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SEC Approves Onyema, Popoola, Awe As CEOs Of Emergent NSE Entities

The National Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, on Thursday, said it has received the nod of the Securities and Exchange Commission for the appointments of Chief Executives of its emergent entities, post-demutualization.

According to a statement by the bourse, the commission gave its blessing for Oscar N. Onyema to become Group Chief Executive Officer of the newly created Nigerian Exchange Group Plc; while Temi Popoola, becomes Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Exchange Limited; while Tinuade Awe emerges CEO of NGX Regulation Limited.

Under the demutualization plan, a new non-operating holding company, the Nigerian Exchange Group plc (NGX Group) has been created, with three operating subsidiaries – Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), the operating exchange; NGX Regulation Limited (NGX REGCO), the independent regulatory company; and NGX Real Estate Limited (NGX RELCO), the real estate company – forming the group. All the entities have been duly registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Commenting on the appointments, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group) board noted that “the confirmation of these appointments is an important step in the process of building a leading and resilient African Exchange Group following the completion of our demutualisation programme.

“I am delighted to continue working with Oscar N. Onyema, who has played a significant role in the reshaping of the Exchange. As a proven business leader and strategic thinker, I am confident that he will elevate the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) and its subsidiaries successfully into a new era of development,” he added.

Otunba Ogunbanjo also appreciated the contributions of Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede, the retiring Ex-Officio Member of the National Council following the demutualisation of the Exchange.

“He not only provided wise and valuable counsel to the NSE over the years in its quest towards its demutualisation, he contributed significantly to the transformational achievements recorded by the Exchange during his tenure as President.

“I speak on behalf of the Council and Management of the NSE in commending him for his exceptional service and wishing him well in his future endeavours. Equally, I thank all past leaders of the Exchange many of whom started this journey and are alive to witness this epochal transition,” he stressed.

For A.B Mahmoud, Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), “The confirmation of the appointment of Temi Popoola, CFA as the first Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Exchange Limited comes at a pivotal moment for Nigerian capital markets as the Exchange enters a new phase of its history as a demutualised company, bringing to the Exchange his track record of achievement local and global capital markets.

“He will focus on ensuring the Exchange delivers an even higher level of service for all its participants and stakeholders, including investors, listed companies and brokers. I look forward to working with him and his team in the new dispensation  as we move forward on implementing the Group’s growth  strategy,” he added.

Catherine Echeozo, Chairperson, NGX Regulation believes “the clear separation of the regulatory and business functions is an essential part of the Group’s operations following demutualisation and the Board was determined to ensure the selection of an experienced regulator for this task.

“I believe all the Exchange’s stakeholders will welcome the announcement of Tinuade Awe as the first Chief Executive Officer of NGX Regulation, given her prodigious experience and track record in capital markets regulation. Our stakeholders can continue look forward to a robust and transparent regulatory regime under her leadership.”

According to a statement by the exchange, Onyema served as the CEO and member of the National Council of The Exchange from 2011 – 2021, with responsibility for supervising the general working of The Exchange. He is the Chairman, Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS), the clearing, settlement and depository for the Nigerian capital markets; and Chairman, NG Clearing, which is in the process of developing a Central Counterparty Clearing House (CCP). In addition, he is a board member of the National Pension Commission of Nigeria (PENCOM) and sits on several advisory boards including London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Africa Advisory Group (LAAG).

Prior to relocating to Nigeria, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at American Stock Exchange (Amex). He also ran the NYSE Amex equity business following the merger of NYSE Euronext and Amex in 2008.

The statement described Popoola as 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.

A Wall Street trained investment banker, he joins NGX from Renaissance Capital (Rencap) where he was Managing Director and CEO for West Africa, where he supported the continuous growth, profitability and success of the organisation by providing strategic market insight and leadership. He led the transformation of Rencap in West Africa by diversifying the company’s revenue streams into fixed income, derivatives, structured products, debt financing and wealth management. In addition to influencing change across the organisation, he was responsible for overseeing a global workforce, expanding foreign investor capital opportunities into West Africa and introducing enduring business processes and strategic initiatives.

Since his return to Nigeria in 2009, he has also worked with United Bank of Africa (UBA) as Head of Structured Products for Global markets and with CSL Stockbrokers Ltd as Head of Sales and Trading. In both of these positions, he guided growth and advancement for investors across global markets, including South Africa, the UK, the Middle East and the US.

He began his career in London as a portfolio manager focused on African energy markets and 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.

He graduated with a First-Class degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos and holds a Masters degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a Chartered financial analyst (CFA) and a Chartered stockbroker (CIS). He holds the Series 7 and 63 licensures.

Ms. Awe was before now an Executive Director, Regulation at The Exchange and before then, served as the General Counsel and Head of the Legal and Regulation Division as well as Council Secretary. Prior to The Exchange, Ms. Awe worked with the United Nations in The Hague and Geneva as well as the New York offices of global law firm, Simpson Thacher & Barlett and Banwo & Ighodalo in Lagos, Nigeria.

As Executive Director, Regulation, she had responsibility for the regulation of the two primary stakeholder groups of The Exchange, i.e., the Dealing Members that trade on The Exchange and issuers that have securities listed on The Exchange.  Her team was responsible for rule making and interpretation, monitoring, inspections, market surveillance, investigations, regulatory technology, and enforcement.

She is a non-executive director of the Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS).  She is also a member of the Board of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC). She Chairs the FRC’s Board Corporate Governance Committee, which has Board level responsibility to monitor implementation of the National Code of Corporate Governance (NCCG).  Among other professional pursuits, Ms. Awe was a member of the Nigerian Senate’s Technical Advisory Committee to review the Bill for an Act to Amend the Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Bill for an Act to review the Investment and Securities Act.

She holds an LL.B Degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University, graduating as the Best Female Student in the Faculty of Law, after which she proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, graduating as Best Overall Student. She also holds LL.M Degrees from Harvard Law School, where she was a Landon H. Gammon Fellow, as well as The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where she graduated with Merit. At the LSE, she was a British Council Scholar. She is admitted to both the Nigerian and New York Bars.

Ms. Awe is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and the International Bar Association. She is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) and the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR). She is a Life Member of the Institute of Directors. She is the recipient of The African Legal Awards 2018, General Counsel of the Year; Law Digest Africa Awards, General Counsel of the Year 2018, and Esq. Nigeria Legal Awards, General Counsel of the Year 2017. 

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