Polaris Bank appoints Muhammad Ahmad Chairman, Adekunle Sonola MD

Polaris Bank has appointed a new independent Board of Directors to lead the bank’s growth strategy.

Alhaji Muhammad Ahmad, Chairman Polaris Board, said in a statement in Lagos.

The statement said that the board would 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 and Ahmed Almustapha, non-executive director.

Others as Francesco Cuzzocrea, non-executive director; Olabisi Odunowo, non-executive Director; Abdullahi Mohammed (executive firector), and Segun Opeke (executive director).

It also named Adekunle Sonola, a former executive director at Union Bank, as the new Executive Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the financial institution.

Commenting on the acquisition and board transition, Ahmad said the bank was 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.

“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,”he said.

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

“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,” he said.

The change in ownership came after the Central Bank of Nigeria announced completion of a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) for the acquisition of 100 per cent of the equity in the bank by Strategic Capital Investment Limited (‘SCIL’).

The apex bank said SCIL paid an upfront consideration of N50 billion to acquire 100 per cent of the equity of Polaris Bank.

It added that SCIL has accepted the terms of the agreement, which include the full repayment of the sum of N1.31 trillion, being the consideration bonds injected.