Highest paid Nigerian bank MD/CEOs of 2020


The banking sector, especially commercial banks, is one of the most profitable sectors of the Nigerian Economy churning out profits of close to a trillion in 2020 alone. They are also one of the highest employers of labours in the country employing over 93,000 Nigerians.

Sitting at the helm of affairs is the Chief Executive/Managing Director, the highest-ranking executive in the organization saddled with the responsibility of making the best corporate decisions, oversight of the execution of the organisation’s corporate strategies and most importantly increasing the shareholders’ return. The buck basically stops on their table.

Thus, these enormous responsibilities also come with a considerable executive compensation for their service making them ostensibly the highest-ranking staff of the bank.

In typical Nairametrics fashion, we bring to you a list of the highest-ranking bank CEOs for 2020 based on their executive compensation (exec comps). The bank MD/CEOs under our review earned over N1.5 billion in salaries in 2020.

The data was sourced from the published audited accounts of the bank and verified by Nairametrics Research.

Kennedy Uzoka (UBA) – N143 million

Kennedy Uzoka is the CEO of United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA). Prior to his appointment as CEO, he was the Deputy Managing Director which tasked him with the responsibility of growing and deepening the Group’s operations in its 18 operating countries.

  • He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School (AMP) in Boston USA, the International Institute of Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the London Business School, United Kingdom.
  • In 2020, the CEO helped the bank grow its profits to N113.7 billion from N89 billion one of the better performances by any bank in 2020.
  • Shareholders of the bank were also rewarded as its share price rose by 21% YTD in 2020 one of the best performances by a bank.
  • UBA has also consistently paid dividends to its shareholders under his watch.
  • The bank’s customer deposits also rose the highest during the year from N4 trillion to N6 trillion in 2020.
  • He earned a sum of N143 million in 2020 as the highest-paid director in the bank.

Demola Sogunle (Stanbic IBTC Holdings) – N158 million (+0.19%)

Demola Sogunle is the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc. Before his appointment in 2020, he was the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Bank and previously served as Deputy Chief Executive of the Bank.

  • Mr. Demola has worked in different leadership capacities in the Group such as Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, Compliance as well as Treasury and Financial Services.
  • He is a First-Class Graduate of Agricultural Science and holds a Ph.D. in Land Resource Evaluation and Management, both from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
  • He also has an MBA in Banking and Finance from ESUT Business School, Nigeria, and has completed the Advanced Management Program (AMP) of the Harvard Business School.
  • In terms of performance, Stanbic IBTC has rewarded shareholders immensely with profit after tax jumping to N83.2 billion in 2020 up from N75 billion. In terms of capital appreciation, the bank shares rose by 7% during the year but is up 16% year to date (Q1 2020). Stanbic is clearly on its way to being a Tier 1 bank under his watch
  • According to Stanbic IBTC’s FY 2020 results, the Director earned an annual income of N158 million. It is up from N155million paid a year earlier.

Eme Emuwa (Union Bank) – N164 million (-4.65% YoY)

Eme Emuwa is the immediate past CEO of Union Bank Plc. He served the bank for 8 years before retiring on March 31, 2021. He was replaced by Emeka Okonkwo, an Executive Director in charge of the Bank‘s Corporate Banking business.

  • Before joining Union Bank, Mr. Emuwa began his career at Citibank Nigeria where he rose to Executive Director in charge of Commercial Banking and Global Subsidiaries in 2009.
  • He also served as the Head of the Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Citibank Bangladesh.
  • He studied Civil Engineering at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He also holds an MSc in Construction Management from the University of Lagos and an MBA from Warwick Business School, UK.
  • Union Bank reported a profit after tax of N25 billion in 2020 up from N24 billion a year earlier suggesting that his turnaround efforts are going as planned.
  • Based on Union Bank Plc’s full-year 2020 financial statements, Mr. Eme’s total annual salary as the CEO of the bank was N164 million. It dropped from the N172 million paid in 2019.

Ebenezer Onyeagwu (Zenith Bank) – N230 million (+4% YoY)

Ebenezer Onyeagwu is the Chief Executive Director of Zenith Bank Plc. He replaced Peter Amangbo whose tenor expired on May 31, 2019. Mr. Onyeagwu joined Zenith Bank in 2002 as a Senior Manager in the Internal Control and Audit Group of the bank.

  • His strong business acumen and work ethic took him quickly up the ladder and in 2012, he was named the Executive Director of the bank in charge of Lagos and South-South Zone.
  • He is an alumnus of the University of Oxford where he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Strategy and Certificate in Macroeconomics and also underwent extensive level business education at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Business School of Columbia University, the Harvard Business School, and Lagos Business School of the Pan African University, Nigeria.
  • Zenith Bank under his leadership remains the most profitable bank in the country with about N235.5 billion in profits up from N209 billion in 2019.
  • At N8.4 trillion, its balance sheet is the second-highest but no bank comes close to Zenith when it comes to Net Assets, being the only Nigerian bank with Net Assets of over N1.1 trillion.
  • Zenith Bank’s share price rose 33% YTD in 2020 ranking as one of the best performers in terms of capital appreciation.
  • He earned a sum of N230 million in 2020, according to data obtained from the Financial Statement of Zenith Bank Plc. His exec comps was N221 million in 2019.

Segun Agbaje (GT Bank) – N399.70 million

Segun Agbaje is the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB). He is also a Director of PepsiCo and a member of the Mastercard Advisory Board, Middle East, and Africa.

  • He started his career at Ernst Young in San Francisco and later joined the then start-up, GTB in 1991, rising through the ranks to become an Executive Director in January 2000, and later, CEO in June 2011 after the death of Tayo Aderinokun, the former CEO.
  • Segun, as he is fondly called is set to exit the bank this year as MD/CEO amidst a tightly contested field of possible successors.
  • The bank posted a record profit after tax of N201 billion in 2020 up from N197 billion in 2019. The bank also posted an impressive return on average equity of 26.8%.
  • Under his watch, the bank maintained an enviable position as the most efficient run bank operation at an astonishing cost to income ratio of 37%
  • GTB share price appreciated by 9% YTD in 2020 consistently paying dividends twice yearly.
  • According to GT Bank’s audited financial statements for 2020, Segun Agbaje earned an annual income of N399.7 billion unchanged from 2019.

Bubbling under

  • U.K Eke (FBN Holdings) – N122 million
  • Herbert Wigwe (Access Bank) – N120 million
  • Nnamdi Okonkwo (Fidelity Bank) – N110 million
  • Ladi Balogun – (FCMB Group) N101.19 million

We did not rather disappointingly that there are no women on this list. Let’s hope things change this year (2021) with the appointment of Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe as MD of Fidelity Bank.


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