Ecobank Group today, Monday 6th December 2021, announced the appointment of Mr. Jubril Mobolaji Lawal as Regional Executive and Managing Director-designate of Ecobank Nigeria, ahead of the retirement of Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan when he reaches the mandatory retirement age in January 2022.
Lawal’s appointment is subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The announcement is contained in two separate statements issued today in Lome, Togo, by Adenike Laoye, Group Head, Corporate Communications and Chief of Staff to the Group Chief Executive Officer.
The new MD joins Ecobank from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, where he has been a versatile senior banking executive and digital transformation specialist for over 28 years. 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 as Executive Director at GTBank Plc Nigeria, and as Non-Executive Director at both GTBank Ghana Limited and Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems Plc. He 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.
The Board of Ecobank Group said Mr. Lawal was selected and appointed as Managing Director-designate following a keenly contested selection process, which included both internal and external candidates. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; B.L. from the Nigerian Law School and an MBA 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, Mr. Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank Group welcomed the new MD to the Group, saying that the bank stands to benefit from the extensive experience that Lawal has acquired in various fields across banking, which will play a major role in continuing to rebuild the Ecobank franchise in Nigeria. Ayeyemi said Nigeria is a key market for the group, where there has been 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.”
In her comment, Mrs. Bola Adesola, Chairman of the Board of Ecobank Nigeria said the bank looks forward to working with the new MD and assured him of the full support of the Board, Management and all the staff of Ecobank Nigeria. She said: “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.”
Out-going Ecobank Nigeria MD Patrick Akinwuntan, was appointed Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria in July 2018, and he has been rebuilding and repositioning for growth in the Nigerian market, putting the business in Nigeria on the path to regaining its respect and transformation. Under his leadership, Ecobank has won several global, regional and national awards.
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, he 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.
Mr. Akinwuntan 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.
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), Akinwuntan also holds an MBA from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and 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, Ecobank Group CEO Ade Ayeyemi congratulated him for over 25 years of ‘solid contributions’ to Ecobank, while also extending immense gratitude for his long, illustrious and successful career that is now culminating in a well-deserved retirement. Ayeyemi said Akinwuntan’s contributions to Ecobank Group have been invaluable, especially as MD of Ecobank Nigeria, where he has repositioned the franchise for growth, leaving an indelible mark.
The Chairman of Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs. Bola Adesola, also congratulate Mr. Akinwuntan for his dedicated service to the Ecobank Group as a whole and the significant work that he has done in repositioning Ecobank Nigeria and wished him a happy retirement.
In his remarks, Mr. Akinwuntan said that it had 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. He expressed gratitude to God, his family, friends, all Ecobankers, founders, shareholders, regulators and all our customers and stakeholders for the support they gave him on the journey.