•City People Tells You Their Intimate Stories
Most of the banks today have a lot of women running them at the topmost level. These women are on the boards of most of these banks and they are also divisional heads, while some are Executive Directors. Below, City People unveils a list of 30 women who play BIG in Banking.
Dr. Adaora Umeoji is the Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc.
With over 20 years cognate banking and broad executive management experience, Dr Adaora Umeoji rose through the ranks to her current position.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of Jos, an MBA from University of Calabar and a Doctorate degree in Business Administration from Apollos University, Great Falls, Montana, USA. Her dissertation was on inspirational leadership and her findings have been recognized as a major contribution in leadership and people management.
She was trained in strategic thinking and Management at Wharton Business School, Pennsylvania, USA and also holds a Certificate in Management from Harvard Business School, Boston, USA.
Dr. Adaora Umeoji has presented lead papers at major academic conferences and symposia. Recently, she was a keynote speaker at the Zenith Global Economic Forum held in New York City, USA where she delivered a thought-provoking lecture on Financing Growth Drivers in the Nigerian Economy.
NWAPA ADOBI STELLA
Nwapa Adobi Stella is a General Manager at Zenith Bank Plc. She is currently the Group Zonal Head, Ikoyi Zone, with management and supervisory responsibilities over branches and business units in the zone.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the Imo State University, Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from the Strayer University, Houston-Texas, USA and Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the Jack Welch Management Institute.
Adobi Nwapa joined Zenith Bank in 1990 and has over 28 years cognate banking experience, most of which has been in Senior Management positions.
Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe is currently the Chief Executive Director-designate at Fidelity Bank
Before she became the CEO-designate in July 2020, she was appointed to the Board of Fidelity Bank Plc on July 2, 2015 and she oversees the Lagos and Southwest Directorate. Since joining the Bank, she has returned the Directorate to profitability and sustained impressive year on year growth.
She has over 28 years’ industry experience across various banks namely Enterprise Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Zenith International Bank Plc and Citizens International Bank Limited, where she worked in various departments including Legal, Treasury, Investment Banking, Retail/Commercial Banking and Corporate Banking.
Nneka has been involved in the structuring of complex transactions in various sectors including Oil & Gas Downstream, Manufacturing, Aviation, Real Estate and Export.
As an Executive Director at Enterprise Bank Plc, she received formal commendation from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) as a member of the management team that successfully turned around Enterprise Bank Plc.
Nneka holds Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) degrees from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Kings College, London, respectively.
Aku Odinkemelu is a strong executive team player at Fidelity Bank. She is an alumna of the prestigious Harvard Business School, Cambridge Massachusetts. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B Hons) degree from the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus and a Barrister at Law (BL) from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos as well as Dual MBA degrees from IMD Switzerland and CKGSB, China.
With over 30 years’ top notch experience in first class banking Institutions including Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Equatorial Trust Bank Plc, and Continental Merchant Bank, formerly Chase Manhattan Inc., Aku is skilled in most key areas of banking including Legal, Documentation and Credit Control, Business Development, Credits and Loan Structuring, Strategy, Relationship Management and Marketing.
She served as a Non-Executive Director on the board of Mansard Assurance (formerly Guaranty Trust Assurance) and Guaranty Trust Bank, Sierra Leone, prior to her appointment as Executive Director in Fidelity Bank Plc in August, 2014. She currently oversees the South Directorate of the Bank.
Chinwe Iloghalu is the Regional Bank Head, (VI) at Fidelity Bank Plc
She has over 15 years of Senior Management-level experience in Strategic Brand Management through sales and marketing at leading Commercial Banks in Nigeria. She brought a fresh perspective to banking relationships by building strong networks, leveraging business connections and creating value, which brings to bear in the delivery of maximum returns in my Key Performance Indicators.
CHIOMA ETIABA NWANKWO
Chioma Etiaba Nwankwo, the Division Head, Private Banking & Wealth Management at Fidelity Bank Plc. is a professional with over 20 years experience in the financial services industry spanning Customer Services, Operations, Retail, Commercial, Diaspora/Remittances and Private Banking, Investment banking.
Highly skilled at business development, fund management, marketing strategy and sales, client advisory services, pitch and presentations, risk appraisal, wealth management services amongst other leadership roles.
Other general managerial responsibilities include supervisory, strategy formulation & execution, profit & loss responsibilities and other Adhoc tasks. She is currently supervising two groups consisting of 28 staff.
Under her leadership, the bank’s Private Banking Division has been twice recognized by the publications of Financial Times Group, London as the “Best Private Bank In Nigeria 2014” as announced at the 6th Global Private Banking Award which took place in Geneva, Switzerland and as “The digital networking bank for Entrepreneurs” 2019.
