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7 female executives under 40 in FinTech

This article will be looking at seven female executives who are way ahead of the game in the Nigerian fintech sector; more interestingly, most of these women are under 40.

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7 female executives under 40 in fintech

Banking and financial activities in the 80s were characterised by paperwork and file cabinets. But by the end of the twentieth century, the story changed with the introduction of technology to speed and ease the financial process. This was the birth of financial technologies, now commonly known as Fin-Techs.

Whether by intent or by accident, the industry turned out to be dominated by the male folk– founders, co-founders, chief operating officers, managing directors, etc. However, considering that the American Bureau of Statistics estimates that females only make up 22% of Engineering and Technology graduates, and we could as well infer it could even be worse here in Nigeria.

Nevertheless, there are still women holding their own in the industry, and this article will be looking at seven female executives who are way ahead of the game in the Nigerian fintech sector; more interestingly, most of these women are under 40.

The list includes founders, co-founders, business leads, heads of operations, and other management staff.

Abiola Showemimo, HR and Admin Lead, Paystack

Abiola is an experienced human resources practitioner, with her work history mostly in the tech industry. She currently works as the Human Resource/Admin Lead at Paystack Payments limited.

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Her skills range from negotiation, business planning, analytical skills, operations management, and people operations, giving her just the right combination as a HR lead.

Before Paystack, she worked as a business analyst and political commentator with Klein Devort Ltd, and as a marketing and sales coordinator at Playzone Nigeria, both tech companies.

She describes herself as committed to building “a non-conventional yet highly productive workspace and workforce.”

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Abiola studied Economics at Lagos State University and is certified with the Professional Human Resources Institute.

(READ MORE: Traditional banks make a play for Nigerian Fintechs- GTB the pioneers)

Opeyemi Fowler, Head of Growth, Flutterwave

Opeyemi joined Flutterwave in 2018 as Senior Executive Growth – Leading Tier-1 Bank Partnerships, before she became the Head of Growth; helping the company to expand further in its goal of building Africa’s payment infrastructure.

7 female executives under 40 in fintech

Opeyemi Fowler

She had, before then, spent over a decade in Zenith Bank as an E-business consultant, working in the customer service and marketing departments.

She has proven expertise in electronic sales, e-products, business solutions, business advisory, product conceptualization and development, and market exploration.

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She bagged a first degree in computer science from the University of Ibadan, did the Venture in Management Programme, and got a Masters in Business Administration degree from Lagos Business School, years later.

(READ MORE: Herbert Wigwe discusses expansion plans, FinTech in Bloomberg interview)

Jacqueline Jumah, Head DFS, EFInA

Jacqueline is currently Head, Digital Financial Services at Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), where she is focused on deepening the digital financial services in Nigeria through capacity building and stakeholder engagement.

7 female executives under 40

Jacqueline Jumah

She doubled as the Digital Financial Services Market Specialist and Managing Director at Intermarc Consulting until February 2020.

She has over a decade’s experience in digital financial services, having worked in both the banking and telecommunications industries, across several African and Asian countries. She is experienced in Development for Sustainability (DFS) product development, deploying technology and financial instruments which will promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in emerging markets.

She is also knowledgeable in Strategic Operations in Agent Network Deployment and Scale-up, DFS Business Strategy Development, Market Research, DFS Policy Advisory, Risk Management, and Marketing and Communications.

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Her previous work experience includes her time at MicroSave Consulting Africa as a Senior Analyst within the Digital Financial Services (DFS) department, and as a lead faculty member at The Helix Institute of Digital Finance based in Kenya.

(READ MORE: Lessons for Nigerian fintechs, as Square gets the nod for banking license)

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Odunayo Eweniyi, Co-founder and COO, Piggyvest

Odunayo is the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Piggybank, now known as Piggyvest. This is an automated savings platform that helps customers invest spare money, with promises of higher interest rates than a regular savings account.

7 female executives under 40 in fintech

Odunayo Eweniyi

Fresh from school, Odunayo decided to pursue her tech career by starting with PushCv to help job applicants write their CVs and link them to employers.

Piggybank focused on millennials, encouraging them to save with specific financial goals, and it was later renamed Piggyvest when they branched out to investments to help users grow their funds.

This little fintech disrupted the finance space in Nigeria, encouraging and enabling users to use the tools to manage and grow their funds.

Odunayo is one of the key females in fintech in Nigeria. She was listed in the World Women in FinTech Power list 2017, and the Naija Most Influential People in Technology list in 2017 and 2018.

(READ MORE: FirstBank’s Adesola Adeduntan joins global industry leaders at the Annual Fintech & Insuretech Summit, Bulgaria)

Adebunmi Wellington Ogunlewe, eTranzact

Adebunmi is the Head of Product at eTranzact international Plc, Nigeria’s first multi-application, multi-channel electronic transaction switching and payment processing platform.

