The board of Diamond Bank Plc has announced the voluntary resignation of Alex Otti, the group managing director/chief executive officer, from the bank. Uzoma Dozie will take over from him subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In a statement released by the bank’s corporate communications department, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, chairman of the board of directors and Obi of Onitsha, announced the changes in the management team.
Speaking on the outgoing GMD/CEO, the chairman said he would be sorely missed, adding that Alex Otti achieved enviable landmarks during his time. He described his tenure as “the brightest years of Diamond Bank’s 24-year history”.
“Alex Otti is a fine gentleman with an outstanding career in the Nigerian banking industry. We are pleased with the time he spent at the helms of affairs of Diamond Bank Plc and wish him every success in his future endeavours,” Igwe Achebe added.
Under Alex Otti’s stewardship, Diamond Bank made a remarkable return to profitability and has continued to record impressive growth across all performance indicators year-on-year. After writing off toxic risk assets which resulted in the loss of N16 billion in 2011, the bank posted a profit before tax of N28.36 billion in 2012 and N32.5 billion in 2013. The bank also saw its total assets rise from N564.9 billion in February 2011 to N1.18 trillion by December 31, 2012 and N1.52 trillion on December 31, 2013.
He is credited with creating the office of the chief risk officer and designating an executive director to head the department. He also spear-headed the expansion of the bank by doubling the full staff count from around 2,000 in 2010 to over 4,000 as at mid-2014, even as he vigorously grew the bank’s footprints from a network of 210 branches in 2011 to over 265 branches three years later. It was also under his watch that the bank established an international subsidiary in the United Kingdom, in addition to expansion in Francophone West Africa (Senegal, Togo, and Ivory Coast).
It is to be noted that the central bank only recently classified the bank as one of the eight systematically important banks in Nigeria under his watch.
Otti is a 1988 graduate of the University of Port Harcourt where he finished with a first class honours degree in Economics. He subsequently received an MBA from the University of Lagos in 1994 as well as honourary doctorate degrees from Babcock University and the Universities of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) and Nigeria (UNN) in 2009, 2012 and 2013, respectively.
Prior to his appointment as the group managing director/CEO of Diamond Bank Plc in March 2011, Otti worked in a number of financial institutions in various capacities.
He started from Nigeria International Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Citibank N.Y. in 1989 and thereafter moved to United Bank for Africa Plc as principal manager and head, corporate banking sector, South.
In May 2001, he joined First
Bank of Nigeria Plc as an assistant general manager with responsibility for the bank’s energy group. In April 2004, he was promoted to deputy general manager and in September 2005, he was appointed executive director, commercial banking. In October 2006, he was re-designated executive director (South), and given the responsibility to oversee the bank’s businesses in both South-South and South Eastern geo-political zones of Nigeria.
On Dozie’s appointment, the chairman said it was in recognition of his extensive managerial capabilities and wealth of banking knowledge. He also added that it was in consonance with the bank’s succession strategy.