NSE Commences Recruitment Process for Onyema’s Successor

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By Obinna Chima

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has started the recruitment process for the role of its Chief Executive Officer currently held by Mr. Oscar Onyema.

This followed the appointment of Executive Search and Consulting Firm, Stanton Chase, by the Governing Council of the NSE to advertise the role of the CEO of the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

In the advertorial obtained by Arise Television, a member of THISDAY/Arise media group, Stanton Chase invited qualified individuals to apply for the role.

Also, market operators conversant with the development, disclosed that Onyema would be stepping down in April 2021, when he is expected to have completed the second of his 5-year tenure as CEO.

Providing clarification on the name change of the Nigerian Stock Exchange to Nigerian Exchange Ltd as published in the recruitment advert, operators said that the planned demutualisation process of the NSE would bring about the creation of a holding company (holdco) structure.

Under the holdco, the Nigerian Exchange Limited would be the operational arm and one of the four subsidiaries held by group, including the Central Securities Clearing System Limited.

Demutualisation is the conversion of not-for-profit entity limited by guarantee into a profit-making, public limited liability company owned by shareholders. Members of the NSE had in March approved the process to conclude the demutualisation of the Exchange to become a profit-making, limited liability entity. The approvals were given at a court-ordered meeting (COM) and an extra-ordinary general meeting (EGM) held in Lagos.

Owing to this, the nine-page advertorial stated that the Nigerian Exchange Limited serves the largest economy in Africa and champions the development of Africa’s financial markets. It added that the market offered listings and trading services, licensing services, market data solutions, ancillary technology services, and more.

The company would be a subsidiary of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, to emerge once the demutualisation process is finalised.

It further explained that, the CEO was expected to be an individual with proven leadership skills, sound technical knowledge and experience, as well as a robust track record of successes and achievements.

“The job holder will be responsible for the general management of the company’s operations and expected to demonstrate excellent administrative, strategic, operational and business management skills.

“Reporting to the Board of Directors, the successful candidate will have overall P&L responsibility for the Nigerian Exchange Limited, oversee the implementation of strategic value adding projects as well as hold responsibility for the day-to-day management of its operations.

“The CEO will sit on the Group Executive Committee (GEC) chaired by the Group CEO,” it added.

In addition, the advertorial stated that the desired candidate would be expected to successfully drive the achievement of the Exchange’s financial and non-financial targets; champion the development and refinement of the Exchange’s strategies towards deepening market penetration and achieving sustainable growth and profitability, and oversee the execution of the Exchange’s go-to market and operating model priorities.

Similarly, the he or she would be expected to develop and lead strategic growth initiatives to expand the Exchange’s asset classes leveraging market trends and client preferences. · Develop and lead strategic initiatives to drive market penetration of existing asset classes (including equities, derivatives and exchange trade funds) and increase transaction intensity; as well as drive primary market activities resulting in increased number of listed entities across various client segments (corporate, state owned enterprises(SOEs), small & medium scale enterprises etc.).

The required key competences for the role includes strategy articulation, strategy execution, strong stakeholder management, investor relations, general management, building trust & integrity, relationship building, people management, marketing and new business development, among others.

The advertorial which was jointly signed by the Managing Partner, Stanton Chase, Gregory Nazaryan and Managing Director, Tony Onwu, listed some of the work experience to be possessed by the desired candidate to include 18 years of cognate experience with a considerable number of years spent in the capital market sub-sector of the financial services industry, of which at least seven years must have been in an executive management role; proven experience in the global capital market business landscape with a deep understanding of global capital market standards, best practices as well as the legal, regulatory and competitive landscape of Exchanges across the world.

At the court-ordered meeting, members had assented to the registration of the Exchange as Nigerian Exchange Group; the transfer of its securities exchange licence and other assets required to carry out the securities function to Nigerian Exchange Limited and the establishment of a separate subsidiary company to be charged with the regulatory functions of the Exchange post-demutualisation to be called NGX Regulation Limited.

The members had equally approved the transfer of the assets of NSE Consult Limited, NSE Nominees Limited and Coral Properties Limited – existing subsidiaries of the NSE – to the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc.

They also approved that the Exchange would have a total share capital being N1,250,000,000 comprising 2,500,000,000 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

The President of the NSE, Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, had told THISDAY that the demutualisation of the Exchange would benefit the economy in more ways than one.

He had stated that post-demutualisation, the emerging entities would be subject to companies’ income tax and other relevant taxes payable by for-profit organisations, thereby providing an additional source of tax revenue for the Nigerian government.

Ogunbanjo had expressed optimism that it would reinforce the continuous growth and development of a dynamic, fair, transparent and efficient capital market and thus significantly contribute to Nigeria’s economic development.

“The demutualisation of The Nigerian Stock Exchange will surely bring about changes in the market structure with more participants. It will also give rise to improved corporate governance, higher levels of efficiency and lower transactions costs, which will inadvertently attract more listings to the market.

“Furthermore, we expect a general boost in confidence both from investors and issuers resulting from increased trade activities and better opportunities for international alliances and cross border listings. We believe the value proposition associated with demutualisation will encourage more listings,” he added.