Group Managing Director of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, is due to exit her post towards the end of this year, precisely in another three months, after slightly over three transformational years of returning the bank to a sound footing.
However, there are indications that she may continue with the board in a non-executive capacity, lending advisory support to the incoming executive.
Early in the year, she was named by Financial Times of London as one of World’s 50 Leading Businesswomen — the only African woman and Nigerian who made the list.
Under Osibodu, Union Bank survived its most challenging era ever, coming after a debt crisis and corporate governance issues that brought the Nigerian banking industry close to collapse in 2009. This had prompted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to fire the former management of the bank alongside those of seven other banks; and Osibodu was appointed the MD/CEO in 2009.
She led the bank's turnaround: assets recovery, recapitalisation, rebranding; and restored customer and investor confidence in the organisation.
Union Bank's balance sheet for the 2011 financial year, through December, showed positive net assets of N197 billion compared with negative net assets of N115.7bn a year earlier. It is also believed that the first quarter March 2012 and second quarter June 2012 results of the bank are impressive.
Osibodu led a process that, for the first time in the history of Nigeria, culminated in the largest international consortium of foreign investors investing $500m in a Nigerian bank, and in Nigeria, despite the world economic crisis.
Analysts attributed the investments to the bright prospects of the bank, as inspired by the Osibodu-led management. Union Bank is the only bank out of the eight intervened banks that was able to retain its stand-alone status and name.