By Eric Elezuo
When a child washes his hands clean, they say, he eats with the elders. This is an adage that aptly befits the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola (“Sola”) Kazeem Adeduntan (FCA), who prior to his elevation was an Executive Director and the bank’s Chief Financial Officer.
Born in Ibadan Oyo State on May 7, 1969, Adesola, attended Ibadan Municipal Government Primary School (IMG), Adeoyo N4 for his primary education between 1975 and 1981. At the Urban Day Grammar School, Old Ife Road, Ibadan, where he had his secondary schooling, Adesola was the Deputy Senior Prefect in his final year (1985/86).
Though medically inclined, Adesola knew from the start exactly what he wanted out of life, and so in 1994, he joined Afribank (Nig) Plc. and was posted to the Ibadan Main Branch of the bank as a graduate trainee. He spent 18 months in this function, working in various areas of banking operations including cash management, clearing, credit risk management, and foreign operations.
Between September 1995 and May 2002, Adesola worked with Arthur Andersen Nigeria, rising to become manager in the firm’s financial services industry business. In this role, he led and managed the statutory audit of a number of leading Nigerian banks.
In August 2000, he served as an instructor at the Andersen World-Wide Induction training for new hires in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. He also served as the lead instructor for the Local Office Basic Accounting Training and Induction course in 1999.
While with Arthur Andersen, he qualified as a chartered accountant in 2000.
Adesola was a Senior Manager, financial services industry in KPMG between June 2002 and October 2004, where he co-pioneered the firms’ financial risk management advisory services. A knowledge manager, he was also a KPMG-accredited Trainer and facilitated several internal training programmes.
His rising profile kept soaring as he took one credible step after another in his professional pursuit. He rose to become a Senior Vice-President (General Manager) and Chief Financial Officer for Citibank Nigeria Limited, responsible for the bank’s financial and product control functions, quality assurance and operational risk management. Having joined Citibank in September 2005, Adesola was to play important roles in the recapitalisation of the bank during the banking consolidation era. He left Citibank in October 2007.
In November 2007, Adesola joined the Africa Finance Corporation, as the pioneer Chief Financial Officer and Business Manager. In March 2014, he led the team that secured an A3/P2 investment grade international credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service. This made the Africa Finance Corporation the second highest-rated lending financial institution in Africa.
In July 2014, Adesola was appointed an Executive Director/Group Chief Financial Officer of FirstBank, where he was responsible for the bank’s financial control, internal control and enhancement, business performance management, treasury and procurement functions.
On Monday, January 4, 2016, Adesola resumed work as Managing Director of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and its commercial banking subsidiaries (FBN UK, FBN Ghana, FBN DRC, FBN Guinea, FBN Gambia, FBN Mortgages, and First Pension Custodian Limited). He succeeded Bisi Onasanya.
On December 7, 2016, Adesola was awarded the Banker of The Year 2016 by the Leadership (newspaper) “For refusing to ‘go with the flow’ even when the temptation was high and the reward substantial, and for reminding his colleagues that banking is nothing without integrity”.
Over the course of his sterling career, he has garnered diverse expertise in Treasury and Financial Management, Risk Management, Accounting and Internal Controls, Corporate Governance, Corporate Strategy Development and Implementation, Corporate Finance, Business Performance Management, Financial Advisory, Investors, Regulators and Rating Agencies Relationship Management, Deployment and Management of Information Technology, and Compliance.
Sola is a member of Sigma Educational Foundation, which is focused on enhancing the quality of tertiary education system in Nigeria and a member of the prestigious Metropolitan Club.
Adesola currently sits as a non-executive director on the boards of the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), FBN Bank U.K. Ltd., Universal Payments Plc., and FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
Adesola is married to Mrs. Adenike Adeduntan and together they have three lovely children.
Sir, for your gracious achievements in your chosen career, you are our Boss of the Week. Congratulations!