Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe
Home African CEOs Interviews Visionaries How Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe Rose to the Top of Nigeria’s Male-Dominated Banking Industry
Visionaries - June 1, 2022

How Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe Rose to the Top of Nigeria’s Male-Dominated Banking Industry

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe is the first female Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc. She rose to the position on January 1, 2021, after three decades in the banking industry through sheer hard work and expertise.

In the last six years, Mrs Onyeali-Ikpe has been a key member of Fidelity Bank’s transformation team. She was previously Executive Director, Lagos and South West, where she was in charge of the bank’s operations in the six states that make up the bank’s South-West region.

She oversaw the Directorate’s turnaround to profitability and year-over-year growth across key performance indicators, including contributing over 28% of the Bank’s People Bank and Trust (PBT), deposits, and loans.

She is well-known as a turnaround expert. She has worked in a variety of departments, including the legal department, treasury, investment banking, and commercial banking. 

She also serves on the board of directors of Unified Payment Services, a company that provides shared infrastructure and payment services to banks and customers in and outside of Nigeria.

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Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe education

Mrs Onyeali-Ikpe graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, with a law degree. She also went to Nigerian Law School and graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) from Kings College in London, England.

She is a Senior Honorary Member of the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Bankers. 

She has attended executive programs at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, the University of Chicago’s London Business School, Harvard Business School, Wharton University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, INSEAD in France, International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Lagos Business School, among others.

How she climbed the banking ladder 

In 1990, she began her banking career as a legal officer with the now-defunct African Continental Bank. She then worked as a treasury officer at the First African Trust Bank. She went on to work for Zenith Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

From 2007 to 2011, she was the Regional Manager of Standard Chartered Bank, overseeing the Lagos Island Regions.

She joined Enterprise Bank in 2011 as an executive director in charge of the bank’s operations in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria’s south-western region.

She began her career with Fidelity Bank Plc as an Executive Director in the Lagos and South-West Directorate in 2015.

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe competencies

The financial services sector is witnessing a transformational leader in Mrs Onyeali-Ikpe, who has core competencies in innovation and digital leadership, strategy formulation, business improvement, and financial management. 

She also has deep industry knowledge gained from holding leadership positions in corporate, retail banking, treasury, and legal departments.

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