I have been in supervisory roles for the last 10 plus years. During this tenure, I have managed/supervised several well accomplished and motivated employees like Olayinka. There are certain intrinsic strengths in her approach towards work and temperament that sets her apart from peers in similar roles.
Drive to consistently upskill herself: While most of her colleagues were contend with just fulfilling the job responsibilities assigned to them, Olayinka proactively identified the shift in the way banks would operate in Nigeria. She realized that banks were starting to trade derivatives and other financial products that were new to the Nigerian financial market. This in turn meant that auditors like her needed to also pick up how these complex financial instruments operated, and underlying risks associated with them. She is the only one among her peer group of 10 auditors to take up the globally accredited and academically demanding CFA certification so that she could better align herself with the shift in Nigeria’s financial ecosystem, and present comprehensive reports and findings to the bank’s management. In a short span of time, Olayinka has been able to distinguish herself as a subject matter expert on derivatives and other treasury offerings.
Initiatives backed by creativity: Most people associated with the banking system in Nigeria are not very comfortable with changes in how things are conventionally done. Thus, we still use several legacy systems. One such system was that of reviewing of the credit portfolio of banks. Typically, each case of loan was evaluated in a standalone manner by each bank’s reviewer without taking factoring in information from other banks or other reviewers. Lack of interoperability made the process extremely time consuming and prone to errors. Olayinka was quick to suggest a software application which could capture, archive, and retrieve information of lenders, observations and recommendations of reviewers and store them in a central cloud, which would be accessible to each bank. With my approval, she worked with our internal IT team and external Software vendor to come with the product specifications of such a system, defined features, set milestones and corresponding timelines to launch such a system with all banks. Initially the system was not well received by the users as they had apprehensions on its usability and benefits. However, Olayinka relentlessly organized multiple training sessions for more than 100 users, gained their trust and eventually increased its adoption. Today, the system is used by every bank to handle thousands of loan cases.
Analytical mindset: Our team has access to loads of data points from different sub systems and sources. During financial audits of banks, Olayinka is comfortable in carrying out detailed analysis of the Earnings, Deposits, and leverage software to identify trends and determine its liquidity status. She can succinctly communicate findings to bank’s management who can then incorporate different hedging products to combat potential liquidity risks.
I have recommended her for a fast-tracked career growth in the organization, and have given her opportunities to independently lead a few new initiatives.