Nduneche Ezurike, Group Head, Strategic Brand Management and Communication at Polaris Bank Limited, is a marketing communication specialist with over 15 years that have seen him work with various teams in emerging and mature brands across different sectors. His expertise in delivering results that are critical to enterprise business strategy derives from the fact that he honed his skills in the banking and communication consulting sectors.
On his current position which he has held since September, 2018, Ezurike has led the bank’s brand transformation aspiration of becoming a future-determining bank focused on enabling enterprise. Some of the signature projects in which he has played an active role include mergers and acquisition communications involving Skye Bank and Mainstreet Bank, in 2015. For that exercise, he managed the communication team of Mainstreet Bank which involved coordinating its communication and cultural integration with Skye Bank. He coordinated brand transformation initiatives for Bank PHB in 2007 and Polaris Bank in 2019, and leadership change management, Polaris Bank in 2015. Others are crisis management communication for Polaris Bank in 2015; Digi-Fest (project volunteer in 2018), as well as Employee Innovation and Millennial Integration for Polaris Bank, in 2019.
Ezurike has come a long way in reputation management and communication, such that he could be correctly described as a veteran. His journey has involved being an employee and a consultant at various times. Between April, 2003 and February, 2005, he was Head, Corporate Communications at the erstwhile Continental Trust Bank Limited, on which position he supervised integration of the brand’s standards with that of the parent company (the bank had just been acquired by Standard Trust Bank Limited). He also advised the managing director and chief executive officer on brand development propositions and behaviour change strategies.
He was appointed Head, Internal Communications at Standard Trust Bank in February, 2005. On that position, he implemented the bank’s internal communication strategy along defined performance metrics. He also managed the bank’s annual Group Employee Survey, generating periodic reports arising from staff feedback to the leadership for policies and activities.
Ezurike was appointed Head, Media Management, at the United Bank for Africa, after the banking consolidation exercise of 2005 which saw Standard Trust Bank become one of the legacy banks under UBA. He handled implementation of the post-integration media plan, and also supervised media and communication officers across 300 branches of the bank.
He wrote speeches for the chief executive officer and other key management staff of the bank, and also liaised with key media contacts and newswires to organize press interviews, press conferences and other media engagements by the bank.
A highly itinerant media and communications manager, Ezurike left UBA in June, 2006, to join Ecobank Nigeria Plc as Head, External Relations. By this time, he had acquired enough expertise that enabled him to build relationships with top level stakeholder groups and financial partners on the implementation of the bank’s sponsorships and corporate social responsibility programmes. He also designed and mobilized sponsorship and promotional activities to drive the bank’s initiatives and also support relevant requests from the public.
In June, 2008, Ezurike made yet another move to Bank PHB, where he coordinated the activities of 12 staff in four departments, namely, Media Relations, Brand Management, Internal Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility. He liaised with executive management, consultants and product managers to ensure brand uniformity across the bank and its subsidiaries within the West Coast. He also implemented positive brand perception, and succeeded in achieving good rating from rating institutions.
In between his movement through financial institutions, Ezurike has had stints running consultancies as a private individual. At different times, he managed True Tales Communication, Signature Group and Caritas Communication, the latter as Chief Operating Officer.
Ezurike is a member of the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, a designated global network of business professionals making research contributions to the Harvard Business Review.
Through his affiliations with the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the Nigerian Institute of Marketing (NIM), Chartered Institute of Bankers, Nigeria, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (CIArb) London, he can leverage on invaluable resources to advance best practices in my field.
He has published over 100 articles and served on several panels and volunteer boards to share ideas on the business-enabling role of Integrated Marketing Communication and Business Sustainability in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
His on-going research and knowledge sharing initiatives on the role of corporate leadership in mobilizing millennial employees to achieve workplace collaboration and innovation have impacted over 400 individuals since 2018.
Ezurike is passionate about digital transformation, gender inclusion and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.
A fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria and a fellow of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Ezurike is always seeking opportunities to impact his workplace, community and society.