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TMCNet:  Diamond Bank - Experts Seek Clarification On Otti's Political Ambition

[August 18, 2014]

Diamond Bank - Experts Seek Clarification On Otti's Political Ambition

(AllAfrica Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Following the reported move by the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Alex Otti to vie for the governorship of Abia State under the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), financial market analysts have called for clarity on the succession plan at the bank.


This, they argued is important given Otti's contribution in growing the bank as well as the positive performance recorded by the financial institution over the past few years.

But Diamond Bank at the weekend explained that Otti has not declared his candidacy for the 2015 gubernatorial elections nor any other elective post.

Presently, Diamond Bank has two deputy managing directors (DMDs), Mr. Uzoma Dozie, who is the DMD Retail Banking, and Caroline Anyawu, a DMD and chief risk officer of the bank.

Renaissance Capital Limited (RenCap) argued that the board of directors of Diamond Bank may be aware of the CEO's political ambition, hence the appointment of the two DMDs.

But Banking Analyst for sub-Saharan Africa at RenCap, Mr. Adesoji Solanke, sought to know whether "Otti would have to resign his position as CEO," if he formally declares his intention.

"Is there room for him to pursue his interest and possibly return to the bank? We think it is critical for management to provide much needed clarity on these areas that affect the bank's leadership, particularly amidst the bank's on-going tier-1 capital raising programme and potential divestment of Actis." Meanwhile, the statement from Diamond Bank explained: "He (Otti) is not unaware of the media speculation around his possible candidature, a situation he has preferred to ignore in order to concentrate on his principal responsibility of managing the day to day operations of Diamond Bank, and in particular ensuring the success of the ongoing rights issue to raise additional capital.

"The recent speculations are not unconnected with the pressure that has been brought to bear on Dr. Alex Otti by stakeholder groups in Abia State and beyond, urging him to contest for governorship of the state. This is understandably due to his hard work, integrity managerial ingenuity and track record of performance in the corporate world." It also noted that as a law abiding citizen, Otti is also mindful of the electoral laws of the land and knows it is premature to take actions that are in breach of provisions of the electoral Act.

"If in the future, Dr. Alex Otti decides to run for the governorship seat of Abia State, this will be made public, and communicated to all stakeholders of the bank," it added.

Diamond Bank is currently looking to raise N50.4 billion to improve its capital adequacy ratio and support business growth.

Analysts have described the capital raising as a step in the right direction by Diamond Bank, which has been described as the fastest-growing Nigerian bank over the past three years.

The bank grew its total assets by 155 per cent between 2010 and 2013 and is now the largest tier- 2 bank by assets with a 6.1 per cent market share, compared to the 3.7 per cent it had as at the end of 2010. Diamond Bank has been described as potentially the next bank that would move to the tier-1 category.

Copyright This Day. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

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