By Oluwasegun Abifarin
*They are breaking the gender ceiling through sheer professionalism, uncommon gut and unparalleled commitment to excellence. From Fidelity Bank to Unity Bank to FCMB and Guaranty Trust Bank. Which bank is next?
A day after the Board of FCMB confirmed Yemisi Edun as the new Managing Director of the bank, the Board of Guaranty Trust Bank capped its re-organisation processes by announcing the appointment of Miriam Olusanya as Managing Director.
Olusanya is a seasoned banker with over 16 years of experience. She joined GTBank in October 2004 as a Treasurer and has risen through the ranks, holding strategic leadership positions.
Prior to her recent appointment, she was the Group Treasurer and Head of Wholesale Banking. She also serves on the Board of Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia) Limited as a non-executive director.
The new helmswoman is an alumna of the prestigious University of Ibadan and University of Liverpool, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and an MBA in Finance and Accounting respectively.
For her to sit at the helm of FCMB, Edun holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife and a Master’s degree in International Accounting and Finance from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.
She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a Certified Financial Analyst, CFA, Charter holder.”
Also an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers; an Associate Member of the Institute of Taxation of Nigeria; a member of Information Systems Audit and Control, U.S.A; and a Certified Information Systems Auditor.
She began her career with Akintola Williams Deloitte (member firm of Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu) in 1987, with main focus in Corporate Finance activities. She was also involved in audit of Banks and Other Financial Institutions. She joined FCMB in year 2000 as Divisional Head of Internal Audit and Control before assuming the role of Chief Financial Officer of the Bank.
In Fidelity Bank, the new Managing Director/CEO, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, whose tenure formally commenced on January 1, 2021 has assumed office, becoming the 4th Chief Executive and first female to occupy the position since the inception of the bank in 1988.
Mrs Onyeali-Ikpe was formerly the Executive Director, Lagos and South West Directorate of the bank and has been an integral part of management in the last 6 years. She joined the bank in 2015 and spearheaded the transformation of the Directorate, leading it to profitability and sustained its impressive year-on-year growth across key performance metrics, including contributing over 28 per cent of the Bank’s PBT, Deposits and Loans.
She has spent over 30 years working across various banks including Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Citizens International Bank/Enterprise Bank, where she held several management positions in Legal, Treasury, Investment Banking, Retail/Commercial Banking and Corporate Banking.
As an Executive Director at legacy 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.
She holds Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from Kings College, London; and has attended executive training programmes at notable global institutions including Harvard Business School; The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania; INSEAD School of Business; Chicago Booth School of Business; London Business School and IMD.
At the apex of Unity Bank is Oluwatomi Somefun, an award-winning Nigerian banker. She is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/ Managing Director (MD) of Unity Bank, making her the first woman in the bank’s history to hold this position.
Specifically on the 4th of March, 2015, Oluwatomi Somefun was appointed the Executive Director of Unity Bank. Her remarkable performance as Executive Director earned her the enviable position as the MD/CEO of Unity Bank in August 2015.
Thus far, Somefun has changed the impression that people have about Unity bank serving only the early. She has been able to put strategies in place that attract young customers to the bank. She is helping drive Unity bank’s vision of being the bank of choice for all Nigerians.
In 1981, Somefun obtained a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) in English from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife). After she received her certificate in English Education, she went on to register at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
Eventually, she became a Chartered Accountant in 1982, and has since become a member of several professional bodies, including the Institute of Directors (IOD), Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
Somefun started her career in the financial service industry with Peat Marwick and Co. After, she moved to Arthur Andersen – now KPMG. Oluwatomi has also worked with other reputable companies like Ventures and Trusts Ltd, Credit Bank Ltd.
Her job role was dynamic giving her a wealth of experience. She worked in different departments at various times in her career. She has experience in treasury and institutional banking, investment banking, retail, and commercial banking.
She also had a successful career at the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA). While at UBA, she managed and sat on the boards of several subsidiaries, including UBA Trustee, UBA Plc, UBA Capital, and Trustee Ltd.
The phenomenal banker was the pioneering Managing Director (MD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UBA Pension Custodian Ltd. She managed UBA Pension Custodian Ltd for eight years and also supervised the South-West region of the bank at the same time.