Mrs Ify Umunnakwe-Okeke is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lexon Capital, a firm she founded in 2009 to advise and provide infrastructure and real estate financing to enterprises and institutions. Lexon Capital has an extensive client base of developers, local and international financiers and investment houses seeking opportunities to increase participation in the real estate sector in emerging markets and the UK. In over a decade, Lexon Capital has participated in transactions worth over N200 billion. As the Chief Strategist of the company, with over 22 years’ experience in law, investment banking and project financing, Ify continues to drive innovation, growth and creativity within the company.
After acquiring an MSc in 1999 from Henley Business School. University of Reading, she commenced work in Rakisons Solicitors, a top City of London law firm which later merged with Steptoe & Johnson LLP, an international law firm with its headquarters in Washington DC. There, she qualified as a solicitor with a focus on corporate law and Mergers & Acquisition. She returned to Nigeria to work with Nigeria’s foremost investment bank, IBTC.
Five years later, she joined BGL Private Equity for one year to set up its Private Equity Offshore Funds. Shortly after, Lexon Capital opened its doors for business and has worked with developers, private equity firms and Co-operatives including UACN Property Development Company PLC (UPDC), African Capital Alliance, Cosgrove, Bilaad, NNPC, NLNG and many others.
Ify is a member of the Institute of Directors and an independent director at Veritas Glanvills Pension Fund (‘VG Pension Fund’), one of the highly rated PFAs in the country. She is chairman of the Board Committee on Risk Management and Corporate Strategy and chairman of the Board Committee on Nominating, Governance and General Purposes at VG Pension Fund. Ify is also a non-executive director on the board of the Abuja International Housing Show, and a director at IGM Developers Limited, a real estate development company in the United Kingdom.
She has a second-class upper law degree (LLB) from the University of Buckingham (1997), a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Legal Practice from the College of Law, Store Street, UK (1998) and an MSc in Finance, Regulation and Risk Management from Henley Business School at University of Reading (1999).
Over the years, she has acquired executive training from Harvard Business School and Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Her articles and papers have been published over the years. Ify is currently on an executive training programme by Kellogg.
A member of the Risk Management Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) and Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), where she is a mentor on its mentorship programme. Ify is passionate about social development and girl child education and protection.
Her hobbies include traveling, reading and skiing. She is married with children.