Evi Kanu is the Head, South office at Fidelity Bank Plc
She is highly skilled and motivated Finance and Business professional. A Chartered Accountant with over 19 years cumulative experience in the Nigerian banking industry, and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
A proactive and result driven professional with experience in Sales, Business Development, Customer Management Business Research, Strategy & Planning, Team Development, Treasury Management/ Operations, Credit Risk Management and Leadership.
Angela Aneke is a board advisor at UBA, banker and a strategic thinker with over 30 years’ experience in financial services, in the areas of financial control, strategy, transaction banking, corporate banking, retail banking, and governance. Ms. Aneke has held executive management and board positions in several international and regional institutions, including Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Citigroup and the United Bank for Africa.
Lola Cardoso is the Head Retail and Digital Banking at Union Bank
She joined Union Bank in August 2013 to drive the Bank’s strategy, anchor its overall transformation and support execution bank-wide. With over 17 years of experience providing strategic advice to corporate, start-up, and public sector organisations, she continues to drive Union Bank’s strategic growth priorities and support critical efforts aligned to growth including sustainability and innovation.
Prior to Union Bank, Mrs Cardoso was Director of Strategic Planning at A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm advising the world’s leading organizations on CEO-agenda issues focused on strategy, operations, and technology. She has over 10 years of consulting experience focused on strategy, transformation and organizational change and spanning various industries including banking. She also worked at Dupont where she advised businesses and equity affiliates on financing strategies. She started her career as an investment banker in New York at Solomon Brothers and also worked at Lehman Brothers.
Mrs. Cardoso obtained an MBA from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Business Economics (Summa Cum Laude) from Ohio University
Olajumoke Odulaja is the Chief Credit Officer at Union Bank
She joined Union Bank in May 2018 as the Chief Credit Officer, responsible for managing the aggregate risk in the Bank’s loan portfolio.
Prior to joining Union Bank, she worked at Stanbic IBTC and Standard Chartered banks, with 12 years spent in Managerial positions within various roles in Credit Management.
Her areas of expertise include Risk Management; Credit Evaluation and Underwriting; Credit Policies; Account Management and Monitoring; Loan Disbursement; Operational Risk; and Collections for Corporate, Commercial businesses, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem is the Head, Corporate Communication and Marketing at Union Bank
Ogochukwu joined Union Bank in March 2014, as the Head of Corporate Affairs and Corporate Communication. In this role, she is responsible for overall Strategic Communication, Branding and Marketing, Corporate Citizenship, Media Relations and Public Relations for the Bank.
Prior to joining Union Bank, she was the Vice President – Public Affairs Officer (Nigeria and Ghana) at Citi Bank, a position she held for over 6 years.
She also worked as a Brand Manager at ARM Investment Management.
Ogochukwu graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, USA with a double-degree in Journalism (Advertising) and Criminology. She is also a fellow of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Programme.
Rosemary David-Etim is the Divisional Executive, Commercial Banking at Union Bank
She joined Union Bank in April 2015 as the Divisional Executive responsible for building the Commercial banking business in the South-South region of Nigeria.
She has over 30 years’ banking experience spanning Business Development, Treasury Management and Strategy Development.
Before joining Union Bank, Rosemary was the Executive Director, Business Development at FBN Bank UK Limited, on secondment from First Bank of Nigeria Plc. In this role, she drove record business performance while overseeing business strategy execution and providing strategic leadership to various business units across several countries. She also previously served as the Divisional Head for the Aviation and Telecommunication Group at First Bank of Nigeria.
Rosemary has prior experience as Head of the Oil and Gas Sector at NAL Merchant Bank Plc (now Sterling Bank).
BEATRICE HAMZA BASSEY
Beatrice Hamza Bassey is an acting Board Chair at Union Bank
She joined the Board of Union Bank as a Non-Executive Director in 2015 and was appointed Chair of the Board in December 2019.
Currently, she is the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited.
She holds an LL.B in Law from University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, a BL in Law from the Nigerian Law School and an LL.M from Harvard Law School. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1995 and the New York Bar in 1999. She is a Fellow of the prestigious David Rockefeller Fellows Program of the Partnership for the City of New York.
She holds an MBA (Finance) from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
OLUSOLA A. OWORU
Olusola Oworu is an Independent Non-Executive Director at First Bank
OlusolaOworu joined the Board of First Bank in 2016. She was Honourable Commissioner for Commerce & Industry in Lagos State from 2011 to 2015 and before then Special Adviser to the then Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, on Commerce & Industry from 2007 to 2011.
