SEGUN AGBAJE: Banker Extra-ordinaire


Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, popularly known as Segun, was born in 1964, to the family of Chief Julius Kosebinu Agbaje, who was formerly the Chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank. He developed interest in banking in his early age, having received tutelage from his banker-father.

Mr. Agbaje is the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. With over 19 years investment and international banking experience, Mr. Agbaje is involved in the general management of the bank’s day-to-day operations and has earned a reputation as a truly accomplished and highly respected professional within the West Africa sub-region, given his diverse experience in the financial services industry.

Prior to joining Guaranty Trust Bank plc, he worked with Ernst & Young, San Francisco, USA. He subsequently joined Guaranty Trust Bank as a pioneer staff in 1991 and rose through the ranks to become an Executive Director in January 2000, and Deputy Managing Director in August 2002, in light of his diverse background and experience in almost all areas of the bank’s activities including commercial banking, investment banking, treasury, corporate planning and strategy, settlements and operations.

Mr. Agbaje possesses a deep understanding of the Nigerian business environment having initiated and led the execution of large, innovative and complex transactions in financial advisory, structured and project finance, balance sheet restructuring and debt and equity capital raising in several sectors of the Nigerian economy notably Oil and Gas, Energy, Telecommunications, Financial Services and Manufacturing industries. In addition, he helped in developing the Interbank Derivatives market amongst dealers in the Nigerian banking industry and introduced the Balance Sheet Management Efficiency system.

His list of positive impacts are not exhaustive including being very instrumental in putting together Guaranty Trust Bank’s and mark USD350million Eurobond offering in 2007 and later that year, the listing of its US$750 million Global Depository Receipts (GDR) in an unprecedented concurrent global offering in the domestic and international capital markets – which made Guaranty Trust Bank the first Nigerian company and first bank in Sub-Saharan Africa to be listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. In 2011, he further led GTBank to launch the first Sub-Saharan Africa financial sector benchmark Eurobond when the Bank launched its USD500million Eurobond without a sovereign guarantee or credit enhancement from any international financial institution.

Mr. Agbaje serves on the boards of several other notable companies including Guaranty Trust Bank (Ghana) Limited, Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia) Limited, Guaranty Trust Bank (UK) Limited and also a Director on MasterCard Advisory Board Middle East and Africa.

An alumnus of the Harvard Business School, he holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco, United States of America. It may seem that Agbaje’s life revolves round banking and financial matters, but he is also into political and sports matters. Taking a cue from his father, who also had a financial background, he developed a passion for politics, which is exhibited in the utmost support, in every ramification, he gave his brother, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, in his quest to become the governor of Lagos State under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) umbrella.

Not only that, Agbaje is also supporting a football team, which is being nurtured by GTBank as a corporate social responsibility

Mr. Agbaje was appointed Acting Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in April 2011, and as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer on June 22, 2011.

The concern about the uncertain future of the bank in the hands of Agbaje led to Fola Adeola’s insistence that the late Tayo Aderinokun should not resign his position as the Managing Director, even though he had complained loudly that he was tired of the job and needed to attend to his failing health.

Mr. Agbaje has proved to be a no-nonsense administrator; a trait many had described as high handedness. This prominently exhibited as oppositions were rife as regards his becoming the substantive chief executive of the bank. .

“Mr. Agbaje has an enviable mix of experience, dynamism and versatility in addition to a remarkable track record in the Financial Services Industry. Mr. Agbaje possesses the core values upon which the Bank was founded as enshrined in the Code of Corporate Governance of the Bank. The Board believes that Mr. Agbaje has the capacity to add immense value to the Bank and will offer him all the necessary support he needs to succeed in his new position.” He has repaid the faith the Board had in him by taking the bank to greater heights and even his worst enemies have now come to realise that his quest for excellence is what has been misconstrued as high-handedness, and that he actually always meant well.

Segun has not denied his approval for the devaluation of the naira as a remedy to Nigeria’s financial doldrum.

“There’s only one way the currency can go. As a country, we have to make the difficult decision. At the current oil price and with what’s happening in the world, we’ll have to deal with some measure of devaluation.” It is completely impossible to discuss Agbaje’s career success in the banking industry, especially the GTB, without giving a whole chapter to the duo of Tayo Aderinokun and Fola Adeola,who in 1990, laid a solid foundation for the bank, GTB. Agbaje had joined them at inception as Auditing staff, and learnt through the ropes. It was therefore, not a very difficult task to name him as replacement at the death of Adenirokun in 2011.

With him at the helm, things continue to go from better to best, and the bank continued to perform exceptionally well in the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Analysts have attributed this to the bank’s excellent corporate governance structures and clear-cut succession strategy and it is widely believed that the bank would continue to post exceptional results in coming years.

As Head of the Settlements Group of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, he supervised the conversion of its operations from a cost centre to a profit centre by the year 2000.

Being a project-oriented person, he was very instrumental in the introduction of Valu card and Western Union Money Transfer. He was also directly responsible for Guaranty Trust Bank Plc’s Initial Public Offer of N2.5 billion in July 2002. He is a person who believes in the investment in the young generation for a productive future hinging the bank’s growth over the years to the investments made in its young and forward thinking staff who have in no small way, ensured that the Bank consistently recreates itself in the Nigerian financial industry and remains the institution of first choice in Nigeria and beyond.

In one of his statements, he revealed that the exercise which saw four general managers leave the employment of the Bank, was in order to not only reposition for growth, but also to engender a rejuvenation and provide a ample opportunities for the younger generation to rise up and harness their full potentials. Segun has a brother, Femi Agbaje, who won the Sun Banker of the Year Award 2015. He is married and has offspring. Sir, for your magnanimous contributions to the banking and financial world, and to humanity in general, you deserve to be our Boss of the Week! Congrats sir.


“Mr. Agbaje has an enviable mix of experience, dynamism and versatility in addition to a remarkable track record in the Financial Services Industry. Mr. Agbaje possesses the core values upon which the Bank was founded as enshrined in the Code of Corporate Governance of the Bank. The Board believes that Mr. Agbaje has the capacity to add immense value to the Bank .”

Leave a Reply