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Jim Ovia M.B.A

Managing Director/CEO
Zenith Bank Plc

Victoria Island, Nigeria

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About Jim Ovia


Since founding Zenith Bank Plc. 20 years ago in Lagos, Nigeria, CEO Jim Ovia has made the financial institution into the largest firm in West Africa. Diversifying Zenith Bank’s products and services to include subsidiaries Zenith Insurance, Zenith Trust Company, Zenith Bank Securities, Zenith Pension Custodian, and more, Jim Ovia ensures that his company remains the premiere full-service bank in the country. In July 2004, Jim Ovia took Zenith Bank Plc. public on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and now serves branches in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ghana, and Sierra Leone. Commanding impressive revenues of ₦89.2 billion and a net income of ₦17.2 billion, Zenith Bank Plc. has greatly benefited from Jim Ovia’s wise stewardship. Jim Ovia earned a B.Sc. in Business Administration from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In addition, Jim Ovia completed the Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School. Understanding the value of higher education, Jim Ovia tries to bring the lessons he learned as a student to his positions on the Board of Trustees at Redeemer’s University, the Governing Council at Lagos State University, and the founder of the forthcoming University of Information and Communication Technology and the ICT Foundation for Youth Empowerment. In addition, Jim Ovia founded and serves as Chairman of Mankind United to Support Total Education (MUSTE), which provides scholarships to needy students. With the objective to facilitate the technological advancement of Nigeria, Jim Ovia chairs the Nigerian Software Development Initiative (NSDI) and the National Information Technology Advisory Committee (NITAC). A charitable figure in the community and beyond, Jim Ovia coordinated Nigerians United to Save Niger Republic (NUSAN) and was a member of the Tsunami Disaster Relief Committee. Over the years, Jim Ovia has won numerous awards for his work, and claims membership to the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), conferred on him in 2000 by the President of Nigeria. In his free time, Jim Ovia enjoys reading the biographies of American Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.


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