My "Vision" Led to My Progress
By Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, Managing Director, EMEA Payments and Receivables Head, Treasury and Trade Solutions March 10, 2015 12:00 PM
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, Managing Director, EMEA Payments and Receivables Head, Treasury and Trade Solutions, shares her story about the defining characteristic that led to her progress.
Throughout my career I have always made career moves with a forward looking perspective.
When I earned my MBA in 1987, I decided to leave the UK and move back to Nigeria. I chose to pursue a banking career in my home country because the financial industry there was undergoing a major transformation, and deregulation meant new banks were being licensed, creating many professional opportunities. Citi was one of these banks.
Joining Citi as a Management Associate in 1988 was not only the beginning of a banking boom in Nigeria, but also the start of my own exciting 26-year journey with the company – a journey spanning five international assignments in three countries, covering roles including corporate finance and Banking and Global Transaction Services.
For three years I enjoyed a successful stint as a relationship manager handling Global Subsidiaries Group clients. When I realized a missing element of my professional toolkit, I requested a move into operations so I could better understand client solutions. The back office experience I gained in that role was the single most important reason for being accepted for a corporate finance position in London – at a time when I needed to move to London for personal reasons. The move into operations in Nigeria and subsequent move to London were pioneering and unprecedented.
In 1998 I transitioned into a Global Transaction Services role in South Africa. I felt this position allowed me to leverage all of my previous experience. Five years later, GTS was spun off into its current format as the separately quoted business line under the Institutional Clients Group — and one of the most highly sought after places to work within Citi.
My strategic career vision has led me to my current role, which brought me back to London in 2013. Despite great weather, a wonderful lifestyle and a job that was going well in South Africa, I craved a new challenge. I sought and accepted a job in London to head public sector sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa – a move that meant uprooting my two daughters and my husband, who also has a demanding career.
Within five months of relocating, my role changed completely when GTS reorganized. I found myself undergoing the perfect on-the-job training in banking for my current title as the Treasury and Trade Solutions, EMEA Payment and Receivables Head. If I could describe my dream job, it would be the one I hold today.
I got here by not settling for comfortable, not giving up when the path got bumpy but, staying the course and challenging myself to fulfill my dreams.