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Ebenezer Onyeagwu Bows Out of Zenith in Style, Wins ‘Banking CEO of the Year in Africa

Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, has been named the ‘Banking CEO of the Year in Africa’ at the 2024 International Banker Awards. This recognition marks his second consecutive year receiving this prestigious accolade. The announcement, published in the Spring 2024 issue of International Banker Magazine, coincides with the completion of his five-year tenure on May 31, 2024.

Expressing his gratitude, Dr. Onyeagwu said, “It is indeed an honour to be recognised as the ‘Best Banking CEO of the Year in Africa’ for a second consecutive year. This award is a testament to our team’s collective efforts and our commitment to innovation, growth, and delivering value to our customers and stakeholders. It also reflects our dedication to sustainability and high ethical standards, which are integral to our overall strategy. I am immensely proud of our accomplishments and look forward to future opportunities for the bank as I hand over the baton to my successor and begin the mandatory regulatory cooling-off period.”

Dr. Onyeagwu dedicated the award to Zenith Bank’s Founder and Chairman, Dr. Jim Ovia, CFR, for his mentorship; to the bank’s management team and staff for their unwavering commitment; and to the bank’s customers for their loyalty.

During his tenure, Dr. Onyeagwu has earned multiple accolades, including Bank CEO of the Year by Champion Newspaper (2019, 2023), BusinessDay Newspaper (2020–2023), SERAS Awards (2020 and 2021), Leadership Newspaper (2022), and Banking CEO of the Year, Africa by International Banker (2023).

Appointed on June 1, 2019, Dr. Onyeagwu has led Zenith Bank to achieve significant milestones in financial performance, financial inclusion, corporate governance, and sustainability. The bank has received numerous local and international awards under his leadership, including Best Bank in Nigeria by Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards (2020-2022, 2024), Best Bank for Digital Solutions in Nigeria by Euromoney Awards (2023), and being listed in the World Finance Top 100 Global Companies (2023). Zenith Bank was also recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital for the 14th consecutive year in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking by The Banker Magazine.

Other notable accolades for Zenith Bank include Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria by the World Finance Banking Awards (2021-2023), Best Corporate Governance Bank in Nigeria by the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards (2022, 2023), Bank of the Year (Nigeria) by The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards (2020, 2022), and Best in Corporate Governance Financial Services Africa by Ethical Boardroom (2020-2023). The bank was also named Most Sustainable Bank in Nigeria at the International Banker 2023 Banking Awards and received multiple recognitions for innovation in retail banking.

Zenith Bank has been honoured as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria by The Banker Magazine (2020, 2021) and received numerous awards at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, including Bank of the Year (2023) and Retail Bank of the Year (2020-2022). Additionally, the bank was named Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards (2020) and received other recognitions from Champion Newspaper, New Telegraph Newspaper, and SERAS.

In recognition of his significant contributions to the financial services sector in Nigeria and across Africa, Dr. Onyeagwu was awarded a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, on March 25, 2023, during the university’s 50th convocation ceremony.

Published by Finance Publishing Limited, the International Banker is a leading global source of authoritative analysis and opinion on banking, finance, and world affairs. The International Banker Awards recognise financial institutions that excel in providing capital for economic growth, innovation, sustainability, and intelligent investing to maximise profits and shareholder value.

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