Woman Crush Wednesday: Oluwatomi Somefun

by Duchess Magazine

Oluwatomi Somefun’s expertise is undeniable given that she was named one of the top 25 most notable Chief Executive Officers of listed Nigerian companies for the 2015 fiscal year.

Somefun, one of the few women in Nigeria’s top banking positions, has demonstrated her abilities throughout the course of her more than 7 years as CEO of Unity Bank Plc. Her success has paved the way for other women to advance more easily into executive roles.

Born October 2nd, Somefun earned her first degree in 1981 after completing her studies in English at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife. She later acquired significant professional courses and certifications because she had no academic background in banking. She earned her chartered accountant designation in 1982 and is currently a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

She also completed graduate work at the Harvard Business School and the University of Columbia and participated in an international training programme with INSEAD Fontainebleau in France. She belongs to a number of professional organisations, including the Institute of Directors (IOD), the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), the Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), and others.

She worked as a Senior Audit Assistant for KPMG from 1982 to 1986, which was the beginning of her nearly four-decade path to becoming the powerful banker she is today. She then transferred to Arthur Andersen, where she worked for a further few years in the position of Senior Auditor, until departing in 1989 to work as an Associate at Ventures & Trusts Limited.

She also worked for Credit Bank Limited. Later, she changed jobs and joined the UBA Group. She served as the founding managing director of UBA Pension Custodian Limited and as the MD/CEO of UBA Capital & Trustee Limited, two of the largest companies of the UBA Group. She sat on the boards of directors of UBA Foundations, UBA Trustees, UBA Nominees, and UBA Registrars as a non-executive director.

During her leadership, Unity Bank also made history by launching multilingual USSD banking in all three official languages of Nigeria, making it the first bank in the country to do so.

In 2016 and 2017, the bank’s financials were hacked by a large number of non-performing loans, the majority of which were taken out by former board members, which had an impact on the bank’s capitalization. She guided the bank through these trying times.

The beauty and brain is a member of the board’s credit committee, risk management committee, and general purpose committee, among others, is the beauty and brain.

Awards and Recognitions

In 2019, Somefun emerged as one of the Top 25 CEOs Next Bulls awardee. She received the award in honour of the bank’s outstanding year-end performance, during which its stock increased 101.89%, ranking it among the best-performing NSE equities.

Additionally, during the 2015 fiscal year, she was ranked as one of the top 25 most illustrious CEOs of listed Nigerian firms.

In 2019, she was also the top recipient of the BusinessDay Top 25 CEOs award.

Her honorary doctorate in business administration (D.BA) was awarded by Redeemer’s University (RUN).

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