Zenith Bank GMD Bows Out Friday, Wins Best CEO Award

Dr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Zenith Bank Plc’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, has been voted the Best Banking CEO of the Year in Africa at the International Banker 2024 Banking Awards for the second year in a row.

Onyeagwu’s five-year tenure ends on Friday, and the award will be published in the Spring 2024 issue of International Banker Magazine in the United Kingdom.

In a statement issued by the bank on Monday, Onyeagwu expressed his happiness at the honor.

He said, “It is indeed an honour to be recognised as the ‘Best Banking CEO of the Year in Africa’ for a second consecutive year. This award is a testament to our team’s collective efforts and our commitment to innovation, growth, and delivering value to our customers and stakeholders. “It also reflects our dedication to sustainability and high ethical standards, which are integral to our overall strategy. I am immensely proud of our accomplishments and look forward to future opportunities for the bank as I hand over the baton to my successor and begin the mandatory regulatory cooling-off period.”

He dedicated the award to Zenith Bank’s founder and Chairman, Dr Jim Ovia, for his mentorship, which was critical to his success as group managing director/CE; the bank’s management team and staff for their unwavering commitment over the past five years; and the bank’s customers for their loyalty.

During his tenure, Onyeagwu oversaw the bank’s substantial achievements in financial performance, financial inclusion, corporate governance, and sustainability.

These accomplishments have earned the bank numerous local and international awards, including being named best bank in Nigeria four times in five years from 2020 to 2022 and again in 2024 by the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards and Best Bank for Digital Solutions in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards 2023.

It was named to the World Finance Top 100 Global Companies in 2023, as well as the number one bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital for the 14th consecutive year in The Banker Magazine’s 2023 Top 1000 World Banks ranking.

Zenith Bank was named the best commercial bank in Nigeria by the World Finance Banking Awards for three years in a row, from 2021 to 2023; the Best Corporate Governance Bank in Nigeria by the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022 and 2023; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) by The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards in 2020 and 2022; and the Best in Corporate Governance Financial Services Africa by Ethical Boardroom for four years in a row, from 2020 to 2023.

Other awards include the Most Sustainable Bank in Nigeria at the International Banker 2023 Banking Awards, Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria, and Best Innovation in Retail Banking in Nigeria at the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.

He was named group managing director/chief executive officer on June 1, 2019, as part of Zenith Bank’s succession planning strategy.

He would give over the bank’s leadership to Dr. Adaora Umeoji, the first female GMD.

Last Thursday, the Chartered Risk Management Institute of Nigeria awarded Onyeagwu its fellowship in recognition of Zenith Bank’s exceptional risk management practices and services to the financial community.

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