Secretary General indicates willingness to work with her, others
By Tajudeen Hamzat
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Antonio Gutteres has appointed Ms. Bola Adesola, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria as Vice-Chair of the Board of the United Nations Global Compact.
Equally appointed as a second Vice-Chair is Mr. Paul Polman of the Netherlands, who serves as Chief Executive Officer of the multinational conglomerate, Unilever.
A statement from the Office of the Secretary General and made available to The Difference, Friday outlined:
‘The Secretary-General is pleased to confirm that Bola Adesola of Nigeria, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Standard Chartered Nigeria, and Paul Polman of the Netherlands, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever, will serve as the two Vice-Chairs of the Board of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.’
The statement added that ‘Ms. Adesola and Mr. Polman succeed out-going United Nations Global Compact Board Vice-Chair, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Former Chairman of Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies and of Anglo American Plc,’ noting also that ‘the Secretary-General extends his great appreciation to Sir Mark for serving in the position for the past ten years and shepherding the United Nations Global Compact into a new era.’
On the new appointments, the statement also underscored that ‘Both Ms. Adesola and Mr. Polman have served on the Board of the United Nations Global Compact previously, and will bring to the position a wealth of experience in the private sector, in the corporate sustainability space and specifically with the United Nations Global Compact itself.’
A frontline and vastly experienced financial services sector player in Nigeria, Adesola has served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd since 2011. She has over 25 years of banking experience, including at First Bank of Nigeria and at Citibank and holds degrees from Harvard Business School, Lagos Business School and the University of Buckingham.
On his part, Polman has served as Chief Executive Officer of Unilever since 2009. Prior to joining Unilever, he worked at Nestlé S.A., and at Proctor and Gamble, where he spent 26 years. He holds degrees from the University of Groningen and from the University of Cincinnati.
‘As Chair of the Board of the United Nations Global Compact, the Secretary-General looks forward to working closely with Ms. Adesola and Mr. Polman, along with United Nations Global Compact Executive Director, Lise Kingo, as they lead the United Nations Global Compact, the entry point for business within the broader United Nations system,’ the statement concluded.
With her appointment, Adesola now joins a cream of Nigeria-originating professionals that have lately bagged international appointments, and which includes Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, who recently took up office as the President of the International Criminal Court, ICC.
Bola Adesola, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank