Leading the Digital Transformation at FITC
Chizor Malize is the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC). With over two decades of experience in business development, business process re-engineering, marketing strategy/management and reputation management, Malize is passionate about helping organizations realize their full potential and meet their business goals. Malize is a prolific and reputable international speaker. She has facilitated several trainings in respected institutions, both local and international such as Lagos Business School, FITC Nigeria, Brand platform Academy and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. REBRAND™ USA recently nominated her as a Jury Board member on the REBRAND 100® Global Awards Board, the only member from out of Africa amongst the world’s top global Business Leaders, strategists, and designers. REBRAND™ is the world’s leading business and brand transformation organization responsible for the REBRAND 100® Global Awards, the foremost and most respected recognition body for the world’s best brands.
Chizor Malize was born and raised in Nigeria and attended an elite Catholic Missionary High School, Queen of the Rosary College in Onitsha. The missionary school was run by Reverend Sisters who were well-traveled and cultured. Reminiscing on her childhood, she says, “Our school Principal, Mother Eucharia was an inspiring British trained Nun. We were enlisted into various extracurricular activities to develop our minds beyond academics.”
Due to this, Malize was part of the school Theater club, the Dancing club, the Literary and the Debate Club. She had rigorous practice and training for these extracurricular activities. The reward was an opportunity to represent the school on TV Challenges each term, a feat that could only be achieved through perfect scores.
Malize strived to do her best in all these activities, as well as in her studies and was always selected to be a part of the school’s team. Every term, Malize would be included in the drama and debate teams on the State television network due to her brilliant performance. This rewarding experience built Malize’s early in life to be a well-rounded, versatile, confident, and high performing student.
While on holidays, Malize worked with her mom and learnt the ropes of the corporate world. Malize’s mother had built a business as a retail chain distributor for blue chips like Coca Cola, Guinness, Unilever, and Procter and Gamble. In order to give her children a glimpse of entrepreneurship at a young age, she gave all her children the opportunity to work in her business at different times of the vacation as high schoolers. She would also hold them accountable for the period they spent in her business.
Consequently, Malize learned the skills required to be an entrepreneur early on. She says, “I learnt enterprise, accounting, profit and loss and basic reporting under her. She also taught me discipline and entrepreneurship.”
On the other hand, Malize’s father was a Senior Naval Officer who saw everything in white. According to her, he was a kind and generous man. “He taught me excellence, quality, transparency and integrity.” she adds.
Malize always excelled in her studies and completed her Bachelor’s degree in English Communication and a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Marketing.
She started her career as the Divisional/Global Head, Marketing & Product Management for Access bank PLC. Since then, she has held various C-Suite roles in 8 African countries, learning, growing, and adding value to every organization in her corporate journey. Talking about her eclectic career, she says, “I have worked in diverse industries from Financial Technology/Payments, Banking, Brand consulting and most recently Learning & Development and Advisory. I have Pan African experience rolling out financial services across Africa.”
With her diverse experience, she then founded and ran Brandzone, a leading brand and reputation consulting firm managing some of the top international and first-rate multisector local brands. She says, “The diversity of experiences I have gathered leading and managing resources across sectors and regions equipped me to excel in a leading Learning organization like FITC today.”
Talking about this position, Malize says “This role was an instant yes for me knowing I would bring significant experience on board while driving the much-needed corporate transformation for a heritage institution, keeping it future-focused and 21st century relevant.”
FITC was established in 1981 as a Limited by Guarantee not for profit professional services organization, based on the Company’s Act of 1968. The organization was created in response to the recommendations of the Pius Okigbo Committee, which was set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1976 to review the Nigerian financial system. For 40 years, and in line with their vision to position as a world-class innovation-led and technology-driven knowledge institution, FITC has continued to lead and impact the financial services sector, transforming the industry with world-class, innovative knowledge solutions.
Malize adds, “With our expertise, we help individuals and their organizations to excel, enabling them to realize the power of their potential through knowledge solutions that drive superior performance. We go beyond the ordinary to equip leaders and organizations with knowledge-based research, developing cutting edge strategies that convert opportunities into value. We help them re-engineer their processes, products, or programmes, enabling them to become the best they can be. In addition, we also help organizations hire the right people and advise them on how to develop potential and motivate their workforce.”
As the Chief Executive Officer of FITC, Malize is currently leading the company’s digital transformation into a world-class, innovation-led, technology-driven knowledge solution provider and has already made great strides in the role.
The company has an impressive list of clientele base, including Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Access Bank, ICNL and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) among others.
Due to her exceptional work, Malize has won several awards for Leadership Excellence and Innovative Marketing. She won the award for Marketing Personality of the year 2016, African Leadership Excellence Award 2017, Most Outstanding Female Brand Personality Award in 2018 and was a Finalist at the International Business Excellence (IBX) Transformative Leader Award 2020. She is also a member of the Jury Board of ReBrand, USA and Truevine Foundation.
Under her commendable leadership, FITC is a recipient of the International Federation of Training & Development Organizations (IFTDO); ‘Change Agent in Learning and Development in Africa’ Award in 2020; Business Excellence Award (The BIZZ Award) in 2020; The International Business Excellence (IBX) Award in 2021, and the Winner of Global Business Excellence Award in 2021.
In conclusion, Malize’s advice for budding leaders is, “A great leader must be visionary, brave, prudent and prepared to face the consequences of their decisions and actions.”