Sterling Bank appoints Indian director from top foreign shareholder

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Sterling Bank said Monday it has received confirmation from the Central Bank of Nigeria for Manish Singhal to join its top rank from the State Bank of India (SBI).

The validation secures the place of the consummate banker as a non-executive director on the lender’s board, where he will work alongside fellow countryman Ankala Prasad to represent the interest of the Mumbai-based public sector bank.

India’s largest bank SBI is the 53rd biggest bank in the world’s 53rd according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, having $694.9 billion in total assets as of last April.

The bank is the second biggest shareholder in Sterling Bank after Silverlake Investment Limited owned by Mike Adenuga.

Mr. Singhal’s experience in the financial services sector comes to twenty-six years, its present position being the general manager in charge of operations at SBI’s international banking group supervising operations & information systems and a few other units.

“He also oversees the implementation of IT-related policies and the activities relating to the IT infrastructure of SBI, among other responsibilities,” Sterling Bank said in a note on Monday.

Mr. Singhal’s prowess in financial tech is coming at a time of radical shift in Nigeria from legacy banking to digitalization, with Sterling Bank’s license to operate as a holding company, a model allowing lenders to run subsidiaries outside core commercial banking like payments and pensions, already in the bag.

Sterling Bank, where Nigeria’s third richest man Mike Adenuga is the principal shareholder, is set to ditch its current name for “Sterling Financial Holdings Company”.

A full-time director and chief financial officer at SBICAP Securities Limited (the brokerage business of SBI) prior to his current role, Mr. Singhal has broad experience cutting across risk management, customer service, human resources, business development, administration, products development, and compliance.

The new director “holds a Master of Science (Mathematics) from Garhwal University and is a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB),” the document said.

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