Chairman and Independent Non-Executive Director
Gavin Laws was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in October 2013 and as Chairman from 1st January 2016. Over a 36 year career with Standard Chartered he gained a deep experience of international and emerging markets having worked in Europe, Africa and Asia. He started his career in the UK before being posted to South Africa as a credit risk manager. He then spent 10 years in Asia with responsibilities encompassing cash operations and trade finance. Various senior executive roles followed including Head of Corporate Banking in Africa, Regional Head of Consumer Banking for Africa, Head of Governance West covering 50 countries and finally as Group Head of Corporate Affairs. Gavin retired from Standard Chartered in 2012 and has since taken up Non Executive roles at Travelex Holdings Ltd and ASA International as well as becoming a trustee at Liverpool FC Foundation, Berkhamsted Schools Group and Trans Antarctic Winter Traverse.Back to top
Managing Director / Chief Executive
David Forster was appointed to the position of Chief Operating Officer in August 2013 and to MD/CEO in October 2017. Mr Forster has over 35 years of experience working in Operational roles in the City where, prior to joining UBUK, he had been employed from 1991 to 2013 as Head of Finance & Operations at HSH Nordbank AG, - a successful German Corporate Bank created in 2003 following the merger of Hamburgische Landesbank and Landesbank Schleswig-Holstein. Mr Forster started his banking career in the 1970’s firstly at Orion Bank and then at Banco National de Mexico where he was instrumental in developing the accounting, documentary letters of credit and loans administration systems for the new UK branch before securing a further position at Libra Bank between 1985 and 1990, where he rose to the position of Manager.Back to top
Independent Non-Executive Director
Suzanne Iroche was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in October 2015. Mrs lroche has over 30 years experience in banking including senior roles as Head of Treasury, Group Head Multinationals, Deputy General Manager, General Manager culminating in Executive Director within UBA. More recently she has been Group Managing Director and CEO at Finbank having been appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to recapitalise and stabilise the bank under its 2009 Banking Reform programme. She was one of 5 out of 8 CEO's who sucessfully handled the assignment from CBN.
She has also been a Non Executive Director on a number of Nigerian companies and also devotes time to the University of Lagos, WISCAR (Woman in successful careers) and the National Competitive Council of Nigeria.
She is an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.Back to top
Independent Non-Executive Director
Mr Richards joined the Board in August 2016 and is a highly experienced international and emerging markets banker with strong business and risk disciplines developed in several markets and across a wide variety of roles. He has a background in both corporate and financial institutions relationship management together with governance positions built up as a board member of Standard Chartered Bank’s subsidiaries in Turkey and Zimbabwe and an associated bank in the Seychelles.
Mr Richards has an MBA and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.Back to top
Emeka Emuwa is Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of our parent bank, Union Bank of Nigeria PLC (UBN). He joined UBN after 25 years with Citigroup. He began his banking career in 1986 as a Management Associate with Citibank Nigeria Limited and eventually rose through the ranks to become its first Nigerian Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. During his career with Citi, Mr. Emuwa held various senior positions within and outside Nigeria including assignments as Country Officer and Country head in Cameroon where he had regional responsibility for the bank's Central African businesses in Gabon and Congo. He was also Country Officer for Citi in Tanzania, Ghana and Niger. Prior to his external and regional roles, Mr. Emuwa held several operational and client facing roles in Nigeria. He was appointed Country Officer and Managing Director in 2005 and held the position until his departure in 2012. Mr. Emuwa is a graduate of Finance from the University of Lagos and holds an MSc. in Management from Purdue University's Krannert School of Management. He is Chairman of the Nigeria-Portugal Friendship and Business Association and was until recently a director of the American Business Council, Accion Microfinance Bank Nigeria and former Chairman of Junior Achievement Nigeria.Back to top
Kandolo Kasongo is the Chief Risk Officer of our parent bank. He is an international banker, with more than 30 years' experience in various senior positions with Citigroup, Barclays Bank and Standard Bank in multiple geographies across Africa and the Middle East. Mr. Kasongo started his banking career as a Management Trainee with Citigroup in Kinshasha, D.R. Congo. After formative years in Operations, Finance and Human Resources, he held the roles of Corporate Bank Head in D.R. Congo, and later Kenya, and Country Head in Zambia, and later Senegal. He then moved into Risk as Regional Risk Head and Senior Credit Officer successively for East, West and North/West Africa based in Johannesburg, Abidjan/Lagos and Cairo. His career at Citigroup spanned 27 years. In 2007, Mr. Kasongo joined Barclays as Risk Director for GRCB Emerging Markets, based in Dubai and overseeing 14 countries in Africa, the Middle East, India, Pakistan and Russia. In April 2009, he relocated to Lagos, Nigeria, to take on the position of Credit Head for Nigeria, and then Regional Credit Head for West Africa, for Standard Bank and its local subsidiary Stanbic IBTC. He joined Union Bank in early 2013. Mr. Kasongo holds the degree of Ingénieur Commercial et de Gestion from the Faculte Universitaire Catholique de Mons, Belgium.Back to top
Mr. Emeka Okonkwo joined Union Bank Nigeria in 2013 as an Executive Director heading the Bank’s Corporate, International, Investment Banking and Treasury businesses. Mr. Okonkwo’s career in the banking industry commenced about 26 years ago as an officer in Citibank Nigeria. His career has spanned Corporate Finance, Credit Risk Management, Marketing, Treasury and Strategic Management in Citibank Nigeria and London. In 2009, he was appointed to the board of Citibank Nigeria as an executive director for Commercial Banking and Global Subsidiaries. Prior to joining Union Bank, he was Director and head of the Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Citibank Bangladesh and had responsibility for client relationships of corporate institutions, financial institutions, public sector and global subsidiaries in the country.
Mr. Okonkwo has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; an MSc in Construction Management from the University of Lagos and an MBA from Warwick Business School, UK.
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