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Atedo Peterside: Ex Young Spark At NAL Merchant Bank Who Launched IBTC And Made The Babangida Reforms Tick

The Oasis Reporters

November 2, 2022






Atedo Peterside.

Greg Abolo

In telling the story of the phenomenal growth and rise of Nigerian banks starting from the General Ibrahim Babangida years with his banking reforms, one significant name that keeps popping up in mentions is that of Atedo Peterside.

Many would not know that he was once the rejected stone, whose phenomenally inspirational story about the birth, growth and rise of IBTC into StanbicIBTC, is worth telling.

Hear Peterside @AtedoPeterside tell his story:

“About 33 years ago, IBTC now
@StanbicIBTC was founded when I was 33 years old. That was on 02 February, 1989. Today, 33 years later I thank God for the lives of all those who played a part in building this great institution and in making it possible for me to look back 33 years”










Atedo Peterside wins it. Lifetime Achievements Award from the African Banker Awards 2022. African bankers know the people who keep others in awe, smilingly.



It was stuffy back then with it’s establishment mindset. The leaders were smug and hardly wanted to be progressive.


Banks like that made me appreciate the Babangida banking reforms that jazzed things up and made Atedo to pull out of NAL Merchant Bank (another conservative establishment bank) and be what he is today at StanbicIBTC.

Atedo Peterside was one of the best young sparks at NAL (now Sterling Bank). I think then he was in his 20s or early 30s, and had risen to be AGM. That was his glass ceiling. This was so because he was a minority Southerner.


NAL Merchant Bank was a Federal Government owned bank.

But Northern Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) owned significant shares in it.


Therefore any Nigerian working in the bank could work hard and rise, at least to Assistant General Manager (AGM) level. It became a southerner’s glass ceiling. Unless one were a northerner, no staff could be the Managing Director (MD). NNDC shares plus FG shares gave northern Turks the edge.

Atedo Peterside who was such an incredible goal getter but from a minority tribe in (Rivers State) Southern Nigeria knew that he had to resign. So he pulled out.


But luck shone on him that a military General, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida happened to Nigeria.


One of Babangida’s ( popularly known by the acronym IBB) reforms was to open up the financial sector to new entrants. That brought in the bright minds like Jim Ovia, Aderinokun, Peterside etc. They were many and the financial houses they launched at a time hit 100.


Peterside went into Investment Banking. This saw him launch Investment Banking and Trust Company, IBTC.


His outfit started in one flat in Victoria Island. It was easy for him to start in merchant banking because the licence fee was a modest 20 million naira. The fee for a commercial bank was 50 million naira.


Being his turf and a game he knew well, he made it and grew. Throughout the Babangida years and into the General Sani Abacha and General Abdulsalami Abubakar years, he stood strong and prospered.


When the third democratic dispensation came in with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as president, IBTC was established, but just in that one branch.



Obasanjo came in with Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo as the Central Bank governor who’s solution was to consolidate the banks into bigger entities with bigger paid up capital adequacies.


So many banks had to seek mergers and acquisitions with the new universal banking license that was on offer.


IBTC, then as a Merchant Bank thus needed a bank with a wider branch network to acquire. That would be easier than establishing a branch or two in every city. So it knocked on the door of their erstwhile commercial bankers, Chartered Bank. They sealed a deal. The newly merged bank became IBTC-Chartered Bank.


On the other hand, former ANZ (Australia, New Zealand) bank by name, Grindlays Merchant Bank that had two offices at Awolowo Road Ikoyi and Airport Road in Kano had just had it’s entire Africa division, bought over by Standard Bank of South Africa, changed name to become Stanbic Bank with presence in many African countries.


Chartered Bank was equally their commercial bankers. So they sought a merger with the new IBTC-Chartered. When it was approved, it became Stanbic IBTC-Chartered (quite a mouthful to pronounce, wouldn’t you rather say?)


After a while, it dropped the name, Chartered from it’s name, thus becoming StanbicIBTC. It probably would have gone on to become just Stanbic Bank, but Atedo Peterside was on the board as a significant shareholder.


The question many watchers would then ask was why would Atedo Peterside allow his establishment to dissolve into this union, just like that ?


The financial guru is savvy and he’s got street cred. You get to a certain age in life and decide that the strength of youth can’t continue to avail itself to you forever. It makes sense to dissolve into an established organization with good structures, checks and balances to watch over your investments, enabling you to play more golf and have more fun with grandchildren at very old age when the zeal to hustle on continues to wear thin.

That was the smart sense Atedo Peterside envisaged for his retirement.

Written by Greg Abolo

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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