The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, is to step down following a reorganisation of the board and management of the company by the core investors, Union Global Partners Limited, in agreement with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Sources close to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) informed THISDAY that Osibodu would be replaced by Mr. Emeka Emuwa, who is currently the Managing Director of Citibank Nigeria Limited.
Osibodu was appointed on August 14, 2009 following the intervention of the CBN in Union Bank and four other banks that failed a stress test on their financial health.
It was gathered that she has already been told about the decision to let her go as the CEO of the bank.
“The decision was taken by AMCON and the core investors that she has to step down while Emuwa will take over the running of the bank. Four executive directors that were appointed with her will also be let go, while the new CEO, subject to regulatory approval, will come along with a new team.
“The process of recruiting new executive directors and a chief financial officer is ongoing and should be concluded soon,” the source said.
Although it was not clear why she is being asked to step down, sources close to the CBN hinted that Osibodu is the only remaining managing director of the eight that were appointed by the CBN to run the eight rescued banks in 2009.
While BankPHB Plc, Afribank Nigeria Plc and Spring Bank Plc were nationalised, Oceanic Bank International Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, FinBank Plc and Equitoral Trust Bank Plc were acquired by Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Access Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc respectively.
“Leaving her to continue in office would have created public perception issues and governance issues, especially as Osibodu and her management were known to have wooed and brought in the core investors that have taken over Union Bank,” the source added.
In her maiden press briefing in August 2009, Osibodu had said her tenure was largely dependent on performance and a new shareholding structure after recapitalisation of the financial institution.
In a bid to recapitalise the bank, AMCON and Union Global Partners injected fresh funds into the bank. A rights issue was done late last year to raise additional capital from the bank’s existing shareholders to further beef up its share capital.
However, the offer was undersubscribed, having recorded only a 15.5 per cent subscription. The rights issue was expected to increase the holding of existing shareholders to 21 per cent and reduce that of Union Global and AMCON to 60 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.
But Union Global, last month, increased its stake in the bank by acquiring part of shares of AMCON. The transaction, executed on the floors of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), saw 4.325 billion shares of the bank, representing about 25.5 per cent of its paid-up capital, exchange ownership for N15.832 billion.
That deal ought to have increased the holding of Union Global from 65 per cent and reduced that of AMCON from 20 per cent.
Osibodu, a graduate of Economics, has decades of banking experience under her belt. Prior to her appointment, she was the Managing Director of MBC International Bank and later Ecobank Nigeria Plc. Upon resignation from Ecobank Nigeria, she joined the board of the Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI).