By Joseph Ekoja U.
Nnamdi Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank’s managing director, is to retire on December 31, 2020 when he will complete two terms of five years. In his place, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, currently the executive director, Lagos and South-west directorate, has been appointed as the MD/CEO designate by the board of the bank.
The bank announced in a statement that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had approved the appointment. It also said the board approved the appointment of Kevin Ugwuoke, the current chief risk officer of the bank, as executive director, subject to the approval of the CBN.
“To ensure a smooth and successful transition, Nnamdi Okonkwo will continue in his role as the MD/CEO until December 31, 2020, while Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe will assume office as the substantive MD/CEO by January 1, 2021” said Ernest Ebi, the chairman, board of directors of Fidelity Bank.
He commended the MD/CEO for his significant contributions to the growth and development of the bank.
“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 not only for his sterling performance but also for nurturing the new team and the current crop of leaders to continue to steer the bank on its growth trajectory,” he said.
Okonkwo was appointed to the board of Fidelity Bank in April 2012 as an executive director and was subsequently appointed the MD/CEO on January 01, 2014.
He implemented a digital-led strategy, which led to significant growth across key performance matrix and increased market share, with the bank currently ranked sixth amongst Nigerian banks on most performance indices.
Some of his key achievements include profit before tax growth of 236 per cent, from N9 billion to N30.4 billion; return on equity increase from 5.5 per cent to 13.3 per cent; customer deposits growth of 68 per cent from N806.3 billion to N1,352.3 billion and savings deposit growth of 275 per cent, from N83.3 billion to N312.1 billion.
“Other notable achievements include net loans and advances growth of 174 per cent from N426.1 billion to N1, 165.8 billion; customer base increase by 121 per cent, from 2.4 million to 5.3 million and digital banking penetration improvement from one per cent to 50.1 per cent, accounting for 28.4 per cent of total fee income.
“In addition, the bank successfully accessed the local and international markets through the issuance of N30 billion corporate bonds in 2015 and $400million Eurobonds in 2017 under his leadership,” the bank said.
Onyeali-Ikpe was appointed to the board of Fidelity Bank in 2015 as an executive director and currently oversees the Lagos and South West Directorate.
She led the transformation of the directorate to profitability and sustained its impressive year-on-year growth across key performance metrics.
Onyeali-Ikpe has been an integral part of the current management team, responsible for the remarkable increase in the bank’s performance in the last five years, with the area under her direct responsibility, contributing over 28% of the Bank’s PBT, deposits and loans.
She has over 30 years of experience across 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. As an executive director at the Legacy Enterprise Bank Plc, she received a 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 amongst others.
Ugwuoke joined Fidelity Bank in 2015 as general manager, Chief Risk Officer. Under his supervision, the bank’s total loan book has grown by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17 per cent from N559.1 billion to N1,218.9 billion with the cost of risk averaging 0.7 per cent within the period and Non-Performing Loans Ratio below the regulatory threshold at 4.8 per cent in Q1 2020.
He has over 29 years of banking experience across various banks namely Citi Bank, Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and legacy Mainstreet Bank Limited, where he worked in various capacities in Banking Operations, Commercial Banking, Corporate Banking and Risk Management.
Prior to joining Fidelity Bank, he was Chief Risk Officer at United Bank for Africa Plc and Mainstreet Bank Limited.
He holds a First-Class Honours 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. He has attended several executive training at Harvard Business School and other world-class institutions of learning.