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Marie-Lou Okoko

Program Consultant
South Africa

Marie-Lou Okoko, the visionary founder and CEO of JJH Group (Pty) Ltd, boasts an impressive 27-year tenure in the Financial Services industry. Armed with a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Wits Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce (BCOM) degree from the University of South Africa (Unisa), she embarked on a corporate journey that shaped her into a seasoned professional.

Throughout her illustrious career, Marie-Lou has navigated the intricacies of both local and international banks, assuming diverse roles in Operations, Risk Management, Relationship Management, and Business Management across Corporate and Business Banking. Some the roles she held during her tenure in banking include Head of Corporate Banking (Access Bank), General Manager Commercial (Land Bank) and Provincial Manager (ABSA Bank). Her leadership prowess is evident in her experience steering national sales teams and driving strategic initiatives to fruition.

However, Marie-Lou's impact transcends her corporate endeavors. As the founder of JJH Group, she actively services small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), assisting them with raising debt finance through bank networks. JJH Group also plays a pivotal role in educating SMEs through its business networking events, where Marie-Lou shares invaluable insights into becoming finance-ready, developing effective business strategies, and other pertinent topics for business owners.

Furthermore, Marie-Lou is deeply committed to skills development and empowerment. Her brand, the Phoenix Link Program, is designed to bring work readiness programs to unemployed youth and young professionals emanating from previously disadvantaged communities, thereby contributing to societal upliftment and economic empowerment in South African and the rest of the continent.

Marie-Lou's unwavering drive and purpose illuminate her journey, making her a beacon of inspiration in both her personal and professional spheres. Her dedication to excellence, coupled with her commitment to societal impact, underscores her status as a recognized industry expert and a catalyst for positive change. Additionally, Marie-Lou is also an active member of various prestigious organizations including BNI, a global networking association, the British Chamber of Commerce in South Africa and is a trustee of the Masibambisane Empowerment Trust, further solidifying her reputation as a respected leader and influencer in the business community.

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