Mrs Sola David-Borha

Mrs Sola David-Borha

December 30
09:07 2020

A professional to the core, focused, dedicated and exceptionally good at what she does, Mrs Sola David-Borha, has hovered around the top of her profession for well over two decades and has been at the very top for several years now. Hers is one of those names that one has been hearing for a long time and always associated with success.

Olusola Adejoke David-Borha was born in Accra, Ghana to a Diplomat father. Her family moved back to Nigeria when she was ten years old. She completed her primary school education in Nigeria and progressed to secondary school. Upon graduating from secondary school, she enrolled at the University of Ibadan for her Bachelor’s Degree program in Economics which she completed in 1981. In 1991, she travelled to the United Kingdom where she bagged her MBA at Manchester Business School. During the course of her career, she has attended several Executive programs amongst which are the Advanced Management Program (AMP) of the  Harvard Business School and the Global CEO Program jointly offered by Wharton, IESE and CEIBS.

Since 2017, Mrs David-Borha has held the exalted position of Chief Executive Officer of Africa Regions at Standard Bank Group, which makes her the Chief Executive of all of the bank’s operations in Africa except in South Africa. This giant of the Banking industry started her banking career off at the former NAL Merchant Bank (now Sterling Bank) in 1984 before moving to the boutique investment bank, IBTC, in 1989. Her conspicuous brilliance ensured accelerated movement up the banking ladder and in 1994, she joined the board of IBTC as an Executive Director. In 2007, the Standard Bank Group of South Africa acquired IBTC and this resulted in a new entity called Stanbic IBTC Holdings. There, Sola held the position of Deputy Chief Executive of Standard IBTC Bank and Head of International Banking coverage in Africa, excluding South Africa. In 2011 she was appointed the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank and by 2012, she became Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings. In recognition of her sterling qualities as a banker and an administrator, she was offered the Chief Executive of the Standard Bank Group for Africa Regions in 2017, which saw her finally exiting the IBTC group which she served for almost three decades. At her current appointment, she oversees the operation of Standard Bank in 19 countries. This doesn’t just make her the most powerful female Nigerian banker but as Chief Executive of the African operations of the biggest bank in Africa in terms of assets, this makes her one of the most powerful bankers on the continent, male or female.

So, what made Sola David-Borha so successful? To put it in a nutshell, her leadership skills. The current enviable heights of the Stanbic IBTC brand can be traced to this unmistakable quality. It was under her expert and innovative leadership that IBTC transformed from a successful yet small investment firm, into the formidable force it is today in the commercial banking industry. Quite admirably, it developed remarkable competence in retail banking and other financial services which hitherto lay outside it’s forte as an investment firm.

With Mrs David-Borha at the helm of affairs, the restructuring which saw the creation of a Holding Company (Holco) and 10 subsidiaries under it, was perfectly implemented. The said subsidiaries are: Stanbic IBTC Bank, Stanbic IBTC Asset Managers, Stanbic Pension Managers, Stanbic IBTC Capital, Stanbic IBTC Insurance Brokers, Stanbic IBTC Trustees, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers, Stanbic IBTC Nominees, Stanbic IBTC Investments and Stanbic IBTC Ventures. Noticeably, many of these subsidiaries have in the last few years, become market leaders, which is a testament of her adeptness. An obvious example is the IBTC Pension Manager, which has grown to become the biggest pension fund manager in Nigeria with over N1 trillion under it’s management.

Mrs David-Borha, through sheer grit, brilliance and a single-minded pact with integrity, took the bank to which she dedicated a significant part of her life, to astonishing heights before moving on to even bigger things with the parent company in South Africa.

Other positions Mrs David-Borha has held outside of banking are: Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group; non-executive Director of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company; member of the governing council of Redeemer’s University; non-executive Director of CR Services Credit Bureau PLC and Board member of University of Ibadan Business School.

An Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mrs David-Borha was named the Business Woman of the Year (2016) for the West African region. To crown it all, she also won the title of Business Woman of the Year for Africa.

Mrs Sola David-Borha, an epitome of grace and brilliance represents a worthy role model to all Nigerians and deserves to be so honoured.

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December 2020