Arunma Oteh interview: New markets for the World Bank
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Arunma Oteh interview: New markets for the World Bank

Arunma Oteh has helped develop new financial tools to address the world’s most pressing issues – in an exclusive interview, she talks about the difference the capital markets can make and her previous career fighting corruption in Nigeria.

Illustration: Kevin February

“I’m always interested in how you can use the capital markets to make a difference,” Arunma Oteh says. The treasurer of the World Bank, who meets Euromoney during a recent visit to London, says this fascination with finance came to her – or rather, was forced upon her – early on. 

“I spent my career in the capital markets because of what was discussed at the dinner table with my father,” she explains. 

After dinner, when she was only a young girl, her father made her and her sisters read the annual reports of the companies whose stocks on the Nigerian exchange he was invested in. “I hated it. I couldn’t believe that this was what we did every night.”  

But, she adds, this served as a valuable lesson and gave her work life a direction. “From when I was a child, I recognized the power of the capital markets.”

As the treasurer of the World Bank, a position she took up in September 2015, she has never been in a better position to harness that power. Oteh and her team have been thinking of new, treasury-driven ways to address the world’s most pressing issues, from pandemics to refugee crises.

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