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Monday, September 21, 2015

Lazard Hires Former Nigerian Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala

Lazard Ltd. hired former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as a senior adviser after the government of Goodluck Jonathan was voted out of office in an election earlier this year.

Okonjo-Iweala, 61, most recently co-ordinating minister for the economy and finance from 2011 to May 2015, will join as a senior advisor focusing on the bank’s sovereign advisory group, Lazard said in a statement on Monday.

“She will bring a unique international expertise and experience that will benefit both our sovereign and corporate clients,” Matthieu Pigasse, Lazard’s global head of mergers and acquisitions and sovereign advisory, said in the statement.

In an earlier stint as finance minister of Africa’s largest oil producer between 2003 and 2006, Okonjo-Iweala spearheaded talks that led the Paris Club group of creditors to write off $18 billion in debt. The Harvard University-educated economist resigned from the cabinet in August 2006 after a demotion by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. In her more recent stint under Jonathan, she battled to cut government spending and bring order to an opaque fuel-subsidy payment system.

Jonathan’s government lost the March election to former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who has vowed to end corruption and crush a militant insurgency in the northeast.

[, Bloomberg]

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