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Suzanne Iroche, Independent Non-Executive Director at Coronation Merchant Bank Ltd

Recently in Nigeria, we have been celebrating women being elevated to top positions. By top positions, I mean Managing Directors and CEOs, especially in the banking sector. It has been a form of encouragement to many women, to know that gender is not a limitation to heights they can achieve, despite the obvious factors that serve as challenges to reaching their desired goals.

However, some women broke the proverbial “glass ceiling” way back. By way back, I mean 2009, when she was appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as turnaround Managing Director/CEO of FinBank Plc. She is Suzanne Iroche, a Director at Strategic Alliance Promotion Company Ltd. She is a seasoned banker, currently with interests in financial consultancy and governance.

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Iroche is a self-styled artist. Since 2006, she has had significant governance experience through her appointment on both publicly quoted and private company boards.

Suzanne has over 35 years of broad-based experience in the financial services sector spanning the areas of corporate and institutional banking, correspondent and international banking, and also treasury.

During her career, she was the pioneer treasurer of Chartered Bank PLC, where she set up the Treasury Division. She rose to the position of Executive Director, Wealth Management at United Bank for Africa (UBA) with responsibility for Treasury, Correspondent Banking/Multilateral Agency business and UBA subsidiaries in Asset Management, Trustees and Pension Custody.

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She subsequently became Executive Director Global Banking, where she was responsible for UBA’s regional expansion across the African continent and the supervision of all global offshore operations of the bank.

Her appointment in 2009 by the Central Bank of Nigeria as turnaround Managing Director/CEO of FinBank Plc, was part of CBN’s banking and financial sector reform programme to ensure financial system stability in the banking industry.

She served the bank until 2012 when she successfully completed her assignment for which she received a commendation from the CBN governor for her meritorious service to the banking sector.

Suzanne currently sits as an Independent Director on the Boards of the following companies: Coronation Merchant Bank Ltd, Africa’s premier investment bank, providing innovative solutions to the needs of corporations, governments and other financial services organisations.

The second is Travelex Nigeria Business Solutions Ltd (a subsidiary of Travelex Group UK).

The third is Union Bank United Kingdom, a UK incorporated bank and wholly owned subsidiary of the Union Bank of Nigeria plc, established in 1879 as a trading company, and has evolved to become a holding company. They own businesses with manufacturing facilities across Nigeria.

She is also a member of The University of Lagos Advancement Board and Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR) Advisory Board, an organisation dedicated to women empowerment and mentoring.

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