Fidelity Bank Plc has confirmed the resumption of duties of Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo as the substantive Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank effective January 1, 2014.
Okonkwo was announced as the CEO-designate in October last year in a succession process to replace the former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, who proceeded on terminal leave effective December 31, 2013.
According to a statement from the bank, until his appointment, Okonkwo was the Executive Director in charge of the South Directorate of the bank.
The new MD holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Benin and an MBA in Banking and Finance from the Enugu State University.
He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Programme of INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, France, as well as an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Okonkwo has over 24 years of experience in various aspects of banking covering Domestic Operations, Corporate Finance, Corporate Banking, Retail and Commercial/Consumer Banking.
Before joining Fidelity, he had a career in United Bank for Africa, where he rose to the position of Managing Director and CEO, UBA Ghana, and later doubled as the Regional Chief Executive Officer for UBA West African Monetary Zone, with responsibility for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Between 2004 and 2006, Okonkwo was General Manager in Standard Trust (which later became UBA) and later in 2005, was Regional Director of UBA in charge of branches in the FCT, Niger and Kogi states.
He later became Divisional Head for the Corporate Bank Directorate between 2009 and 2012, before coming back to Fidelity Bank Plc as Executive Director, having earlier worked in Fidelity Bank (old FSB that consolidated to form the enlarged Fidelity) between 1998 and 2000.
In his maiden address to staff members at the weekend, Okonkwo paid glowing tributes to Ihejiahi for his achievements in Fidelity Bank over the last 10 years.
He pointed out that under the former CEO, Fidelity had grown from being in the top 30 banks in Nigeria; with 17 branches; N20bn in deposits; N30bn in total assets and less than 150,000 customers, to a bank that now ranks among the top 10 in Nigeria with over $1bn in equity; over N1tn total assets; and serving 2.3 million customers through nearly 220 branches with presence in all the state capitals and major commercial centres in Nigeria.
Commenting on the new era in the bank, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fidelity Bank, Chief Chris Ezeh, said, “We are very pleased to have made this choice and have no doubt that Nnamdi will bring his solid banking experience to bear on the task of moving the bank to a higher level. We, at the Board, will give him our full support to excel.”