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Zenith Bank has in 23 years, grown to be one of the biggest and most profitable banks in Nigeria.

Established in May 1990, the bank started operations in July of the same year as a commercial bank. It became a public limited company on June 17, 2004 and was listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange on October 21, 2004 following a highly successful Initial Public Offering (IPO). The bank's shares are freely traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) following a listing of the $850 million worth of its shares at $6.80 each in a major step at improving liquidity in the stock through Global Depository Receipts.

Zenith bank currently has a shareholder base of about one million and is biggest tier-1 bank in Nigeria.

With its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, Zenith Bank has over 500 branches and business offices spread across all State capitals, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), major towns and metropolitan centres in the country. In April 2007, Zenith became the first Nigerian bank in 25 years to be licensed by the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA), giving rise to Zenith Bank (UK) Limited. Zenith Bank also has a presence in: Ghana, Zenith Bank (Ghana) Limited; Sierra Leone, Zenith Bank (Sierra Leone) Limited; Gambia, Zenith Bank (Gambia The bank also has representative offices in South Africa and China and plans are afoot to take the Zenith franchise to other African regions as well as the European and Asian markets while consolidating our position as a leading financial services provider in Nigeria.

Zenith Bank has greatly impacted banking in Nigeria, literally lifting the sector from the era of over-conservatism to one of healthy conflict and dynamism, characterized by a culture of excellence and global best practices. This has been achieved through a combination of the power of vision and a skilful union of banking expertise and cutting-edge technology to create products and services that meet and anticipate customers' expectations.

The bank blazed the trail in digital banking in the country; scoring several firsts in the process through the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to create innovative products that meet the needs of its teeming customers. The bank is verifiably a leader in the deployment of the various channels of banking technology.

Credit for the bank's outstanding track record and impeccable credentials goes to the Founder, 67`Mr. Jim Ovia. Through the visionary and insightful leadership of Mr. Ovia, the bank has emerged from the status of new generation bank in 1990 when it was founded to become one of the leading Financial Institutions in Africa. Zenith Bank currently ranks as the 6th biggest bank in Africa. During Mr. Ovia's 20 years at the helm of affairs as the CEO, the bank grew from shareholders' fund of N20m in 1990 to N335b as at time of his retirement in 2009. Under his leadership, the bank recorded many awards which confirm the endorsement of Mr. Ovia as an accomplished banker and influential Leader. The bank continues to thrive on the strong values, brand equity, very outstanding corporate culture of professionalism and service excellence inculcated by Mr. Ovia.

   

Zenith Bank's management team is made up of seasoned professionals headed by Godwin Emefiele, the Group Managing Director and CEO, who is a pioneer staff member and has been on the board for almost two decades. He took over the reins from the founding CEO, Jim Ovia, in August 2010.

Having been tutored and properly honed by Mr. Ovia, under the leadership of Godwin Emefiele, the Bank continues to draw upon its superior people, excellent service culture and continuous deployment of state of the art technology to elevate the Group to greater heights. Like Mr. Ovia, the strategy, the positive paranoia, the rare determinations to break and surpass records have been the impetus for the successes achieved thus far by Mr. Godwin Emefiele. The GMD/CEO has added more than N100 billion to the earning capacity of the group; pre-tax capability nearly double more than N100 billion. The expanded capability derives from its strong competitive position in the banking industry account for the improvement in the top line as well as bottom line.

The Bank has continued to grow, in virtually all parameters, driven by the combined efforts of its very stable and experienced management and excellent staff. The collaborative approach adopted by the Board and Executive Management towards decision making has created one of Nigeria's strongest management teams.

Zenith Bank has clearly distinguished itself in the banking industry through superior service quality, unique customer experience and sound financial indices. These have become part of our corporate culture to the extent the bank is easily associated with the following attributes; Best-in-class customer experience, creativity, excellent financial performance, good asset quality, stable management, dedicated and highly skilled work-force, cutting-edge Information and Communication Technology, efficient and effective distribution channels.

The Vision: "To become the leading Nigerian, technology-driven, global financial institution, providing a distinctively unique range of financial service"

The Mission: "To build the Zenith brand into a reputable international financial institution recognized for innovation, superior performance and creating premium value for all stakeholders".

Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Excellence, Best corporate governance, Commitment, Transparency and Service"

The bank's strategy of assessing and managing its impact on the industry forms an integral part of our strategic objective. Specifically, the bank considers how the present and future capital requirements will be met and managed in view of projected capital requirements based on its assessment and against regulatory capital requirement.

The strategic objective of Zenith Bank also includes a continuous improvement of our capacity to meet the customers' increasing and dynamic financial needs as well as sustain high quality growth through investments that impact the quality of service to our existing and potential customers, constant upgrade of our ICT infrastructure, unwavering investment in training and re-training of our people and regular reinforcing of our customer service delivery charter with regards to continually changing customer needs.

Zenith Bank places high premium on the pivotal role of Exceptional Service Delivery in our drive to consistently exceed expectations. The bank has in place a well articulated strategy to not only meet and surpass customer expectation but also ensure that plans are fine-tuned to address the changing taste and sophistication of the customer. The underlying philosophy is for the bank to remain at all times, a Customer-centric institution with a clear understanding of its market and environment.

 

Within twenty-two years, Zenith bank has demonstrated rare resilience and has witnessed exponential growth in virtually all areas. Today, Zenith is undoubtedly one of Nigeria's strongest financial services institutions and one of the country's largest banks by market capitalization, shareholders fund and profitability.

The bank's growth momentum has increased over time and impacted positively on its standing as a market leader. In essence, Zenith Bank continues to make remarkable success on the sustainability agenda which is at the heart of its strategic and business models. As a result, Zenith bank is better positioned to continue on its growth trajectory and our desire to be a vital part of people's lives and businesses.

Excellent service delivery and development of superior asset quality, strong capital base, professionalism and corporate governance have provided the grounds for consistent high returns to stakeholders. The bank maintains sound risk management and corporate governance culture in line with global best practices.

The bank's liquidity profile remains very strong and our risk management practices give assurance that the profile will be sustained on the short-run and improved upon over time.

 

Zenith Bank's impressive growth pattern and performance over the years have earned it excellent ratings, recognitions and endorsement from local and international agencies and institutions:

The Banker Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times of London in a 2013 survey, rates Zenith as the Biggest bank in Nigeria by tier-1 capital.

Forbes & CNBC Africa ranks Zenith bank as the 3rd biggest company in West Africa.

Capital Finance International (CFI) adjudged the bank the Best Commercial Bank in Africa.

World Finance voted the bank as the Best Nigerian Bank in Corporate Governance.

In 2012, Zenith Bank was recognized as one of the 30 Outstanding Global Brands making sustainable impact on their operating environment. This recognition was prelude to the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) which held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012.

KPMG rated Zenith bank as the Best Customer-Focused Bank in Nigeria.


Going forward, our challenges will include, though not limited to, further elevating our standing as a reputable financial institution by establishing a corporate structure that can stay imperturbable. However, I am glad that we are well positioned and adequately equipped to remain at the forefront of Nigeria's financial services sector.

 

 
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