Adeola Azeez is a seasoned banker with over 25 years of professional experience, more than half of which has been as Deputy Country Head of Deutsche Bank Nigeria, the leading client-centric global universal bank with approximately 30 million customer accounts and activities in more than 70 countries and jurisdictions. Her effectiveness resides in her level-headedness and her pragmatic approach to creating new systems to face up to the challenges of correspondent banking.
Mrs Azeez is a respected professional in the banking industry and is valued for her contributions as well as the role she has played in the lives of many young people in and outside the industry, whom she encourages to take charge of their destinies. Mrs Azeez has always charted a stimulating path for her mentees, enabling their growth.
Mrs Azeez believes in the powers of reform and reinvention in the public and private sphere. In 2002, she became one of the founding members of Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ). In 2011 Mrs Azeez was elected as the Chairperson of WIMBIZ.
Mrs Azeez has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Lagos and an LLB. in Law from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Confident, powerful and feminine, Mrs Azeez is what one might call the embodiment of a woman in business. She sits on various boards and is a WIMBIZ trustee. Mrs Azeez is married with three children.
1) What are your passion and what keeps you going? (Motivator)
My passions are in multiples of what I love to do and enjoy. I thank God for giving me the energy that fuels them. I love to put smiles on people’s faces as such I just want to help on issues/situations that come my way as long as I have the source, contact, direct or indirect to resolve, and sort out. The outcome must be TOO ADD VALUE EVERY SINGLE DAY. Once I have decided to get involved and get going on anything I put in all my energy so the desired outcomes are achieved. I am people oriented and love to see people succeed. I am terribly and unapologetic about my passion on education, empowerment and elevation of women.
Women should be revered because there is an adage where I come which says” obirin lo dile mu’, translated to mean it is the woman that keeps the home together for it to run properly.
A woman just must know how to multi-task. It is a skill that must be acquired, it is not taught in school. It is conscious and must be a lifestyle and these days you can do so with technology all around us. To do so, you must be fairly organized on how to plan each day of your life while planning that of your entire house hold at the same time. Passion to do the right thing and do it well. I am passionate about keeping well and fit, I am passionate about everything I do and I think positive always.
2) How have you been able to successfully balance your career and family life?
I have 3 pillars of support, My God, My husband, My Mother…God takes care of my spiritual sanity when things are not going well and it does happen that things don’t go well.
My husband for his physical and moral support and perfect understanding when I am not there for the family. My mother, my pillar of support who sees and ensures my home is running when I am away on business.
I empower and invest in my support staff and ensure they are educated, (can read and write) can call and send me text messages in any emergency, I invest in my support staff and attend to their needs as reasonable as possible so they are loyal and are 100% committed to their job.
I talk to them and allow them to share their fears and concerns with me, while at the same time they know the boundaries. All three pillars of support must work well together at the same time, if one if not working, stress sets in and I cry for help.
3) What was the top 3 greatest challenges you may have gone through as a woman or in your career, solution if any?
During the baking consolidation years and we had to merge, close accounts in 2004/2006. Also the banking crises of 2009/10 with the cooperate governance failure in some Nigerian banks.
At these different times I was very concerned that my bank will not be impacted by the challenges facing the sector in any way to cause us reputational damage or loss of revenue. As an International bank operating in Nigeria the stakes were high and a lot of feedbacks, reports and daily engagement with our Head office was a must. I am the face of my bank on ground and these periods caused me a lot of personal tensions and anxieties.
4) What are your secrets for good looks and staying fit?
Exercise! Exercise!! Exercise!!!, I try not to eat after 8pm, I eat healthy because I have a health condition (not serious) that I have to moderate and keep in check not eating sweet things. I stay positive and I don’t sweat the small stuff, pick my battles and I have a lot of young happy friends with positive attitude.
5) What are the top 3 advice that you want to pass to every woman, mom who wants to be successful.
Besides being very prayerful to hear the Holy Spirit when he speaks to us and we hear his voice, women MUST believe in themselves that is CONFIDENCE, FORTHRIGHT, and be LIBERAL /OPEN MINDED to succeed in this new world where everything is changing. We require a new way of thinking to succeed. We must adapt but still strike a good balance of the old and new. We all need a little bit of luck too