Guaranty Trust Bank is recognized by this ranking as the biggest bank in Nigeria by Market Capitalization of US $3.6 Billion – A Valuation in excess of the Largest Bank in Lebanon; Bank Audis Group Market Cap of US $2 Billion, Central Bank of India’s US $1.6 Billion Market Cap and also bigger than Alpha Bank Market Cap of US $2.6 Billion- the Second largest Bank in Greece by Asset.The Bank also boasts Asset base of US $10.7 Billion – An amount Bigger than the Asset Base of Rand Merchant Bank Holdings of South Africa, Western Union US $9 Billion and Twitters Asset of US $10.2 Billion. By Profit, The largest German Banking Institution; Deutsche Bank US $314 Million Profit and Commercial Bank of Qatar US $398 Million 2018 profit pale against GTB’s US $599.9 Million profit in 2018 financial year. In this Interview with True Nigerian Experience, Segun Agbaje, Guaranty Trust Bank Managing Director espouses the bank’s success story and future.
Q: GT Bank is the only bank and financial
institution in Nigeria with market capitalization in excess of
N1 Trillion ( N1.98 Trillion) an equivalent of US$3.6
Billion as at March 11 2019. In comparison with the nominal gross domestic
products of countries across the globe, GTB is bigger than several countries.
How exactly did Guarantee Trust Bank get so big?
A: Well first, let me say thank you very much. It’s very humbling that we have surpassed the GDP of some countries, but let me also say that we don’t believe that’s the type of potential that we have and that even that which you see in terms of market capitalization is really not where our ambition is. We are hoping to do more than that. How did we get so big? I’m not even sure we are that big yet, but if i look at the history of the bank, the bank’s list of branch introduction really forced us. We’ve always wanted to be an oasis in Nigeria, create the best in class company, do things the way you would do them anywhere else in the world and not say we are in Nigeria. We are true to our values, we have a great team of people who share a passion for the organization, who are very focused on doing the right thing and achieving their goals. We have been blessed with great leadership; I’m the third CEO, the first two CEOs were also excellent people, corporate governments are strong and what you will find is that there’s a positive relationship between strong corporate government and strong profitability and that’s a lot of what you see in Guarantee Trust. Very simple, clear vision, run in a very ethical way.
Q: Your PAT in 2017 is over
N170 billion. In 2018 you declared N184 billion. Your Q1 2019 is over N50 billion already. Are we expecting over N200 billion naira for 2019?
A: Well, I think that if you look at our history, we have never done worse than we have in any of the years, so yes, Ithink our aspiration is to do for 2019 over 200 billion in PAT and we did 57 billion PBT in Q1 of 2019, but I’m not even sure that that really is our ambition and our aspiration and people always find this a bit nerve racking when I say it, but I think as a CEO, I probably will not be fulfilled until we do a billion dollars in PBT. I think when we do a billion dollars in PBT then we would have startedto kind of achieve the potential that I think Guaranty trust bank is capable of attaining at the height it is capable of attaining.
Q: In the future, there will be need for succession. Your era has witnessed unprecedented growth for the bank. Who will take over from you?
A: Oh, you know, then I’d be playing God. I’m not sure i can pick an individual but one thing i can always say confidently is that the future of the bank after me would be brighter than under me. And that more than anything else, the team that I will leave behind will be much stronger than the team I inherited. Banking is a team sport and sometimes we focus too much on one individual that leads the organization and you forget the team behind the organization. So, when I think of succession in Guaranty trust, I am a bit more obsessed with the team than the individual that succeeds me and what I can confidently say is that we will have an extremely strong team after I leave.