Meet Nigeria’s Yvonne Ike, Head of SSA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

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Yvonne Ike is a managing director and head of Sub Saharan Africa (Ex-RSA) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individuals, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company serves approximately 56 million U.S. consumer and small business relationships. It is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading.

Yvonne says, as an organisation, globally, Bank Of America is one of the top three banks in the world, and they operate in more than 150 countries. “Our primary services are commercial banking, investment banking and asset management. We leverage our global networks for commerce and important initiatives, which spans across arts, education and a number of other initiatives like health care and AIDS in Africa, and even when we shape our businesses, we are very thoughtful about what we do and why we do it.

Our Sub-Saharan Africa strategy revolves around servicing the key sectors in the economy like telecoms, financial services, retail services and advising the government”
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Since joining in September 2014, Yvonne has established the Bank as a leader in providing international financial services in the sub-Saharan Africa region. She is an executive sponsor of BofAML Inter-Generational (iGEN) Employee Network which provides a platform for young talent to network, improve their broader understanding of the banking sector and navigate their career opportunities within the bank. She is also a sponsor of the Africa Recruitment Programme.

Prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch in September 2014, Yvonne was a chief executive officer at West Africa at Renaissance Capital, where she was responsible for the firm’s West Africa franchise covering Investment Banking and Securities Trading. From 1984 to 2009, Yvonne was a managing director at JP Morgan. She also worked as a partner at Africapital Management Limited from 2009 to 2011. Yvonne started her career as an auditor with Ernst and Young International and has been an FSAregistered representative since 1994.

Ike has more than 20 years experience in the financial services, including capital markets operations and fixed income, derivatives and equities products. Over the course of her career, Yvonne has led senior teams in New York, Geneva, Hong Kong, Nigeria, India and South Africa.

Yvonne is a trustee of The Bridge Leadership Academy, Christopher Kolade Foundation and The Dangote Foundation. She is passionate about actively contributing to Africa’s development and is involved in several initiatives including African Gifted Foundation and Women for Women International.

She has received many international awards including being recognized by the Queen of England as one of the top 200 business women in the UK to make a significant impact in society.

Ike is an internationally regarded investment banker credited with pioneering a number of ground breaking transactions which significantly deepened the Nigerian market. She gained exposure to all capital market operations and products including fixed income, derivatives, and equities.

Being Managing Director at JP Morgan, trusted with the responsibility for West Africa, was her reason for working mainly in Nigeria. In this role, Yvonne was instrumental in raising the profile of Nigeria as an investment destination for international investors and was involved in 28 transactions across Africa.

She led innovative transactions including GT Bank’s Global Depositary Receipt (GDR) a US750M listing on the London Stock Exchange, the US$300M UBA GDR, Yvonne led on the merger of Stanbic and IBTC. In an advisory capacity, she provided financial and ratings advise to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ghanaian Government and The Lagos State Government. She led a team that built a cross product business that exceeded revenues of $100m.

In 2008, she was a member of the special Technical Committee for the Review of Capital Market Structure

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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