Segun Agbaje: Navigating the Nigerian banking crisis
As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our May Africa focus.
“Banking was my calling,” Segun Agbaje, the chief executive of Guaranty Trust Bank, tells Euromoney from his office in Lagos, Nigeria. “My father worked for the Bank of British West Africa back in the 1950s. He thrived in the environment. I knew from early on that this was the kind of thing I wanted to do.”
The Bank of British West Africa had its roots in colonial Africa, when the shipping company Elder Dempster Lines decided that it was wanted to develop a bank along the coast of West Africa to facilitate its business.
While his father worked for a colonial bank – it was acquired by Standard Bank in 1965 – Agbaje works in a distinctly Nigerian institution.
“There was a rush of new banking licences being issued in the 1980s in Nigeria and new banks were opening up all over the place,” says Agbaje.