Pictured from left to right: Aderonke Adetoro, Saratu Kitchener, Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Nieros Oyegun Soerensen, Amanda Pullinger, Sola David-Borha, Tariye Gbadegesin, Taiwo Okwor, Yemi Okojie, Olivia Gao
Lagos, Nigeria – 2 May 2023 – 100 Women in Finance (“100WF”), a global non-profit finance industry organization, marked the formal launch of its Nigeria location last week. 100WF currently has a presence in 32 locations globally, including three on the African continent.
The launch, sponsored by First Bank of Nigeria, Verod Capital, Citi and Stanbic IBTC, was celebrated at a dinner in Lagos on Wednesday evening, with keynote speakers, Sola David-Borha, former CEO, Africa Region, Standard Bank Group, and Amanda Pullinger, Chief Executive Officer, 100 Women in Finance. Sola spoke about proper governance being the key to building a sustainable business, the importance of adaptability and community, and reflected that in the finance industry, the journey is more important than the destination. Amanda presented an overview of 100 Women in Finance, delving into the organization’s mission and initiatives. The dinner, which was attended by senior leaders in the financial services sector in Nigeria, as well as 100WF members, included engaging and insightful roundtable discussions on challenges and opportunities in careers, the role of networks, sponsors and mentors, angel investing and access to capital for women.
During the event, members of 100WF’s Nigeria Committee addressed the guests. Nieros Oyegun Soerensen, Partner at Verod Capital, shared her own experience joining 100WF as an early career professional in New York in 2007. She encouraged members to fully embrace the organization and the network’s offerings, which include career education, peer engagement, mentorship, philanthropy and more. Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Founder and CEO of Aruwa Capital Management, highlighted the significance of 100WF’s expansion into Nigeria, emphasizing the platform’s global reach and the breadth of resources and opportunities available to members locally and globally.
“Having joined 100 Women in Finance in London some years ago, I am very excited to be part of the Nigeria committee that has successfully launched the Nigeria location. As the world becomes increasingly global and interconnected, what resonates with me about 100 Women in Finance and its importance for women in Nigeria, is the global reach the 100WF platform provides, being active in 31 other countries. It is truly a global peer network for women, where there are great opportunities to network in any city you are in. Not only are there great networking opportunities and international visibility, but also access to global educational materials that provide women with a competitive edge in the workplace. One of the keys to ensure retention and progression of women in finance is the ability for us to lean into our local and global peer networks and 100WF provides a great platform for us to do this successfully in Nigeria. I am very excited about the upcoming programs we have for our members in the coming months.” – Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, 100WF Nigeria Committee member and Founder & CEO, Aruwa Capital Management.
Attendees had the opportunity to network with their peers and make new connections as they learned about 100 Women in Finance, its mission and Vision 30/40, the power of peer networks and how to get involved with 100WF in Nigeria and globally.
“We continue to receive positive feedback about the successful launch of 100WF Nigeria and opportunities this creates for women in finance at all levels. We thank our sponsors, members, and partners for making it a week of success. We look forward to creating future programming that empowers women while building a peer network” stated Yemi Okojie, 100WF Nigeria Committee member and Head of Strategy & Corporate Development at FBN Holdings.
100WF also marked the launch at the closing gong ceremony at the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) (formerly the Nigerian Stock Exchange) on Thursday afternoon. Amanda alongside several members of the 100WF Nigeria Committee met with key executives of the NGX and they discussed their respective organization’s missions and goals, as well as potential areas for collaboration. Subsequently, the team proceeded to the Trading Floor to strike the closing gong, signifying the end of stock trading for the day.
Closing Gong Ceremony at NGX Nigerian Exchange
“We are excited for the growth opportunity in Nigeria to connect individuals locally and across the globe around key themes of industry education and development of the next generation of professionals,” stated 100WF CEO Amanda Pullinger. She further commented, “We are immensely grateful to the 100WF Nigeria Committee for their generous time and commitment to the establishment of this location and these launch events. Their dedication has contributed to the success of this location, and we thank each of you for joining us in this journey. I would also like to express our gratitude to First Bank of Nigeria, Verod Capital, Citi and Stanbic IBTC for their sponsorship of the launch event in Nigeria and continued support. The dedication and contributions of these organizations, and all our sponsors, are instrumental to increasing the representation of women in finance and the percentage of women in leadership positions which is vital to the success of our mission and Vision 30/40. Thanks also to the Nigerian Exchange Group for supporting 100 Women in Finance’s launch and hosting us for the market closing gong ceremony.”
The launch events which were organized by 100WF’s Nigeria Committee, included a roundtable meet and greet session at FirstBank where Amanda met with senior female leaders across the FBN Holdings Plc Group (the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria). Verod Capital also organized a cocktail reception for senior colleagues to mark the Nigeria launch and underscore Verod’s alignment with the 100WF mission to promote the professional advancement of women in finance. The reception featured remarks from Amanda, and from Oluwakemi Owonubi, Executive Director at Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance Incorporated.
Presentation and reception at Verod Capital
The week was capped off with a fintech-focused breakfast session organized by the 100WFintech Visibility Committee. The event included a panel session, Women Leading the Way: African Fintech Success Stories, followed by a fireside chat with 100WF CEO Amanda Pullinger, and connected members of the fintech community locally in-person, and globally online.
With the Nigeria location now operational, 100WF will deepen its reach to finance professionals across the banking, private equity, venture capital, and FinTech sectors, among others, in Africa.
100WF’s global network and programs build a more diverse and gender-equitable finance industry by promoting diversity of thought, raising visibility, and empowering women to find their personal path to career success. 100WF’s guiding principle, Vision 30/40, aims to increase the percentage of women in senior investment and executive leadership roles to 30% by 2040.
100WF membership is open to all and we invite members of all genders, students at the university and graduate level, those in the early stages of their careers, and all the way up to the most experienced, senior levels of investment and executive leadership. Members can access in-person and virtual events in all our global locations.
100WF’s Nigeria Committee is planning events for 2023. If you would like to suggest topics, speakers or sponsor/host an event for 100WF, please contact us.
View the list of 100WF Nigeria Committee members and learn more about 100WF’s progress in Nigeria: https://100women.org/locations/nigeria/#committee