji Lawal joins Ecobank having been a versatile senior banking executive and digital transformation specialist for over 28 years with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. He has deep involvement and experience in digital and retail banking, corporate and commercial banking, credit risk management and corporate finance. His previous experience includes being Executive Director at GTBank Plc Nigeria, and Non-Executive Director roles at both GTBank Ghana Limited and Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems Plc. Mobolaji led the team that envisioned and implemented GTBank Plc’s retail and digital banking strategy to achieve industry-wide leadership over a ten-year period and he introduced new products and solutions that have helped to deepen payments and access to digital financial services in Nigeria.
Mobolaji was selected and appointed as Managing Director designate following a keenly contested selection process, which included both internal and external candidates.
Mobolaji Lawal holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; B.L. from the Nigerian Law School and a Master of Business Administration from Oxford University, United Kingdom. He has also attended several executive management and banking specific developmental programmes at leading educational institutions including Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD).
Commenting on the appointment, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank Group said: “We welcome Mobolaji Lawal to the Ecobank Group and we stand to benefit from the extensive experience that he has acquired in various fields across banking, which will play a major role in continuing to rebuild our franchise in Nigeria. Nigeria is a key market for us, in which we have seen significant improvement over the past three years as we reposition and leverage upon our pan-African strengths in digital products and services, payments and as the go-to-bank for businesses seeking to grasp the growth opportunities being created by the AfCFTA, across all our markets on the continent. I wish Mobolaji the best and assure him of both my support and that of the entire Ecobank Group.”
Mrs. Bola Adesola, the Chairman of the Board of Ecobank Nigeria said: “We look forward to working with Mobolaji and assure him of the full support of the Board, Management and all the staff of Ecobank Nigeria. The business in Nigeria is on the path of transformation and we are confident that Mobolaji will have significant impact in advancing our positive trajectory.“
Mobolaji Lawal will assume the position of Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, upon receiving the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria and after Patrick Akinwuntan retires.
Ecobank Group, also announced the upcoming retirement of Patrick Akinwuntan, Regional Executive and Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria. Patrick Akinwuntan will retire in January 2022, upon reaching the retirement age.
Patrick Akinwuntan started his career with Ecobank in 1996. He has held various senior and executive management positions in the over 25 years he has spent with the Ecobank Group, during which he has been based in Ghana, Togo and Nigeria. Before his appointment as Regional Executive and Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick was the Group Executive, Consumer Banking, where he was responsible for leading the Consumer Banking business across Ecobank’s global network of 39 countries, 35 of which are in Africa. He managed the Group’s digital transformation journey and has been instrumental in the development of the world class digital products and services that Ecobank provides today. Patrick is a seasoned banker who also previously was on the Board of ETI as a Group Executive Director and held the positions of Group Chief Finance Officer of ETI, Group Executive Director Domestic Bank, Operations, Technology, Transaction and Retail Bank, including Executive Director, Retail Bank at Ecobank Nigeria among others. He was the pioneer Managing Director of eProcess S.A, the Ecobank Group’s technology service company, where he ensured the connectivity of all the Group’s operations across its vast footprint. Patrick was appointed Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria in July 2018 where he has been rebuilding and repositioning Ecobank Nigeria for growth in the Nigerian market. The business in Nigeria is on the path to regaining its respect and transformation. Under Patrick’s leadership, Ecobank has won several global, regional and national awards.
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), Patrick also holds a Master of Business Administration from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. He is an alumnus of the senior executive program (SEP) of the Harvard Business school, an honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (FCIB), Fellow of the Institute of Credit Administrators of Nigeria (FICA) and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (ACTI).
Commenting on Patrick Akinwuntan’s retirement, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank Group, said: “We warmly congratulate Patrick as he prepares to retire having given over 25 years of solid contributions to Ecobank. I extend my immense gratitude to Patrick for his long, illustrious and successful career that is now culminating in a well-deserved retirement. His contributions to the Ecobank Group have been invaluable. On behalf of the entire Ecobank Group, I thank him for his years of commitment to the pan-African ideals of Ecobank, his loyalty and hard work in the various positions he has held, most recently as Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, where he has repositioned the franchise for growth. Patrick is leaving an indelible mark and will continue to be a cherished member of the Ecobank family.”
The Chairman of Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs. Bola Adesola said: “I congratulate Patrick for his dedicated service to the Ecobank Group as a whole and the significant work that he has done in repositioning Ecobank Nigeria. On behalf of the Board of Ecobank Nigeria, I wish him a long and happy retirement.”
Patrick Akinwuntan said: “It has been a rare privilege to have had the honour of serving for over a quarter of a century at Africa’s most exciting and unrivalled Pan-African Banking Champion, Ecobank. I am exceedingly thankful to God, my family, friends, all Ecobankers, our founders, shareholders, regulators and all our customers and stakeholders for the support and help that they have given on this journey.”
In line with Ecobank’s leadership and business continuity procedures, Patrick Akinwuntan will continue to manage Ecobank Nigeria and will ensure a smooth handover and transition to his successor.