The Legacy of Tayo Aderinokun: Nigerian Top Banker

Tayo Aderinokun (1954-2011) made indefatigable contributions to the Nigerian banking industry. He co-founded Guarantee Trust Bank as Deputy Managing Director with Mr. Fola Adeola in 1990. Mr Adeola, the pioneer chief executive, stepped down in 2002 after 12 years and was succeeded, predictably, by Mr Aderinokun.

The succession was seamless as the bank continued on its growth trajectory. Since its inception, the bank has been the subject of case studies from the Harvard Business School, with 3 updates; the Cranfield Business School, UK and the Lagos Business School.

Mr Aderinokun steered the bank through a successful consolidation exercise in 2005, emerging stronger after the storm generated in the sector at the time. The bank continued on its impressive growth, making history in July 2007 as the very first sub-Saharan bank and first Nigerian company to be listed on the London Stock Exchange, raising $750 million in the process.

Since then, the bank has maintained its preeminence in the banking industry, preserving its reputation as one of the most rewarding stocks on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Mr Aderinokun graduated with a first degree in Business Administration from the University of Lagos. He went on to obtain an MBA with a special concentration in International Business from the Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles. He had Credit and Relationship Management training at the Chase Manhattan Bank Institute for International Banking, New York, USA between 1982 and 1983. He started work with the Central Bank of Nigeria in Calabar, Cross River State where he did his National Youth Service between 1977 and 1978. He worked with Chase Merchant Bank Nigeria Ltd (later renamed Continental Merchant Bank) from 1981 to 1988.

He was at Prime Merchant Bank Ltd (1988 and 1989) as an assistant general manager rising to the position of head of the financial services division of the bank. In 1989, he set up a non-bank financial institution, First Marina Trust Ltd., which he ran for a year. In 1990, he co-founded Guaranty Trust Bank where he served as deputy managing director before assuming office as managing director/chief executive officer in August 2002.

He was responsible for strategic policy direction as well as day-to-day administration of the bank. He was a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) and also a recipient of numerous awards as an acknowledgement of his sterling leadership role in the achievements of the bank. He was also a recipient of the National Award of Member of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR). He will also be remembered for his school, the Day Waterman College, a co-educational boarding school for children.”

With Mr Aderinokun’s passage, the mantle naturally falls on Segun Agbaje, a pioneer member of staff and son of one of the initial financiers of the bank. Mr Agbaje is the deputy managing director and has been the acting managing director since Mr Aderinokun took ill in April and was flown to a London hospital. He is survived by a Wife and three children.

by Tosan Aduayi for Trendy Africa Media.
TrendyAfrica Magazine

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