New Titan Trust Bank Braves Slow Economy; Weighs Opportunities


Friday, June 14, 2019  / 07:00PM / By Teslim Shitta-Bey, Managing Editor  /  Image Header Credit: Titan Trust Bank


At a time when at least two Nigerian banks appear to be in financial trouble, a new bank, Titan Trust Bank, has joined the market of financial service providers.  The bank has as its Chairman, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Tunde O. Lemo, OFR and has as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO), Mr. Mudassir Amray.


Amray is a former executive of global banking giant Citi Bank and has worked in New York as Managing Director and Head of Global Capital Management (LATAM). He was also Managing Director of Citi Bank Nigeria and Ghana, Amray’s experience equally cuts across Asia where he was at Citi Bank Hong Kong as Head of Capital Management, Asia Pacific. At Citi Bank Singapore, Titan Trust Bank’s founding CEO was Head of Islamic Banking; while at Citi Bank Pakistan he was the country Business Head. Amray obviously has broad Investment and Corporate Banking experience in frontier markets which should stand him in good stead to face the challenges of banking in an emerging Nigerian economy, whose growth projections are not quite strong.


Mr. Tunde Lemo was the Deputy Governor of Operations and Director at The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and also served as its Deputy Governor of Financial Surveillance Sector. Prior to his appointment at the CBN, Tunde Lemo served as the Managing Director of Wema Bank Plc; and has been Chairman of Abuja Securities & Commodity Exchange Plc and a Non Executive Director of Africa Finance Corporation.  He is a 1984 First Class Honours graduate of Accounting from the University of Nigeria Nsukka who became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria in 1997.


The appointment of Mr. Tunde Lemo as the bank’s chairman thus signal a commitment towards a regulator-compliant institution and the bank’s preparedness to take on the challenges of the sector.


This signaling effect must therefore bear on what some consider as a potential grey area as it relates to his May 2019 appointment and clearance by the Nigerian Senate as the Chairman of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA). As we laid out in the Jan 12, 201o article titled Udo Udoma - legality, perceptions and sacrifice 120110,  conflicts of interest, while difficult to define, often appears obvious to many people looking in from the outside. It is for this reason that organization pay attention to, and address suchobservations when raised; if only to offer clarity on record. Whereas, the legal definition of conflict of interest, usually set out in state laws governing entities, be it public or private (and lately the Financial Reporting Council’s Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance 2018), is very specific and covers possible situations; most conflicts fall into a ‘grey area’ where ethics and public perception are more relevant than statutes or precedents.


For the new bank, it may well serve them to place conflict of interest in context and around the much informed narrative about the ‘conflict of roles’  which arises whenever the personal or professional responsibilities of an entity’s board member may or appear to be potentially at odds. On its own, this should not count against the bank or the proven professionalism of the Chairman, but offers a useful guide in the future.



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A Fraternity of Moving Executives


The bank’s website promotes the profiles of its directors and management who have demonstrably credible and strong antecedents from different businesses and financial institutions.


Given the skill set levels needed and available in the industry currently, attracting high quality management and staff is a serious issue, and the bank appears to have done a good work in sourcing quality manpower to drive its vision. The pool for such manpower would come from current and ex-bankers; specialist industries and practice firms.


Movements in the financial sector is thus common place, and offers the public an idea of the focus and emphasis of the new bank. We take a look at three of such people complements, viz:


Mrs. Adaeze Udensi is the Executive Director of the bank. Mrs. Udensi has over twenty-three (23) years cognate banking experience; sixteen of which were spent at Zenith Bank Plc where she rose to the level of General Manager/Group Zonal Head supervising the Commercial Banking and Oil & Gas businesses in Southern Nigeria, which she grew to the second largest portfolio in the bank. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Banking & Finance and an MBA in Business Administration from Rivers State University of Science and Technology; and possesses strong skill suite and deep knowledge of the market and business fundamentals relevant to the financial services industry.


Mrs Adaeze Udensi was until recently an Executive Director of Heritage Banking Company Limited, for four years, where she supervised the South businesses; oversaw Retail, Private Wealth, Collections, E-Business, Customer Experience and IT functions; and well as served as Executive Compliance Officer; and in 2017, acted as Managing Director for the National Operating Licensed institution.


Udensi’s Retail Banking background would probably balance out the Corporate and Investment Banking bias of Titan’s CEO, Amray. Her local retail banking credentials should assist in market penetration amongst non-corporates and the Public Sector.



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Mr. Mark Oguh is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the bank. Mr. Oguh  has over twenty-two (22) years cognate experience in Finance, Operations, Audit, Financial Control and General Management Practice. Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy and Business Administration and an MBA in Banking and Finance. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.


Mr. Mark Oguh, was until recently the Financial Controller of Diamond Bank Plc from 2015 to March 31, 2019.


He is expected to hold the new banks’ management credit committee (MCC) accountable and ensure appropriate and adequate internal control architecture and administration are in place and adhered to.


As a complement to Oguh the bank equally recruited a seasoned compliance officer.


