The recent announcement by Fidelity Bank Plc proclaiming Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi as the new and 4th Chairman, Board of Directors of the bank since year 2000, is indeed a sign of progress and an evidence that Fidelity Bank toes the path of growth, development and progress, judging by the calibre of people that head the bank’s Board and the results and progress that accompany their leadership tenures.
Incorporated 30 years ago as a Merchant Bank, Fidelity Bank has grown in leaps and bounds recording a very notable level of progress in the financial sector.
In 2000, it converted to a full-fledged commercial bank that today serves over 5 million customers across its 250 business offices and various other digital banking channels.
It is today ranked the 7th most capitalized bank in Nigeria and one of the most capitalized banks on the African continent. Fidelity Bank was also ranked the 4th best bank in Nigeria in the retail market segment in the KPMG Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS) in 2017.
As of December 2017, Fidelity Bank Plc. had total assets estimated at over US$4.2 billion (NGN:1.4 + trillion), and shareholders’ equity in excess of US$610 million (NGN:203 billion), a huge leap of progress in the industry.
The sporadic growth and developmental strides Fidelity Bank has enjoyed over the years can, among other factors, be attributed to the quality of experienced leadership the bank enjoys.
Fidelity Bank has been blessed with the most seasoned leaders and board chairmen whose years of experience in the financial, business and economic sectors help drive the bank forward. The Bank has always been careful in choosing who serves as the Board Chairman owing to the high level of competence and professionalism required in such position.
When Central Bank of Nigeria announced the re-capitalization of banks from 1billion naira to 25 billion naira, Mr. Peter Obi then 40 years old, being the youngest Chairman in the entire banking industry in Nigeria, (a record that is yet unbeaten), set the ball of progress rolling as the Chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc. From his vast wealth of business knowledge & contacts, Obi engineered a chain of processes that enabled a hitherto least capitalized bank meet up with the 25 billion naira capitalization requirement.
Fidelity Bank has since then, thoroughly and diligently, shopped for capable hands to serve at such demanding positions.
Obi was an alumni of University of Nigeria Nigeria, Nsukka; Lagos Business School Nigeria, Oxford University UK, Cambridge University UK, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, (Kellogg Scholar)USA, Institute of Management Studies, IMD Switzerland, Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, London School of Economics; Columbia Business School, New York, USA. He was Chairman and Director of so many other publicly quoted and unquoted companies
At 43 years Obi was declared the duly elected Governor of Anambra State.
Obi handed the leadership baton to Chief Christopher Eze, who then was 63 years. Chief Eze then took up the responsibility of Board Governance at Fidelity Bank as the Chairman. Chief Christopher Eze, through years of working in the finance sector, was well equipped to keep the bank on the path of growth.
Chief Ezeh graduated from the Wednesbury College of Commerce in Wood Green, England. Chief Eze worked at Shell-BP, Chrysler Motors UK Limited; Shell Zambia Limited, Lusaka; Indeco Limited Group, Zambia; and Indeni Petroleum Refining Company, Ndola, Zambia. He joined John Holt Limited (now Plc), and rose to the position of Managing Director in 1986 before being appointed Chairman in 2001.
He was also Chairman of some many other companies including John Holt Liverpool, UK, Lennards Nigeria Plc, Crittal-Hope Plc, NAL Merchant Bank Plc, NEPAD Business Group, among many others.
He is the Chairman of the ESUT Business Council and the Proprietor of Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State.
Having attained the retirement age for Non-Executive Directors in line with the bank’s policy, Chief Eze was succeeded by Mr. Ernest Ebi, then 66years old, a Former Deputy Governor, Policy and Corporate Services at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for 10 years (1999 to 2009).
Mr. Ernest C. Ebi, a BBA and MBA degree holder from US Ivy League University, started his Banking career in USA, where he rose to the Vice Presidential position. He returned to Nigeria and joined the International Merchant Bank (IMB) Plc. He later served in leadership positions in notable organisations like African Continental Bank Plc, New Nigerian Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, from where he was meritoriously elevated to Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, a position he held for 10 years.
Ebi also served as Chairman for Aiico Pension Managers Ltd.; Chairman for Beloxxi Industries Ltd.; Chairman of Agrited Nigeria Ltd.; Independent Non-Executive Director for Dangote Cement Plc; Independent Non-Executive Director for Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.
Under Ebi as Chairman, Fidelity bank recorded significant growth across key financial metrics and its market share position became materially strengthened.
Mr Ebi, having attained statutory retirement age, in line with the bank’s Policy, the bank on Monday 6th of July, 2020 announced the appointment of ex-AMCON Boss, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, as the new Chairman of the bank. Mr Chike Obi 65years is currently the Executive Vice Chairman at Alpha African Advisory. He has over 40 years of experience in investment banking and the financial services sector, working with reputable global investment banking and asset management firms. He provides overall leadership at Alpha African Advisory and has direct oversight over the capital raising division.
Prior to joining Alpha African Advisory, he was the inaugural CEO, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), a Federal Government backed institution, established to resolve the problem of non-performing loan assets of Nigerian Banks after the 2008 global financial crisis. Mr Chike-Obi was Founding President at Madison Advisors, a financial services advisory and consulting firm in New Jersey, specializing in hedge funds and private equity investment advice. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Lagos (First Class Honors) and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, USA.
Chike Obi’s choice as the Chairman of Fidelity Bank is therefore a good one, judging by his deep experience in banking and financial services sector. His appointment is also a demonstration that Fidelity Bank, in truly keeping to their word, only shops for the best minds with the much needed matching experience in the industry to keep driving the bank forward.
The odds are therefore highly in the favour of Fidelity Bank as Chike Obi takes up the Chairmanship position of the bank. His solid financial background and experience, as with his predecessors, will continue to drive Fidelity bank up the ladder of growth, strength, profitability and consolidation.
_Fidelity Bank – We are Fidelity, We keep our word!_