She started her career at Coopers and Lybrand (now Pricewaterhouse Coopers) in 1982 and subsequently, in 1986, joined NAL Merchant Bank (now Sterling Bank Plc.) and later Citibank Nigeria, where she rose through the ranks to the level of Vice President, with a strong bias for credit risk management and marketing.
DR. (MRS) IJEOMA E. JIDENMA
Dr Ije Jidenma is an independent non-executive Director at First Bank
She is an accomplished Management Consultant and Professional.
She is the Chief Executive Officer of Leading Edge Consulting, a leading Human Resources and Organisational Development firm which she founded about 20 years ago. She also serves as the Managing Partner of IRC Nigeria, a member firm of the IRC Global Executive Search Partnership ranked as the fastest growing and largest executive search alliance with footprints in 86 cities across six continents.
Bashirat Odunewu is a Group Executive, International Banking Group at First Bank
She was appointed Group Executive, International Banking Group in January 2016. Until this appointment, she was Group Executive, Institutional Banking Group. She was previously Group Head, Ikoyi/Victoria Island, in the Corporate Banking Directorate of the Bank.
With over 27 years’ experience across institutional banking, corporate banking, commercial banking, investment banking and treasury in various financial institutions, Bashirat brings her deep market-facing experience to bear on the International Banking Group. She was the recipient of the 2010 FirstBank CEO’s Annual Merit Award for “The Best Business Development Manager”.
Imoni Akpofure is a Director at GTB
She holds a Bachelor of Engineering (B.EngHonors) degree in Civil Engineering (1988) from Imperial College, University of London, United Kingdom, a Masters of Science Degree (M.Sc) in Environmental Engineering (1989) from Newcastle University, United Kingdom. She also obtained a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from INSEAD, France.
She is a seasoned professional with over 18 years work experience in the financial industry, having worked with International Finance Corporation from 1995 till 2013, where she rose through the ranks to become the Director, Western Europe, a position she held from 2009 till her retirement in 2013.
VICTORIA OSONDU ADEFALA
Mrs. Victoria OsonduAdefala is also a Director at GTB. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree (1987) from University of Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria and a Master’s degree in International Law (LL.M) from University of Houston Bates Law School, Houston, Texas. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1988.
She is a seasoned professional with over twenty-four (24) years’ work experience in diverse industries including Manufacturing, Finance and Transportation as well as the Legal profession, having worked with the African Chamber of Commerce, Houston, Texas, Michelin Nigeria Limited and Alstom Nigeria.
She served as Country President and Managing Director of Alstom Nigeria up till 2016. Prior to working at Alstom, Mrs. Victoria OsonduAdefala was an Executive Director at Michelin Nigeria Limited and sits on the Board of both local and international companies. Mrs. Victoria Osondu Adefala is the Managing Partner of WHITGIFT Law Firm. She joined the Board in September 2017.
Miriam Chidiebele Olusanya is an Executive Director at GTB. She has over 20 years banking experience that cuts across Transaction Services, Asset and Liability Management, Financial Markets, Corporate Finance and Investor Relations.
She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from University of Ibadan (1995) and a Master of Business Administration (Finance and Accounting) from University of Liverpool (2011).
Mrs. Olusanya is the Group Treasurer and Head, Wholesale Banking Division of the Bank. She also serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia) She joined the Bank as an Executive Trainee and rose through the ranks to become General Manager, a position she held until her appointment as Executive Director.
ANTHONIA OLUFEYIKEMI OGUNMEFUN
Anthonia Olufeyikemi Ogunmefun is a Director at Access Bank. She is a Managing Partner at Kemi OgunmefunLaw Office, a Canadian-based private legal practice specializing in immigration law, family law, real estate and corporate law.
She had a distinguished banking career having worked with Chase Merchant Bank and Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in Nigeria and Canada respectively where she functioned in senior management positions. She obtained her law degree from the University of Lagos in 1974 and was called to the Nigerian Bar and Law Society of Upper Canada in 1975 and 2004 respectively.
Ifenyinwa Osime is one of the very few women who make things happen at First Bank. As a member of the board, Mrs. Osime is a versatile and result oriented professional with over 30 years’ experience in the insurance industry and commercial legal practice at management and board levels. She has deep knowledge and experience in the management of administrative, legal, and company secretarial functions in financial and other related institutions.
She is currently a Partner at Macpherson Legal Practitioners, a Lagos-based law firm.
She holds an LLM Degree from University of London (1989) with specialization in Corporate and Commercial Law and an LLB Degree from the University of Benin (1986).