Mr. Ademola Ajayi is the Chief Compliance Officer of the bank. Mr. Ajayi has about twenty-three (23) years cognate and impact-laden experience cutting across banking compliance, financial control, credit review and monitoring, business development, banking operations, internal controls, internal audit, inspection and compliance functions.


Mr. Ajayi, a first class graduate of Accounting from Babcock University, is a registered professional with relevant compliance bodies such the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He also holds Higher National Diploma in accounting with Upper credits class from The Polytechnic, Ibadan. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) and an Associate of the Compliance Institute of Nigeria (CIN)


Mr. Ademola Ajayi, until recently, ran the gamut of banking operations, audit and internal control at Zenith Bank Plc; an institution he has worked with since his one year national youth service engagement at NAL Merchant Bank. He played a key role in setting up compliance department in Zenith Bank and took same to an enviable height.


Ajayi is expected to add muscle to the backoffice administration capabilities and competence of the bank.



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Buying Into The Future


Titan Trust Bank’s emergence into the Nigerian financial landscape offers a unique opportunity for an interesting institutional history; especially at a time when brick and mortar deposit money institutions are struggling to retain customer loyalty, provide top notch service at minimum cost and are in a race to digitalise consumer transaction experience(s).


Newer banks such as Sun Trust Bank (one of two regional banks, see table 3 below) and Nova Merchant Bank (one of 5 Merchant Banks, see Chart 1 below) have adopted what is essentially a digital banking model which keeps overheads across the service chain at an efficient level (whilst primarily servicing large corporates).



Chart 1 Deposit Money Banks and other Financial Institutions in  Nigeria

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Source: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The concentration on large corporates comes at the cost of cheaper retail deposit sources of risk asset financing, but from the FY 2018 profit after tax (PAT) result of NOVA Merchant Bank Limited  of N1.15bn, business seems good. It will be interesting to see how Titan Trust positions  itself in this new market space.

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Table 1 Commercial Banking License With International Authorization





Access Bank Plc

999c, Danmole Street, Off Idejo Street, Off Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos


Fidelity Bank Plc

2, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos


First City Monument Bank Plc

Primose Towers, 17a, Tinubu Street, Lagos


First Bank Nigeria Limited

Samuel Asabia House, 35 Marina, Lagos


Guaranty Trust Bank Plc

635, Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos


Union Bank of Nigeria Plc

Stallion Plaza, 36 Marina, Lagos


United Bank of Africa Plc

57 Marina, Lagos


Zenith Bank Plc

Plot 84, Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

Source: Central Bank of Nigeria


Table 2 Commercial Banking License With National Authorisation





Citibank Nigeria Limited

27, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos


Ecobank Nigeria Plc

21, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos


Heritage Bank Limited

292b, Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos


Keystone Bank Limited

Keystone House, 1, Keystone Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos


Polaris  Bank Plc

3, Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos


Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc

IBTC Place, Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos


Standard Chartered Bank Limited

142, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos


Sterling Bank Plc

Sterling Towers, 20 Marina, Lagos


Titan Trust Bank Ltd

Plot 1680 Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State.


Unity Bank Plc

Plot 42, Ahmed Onibudo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos


Wema Bank Plc

Wema Towers, 54 Marina, Lagos Island, Lagos

Source: Central Bank of Nigeria


Table 3 Commercial Banking License With Regional Authorisation





Sun Trust Bank Nigeria Limited

1, Oladele Olashore Street, Victoria Island, Lagos


Providus Bank Plc

Plot 54, Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

Source: Central Bank of Nigeria

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As a bank with a national commercial banking license (there are 11 such banks, see table 2 above), Titan Trust Bank, must decide whether it wants to grow organically i.e. what amounts to waiting till it has sufficient revenues and profit to expand or go into a merger or acquisition with a smaller local bank. The acquisition option may prove compelling if it can negotiate the option of offloading toxic assets of the acquired entity to a third party institutional debt manager.


The Titanic battles for bank market share ahead will prove or dispprove the optimism of the new bank owners, as they prep themselves for a defining date with time. We welcome their grit and optimism.










Tunde Lemo

Experienced Banker and Former Deputy Governor, CBN


Mr Mudassir Amray

A banker with over 25 years experience spread across countries like the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, Pakistan and Nigeria.



Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed

Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed is an accomplished businessman and entrepreneur of over 33 years and was the former Chairman/CEO  of Impex Nigeria Limited


Mr Andrew Ojei

Mr Andrew Ojei is a Chartered Accountant was the pioneer  MD of Zenith Bank, Ghana and served as the Executive Director of the Bank for 23 years.




Alhaji Aminu Bashari

Alhaji Bashari Aminu is the Chairman of Vital Products and a fellow of the Institute of the Financial Accountants (UK).



Adaeze Udensi, ED

Adaeze has 23 years banking experience and was former Executive Director, Heritage Bank Plc



Edits: This article was edited by the author on Sunday, June 16, 2019; 07:15AM to reflect new information on the principal officers discussed in the article and adjust the related news links. 

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