Bisi Onasanya, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc is set to call it quits after a meritorious years of service to the bank.
Onasanya has been the architect of the modern FirstBank, and as a result of his successful completion of his tenure of six years, the executive says his retirement takes effect at the end of the current Financial Year on 31 December, 2015.
Onasanya is retiring on the heels of an inspiring and enviable career spanning over three decades of diverse management and operational experience, 21 years of which he has spent with FirstBank, serving meritoriously in the last six years as Group Managing Director/CEO.
He has been able to stabilise and modernise the expanding FirstBank brand since his appointment in 2009, thus reinforcing the confidence of the bank’s diverse stakeholders and the global financial publics.
Mr. Onasanya’s successor is expected to be announced in the last quarter prior to his exit. This is in sync with FirstBank’s corporate governance practice, which provides for seamless transition for the office of Group Managing Director. As is well known, FirstBank’s corporate governance posture has won it much respect and awards both locally and internationally.
A seasoned banker and chartered accountant, Onasanya is a highly respected and personable executive who has established a reputation at FirstBank for solid performance and sound judgment.
He is widely reputed as the architect of the modern FirstBank, associated with various innovative and creative achievements. He was a Project Coordinator of Century 2 the new frontier, FirstBank’s far-reaching enterprise transformation project at the turn of the century, as well as Project Coordinator of the FirstBank Corporate Transformation project which has seen the bank accentuating its foothold on modernisation.
Onasanya also superintended the latest composite Corporate Identity/Brand Refresh of the FirstBank Group, a bold step heralding the international expansion of the FirstBank brand.
A corporate strategy and development pacesetter, Onasanya has ensured the steady internationalisation of FirstBank, which under his leadership now boasts of subsidiaries with operations across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
He is also reputed as a people-person having pioneered significant transformation in the development of staff at FirstBank. His tenure saw the transformation of the bank’s training centre into FirstAcademy, a best in class corporate university that recently clinched the 2015 Global Council of Corporate Universities Award for best impact by a corporate university on the implementation of business strategies. The bank has also received the highly coveted Best Place to Work award.
An articulate and insightful leader in the financial services industry, Onasanya has made meaningful contributions as a member of the Bankers Committee and is the Chairman of the Sub Committee on Ethics and Professionalism.
He has served as a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Sub-Committee on Fiscal and Monetary Policies and a member of the Presidential Committee on Reduction of Interest Rates. He has also delivered several papers and served on various conferences C-Suite panels across the globe.
He is Editor of the new book, “Perspectives on Banking in Nigeria”, featuring a collection of learned articles by banking and finance professionals including operators, regulators and academics.
Onasanya is a Director of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and has been Chairman of First Registrars Nigeria Limited, Kakawa Discount House Limited, FBN Bank UK Limited and Unified Payments Limited. A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria he is also an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Taxation and a Fellow and Member of Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.
Onasanya was early in 2015 honoured as The Sun Man of the Year 2014 and Newswatch Man of the Year 2014 respectively, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to national development in the financial services industry.
Under Onasanya’s leadership FirstBank has been back to back winner of both national and international awards, having been named “The Best Bank Brand in Nigeria” four times in a row; 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group.
For four consecutive years, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 FirstBank has been named the “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards. Other recent awards include the “Best Bank in Nigeria” in the Euromoney Awards for Excellence, “Best Bank in West Africa” and “Most Innovative Bank in Africa” in the African Banker Awards, “Best Bank in Nigeria” in the EMEA Finance African Banking Awards for the fourth time, “Best Foreign Exchange Services in Africa” in the EMEA Finance Treasury Services Awards, “Best Banking Group in Nigeria” by World Finance Banking Awards, and “Best Financial Reporting Company” by Africa Investor.
Onasanya commenced his banking career as a Senior Accountant with Wema Bank in 1985. He joined FirstBank in 1994 and held several positions, including Group Head, Finance and Performance Management.
As Coordinator of the Bank’s Century 2 Enterprise Transformation Project in 2004, Onasanya managed what is perhaps acknowledged today as the most critical phase of the Bank’s early transformation, to ensure continuous competitiveness.
He maintained this coordinating role as Executive Director, Banking Operations & Services until this appointment as GMD/CEO. The retiring Onasanya is 53 years old and happily married with 4 children.