In a survey commissioned by PricewaterhouseCoopers in conjunction with BusinessDay Newspaper to determine the most respected companies and Chief Executives in Nigeria, Cadbury emerged first, followed by MTN and Nigeria Breweries. However, Zenith Bank emerged first among the banks but fourth among all the companies in Nigeria.
In arriving at the conclusion, PricewaterhouseCoopers said a Respected Company is defined by these enviable parameters:
A good corporate citizen, which is socially responsible with high ethical standards; a trusted company, which promotes good values with a unique and excellent leadership style, coupled with strong management principles and structure plus a smooth succession plan as well as a very resourceful company with excellent business culture.
Others are a visionary and revolutionary company with strong focus, innovative with popular brands of high quality; engaging in human capital development and high capacity building and an indigenous company with high local content.
Good corporate governance practice, high shareholder interest and value, harmonious industrial relations, friendly and good working environment, global and internationally recognized (Multinational) and size of company/largest in Africa/industry leader were other parameters used in arriving at their inference.
PricewaterhouseCoopers may have taken into cognizance Zenith Bank’s adherence to good corporate governance practices as well as global best practices and its emergence as a globally recognized brand.
The survey also considered the bank’s impressive financial performance. A five-year growth streak shows 446% surge in assets, 462% in shareholders’ funds, 227% in PBT, 287% in Gross earnings. The bank’s financial results as at June 30, 2005 put total assets plus contingent liabilities at N370.72bn with Profit Before Tax standing at N9.1bn, indicating a 72% and 43% growth in total assets and profits respectively over the preceding year.
The Zenith brand has powered ahead of competition also on account of its huge investment in Information Communication Technology (ICT), a fact attested to by the Web Jurist award which rated Zenith Bank as the bank with the best website in Nigeria. Also, Zenith Bank was last month named Bank of the Year by Bankers magazine, a subsidiary of influential Financial Times of London.
In only fifteen short years of operation, Zenith Bank has attained heights which took first generation banks over seventy-five years to accomplish. The bank’s success and accomplishments have been traced to its unique and excellent leadership style anchored on strong management principles and structures.
Other factors accounting for its feat include the bank’s overarching image as a socially responsible corporate citizen operating in line with high ethical standards as well as a proactive, visionary, innovative and resourceful company renowned for professionalism, efficiency and excellent customer and service delivery.