As Yemi Adeola Prepares To Bid Goodbye To Sterling Bank…Why He Is Reluctant To Leave

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As Yemi Adeola Prepares To Bid Goodbye To Sterling Bank…Why He Is Reluctant To Leave

As Yemi Adeola Prepares To Bid Goodbye To Sterling Bank…Why He Is Reluctant To Leave
January 12
07:01 2018

As innocuous and simple as it sounds, saying ‘goodbye’, especially to a place and people that one had grown emotionally and professionally attached to, forging lifelong relationships in the process, is always hard.

But fate has ordained that even the dearest of friends would part at some point, a sheer reminder of the Yoruba axiom that 20 kids cannot flock together for 20 years. This is the truism that stares Yemi Adeola, the group chief executive officer of Sterling Bank Plc, smack in the face.

Come April, the astute Ogun State born banker would bid farewell to Sterling Bank in adherence to the 10-year reign for bank MDs stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Should he have his way, Adeola would influence the system to prolong his stay at the helm of the financial institution that prides itself as the ‘one-customer bank’ to at least another 10 years. But he is not cut in that hue. The date is set. And when due, Adeola would say his farewell to the bank that he has made his oyster, and grown into one of Nigeria’s leading banks.

This is not a hard decision to make because the rules are clear about it but as always with making a hard decision, there is a real reluctance to leave.

This is understandable because he practically nurtured the bank from infancy to maturity and to this period when Sterling Bank has evolved from being a marginal player to a bank worthy of reckoning in the industry.

Yemi, no doubt, has made so much money for himself as the bank MD. While too many of his peers, gained from their wealth only the fear of losing it, Yemi gained from his wealth, comfort, contentment and a deep sense of purpose.
He understood quite early in life, that there are no little ways to imbue his life with grandeur. He understood that money matters in the mix, in his pursuit of ease and luxury. More importantly, he regarded money as the only sunbeams that lights his path to grandeur. Nothing is black where it shines. That is why his life is radiant with light.
He has worked very hard and saved very hard, his hard-earned money. Today, he is reaping the fruit of his labour.

According to an insider, Yemi is one very sharp dude who  has planned his retirement very well. Findings revealed that he is one of the richest bank chiefs in the country, considering his extensive fortune and business interests.

Appointed MD/CEO in December 2007, Yemi, younger brother of Fola Adeola, founder and former CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank, is a 1982 law graduate of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). In preparation for a bright career that he envisioned for himself, he bagged a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree specialising in Law of Secured Credit Transactions, Comparative Company Law and International Economics Law from the University of Lagos in 1985.

Sterling Bank was formed in 2005 by five banks. Thus, when Adeola assumed office as MD, he was driven by a vivid, relentless vision to be a major player on the Nigerian banking landscape. A pragmatist, rather than an ideological crusader, he knew the competition was cut-throat. But he is not one to give up on a cause he believes in. He narrowed his task to three key market segments: small and medium scale businesses (lending and deposit products and financial advisory services), public sector (collections and ancillary services and mid-cap infrastructure finance), and consumer banking (asset-based and personal finance). From the outset, the well-articulated vision of attaining the top five positions in terms of deposit size, asset size, profitability and revenue base in the Nigerian financial services industry was clear.

Regarded as being instrumental to the development of the valucard project in Nigeria, Sterling Bank under Adeola embarked on the automation of its processes and his ingenuity soon set the bank aside as a customer-centric bank where the customer is king and there were enviable returns on equity. Furthermore, he has intensified efforts to grow the bank’s retail base in order to reduce funding cost given the current high interest rate environment. When Adeola retires eventually, his initiatives aimed at sustaining achievements and improvement on areas that needed attention made in line with the bank’s strategy to guarantee maximum returns for all stakeholders, would be remembered.

A professional of almost three decades experience spanning banking, finance, law and corporate consultancy, Adeola is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and has undertaken senior management/executive education programs covering various business areas at leading international institutions like Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School, Oxford University and the Wharton School. There is no gainsaying that despite his expertise and experience, his accomplishments and all, and knowledge of what is coming; Adeola still isn’t prepared for how it would feel, or so. Fola might help.


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