Motola Oyebanjo: My new Romance with The Stallion
When I informed close friends and family that I had been invited to take on the role of Head Strategic Communications at Union Bank, I got different reactions ranging from "you better be joking!" and all the way to "that Bank for old people?!"
Quite frankly, I understood the sentiments expressed; I felt exactly the same way when approached by UBN's HR. If I was going to leave the great team and clients at AerialView for a new adventure, Union Bank would not have been on my radar.
With nostalgic memories of my parent's Union Bank drafts paying my University fees and the 99 years heritage of the big, strong, reliable Stallion in my head, I decided to go in for the discussion sessions.
My expectation was that I would meet some very old school people in oversized suits sitting in stuffy offices filled with files and folders. To say I was shocked by the difference in what I experienced is therefore an understatement.First was the welcome from the well kitted security and front desk officers who informed me with a smile that they were building a Simpler, Smarter bank. Then I began to meet even more dynamic people.
My initial discussion was with the Heads of Corporate Affairs, Corporate Strategy and Transformation and then with the Heads of HR, Recruitment and Retail. All these vibrant and dynamic people were honestly not the crop I had expected to meet. I was truly taken aback.
They took me through the Bank's vision and what they were working to achieve. They shared the transformation journey so far and all the changes that had been made in the banking platform, the people, products, digital channels and professional standards. As they talked about the strategy they were using in driving these changes, I knew I was hooked...well almost.
My final meeting was with Emeka Emuwa, CEO Union Bank. He was straight forward, sincere and quick to admit that the bank is a work in progress, but well on its ways, with many of the Bank's branches re-launched or modernized and many new initiatives being put in place.
He had over the last few years focused the team on transforming the bank first. Now they were in a position where they could offer quality service to customers and were ready to start talking about this transformation. This was why I was being brought in...now I was fully hooked.
It is truly a new day in Union Bank. It is a renewed Stallion that I discovered, experienced and chose to begin a new romance with. It has not been a perfect ride for the Stallion, but it has come a long way in its 99-year journey and now holds a promise of another 100 years and beyond of vibrant vitality.
It will be my key responsibility to drive the telling of this story of the renewed Union Bank. It is an honor to say the least and I look forward to sharing my journey with you. But, you don't have to take my word for it, look around you, visit a re-launched branch close to you and experience the transformation yourself.
It's a new day in Union Bank and YOU are welcome to make the Stallion your trusted companion too.
Motola Oyebanjo is a Strategic Communications Consultant and trained Economist. She is currently the Head of Strategic Communications and Media at Union Bank of Nigeria. She has served as Client Service Director - AerialView Marketing Communications, Managing Editor - Study International, Head of Corporate Communications - British Council and Internal Communications Manager - Unilever among other appointments.