The stock market players were in excitement mood on Wednesday with the smooth transition at Fidelity Bank Plc, when the Managing Director, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, gave account of his 7-year stewardship and formally introduced his successor, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, to stockbrokers.
Speaking during the virtually held closing gong ceremony to formally close trading activities on the stock market, Okonkwo said he delivered on the promise, upon assuming office on January 1, 2014, to foster a robust engagement with the market, grow the bank and improve on key performance indices.
He enthused: “I am happy to state that we have been able to grow our Return on Equity (ROE) which averaged at 5 percent in 2013 to 13.3 percent in 2019.”
He attributed the successful capital raising exercise of 2015 and 2017, when the bank raised N30 billion local bond and 400million dollars Eurobond, respectively to the result of the deepening of investor engagements, through holding quarterly earnings calls and non-deal road shows across different geographies.
According to him, the bank is currently in the process of issuing a N74 billion series 1 Bonds under its N100 million Bond issuance programme.
Okonkwo, who will be retiring at the end of the year, after the completion of his contract tenure, said the bank had enjoyed a very stable leadership since inception and expressed his delight on the calibre of leaders he was leaving behind to sustain the remarkable strides.
He said: “We recently appointed five Executive Directors from within and the incoming MD/CEO, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, has been an integral part of management since 2015. She is part of the success story and we are convinced that the performance of the bank, under her leadership, will be even better.”
In her remarks, Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe, whose tenure will start from January 1, 2021, assured that the corporate aspirations of the bank would remain the same under her leadership and thanked the outgoing CEO for laying a solid foundation for her and the new team, to take the bank to greater heights.
“We will continue to deliver superior returns and to do this, we will rely on the active support of the market and all stakeholders” she assured.
In their comments, Head Listing, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Olumide Bolumole, and one of the foremost players in the Market, Mr. Rasheed Yusuf, commended the bank for the sustained financial performance and successful transition.
Yusuf said: “It’s cheering news to us in the stockbroking community and the market that the new MD was appointed from within. Fidelity is a well-known brand with high expectations from us. You have been meeting our expectations, but we want more. We are eagerly looking forward to when you will become a Tier 1 Bank. Please be assured that the market will give you all the required support.”