7 female executives under 40

Adebunmi Wellington Ogunlewe

eTranzact handles billions of dollars yearly, supporting millions of forward-thinking businesses and individuals who trust that their financial transactions will be taken care of by it daily.

Her almost 16 years of experience spans across several industries, multinationals and government entities, including the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

She holds an advanced degree in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, with years of experience in Information Technology and Payments.

(READ MORE: Fintechs must pay close attention to regulators to avoid disruption to operations)

Ndifreke Nkose, Head, Strategy and Business Transformation, Interswitch Group

Though a chartered accountant, Ndifreke has earned her stripes in the tech space. As the head of Strategy and Business Transformation, Ndifreke ensures that Interswitch remains ahead of the game in the fintech space.

She initiates, implements, and tracks strategies targeted at earning a place for the company, in the minds of the consumers.

She got her first degree in pure and applied chemistry from the University of Ibadan in 2004, then switched when she started working with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) till 2018. This was where she started and mastered Strategy Formulation & Implementation, Performance Tracking, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E system implementation), Business Transformation, Project Management, Process Reviews, and Redesign.

(READ MORE: BankTech War: Segun Agbaje says GTBank not afraid of Fintech)

Oluwaseun Runsewe, Director of Product, Opay

At age 28, Oluwaseun Runsewe founded and became CEO of an entrepreneurial fintech, Switch. The purpose of Switch was to offer middle-class Nigerians varied financial solutions, where they could hold a number of savings accounts on the app, with different currencies. Ultimately, the target was to reignite the trust which some people had lost in the banking system and processes. Lending, borrowing, and investments were made possible on the app, with a promise of zero-transaction fees.

She started her career at KPMG as a Business Analyst in the management consulting division, and later Project Coordinator. After KPMG, she spent 2 years at Paystack as Business Lead before starting Switch.

Runsewe had her first degree in Business Administration and Management from Covenant University; this was where she picked interest in Technology. She is SAP, COMPTIA and DMI certified.

Oluwaseun is now Director of Product at Opay.


Note: Is there any amazing lady who should be on this list that is not captured? Kindly send an email to [email protected]

Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Samuel Anani

    May 8, 2020 at 11:25 am

    16 decades of experience? – Adebunmi Wellington Ogunlewe

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Companies

Dangote Cement to extend clinker export to other African countries 

Dangote is on course to sell more clinker across West Africa and commence shipment to Central Africa in H2 2020. 

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Dangote Cement Plc. appoints Ms. Berlina Moroole as non-Executive Director

The Management of Africa’s largest cement producer, Dangote Cement Plc (DCP), disclosed during a virtual event yesterday, that the cement producer is set to commence clinker export to other African countries within the next few weeks. 

The Acting Group CFO, Guillaume Moyen, made this known in his presentation at the joint virtual event with NSE, tagged “Facts Behind the Figures and Sustainability report’’ on Wednesday24th September, 2020. 

Backstory: In its half-year report, the Management of Dangote disclosed that on 12 June 2020, the maiden shipment of 27.8Kt of clinker from Nigeria to Senegal left the Apapa Export Terminal. 

READ: Dangote Cement’s N100 billion CP admitted on FMDQ Securities Exchange

The Management reiterated that the company is on course to sell more clinker across West Africa, and commence shipment to Central Africa in H2 2020. As it is in line with the Group’s vision of making West and Central Africa, cement and clinker independent, with Nigeria the main export hub. 

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The absence of limestone in much of West Africa, especially those in the coastal states, forces those countries to import bulk cement and clinker from Asia and Europe, and this is quite expensive. 

READ: BUA Cement Plc posts impressive unaudited H1, 2020 financial results

However, Dangote Cement plans an exporttoimport strategypositioning Nigeria as the main export hub of the continent, in a bid to serve West and Central Africa countries from Nigerian factories, making the region cement and clinker independent. 

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This is consistent with the Group’s vision of cementing Africa’s economic independence, as this would lead to lower clinker cost for pan-African operations, due to the proximity of Nigeria to these countries, as clinker landing cost will be cheaper. 

READ: Nigerian billionaires lose billions amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Management emphasized that this is possible, as Nigeria can serve a potential market of 15 countries, with over 350 million people, given the county’s relative abundance of quality limestone, especially in key Southern regions. 

It is important to note that DCP’s clinker volume, according to figures contained in its H1 2020 results, has increased to 60Kt from 12kt in H1 2019, which translates to 400% increase. 

The benefits of DCP’s export strategy 

It is noteworthy that the innovative strategy of Dangote Cement Plc is expected to; 

  • Cement Africa’s economic independence, and contribute to the improvement of continental, regional, and intra-regional trade, as the company seeks to make regional and continental free trade agreement a reality. 
  • Ensure that the increase in production due to exports, leads to increase in capacity utilization in the Nigerian operation, and in turn, reduces fixed cost per tonnes 
  • Increase foreign revenue exchange for the Nigerian operation, and offset foreign exchange risks. 
  • Reduce clinker landing cost, by leveraging on the proximity of Nigeria to other African countries. 

