Polaris Bank announces new board, appoints Adekunle Sonola as CEO

Our reporter| Polaris Bank on Friday it has constituted a new board and management team.

The bank made the announcement in a statement made available to reporters.

This comes a day after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced the acquisition of 100 percent equity stakes in the bank by Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL).

CBN said SCIL paid an upfront consideration of N50 billion to acquire 100 percent of the equity of Polaris Bank and has accepted the terms of the agreement, which include the full repayment of the sum of N1.305 trillion, being the consideration bonds injected.

Polaris Bank, in the statement, said the new board will be led by Muhammad Ahmed, the existing chairman.

It added that the board will have six non-executive directors and three executive directors.

The new board and management include: Ahmad, chairman; Abubakar Suleiman, non-executive director; Salma Mohammed, non-executive director; Adeleke Adedipe, non-executive director; Ahmed Almustapha, non-executive director; Francesco Cuzzocrea, non-executive director; Olabisi Odunowo, non-executive director.

Others are Abdullahi Mohammed (executive director), and Segun Opeke (executive director).

Polari Bank also said Adekunle Sonola, a former executive director at Union Bank, is the new executive managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of the financial institution.

Commenting on the acquisition and board transition, Ahmad said the bank is willing to work with its core investors to improve and stabilise the firm.

“I would like to thank the outgoing board members profusely for their hard work and dedication over the last four years as we have established a strong governance structure and stabilised the bank,” he said.

“I am very pleased with the progress we have been able to make, and that we have delivered on our mandate to prepare the bank for a return to private ownership. I am personally proud to have been asked to lead the bank into an exciting new future and I look forward to working with the new board and our core investors to build on the platform we have created.”

On his part, Sonola who spoke on behalf of SCIL, said the new board would ensure that it sustains the growth of the bank.

“We are excited to participate in the next phase of growth for Polaris Bank and to have been able to recruit such an experienced and diverse board of directors we are confident can lead Polaris Bank into a new era of sustainable growth,” Sonaola said.

“This is an exciting time for the Nigerian financial services industry and we are committed to building on the strong foundations that have been established by the departing board. We would like to express our thanks for their service and wish them well.

“We have mandated the incoming management to develop an innovative, but sustainable growth strategy that prioritises the needs and aspirations of our current customers.”

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