By Chika Otuchikere
Fidelity Bank Plc has appointed Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe as its Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer designate.
Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe becomes the first woman to be appointed in that position in the history of the bank.
Her appointment was contained in a notification sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the general public.
The appointment, which has been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria, is ahead of the retirement of Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank’s current MD, who will retire on December 31, 2020, upon completion of his contract tenure.
Chairman of the bank, Ernest Ebi, said Onyeali-Ikpe will assume office as the substantive MD from January 1, 2021, to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
Onyeali-Ikpe currently serves as the executive director, Lagos and south-west directorate of the bank. The bank also announced the appointment of Kevin Ugwuoke, who currently serves as its chief risk officer, as the executive director subject to the approval of the CBN.
“Fidelity Bank has enjoyed a very stable leadership since inception. These appointments underscore the bank’s robust human capital capabilities, governance and succession policies.
“We thank Nnamdi for his significant contribution to the development of the bank during his tenure on the board,” Ebi said.
Okonkwo was appointed to the board of the bank in April 2012 as an executive director and became MD on January 1, 2014.
The bank listed some of the achievements of the outgoing chairman’s tenure to include a customer case increase by 121 percent from 2.4 million to 5.3 million, digital banking penetration improvement from 1.0 percent to 50.1 percent, accounting for 28.4 percent of total fee income, profit before tax growth from N9.0billion to N30.4 billion and return on equity increase from 5.5 percent to 13.3 percent.
Onyeali-Ikpe was appointed to the bank’s board in 2015 as an executive director.
The new boss has over 30 years of experience in various banks, including Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Citizens International Bank/Enterprise Bank, where she held management positions in legal, treasury, investment banking, retail/commercial banking and corporate banking.
She holds bachelor of laws (LLB) degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a master of laws (LLM) degree from Kings College, London.
Ugwuoke joined Fidelity Bank in 2015 as general manager, chief risk officer. He is said to have 29 years of banking experience across various banks namely Citi Bank, Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and legacy Mainstreet Bank Limited, and was the chief risk officer at United Bank for Africa Plc and Mainstreet Bank Limited before joining Fidelity Bank.
Ugwuoke holds a first-class honors degree in civil engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a post-graduate diploma in management from Edinburgh Business School of Herriot-Watt University.