Herbert and Uzoma Engage Entrepreneurs in a Knowledge Sharing Session on Access Bank and Diamond Bank merger
By Ayandola Ayanleke
A strategic partnership is one of the trusted vehicles that drive a successful entrepreneurial journey. This belief is what motivates The Spark by BusinessDay to connect beneficiaries with the benefactor, the start-ups with the big guns to create a symbiotic relationship where both parties learn from each other.
It is also clear that this understanding inspired the marriage between Access Bank and Diamond Bank. True to the culture of The Spark, we organized a Knowledge Sharing Section in order to connect the banks with our young entrepreneurial audience.
Present at the session were young business owners and professionals from various industries, all eager to engage the two leading men of the merger process. Hungry with a need to understand how the new partnership would be of benefit to their businesses, questions flew in from every corner of the room. The two CEOs were gracious enough to extend the one-hour session by thirty minutes as the brilliant minds of young forward-thinking Nigerians quizzed them on issues of account maintenance, plans for the creative industry, technology, business integration and expansion in other African countries, branding, and lots more.
Key takeouts from the event
- The merger is aimed at leveraging the strengths of both institutions to get one strong entity that can compete adequately in the African financial space.
- The merged entity will maintain the name ‘Access Bank’
- Accounts can be run as is. Customers with accounts in both banks can make their own choice on which to continue with.
- Banking products, including the Mobile Banking applications and other technological solutions, will be merged gradually and integrated to deliver better service to customers.
- The Bank has a physical presence in *8* African countries, as well as the middle east and the UK. They intend to have many more to ensure that businesses can conduct trade and expand their operations with considerable ease. It would also give Nigerians trading in those countries a sense of belonging.
- In addition to physical locations, the Bank is working to ensure they own a large market share of transactions between businesses across African countries using their financial technology solutions.
- The Bank will pay close attention to the creative and entertainment industry with their first move being engagement with the industry personnel to understand their business model and how to best design the solutions.
- They will continue and deepen their support for women under the merger aegis of The W Community and Diamond Woman
- The Bank will continue working with MSMEs through partnerships, training programs, and funding.
- The merger would be a gradual process, with the customer’s actions and reactions being the key determinant of the decisions taken in the course of the coming months and years.
The session was a success as it served to increase the knowledge of the customers and stakeholders to the culture and expectations of the merger.
On a personal note, both Bank CEOs were consistent in their encouragement of the entrepreneurs in session. With many years in the field, they shared strength and tips garnered over the years.
One of the most profound of these was a quote shared by Herbert Wigwe – Fortune favors the brave. Be brave.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.