Awards for Excellence 2008: Nigeria
Best bank: Zenith Bank
Best debt house: Stanbic IBTC/IBTC Standard Chartered Bank
Best bank: FCMB
From his grand office overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Jim Ovia, managing director and chief executive of Zenith Bank, can look down with pride at some of his and the bank’s achievements. While most banks in Nigeria claim to be the biggest or the best, Zenith, by just about every measure, whether it is asset quality or balance sheet strength, innovation, use of new technology or just brand recognition, emerges as the best in the country. Last year it picked up a BB– international credit rating from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch – the highest possible, equal to the sovereign credit rating; was granted a full banking licence in the UK, the first Nigerian bank to achieve that in 25 years; and set up a proprietary data services provider to link all its branches in real time.