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Companies

Fidelity Bank to raise N50 billion in bonds in Q4 to refinance existing debts

The new issue will be made to redeem the existing N30 billion bond which was issued at 16.48%.

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Fidelity Bank Plc ,CEO Nnamdi Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank Plc growth plan, SMEs funding

One of Nigeria’s second-tier commercial banks, Fidelity Bank Plc, has concluded plans to issue up to N50 billion ($131.3 million) in local bonds by the fourth quarter of 2020, in order to refinance existing debts as the yields drop.

The disclosure was made by the Chief Operations and Information Officer, Gbolahan Joshua, during an analyst call on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

The crash of crude oil price globally, which was triggered by the novel coronavirus pandemic, has led to a decline in bond yields on the local debt market. This has made foreign investors to dump their local assets, leaving excess liquidity in the money market. This has also put a lot of pressure on the foreign exchange market as they look for dollars to repatriate their funds.

READ: Guinness Nigeria finding it hard to refinance its loans due to dollar scarcity

The Fidelity Bank top executive disclosed that the new issue will be made to redeem the existing N30 billion bond which was issued at 16.48%.

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The global economic situation has seen yields in the debt market drop from as high as 18% about 3 years ago to less than 5% for the one-year treasury bill.

READ: GTBank, Zenith Bank, UBA record losses, investors down by N12.2 billion

Fidelity Bank had revealed that it expected to see a 15% drop in profit this year when compared to 2019 result due to the coronavirus pandemic. Its profit after tax increased by 21.9% to N12 billion for the half-year 2020.

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The second-tier bank also disclosed that its income declined in the second quarter due to a downward review of lending rates on loans as a result of the economic downturn.

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Companies

Heineken buys more units of Nigerian Breweries Plc

The Dutch firm has invested N276 million in NB since August, to increase its stake in the Brewer by 0.10%.

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Heineken scoops more Nigerian Breweries shares in insider disclosure

The major shareholder of the largest brewer in Nigeria, Heineken Brouwerijen B.V, has increased its stake in Nigerian Breweries, with the purchase of 233,110 additional units of Nigerian Breweries shares. This was disclosed by the company in a notification sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which was seen by Nairametrics.

According to the notification, which was signed by the Company’s Secretary, Uaboi G. Agbebaku, the purchase was made on the bourse over two transactions on the 2nd and 3rd of September.

This disclosure is a regulatory requirement that must be reported to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, especially when a major shareholder or director of a publicly quoted company purchases shares in the company they own.

READ: GTBank revenue for H1, 2020 rises to N225.14 billion

The analysis of these transactions indicates that the purchase consideration for the 233,110 additional units of Nigeria Breweries shares at an average price of N39.94 is put at N9.3 million.

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This purchase and previous purchases further cement Heineken Brouwerijen B.V’s status as a major shareholder; the company has accumulated a total of 7,720,236 since 30th June.

READ: Vitafoam’s 2020 oncourse to make light–work of 2019

As of June 30th, when Nigerian Breweries released its Half-year financial results and reviewed its shareholding pattern, the company had exactly 7,996,902,051 outstanding shares, with Heineken Brouwerijen B.V being the majority shareholder with 3,019,363,804 units, which amount to 37.76% of the total shares of the company outstanding. 

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Hence, with the current purchase of 233,110 additional units, and previous purchases in August and September 1, which amount to 7,487,126 units, Heineken’s ownership percentage of Nigeria Breweries is now put at 37.85%.

Insider transactions, both sales and purchases, are often an indication of how shareholders perceive a company’s valuation. It could also mean a possible capital raise or that the majority shareholders are strengthening their existing holdings.

READ: Heineken scoops more Nigerian Breweries shares in insider disclosure

In like manners, the purchase of the shares of Nigerian Breweries by Heineken and other majority shareholder has mopped up stray volumes on the bourse, and pushed the stock price higher by 29% or N9, from N31 it closed at on the 3rd of August to its current value of N40 with 38.2x earnings.

About the company

Nigerian breweries is the largest brewing company in Nigeria. It engages in the brewing and marketing of lager beer, stout and non-alcoholic malt drinks, and the bottling of the Schweppes range of soft drinks and Crush Orange. Its brands include Star, Gulder, Legend, Heineken, Maltina, Amstel Malta, Fayrouz, Climax, Goldberg, Malta Gold, and Life. These products are mainly sold in Nigeria and other neighbouring countries.

READ: Flour Mills and its diverse challenges

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Key takes on NB’s financials

Nigerian Breweries was affected by the disruption in the global and domestic demand and supply chain, as profit after tax of the largest brewer dropped by as much as 58%, at the back of the adverse impact of the sharp contraction in economic activities.

The knock-on effect of the COVID-19 lockdown, which affected the trade segment of the business, affected the company sales and this triggered the 11% drop in revenue in the first half of the year.

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