VENTURES AFRICA – Four years after retiring as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, Zenith Bank PLC, Mr Jim Ovia, the bank’s pioneer Managing Director and CEO has been appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and non-executive Director of the bank.
Mr Ovia was the Chief Executive of the bank from 1990 to 2010 when he was compelled by the Central Bank of Nigeria to step down following a directive limiting the tenure of bank chiefs to 10 years.
He follows in the footstep of Mr Akinsola Akinfemiwa who returned to the banking industry as the Chairman of Heritage Bank Plc in 2013. Mr Akinfemiwa also had to retire as the Managing Director of Skye Bank Plc due to the CBN policy.
The Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Mr Peter Amangbo in a statement announced the appointment of Jim Ovia. He replaces Mr Steve Omojafor who the bank says resigned last month. The statement also added that the appointment had been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria.Ovia’s appointment takes effect on July 16, 2014.
Jim Ovia, 60, was ranked 30 in Ventures Africa’s The Richest People in Africa. The founder and largest individual shareholder of Zenith Bank, he made his fortune providing financial services to Nigeria’s richest middle class.
Zenith Bank also announced the appointment Mr Olusola Oladipo as an Executive Director. Mr Oladipo, who joined the bank in 1995 in 1995 having previously worked in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Prime Merchant Bank Ltd, has been a member of the senior management team of the Bank since June 2003. Prior his new appointment, he was the bank’s General Manager and Group Zonal Head.