Adaora Remy Umeoji Becomes First Female GMD/CEO Zenith Bank Plc

Dr. Adaora Remy Umeoji is a successful banker whose wealth of experience in the banking industry spans more than three decades.

In the past twenty-six years, she dedicated her service and commitment to the growth of Zenith Bank Plc where she gained a job opportunity into in the 90s.

Before her appointment on Tuesday 19th March 2024 as the new General Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, she had held management executive positions or roles in the bank such as Executive Director to the last where she rose to the position of Deputy Managing Director of the bank.

Her educational qualifications not only positioned her for career uplift, it showed her passion for education and knowledge pursuits.

Adaora studied sociology at the University of Jos where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree (B.sc), her transition from a sociologist to a banker brought her interest to pursue a degree in accounting and she equally studied and bagged a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.

Her continuous pursuit of excellence enabled her to seek admission at Baze University Abuja where she gained admission to study Law. It is rare to see people master the act of combining a full-time career and education, but her multitasking skills enabled her to read her books thoroughly and at the end of her legal education, she graduated with a first-class degree in Law (LLB) from Baze University which is a popular private University located in Abuja. She did not stop there as she went further to study for a master’s degree in law at the University of Salford, United Kingdom where she gained her LLM.

As someone in the private sector who climbed through the corporate ladder, her passion for education knowledge enabled her to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Calabar and equally a doctorate degree in business administration from Apollos University, USA.

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Following the press release of Zenith Bank Plc announcing her appointment as GMD/CEO, the bank in the announcement signed by the company secretary Michael Osilama Out revealed further that she holds a certificate in economics from MIT Sloan School of Management USA, Strategic Thinking and Management program at Wharton Business School, USA and certificate in leading global business including Executive program from Havard Business School in United States of America.

The successful banker Dr. Adaora Remy Umeoji from Anambra State is a member of many prestigious professional bodies such as the Nigerian Institute of Management, Chartered Banker Institute United Kingdom, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administration, Institute of Credit Administration, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria, Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators and several others.

Adaora is a devoted catholic and founded the Catholic Bankers Association of Nigeria (CBAN) which is a platform she uses to advocate for ethical banking to serve humanity better,

Dr. Adaora Umeoji is equally a philanthropist and founded two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to contribute to humanitarian services. Pink Breathe Cancer Foundation and the Adorable Foundation are her foundations which she uses to educate, help cancer patients, and support the education of children from poor backgrounds.

As a devoted Christian and a notable Catholic, she was recognized by the Bishop of Rome or Pope His Holiness Pope Francis through her award as a papal knight of the order of St. Sylvester including her knight membership as a lady of the order of Knights of St. John International (KSJI).

In 2022, during the administration of the former President of Nigeria General M. Buhari, Dr Adaora Umeoji was given a national merit award as Officer of the Order of Niger (OON).

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Her career success in the apex management position at Zenith Bank is not the one that came on a platter of gold as she faced a policy challenge that would have stood as an obstacle to her appointment as GMD/CEO in the bank she gave her twenty-six years of loyalty in professional career. During the regime of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Mr Godwin Emefiele, the apex bank made a policy of forceful retirement of all banks Executive Directors that have served for a period of ten years. The implementation of the policy led to her impromptu retirement until the new CBN Governor removed the policy leading to her return to the bank.

Zenith Bank Plc over the years has a culture of preparing successors from inside the bank who are prepared ahead to take over the leadership position in the bank.

Jim Ovia from Delta State founded Zenith Bank Plc and many of the bank CEOs including Jim Ovia, Godwin Emefiele, and Dr Ebenezer Onyeagwu are all from Delta State.

Dr Adaora Umeoji (OON) is the first appointed GMD/CEO of the bank from South-East Nigeria and the first female CEO of the bank since the inception of the bank.

On 1st of June 2024, Adaora will officially take over the position as the new General Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc after the tenure expiration of the incumbent GMD/CEO whose five-year tenure will end on 31st May 2024.

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