The Board of Editors of the Daily Times has voted Mr. Ifie Sekibo, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank Limited as the Banker of the Year for 2015.
Mr. Sekibo is a thorough-bred alumnus of the renowned Harvard Business School OPM class (2006-2009) and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (2002) with over two decades professional work experience spanning across the financial services and energy sectors. He is a tenacious entrepreneur, passionate game changer and a result-oriented professional with a proven track record in turn-around management.
These attributes consistently drive his vision to lead tenacious teams which mobilize strategic investments and capital injection to resuscitate and restructure moribund companies to the path of sustained profitability. In 2003, he led a team which acquired Global Assurance Company Limited, previously under the technical management of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). As executive vice chairman, he steered the new institution, International Energy Insurance (IEI), which emerged as a frontline insurance company in Nigeria, undertaking a successful capital raising and listing on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
In 2009, he led another team of professionals which nurtured the re-birth of the erstwhile Societe Generale Bank which was transformed to an innovative commercial bank with regional authorization called Heritage Banking Company Ltd where he served as the pioneer Managing Director/CEO. His passion and relentless drive for turnaround management is further evidenced by the recent successful acquisition of Enterprise Bank Ltd, to create a national, bigger, better and stronger Heritage Bank Ltd following rigorous and novel regulatory approval processes leading to the dissolution of the erstwhile institutions comprising HBCL & EBL to birth the New Bank. From a regional outfit at rebirth in 2013, the Heritage Banking Company Limited, more commonly known as Heritage Bank Plc, has taken a deserved seat in the comity of national banks in Nigeria.
Its honour as Company of the Year 2015, as bestowed by the Board of Editors of the Daily Times of Nigeria, is thus well earned. In October 2014, Heritage Bank which emerged from the ashes of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria Plc, acquired 100 percent shareholding of Enterprise Bank Limited, along with the latter’s over 160 branches nationwide to leap into national consciousness. To acquire Enterprise Bank, Heritage paid N56.1 billion to the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).
Today, branches of the bank dot the land. The feat is great kudos to the chairman of the Bank, Akinsola Akinfemiwa, and the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ifie Sekibo, and the core investor, IEI Plc, which through IEI Investments Limited, acquired the Societe Generale license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2012. The bank has successfully returned 100 percent of existing SGBN account holders’ funds to their owners as promised, while at the same time meeting, fulfilling and exceeding all required criteria for operations. He also ensured that there was a team with outstanding talent and high performance consistency, and embarked on a quest to do that which had never been done in Nigerian banking – create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.
A new era begins In October 2014, Heritage Banking Company Ltd successfully met the requirements of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) toward owning 100 percent shares of Enterprise Bank Ltd. On 27th of January 2015, AMCON officially transferred ownership of Enterprise Bank Ltd to Heritage Bank, and presently they have been fully integrated to become a single bigger and better financial institution: Heritage Bank Limited.
Heritage Bank is a leading Nigerian bank with an excellent service culture hinged on working with each customer to create a name and heritage for today and for future generations. With the ideals of Service, Performance, Respect, Integrity, Innovation, Tenacity and Excellence forming core values, the bank have set out to redefine the concept of banking for the quintessential customer. According to the bank, with our ethos of an African centered world view of wealth, as shown in the naming protocol of the bank’s divisions- Ivory, Manilla, Cowry and Coral Banking, we are dedicated to being not just a catalyst for growth in the Nigerian financial sector, but an ambassador for showcasing the global quality that Nigeria possesses.
This is because we believe that no individual is done until they have left something behind that defies time- a heritage that places emphasis on creating, preserving and transferring wealth across generations. “We hold firmly to the belief that the capacity for immense wealth lies in you”, says Sekibo. He said: “The fact that innovation is inevitable for the banking industry growth, and identifying the changing dynamics of banking across the globe had necessitated the need for the country to move along the direction of e-banking to bring about innovation in the banking sector.
Heritage Bank has been continually driven through distinctive innovations. Awards/Honours Heritage bank and its Managing Director have clinched different kinds of honours and awards both locally and internationally. Also, the legacy of innovation at Heritage Bank Limited was reinforced as the bank received the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, PCI DSS certification, in addition to the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 award.
The PCI DSS is a proprietary information security standard for organisations that handle branded credit cards from the major card schemes including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB. The PCIDSS, administered by the Security Standards Council, offers robust and comprehensive standards and supporting materials to enhance payment card data security. The certification was in recognition of the bank’s commitment to effective and secured financial system which has put the bank in the league of big players in the industry and confer internationally-recognised standard on its operations.