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How professionalism earned Coronation Merchant Bank award

L-R: Onome Komolafe, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Coronation Merchant Bank; Abubakar Jimoh, Managing Director (MD) / Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Coronation Merchant Bank; Aigbovbioise Aig-Imoukhuede, Head, Coronation Capital Markets and Onayimi Aiwerioghene, Head, Enterprise Management, Coronation Merchant Bank.

Coronation Merchant Bank, one of Nigeria’s investment banks recently certified its readiness for industry leadership in expertise and professionalism when it emerged ‘Merchant Bank of the Year’ at the BusinessDay Award.

To many bank customers, the name Coronation Merchant Bank, may not immediately register in their minds. But for investors, manufacturers and players in the financial sector, it is like a messiah and investment vehicle.

The bank engages in underwriting and business loans, catering primarily to the needs of large corporates, transnational companies and high net worth individuals.

Since commencing operations in 2015 as Coronation Merchant Bank, the bank has transitioned from a pure play discount house to a well-diversified financial services powerhouse, offering investment and corporate banking, private banking/wealth management and global markets/treasury services to its selected clients. The Group also offers, through its subsidiaries, a number of other services such as: securities trading/brokerage, asset management and trustees services. The subsidiaries are Coronation Securities Limited, Coronation Asset Management Limited and Coronation Trustee Limited

In what looked like a testament to its gradual emergence as Africa’s premier investment Bank, Coronation Merchant Bank was recently named the ‘Merchant Bank of the Year’ at the 2017 edition of the BusinessDay Annual Banking Awards held in Lagos.

To emerge as the winner, the bank outperformed FSDH Merchant Bank, FBN Merchant Bank and Rand Merchant Bank. Specifically, a review of the criteria for the award category shows that Coronation Merchant Bank outstripped other nominees in the following key performance indicators, Profit After Tax (PAT), Loan Growth (LG), Return on Average Asset (ROAA) and Return on Average Equity (ROAE). Coronation Merchant Bank grew its PAT by 59.30% in the year under review way ahead of the other banks.

The Bank also demonstrated industry leadership in loan growth, which validates its support for the development of the nation’s economy. Over the past one year, Coronation Merchant Bank grew its loan portfolio by 817.26 %, attesting to the effective performance of its role as a financier Nigeria’s top corporates.

While receiving the award, its Managing Director, Jimoh Abubakar dedicated the award to clients who provided the bank the opportunity to showcase its expertise and to the Bank’s employees whose commitment made Coronation Merchant Bank’s exceptional services and innovation evident. He added that “As a team of professionals with uncommon potentials, we are not only determined to become Africa’s premier investment bank, it is also our resolve to continuously create value for our customers, investors and other stakeholder groups”.

Publisher, BusinessDay Newspaper, Frank Aigbogun, described the awards as “an initiative conceived to recognise competition and innovation in one of the fastest growing and fierce markets, adding that the awards programme is renowned for its rigorous and transparent process in selecting outstanding financial institutions”.

The Bank’s best-in-class 5.55% Return on Average Asset (ROAA) and 22.26 Return on Average Equity (ROAE) is attributable to its huge investment in innovative ideas and adherence to sustainable business practices. Expectedly, these have continued to propel the Bank and position the brand for creation of new standards in the African banking landscape.

Since the award was announced, not a few analysts have reviewed the award process and commended the vision of the drivers of the Coronation brand for their ability to endure the current economic situation and pilot the affairs of the bank impressively, despite all odds. Again, its ability to contest with older banks in the award category, and emerged the winner of the coveted award has been described as a real test of its strength and an unequivocal pointer to the direction the institution is heading.

Like other investment banks, Coronation Merchant Bank, is believed to have not only lived up to its responsibility as a trusted intermediary that provides brokerage, fund-raising, and financial advisory services on a large scale to businesses and on smaller scale to wealthy individuals, it has also, on many occasions, assisted in international transactions involving multinational and transnational corporations.

The bank seems to be moving towards achieving the vision of its founding fathers of becoming Africa’s premier investment bank, with a value proposition to deliver world-class solutions to its esteemed clients in a cost-effective manner; whilst leveraging their extensive knowledge of the local environment and technology. ‘’We are also poised to leverage our best-in-class human capital to deliver value-enriching solutions to our clients,’’ its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jimoh Abubakar, said in a recent interview.

Abubakar further stated that the group’s quest for industry distinction is made evident in the recently unveiled corporate identity, which has been designed to effectively communicate their vision, ambition and strength.

Reacting to Coronation Merchant Bank’s recent report that it had zero NPL, at a time many analysts believed that Nigerian banks are exposed to two major macroeconomic risk situations of slowing economy and foreign exchange scarcity, which could be considered as automatic drivers of non-performing loans, its CEO had emphatically stated that the bank identified the segments of the market and the economic sectors that it wants to play.

“The economic challenge Nigeria has experienced in the last three years – due to the fall in crude oil prices and the drop in oil output – has adversely impacted both individuals and corporate entities. The significant decline in foreign exchange earnings has resulted in the depreciation of the naira in both the official and parallel markets. The pressure on the naira has caused a spike in inflation and introduced financial stability risks. All these factors have combined to weaken borrowers’ repayment capacity, thus affecting the performance of the risk assets in financial institutions.

Coronation Merchant Bank was initially founded as Associated Discount House Limited (ADHL) in 1993 by a consortium of reputable financial institutions. ADHL became a leading financial services institution, thriving through the different headwinds the Nigerian economy has experienced. In 2011, a new leadership emerged at ADHL, signaling a new beginning for the institution, which has posted consistent growth across all metrics and turned challenges into opportunities.

Over its 23-year history, the institution leveraged on sound corporate governance and the support of its shareholders to wax stronger and survive industry tides that sank 40% of its peers.With the recent award and the rate at which the bank is growing, one may not be wrong to describe Coronation Merchant Bank as the nation’s economic rescue agent, and investors’ friend, which recent listing of mutual funds – Coronation Money Market, Coronation Fixed Income and Coronation Balanced Funds implied.



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