2019 CEO Outlook - Bola Adesola, Standard Chartered - KPMG | NG
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“For a business to remain resilient, it must clearly define its core values and strengths, investing significantly to build and reinforce its capacity in these areas,” says Bola Adesola, immediate past CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited and Senior Vice Chairperson, Africa, Standard Chartered Bank Group.

With over 30 years of banking and financial services experience, Adesola is now responsible for supporting the execution of Standard Chartered Bank’s strategic intent in the Africa region including representing the Bank on its various subsidiary boards. “Shareholders have now realised that the sustainability and resilience of a company is more important than the personalities running the company,” she says. “So it is important that the company has a clear identity that enables it to build resilience and manage the risks it faces.

“Over the next three years, I see 3 major risks for Standard Chartered Nigeria – regulatory risk and the cost of regulatory compliance, cyber security risks, and socio-political risks. These are all challenges that we face as we grow our business.”

“For the Bank, agility is key, especially in the short term. We have to make sure that we are able to adapt quickly to the situations that evolve, now and in the future. The focus that we have put in our core values and strength will enable us achieve this.”

One of the major drivers of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria’s agility will be its investment in people and technology. “We are investing a lot in cyber technology, not just for the IT team, but for all staff,” Adesola continues. “Our other investments in technology will include maintaining our core banking solution and ensuring it remains robust. We are also looking at artificial intelligence and how we can use it to drive better analytics for more effective decision making.”

The digital economy requires organisations to build a new normal around how they operate and this is no different for Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria. ”The investments in technology have transformed the operational model of the Bank,” according to Adesola. “We have become more efficient and our physical branch count has reduced from just over 40 to 21, as about 80 percent of our transactions are now being done digitally.

“We have launched digital banks in Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana. We will be launching one in Nigeria before the end of 2019. Customer demographics have evolved with them conducting banking transactions from their homes, offices and mobile phones. So, technology has positioned us to better adapt and serve our customers based on their needs and preferences.”

”This digital transformation obviously has had implications for our staff as it affects the number and types of jobs available. They have to be trained, through various media including accelerator labs, to acquire the required skillsets in this new reality. This transformation provides them with unique growth opportunities and platforms for innovation and stimulating work.”

Throughout this document, “we”, “KPMG”, “us” and “our” refer to the network of independent member firms operating under the KPMG name and affiliated with KPMG International or to one or more of these firms or to KPMG International. 

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewees and survey respondents and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG International or any KPMG member firm.  KPMG’s involvement is not an endorsement, sponsorship or implied backing of any company’s products or services.