The new Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Bank is Adekunle Sonala, a man who brims with confidence.
He would be working hand-in-hand with board members who are seasoned technocrats.
Before his appointment as the MD of Polaris Bank, Sonala has garnered 33 years experience as a boardroom stalwart across the African continent. Now, the responsibility of running the day-to-day affairs of the company rests on his shoulders.
Recall that Polaris Bank Limited’s major equity stake was bought by Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL). This gave birth to the reshuffling of the ancient money lender’s board.
Sonala, a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, is expected to deploy his wealth of experience to propel the bank into a new growth phase.
The new board was unveiled shortly after news broke that SCIL had acquired a 100% equity stake in the bank for N50 billion and agreed to repay N1.3 trillion consideration bonds which the CBN previously injected into the bank.
Sonola has served on the boards of Airtel Africa Plc and First Bank of Nigeria where he chaired the board’s Risk Management Committee.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language from Ogun State University, an LL.B in Law from Obafemi Awolowo University, and an MBA from Durham University Business School, Durham, United Kingdom.
At this time, Polaris needs someone like Sonola, who appears ready to help Polaris Bank navigate the rough waters of Nigerian banking.
“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.
“We have mandated the incoming management to develop an innovative but sustainable growth strategy that prioritizes the needs and aspirations of our current customers,” Sonola was quoted as saying in the press release announcing his appointment.
Sonola has led a successful career as a Banking executive. His hay days as an Executive Director at Union Bank, readily comes to mind of many banking stakeholders.
He will bring his extensive experience in the banking and wider financial services sector in Nigeria and internationally, and expertise in corporate governance, human resource management, law and regulation.
According to Sonola, the bank is willing to work with its core investors to improve and stabilize the firm.
Sonola’s hard work and dedication over the years will come to play at Polaris, as he is expected to further establish a strong governance structure and stabilise the bank.
With his expertise coming to play, Polaris will experience tremendous progress and deliver on its mandate to prepare the bank for a return to private ownership.
It is his turn to lead the bank into an exciting new future and many stakeholders look forward to his magic touch, as he works with the new board and core investors to build on the platform his forebearers have created.
Given the Bank’s rather shaky background, many Nigerians are convinced that the bank will be able to hold its head above water, with the calibre of Directors appointed to lead its operations.
Olamide Adeniji is a member of the editorial team of TheScript Newspaper