By Dipo Olowookere
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the appointment of Mrs Beatrice Hamza Bassey as the substantive Chairman of the board of directors of Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc.
She is occupying the position to replace the late chairman of the Union Bank board, Mr Cyril Odu. She had been acting chairman of the lender since December 2019.
Mrs Hamza Bassey, who holds an LL. B in Law from the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, a BL in Law from the Nigerian Law School and an LL.M from Harvard Law School, joined the board of Union Bank in 2015 as a non-executive director.
She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1995 and the New York Bar in 1999. She is a Fellow of the prestigious David Rockefeller Fellows Program of the Partnership for New York City.
The reputable lawyer with extensive experience in corporate governance and financial institutions is an authority in compliance and represents clients globally in compliance and anti-corruption matters.
Currently, she is the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Atlas Mara Limited, a publicly listed financial services company that operates banks in various parts of Africa.
In addition to overseeing compliance, corporate governance and legal affairs across all its subsidiaries, Mrs Hamza Bassey has led Atlas Mara’s acquisition and integration of the nine banks it has acquired to date as well as several strategic initiatives.
Through her current service on the boards and board committees of public companies, Mrs Hamza Bassey has garnered in-depth knowledge of corporate governance best practices and trends.
Prior to the aforementioned, Mrs Hamza Bassey was a Senior Partner in the New York offices of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, a premier Wall Street law firm where she was a member of the executive committee.
During her almost two decades at Hughes Hubbard, she represented a roster of the US and international financial institutions and other corporations in a wide range of industries on issues along the full spectrum of compliance.
“I am delighted to lead the board as we drive Union Bank’s growth strategy and entrench its position as a leading financial institution in Nigeria,” the elated Chairman said.
“As we move ahead, our focus remains to deliver greater value to our customers, shareholders, and all stakeholders,” Mrs Hamza Bassey assured.