New lender, Greenwich Merchant, awaits CBN’s approval

Greenwich Trust Ltd has been granted an Approval-In-Principle (AIP) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate as a Merchant Bank, New Telegraph has learnt.
An industry source with knowledge of the development, told New Telegraph that a former acting Chairman of Diamond Bank, Mr. Dele Babade, is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the new merchant bank.
Also, the Chairman of the bank’s board is Mr. Kayode Falowo, while Mr. Tubosun Falowo is its Chief Operating Officer (COO).
The CBN had introduced modified licensing rules for banks as part of reforms after the financial crisis in 2009. Under the rules, the CBN requires merchant banks to maintain a minimum paid-up share capital of N15 billion.
Prior to the CBN’s granting of AIP to Greenwich Trust Ltd to operate as a merchant bank, there were five of such lenders in the country. They are: Coronation Merchant Bank Limited, FBN Merchant Bank, FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd, NOVA Merchant Bank and Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria Limited.
Mr. Babade holds Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Law from University of London and was called to both the Nigerian and English Bar.
He started his career with Midland Montagu London (the predecessor of HSBC Investment Bank) on the Graduate Training Programme in 1988 and at various times worked in the UK and Greece mainly in Corporate and Merchant Banking.
He joined Citibank in 1993 and garnered experience from Citibank’s Emerging Markets business focusing on businesses beyond Africa and became Vice President in charge of all cross border/international deals for Africa in 1996.
In 1998, he joined Nomura International in London as a Director for Investment Banking for Africa. After re-joining Citibank in 2000, he was moved to Nigeria and Ivory Coast in 2001 as Executive Director covering Nigeria and West Africa and was a board member of Citibank Nigeria from 2001 to 2006.
He also served as Citibank’s Director & Regional Head Sub-Sahara Africa Corporate Finance & Investment Banking based in South Africa from 2002 to 2006.
Babade started his own investment advisory firm in 2007 but left briefly to join Ecobank Transnational Inc as Head of Ecobank Capital from 2010 to 2012 and was also a member of the Group Executive Committee, the top executive body for overall direction of the Ecobank Group.

He was appointed acting Chairman of Diamond Bank on December 24, 2018, prior to the lender’s merger with Access Bank .

The bank’s Chairman, Mr. Kayode Falowo is a Chartered Stockbroker with over 30 years post graduate experience and practice in Finance, especially in Commercial and Investment Banking. He holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife), an MBA (Finance) from the University of Benin and a Diploma in Information Management.


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