Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe became the first female Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc last Friday, 1st January 2021.
She took over from Nnamdi Okonkwo who stepped down from the Board of Directors with effect from 31st of December 2020, at the end of his contract tenure, in line with the bank’s governance policies.
Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe’s appointment as CEO-designate was first announced last July after it was approved by both the Board of Directors of the Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to take effect from 1st of January 2021.
The July statement released by the Bank’s Divisional Head, Brand & Communications, Mr. Charles Aigbe, had explained that Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe’s appointment was in compliance with the succession policy of the Bank. She was at that time the Executive Director, Lagos and South-West Directorate of the bank.
She joins a unique group of Nigerian women who are or have been MD & CEOs of banks, and they include amazons like Bola Adesola of Standard Chartered Bank, Nigeria and West Africa, Oluwatomi Somefun of Unity Bank, Sola David-Borha of Stanbic IBTC, Funke Osibodu of Union Bank (2009 to 2012), Suzanne Iroche of FinBank plc from 2009 to February 2012 and late Maria Sokenu of People’s Bank. There, of course, are and have been female Bank Chairmen, as distinct from CEOs.
Nneka Chinwe Onyeali-Ikpe was appointed to the Board of Fidelity Bank in 2015 as an Executive Director and she led the transformation of the South-West Directorate to profitability, sustaining its impressive year-on-year growth across key performance metrics. She has been an integral part of the current management team, responsible for the remarkable increase in the Bank’s performance in the last 5 years, with the area under her direct responsibility, contributing over 28% of the Bank’s PBT, Deposits and Loans.
The new Fidelity Bank MD/CEO has over 30 years’ experience across various banks including Standard Chartered Bank, Zenith Bank 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, 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.
Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe holds a 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.