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Dr. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, OON is the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, a foremost financial institution with a client base of about 9 million customers.  

Nneka joined Fidelity Bank as an Executive Director in 2015 and was appointed Managing Director/CEO of the Bank in January 2021. Following her appointment, Nneka became the first female MD/CEO in the history of the bank. 

She is an alumnus of the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Kings College, London where she holds a Bachelor of Law and Master of Law respectively. She has also attended executive training programs at 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. She recently completed a Diploma programme in Organizational Leadership at Said Business School, Oxford University, UKand received an honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). She is also the recipient of the national award of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) which was awarded to her by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2023.

Dr Onyeali-Ikpe has over 32 years of rewarding banking experience spanning Citizens International Bank, Zenith Bank and Standard Chartered Bank among others. She was Executive Director at Enterprise Bank and Fidelity Bank before her eventual appointment as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Fidelity Bank PLC. She has been involved in the structuring of complex transactions in Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, Aviation, Real Estate and Export among others. 

Nneka is widely regarded as one of Africa’s leading female CEOs with a reputation for authentic leadership and proven people skills in identifying talents, opportunities and executing complex business deals. She has extensive business development experience with proficiency in retail, corporate and commercial banking and treasury management among others. 

Under Nneka's watch, the Bank grew its PBT from N25.22bn in FY 2021 to N122bn in FY 2023. Nneka has now set her horizon on leveraging the opportunities in select high growth international markets where the Bank has a competitive advantage. She most recently guided the bank to obtain the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria to expand its operations to the United Kingdom with the acquisition of the former Union Bank UK, now Fidelity Bank UK Limited.

Passionate about innovation and embracing technology, Nneka has pioneered several innovative and pacesetting products such as the PayGate Plus, an online platform that enables businesses make and receive payments. 

Dr. Onyeali-Ikpe has also radically repositioned the bank as the go-to financial institution for Small and Medium Enterprises. Understanding the crucial role of small businesses in the sustenance of economic growth and development, she led the bank to create the Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect (FITCC) which is aimed at providing a global platform for exporters, regulators, subject matter experts and foreign markets to connect.

The FITCC 2022 edition was attended by representatives of both the UK & the Nigerian Governments, Nigerian exporters, investors, regulators from the United Kingdom and Nigeria, the business community and other practitioners. The pipeline deals from the event was in excess of $200m. Over 2,000 people registered to attend the event and daily foot-fall was about 1,000.

The second edition of FITCC, which was hosted in Houston, Texas, United States of America in October 2023, was even bigger with projected pipeline deals of over $250m and more than 160 businesses in participation. Tagged, FITCC Houston, the success of the event is signposted by the designation of 25 October 2023 as the “Fidelity International Trade and Creative Connect Day” by Mr. Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston.

In her bid to give back to the communities the Bank serves and as part of her efforts to combat the twin issues of poverty and hunger, Dr.Onyeali-Ikpe recently launched a National Corporate Social Responsibility initiative tagged The Fidelity Food Bank which provides free food bags to people across Nigeria monthly. 

In recognition of her leadership and outstanding performance, she received commendation from AMCON as a member of the Management Team that restructured and turned around thefortunes of the erstwhile Enterprise Bank. She also received several board commendations from the Managing Directors of Standard Chartered Bank and Citizens International Bank for outstanding performance at various times.

With Nneka as the Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank has been the recipient of several awards within and outside Nigeria some of which are: 

1. Best Commercial Banking Brand in Nigeria by the Global Brands Magazine Awards


2. Best Private Bank in Nigeria by The Financial Times in association with The Banker Magazine


3. Trade Ambassador Award by the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC)

4. Global Finance’s World’s Best Private Banks 2023 awards for Best Private Bank in Nigeria


5. The Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 in the 2023 Global Banking & Finance Awards 


6. Export Finance Bank of the Year at the BusinessDay and Other Financial Institutions’(BAFI) Awards 2023.


7. The “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.


On her own part, Dr. Onyeali-Ikpe has been recognized by numerous local and international bodies for her sterling achievements. These include:


1. The national award of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2023.


2. The Banker of the Year 2022 at the 14th Leadership Annual Conference and Awards and


3. The Best Banking CEO Nigeria 2023 in the 2023 Global Banking & Finance Awards.


4. 2023 Top 25 CEOs in Nigeria at the BusinessDay Awards 


5. The Banker of the Year 2022 at the Champion Newspapers’ Awards of the Year 2022.


Considering her versatility, industry knowledge and vast network, she also serves on the following Committees and organizations:

1. Chairperson, Financial Literacy and Public Enlightenment Sub-Committee of the CBN Bankers Committee.

2. Chairperson, Funds and Grants Committee of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria

3. Member, Audit Committee of FMDQ Group PLC

4. Member of the Board, Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities (SANEF)

5. Member of the Board, Unified Payment Services Limited

She is married to Dr. Ken Onyeali Ikpe, PhD, a visionary leader with strong business acumen and respected for his demonstrated knowledge in Marketing, Branding and Consumer Consulting and Business acceleration.

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