Former Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh has been appointed Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank.
A great time to join the World Bank given the innovative solutions it is deploying to 'end extreme poverty and ensure shared prosperity'
— Arunma Oteh (@aoteh) July 24, 2015
Oteh was appointed DG of the SEC by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010. During her tenure, the Nigerian House of Assembly launched an investigation into the near collapse of the SEC, accusing her of corrupt spending.
Oteh fought back, exposing that she was asked for a bribe by chairman of the House’s ad hoc committee, Herman Hembe. Oteh was placed on suspension pending the outcome of an investigation by the Federal Government.
Hembe was later charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) along with another member of the House of Representatives, Azubuogu Ifeanyi for corruption during their tenure as the House committee chair and deputy chair investigating the capital market crash.
Despite recommendations from the House of Representatives and the Senate that Oteh be fired by President Jonathan, the Federal Government discharged her of criminal breaches following an investigation and report by PriceWaterHouseCoopers. Consequently, she was reinstated and completed her tenure at SEC.
Observers believed that the House of Representatives action against Oteh was a witch-hunt for exposing the corruption in the House.
World Bank statement announcing the appointment is quite detailed and highlights Oteh’s impressive career achievements. Below is a part of it.
Arunma, a Nigerian national, was most recently the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria. Appointed to a five-year term by the President of Nigeria in 2010, she led the transformation of the country’s capital markets industry into a major global presence.
She was a member of the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Chairperson of the Africa Middle East Regional Committee of IOSCO.
Prior to joining the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria, Arunma was Group Vice President, Corporate Services, at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). In this role she oversaw a number of departments, including human resources, information and communications technology, and institutional procurement.
From 2001 to 2006 she held the role of AfDB Group Treasurer, where she led AfDB’s fundraising and capital market activities across the world. Earlier roles at the AfDB, which she joined in 1992, included trading room management, investment portfolio coverage, and public sector lending. She also held other positions in capital markets and lending during the course of her career at the AfDB.
Arunma began her career in 1985 at Centre Point, where she executed debt and equity offerings in the Nigerian capital markets.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Nigeria and her Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University.
As VP and Treasurer, Arunma will manage and lead a large and diverse team responsible for managing more than $150 billion in assets.
Her top priorities will be to: (i) maintain the World Bank’s global reputation as a prudent and innovative borrower, investor and risk manager; (ii) manage an extensive client advisory, transaction and asset management business for the Bank; (iii) engage, in her capacity as one of the World Bank’s key representatives, with outside stakeholders including global private sector financial institutions, the financial media and the sovereign debt and reserve managers in client countries, as well as ratings agencies; and (iv) collaborate extensively with the Finance Partners throughout the WBG, including with IFC and MIGA, expanding shared approaches, in particular around innovative financing for development and for key new projects.
Ms. Oteh was selected to this position through an international competitive search. Her appointment is effective on September 28, 2015.