Meet the new Managing Director for Sierra Leone Commercial Bank

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October 8, 2018

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SLCB MG Abdulai Fidelis Turay…poised to take the bank to new heights

The new Managing Director for Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB), Mr. Abdulai Fidelis Turay was born on 29th January 1964 to Henry M. Turay (late) and Lucy M. Turay. He is married with three children. Fidel, as he is popularly known, holds an MBA in Finance from University of Leicester in the United Kingdom (an alumni of Leicester Business School); Bachelor of Science in Economics from Fourah Bay College, and has attended a number of professional development training courses and seminars in the banking industry at institutions in South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, Zambia, Cote D’Ivoire, and in country.

Fidelis cut his teeth in the banking industry soon after leaving university with the erstwhile Meridien BIAO SL Ltd in 1990 and rose to the position of Assistant Manager – Credit and Marketing/Credit and Recoveries Department.

Until his appointment, he was head of Union Trust Bank’s Credit Administration & Risk Management, a portfolio he held for several years. With varied experience heading banking operations, credit administration, marketing and business development, administration and personnel, internal control, project financing, risk management and corporate banking, besides special duties, he led the charge for setting up UTB’s branches in the provinces and greater Freetown, and is perceived to be an institution builder.

Over the years, Fidelis has served as one of the country’s seasoned bankers, and until his appointment served as Assistant Director at Union Trust Bank. At UTB’s 20th anniversary celebration three years ago, he was honoured for his exemplary service and referred to as the “institutional memory of the bank”. Fidel has demonstrated over 25 years how much he loves the banking industry and how thoughtful and talented he is in so many areas. He is dedicated to setting a clear and bold vision for the future of SLCB by involving the bank’s stakeholders and its numerous staff in co-creating the future together.

The choice for the MD job fell on Fidelis because he is seen as a leader who doesn’t believe in factionalism and can take the team along. He is equally big on ethical leadership in the industry. Credited with taking the first indigenous bank to the provinces, Fidel was an invaluable staff at UTB’s senior cadre. His former employer, UTB, received his resignation with “sincere mixed feelings” and acknowledged how he served the bank “faithfully and diligently” for the longest part of his professional life. “Change is an integral part of professional life; in your case it is both lateral and upward, for which we all have ample reasons to celebrate,” the employer concluded. In the words of a former colleague, Fidel is as “cool as cucumber” and cares for stability.

“The appointment of Mr. A. F. Turay as Managing Director is the most practical middle ground that the New Direction government could have adopted. His immediate priorities would be to get the executive leadership team to rally around, rebuild currency with stakeholders including the regulator, customers and shareholders.

SLCB shares have underperformed compared to its private sector peers for a long time over bad loan concerns, but some analysts have turned positive on SLCB’s shares after his appointment. A senior banking official in the country said his appointment soothes concerns over governance issues and corporate loan demand is also expected to pick up. The outpour of congratulatory messages and wishes of continued success have been immense as he takes the mantle of leadership in a truly sister institution.