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Episode 45: Disruption, Allyship and Meaningful Change with Yemi Akisanya

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Many have heard the phrase that “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” originated by Peter Drucker.  Well, the question is, how does that apply when we think about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?  During this episode, my guest, Yemi Akisanya, juxtaposes the key differences between a good strategy and the evidence of a great culture.

Yemi’s bio

Yemi Akisanya is a global leader, strategic thinker, and passionate speaker with over 11 years of experience in the Financial Market sector. Yemi has spent over ten years leading teams in Technology, Business Development, and Strategy. He is currently the Director and Head of Diversity & Inclusion at OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization and the foundation for secure markets.

Previously at OCC, Yemi served as a Product Development Manager and led a team of business analyst that balanced multiple responsibilities focused on strategy, new product and business development efforts in the liaison role between central party clearing and settlement services organization and external business customers such as exchanges, banks, and clearing members.

While he has held multiple positions at the company, Yemi’s extensive experience in strategic advisory, data analytics, research, design, product development, and affinity toward social impact inspired his decision to transition to his role as Director and Head of Diversity and Inclusion in 2018. In this role, he is responsible for building a Diversity and Inclusion office at the Clearinghouse. This includes recruiting and hiring the dream team to develop the strategy and policy creation of OCC’s short and long-term Diversity & Inclusion plan. The mission is to inspire and engage OCC to build a more diverse and inclusive workplace and own a positive corporate culture ripe for social impact in the community.

Prior to joining OCC in 2011, Yemi held positions at Chicago Mercantile Exchange and JP Morgan Chase as a Lead QA Analyst, where he specialized in large-scale initiatives for the financial services industry, specifically in Clearing. 

Yemi serves on the Board of Directors for i.c.stars, a program that provides technology-based workforce development, leadership training, and access to career opportunities for low-income adults in the Chicagoland area. He also seats on the Advisory Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Yemi is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Executive MBA program. He also holds a Master of Science in Communication degree from Northwestern University. He graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a B.A. in Management Information Systems, where he also played and captained the college football team.

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