Popoola Replaces Retiring Onyema At NGX Group, As Chiemeka Named Nigerian Exchange CEO

Following the receipt of a “No-Objection” from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, the board on Friday announced the appointment of Temi Popoola as its new Group Managing Director/Chief Executive-designate effective January 1, 2024.

Popoola will replace Oscar Onyema who proceeds on his terminal leave prior to exiting the group in March 31 when he completes his tenure, after joining the then Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as CEO after a turbulence that led to the removal of the then Director-General, Prof. (Mrs.) Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke by the SEC in 2011. He retained the position until 2021 when he transmuted into the position of GMD/CEO of the NGX Group, following the demutualisation that year.

A statement by the group said the announcement which is still subject to a formal approval by the SEC, also included the appointment of Jude Chiemeka as Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) from January 1, 2024.

Popoola, currently the CEO, NGX and a member of NGX Group Executive Committee, joined NGX in 2021 as CEO from Renaissance Capital (Rencap) where he was the Managing Director and CEO for West Africa. At NGX, he oversaw and supported its continuous growth, profitability, and success by providing strategic market insight and leadership.

A successful C-suite leader whose unique blend of business acumen, financial expertise, global market growth and operational insight has earned him a reputation built on verifiable career achievements, Popoola began his career in London as a portfolio manager focused on African energy markets. He worked for several years as a senior equity derivatives trader with Bank of America Securities in New York, where he drove firm profitability by providing derivative solutions to US corporations and family offices.

A Wall Street-trained investment banker, Popoola graduated with a first-class degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Lagos and holds a Masters’ degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Chartered Stockbroker (CIS).

On his part, Chiemeka a member of NGX Executive Committee is currently the Executive Director of Capital Markets responsible for Trading, Products Development and Listings at NGX. He has over 29 years’ experience in Securities Trading and Asset Management across markets in Africa. \

Prior to joining NGX, Chiemeka, a Fellow and Council Member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (FCS), a Member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), a Fellow of the Association of Investment Advisers and Portfolio Managers and an Associate of the Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria, was the MD/CEO of United Capital Securities, a subsidiary of United Capital Plc listed on NGX.

He is also an alumnus of the University of Lagos, Lagos Business School and the University of Oxford, UK.

Commenting on the appointments, Alhaji (Dr.) Umaru Kwairanga, Chairman of NGX Group Plc, expressed delight at the new appointment of “pivotal changes in the leadership of NGX Group which is a testament to effective succession planning.”

He recalled how Onyema led the stabilization, growth, demutualization and restructuring of The Nigerian Stock Exchange to NGX Group Plc, a public company limited by shares, which is a significant milestone in the organisation’s history.

He also led the listing of the company on the main board of NGX, Kwairanga said, just as he expressed confidence in “Popoola’s capability to successfully continue the legacy Mr. Onyema has created, and take NGX Group to greater heights. I also firmly believe in Mr. Chiemeka’s ability to seamlessly assume leadership at NGX from Mr. Popoola, building upon his impressive achievements and fostering continued growth in the capital market.”

On his part, Onyema, expressed deep appreciation “of the privilege to have led The Nigerian Stock Exchange  as its CEO and later, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc as its GMD/CEO.”

He extendee his best wishes to Popoola, expressing “full confidence in his capabilities to continue the legacy and growth of NGX Group. I am grateful for the support and dedication of the entire team at NGX Group and capital market stakeholders throughout my tenure.

“Together, we drove significant development in the African capital markets, and I am proud of the various accomplishments we have achieved since 2011.

“As I step into a new phase, I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition and look forward to witnessing the continued growth and prosperity of NGX Group under Mr. Popoola’s leadership. The future is indeed promising,” he assured.

The GMD/CEO designate, noted: “I step into this new role at NGX Group Plc with a deep sense of responsibility and enthusiasm. I extend my appreciation to Mr. Onyema, for his exceptional leadership during his tenure and to the Board of Directors for the confidence reposed in me.”

“The modernization of the Nigerian market infrastructure space and the demutualization and restructuring of NSE under Mr. Onyema’s guidance,” he noted, “have been instrumental in shaping NGX Group, and I am honored to continue this legacy. I am fully committed to building on the foundation laid out and taking NGX Group to greater heights. With the support of the dedicated team and in collaboration with the esteemed leadership, I am optimistic about the exciting opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

“I am also very confident in Mr. Chiemeka’s ability to successfully steer the helm of affairs at NGX and propel NGX to greater heights,” he stressed.

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