Mrs. Chizoma Okoli, is the Executive Director, Business Banking at Access Bank. Prior to this, she was the Executive Director and Head-Business Development at Diamond Bank Plc. She served as Head of Business Development, Head of Corporate Banking, Divisional Head of Institutional Banking and Regional Manager at Diamond Bank Plc.
Mrs. Okoli graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Benin, attended the Nigerian Law School and holds an MBA from Warwick Business School, United Kingdom. She has over two decades of cognate experience.
Ms. Ambursa was appointed Executive Director, Commercial Banking- North in October 2017 at Access Bank. She has over two decades banking experience from Guaranty Trust Bank and Access Bank.
She graduated with a B.Sc in Political Science from the University of Jos in 1991 and also obtained an M.A in Law and Diplomacy in 1996 from the same University. She subsequently attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (‘MIT’) where she bagged an MBA in 2009. She has attended several Executive Management Programmes in the leading institutions including Harvard Business School and MIT. Ms. Ambursa is a director of Access Bank (Gambia) Ltd
Funmi Oyetunji is a Director at Ecobank. Born in 1957, Mrs. Oyetunji graduated from the University Of Nigeria in 1977 with a BSc in Accountancy. She brings over 30years of experience in Audit, financial services, banking and asset management. From 1981 to 1992, she built a career in audit and business/financial advisory with the firms of Coopers and Lybrand and Z.O Ososanya& Co in Nigeria and KPMG in the UK. Her banking experience spanned 10 years from 1992 to 2002 when she held senior management positions including head of Foreign Operations and Bank Treasurer at First Bank of Nigeria.
Since 2002, she has been the Managing Director of Abitos Financial Services Limited, a financial advisory and real estate investment company. Mrs. Oyetunji has taught Accounting and Finance on the executive programs of the Lagos Business School and IBFC Agusto. She has also taught Asset & Liability Management for the Money Market Association of Nigeria. She is a member of the International Women Society and Governing Council of Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN) Mrs. Oyetunji joined the Board in April 2012.
She is the Executive Director and Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank. Carol Oyedeji has 25 years banking experience with over 18 years in Consumer/Retail Banking. Her most recent work experience is as Regional Head of Client Acquisition & Client Relationship for Africa & the Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank Group. Prior to this role, Carol was Head, Business Clients (Africa); Regional Head, Consumer Banking (West Africa); Regional Head, Shared Distribution (West Africa); and General Manager, Wealth Management & Distribution – all with SCB Group. She also worked briefly as Group Head, Commercial Banking with Heritage Bank (then Citizens Int’l Bank) prior to which she held the position of Head, Consumer Banking in Fidelity Bank Plc. (then FSB International Bank). Carol is a graduate of Chemistry from the University of Lagos and also holds an MSc in Financial Management from the University of London and an MBA in Banking & Finance from the University of Lagos.
Tairat Tijani is a non-Executive Director at Sterling Bank. She graduated from the Lancaster University with Honours in Accounting, Finance & Economics. She also graduated with a Distinction in MBA, International Business from the University of Birmingham. She is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators of Nigeria.
She was formerly the Head, Capital Markets Division of FBN Capital (a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc- formerly First Bank of Nigeria Plc) where she had oversight responsibility for deal origination and transaction execution. She was appointed a Non-Executive Director of Sterling Bank in November, 2014.
Mrs. Folasade Kilaso joined the Board of Sterling Bank Plc as a Non-Executive Director in June 2018. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Kent and an LLM from the prestigious University of Cambridge specializing in International Corporate Law and Finance.
She trained with the leading international law firm Clifford Chance in the United Kingdom and is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. She is presently the Principal Partner at Berkeley Legal where she specializes in Banking & Corporate Finance, Capital Markets, Energy, Real Estate, Insurance, Immigration and Risk Management.
Prior to setting up Berkeley Legal in 2015, she was Executive Director at Standard Chartered Bank, Nigeria. Mrs. Kilaso had a multifunctional career at Standard Chartered during her 11 years with the Bank. She has served on the Board of the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), and on the committees of various institutions.
Omolara Akanji was appointed an Independent Director of Sterling Bank in February 2014.
She holds a B.Sc. degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan. She also holds an M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Reading, a Diploma in Statistics from the University of Kent, Mathematical Institute, and a PhD Finance from the European-American University, Commonwealth of Dominica. Her early career started with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 1978 as an Assistant Economist. She rose through the ranks and retired in December 2007 as Director, Trade and Exchange Department. She also served as a Consultant to the CBN between 2008 and 2011.