The ingredient to success remains the same just as the way value remains the same, discipline hard work and integrity, and nothing is impossible if you work hard. This has been the driving force for Julius Olusegun Agbaje over the years, which has yielded to a success story. He is a banker and an entrepreneur, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, one of the leading African financial institutions. An accomplished and respected professional in the banking industry of today. A man of experience who has served as a Director of various organisations including AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, InterSwitch Limited, FBN Quest Merchant Bank.
He was born July 1964 into an influential family of Chief Julius Kosebinu Agbaje in Lagos State, Nigeria. Coming from a banking and finance background, little wonder on how he knows his onions well. Segun Agbaje attended the prestigious St. Gregory College in Obalende, Lagos Island and St. Augustine Academy in Kent. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy and Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco, America in 1986 and 1988 respectively. He is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School.
Furthermore, Segun Agbaje began his promising career as an Auditor at Ernst & Young, San Francisco, USA. In 1991, he left the United States to Nigeria and joined Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) as a pioneer staff. Ever since then, he has worked his way up the ranks. He was appointed as GTBank’s Executive Director in 2000 and as Deputy Managing Director in 2002. In April 2011, Agbaje acted as the bank’s Managing Director when Tayo Aderinokun, then MD was on medical leave. Upon Aderinokun‘s demise in June 2011, Segun Agbaje was named the MD of GTBank.
Interestingly,Agbaje has broken new grounds in the Nigerian banking industry, he helped in developing the Interbank Derivatives market among dealers and introduced the Balance Sheet Management Efficiency system. Under his governance, GTBank evolved into a premier and profitable financial institution in Africa. Also, the bank became one of the highest employers of labour in Nigeria. Furthermore, he played a great role in moving the bank’s business dealings from a corporate banking stronghold to retail marketing which is more market-oriented.
Also, Segun Agbaje also played a pivotal role in the introduction of Valucard and Western Union Money Transfer. He also played an essential role in making GTBank the first Nigerian company and first bank in Sub-Saharan Africa to feature on the list of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
As a tech-savvy person, Segun Agbaje pioneered the SMS Banking with *737# mobile feature. *737# allows customers transfer money from their mobile phones via SMS instantly to any other bank account. As well as, purchase call credit via bank accounts from the comfort of their house. This initiative has been copied by many other banks.
In addition, Agbaje is an innovator which is one of the qualities of an entrepreneur. He pioneered many GTBank’s initiatives including a partnership with Terrakulture, a cultural hub. In 2012, he launched NdaniTV, an online television platform as a way of capturing next generation account holders. NdaniTV is one of the platforms which GTBank uses to advertise its products. It was formerly an e-newspaper created in 2009 before the current MD breathed a new life into it. Today, NdaniTV celebrates and showcases African art, fashion, film, business, sport and many more. The TV platform later gave birth to Ndani Lifestyle, an online platform showcasing African life and style.
Conclusively,Julius Agbaje has won hundreds of awards across the nation, continent and the world at large. His story inspires the need for hard work and the rewards that comes with dedication and commitment. Today, he is recognised as the man who rebranded GTBank. According to him, “if you work harder than anyone else, you will be more smarter”.