The newly appointed acting Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, UPDC Plc, Deborah Nicol-Omeruah has said that she will drive the vision that will build affordable lifestyle developments for Nigeria’s growing middle class and also maintain a loyal client base.
UPDC is an institutional property company that was founded in 1997, and listed on the NSE in 1998 with a solid track record in the acquisition, development, sale, and management of a diverse mix of commercial, residential, hospitality, and retail assets across Nigeria.
As the new CEO, Deborah will be responsible for driving business growth and increasing profitability across the entire business.
She has almost 20 years of experience in real estate and banking with specialisation in property development, property finance, acquisitions, and mortgages and also has extensive private banking and investment planning experience in the UK and Africa.
Deborah is a real estate professional and a certified mortgage and financial adviser (CeFA, CeMAP) by the Institute of Financial Services in the UK, recognised industry expert in the Nigerian mortgage and real estate development market, and served as a non-executive director on the Board of Trustbond Mortgage Bank Plc (now FirstTrust Mortgage Bank Plc) from 2015 to 2019.
She joined Landmark Africa Group as Chief Operating Officer overseeing property development and corporate finance activities, and then moved on to Broll Property Group as Africa Asset and Transaction Director for Standard Chartered Bank, before joining UPDC in 2019 as Chief Commercial Officer.
“At UPDC, I was promoted to Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director in December 2019 prior to my recent promotion to Ag. CEO/MD. It’s been an amazing journey with many challenges but even more successes”, Deborah said.
She stressed that hard work, building strong teams, and transforming businesses have been instrumental to her success.
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“Some of my proudest achievements in Nigeria include growing the mortgage department of Stanbic IBTC Bank (a member of the Standard Bank Group) by 130 percent in 12 months.
Transforming Landmark Africa from a Serviced Office business into a lifestyle property development company and most of all, being part of the executive leadership team driving UPDC’s transition in the past two years. I am now responsible for setting UPDC on a path to sustainable growth and profitability”, she said.
She added that working in the banking industry gave her ahead for dealing with finance and investment.
“As a mortgage adviser, you get to understand what clients are looking for, and the challenges they face with finding affordable quality homes from reputable developers.
I found that the key challenge a lot of developers faced was actually financing their projects, so this drove me to move into property finance so that I could ensure developers had sufficient funds to produce the homes which the bank’s mortgage clients could then buy”,
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Deborah described herself as a very ambitious woman that is passionate about unlocking financial freedom and improving the standard of living for Nigerians through real estate investments in lifestyle-focused real estate concepts.
“I want to build a personal legacy for those coming after me to see what is possible and achievable if you work hard. I am a self-confessed real estate geek so because I am doing something I’m passionate about, I don’t give up easily when things get tough, I am persistent and dedicated to doing better each time”, she said.
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