The WFE's Women Leaders 2024 - Corinne Houmou Ormon, BRVM Country Representative in Cote d’Ivoire

By: Corinne Houmou Ormon, BRVM Country Representative in Cote d’Ivoire, Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières Mar 2024

Name: Corinne Houmou Ormon

Organisation: Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières 
Job Title: 
BRVM Country Representative in Cote d’Ivoire


1.  Brief job description

BRVM is a regional stock exchange that operates in seven countries in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) zone: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Corinne serves as the Representative for Cote d’Ivoire. In her capacity, she undertakes various responsibilities to enhance the exchange’s presence and impact:

Promoting the regional finance market:

Conducting meetings, seminars, workshops and communication campaigns aimed at state owned enterprises, private companies and investors to raise awareness about BRVM’s listing and investment opportunities;

Monitoring the privatisation program and national development plan;

Offering training programs:

Providing training tailored for market players, issuers, individuals and all other entities at national level.

2. Short biography

Corinne has a career spanning over 20 years, showcasing her expertise in capital markets, wealth management, marketing and communication.

She was appointed BRVM Country Representative in Cote d’Ivoire in June 2020, and previously, held the position of Head of the Communication and Public Relations Department at BRVM.

Before joining BRVM in 2013, she held the positions of Customer Service Representative and then Account Manager at RBC Financial Group (Royal Bank of Canada) in Institutional and Investor Services from 2001 to 2011. Subsequently, she served as an Assistant Treasurer at BNI (Cote d'Ivoire National Bank of Investment) from 2011-2012.

Corinne’s education includes a Bachelor in Business Administration from HEC Montreal (Canada), with a major in Finance and International Trade. Prior to her studies in Canada, she obtained an associate degree in commercial management from the Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny (INP-HB) in Cote d’Ivoire.

3. What were your professional highlights and challenges in 2023?

Amid the turbulence seen on the world's financial markets in recent years, one of the standout initiatives spearheaded in 2023 by the BRVM office in Ivory Coast was the democratisation of the stock market culture. The primary objectives were to enhance retail investors’ participation and promote responsible investing across the WAEMU zone.

Despite numerous efforts by BRVM stakeholders in the regional financial market since its inception in 1998, achieving significant growth in retail investor participation remains a challenge. This is evidenced by the relatively small number of securities accounts opened. Currently, retail investors account for approximately 25% of trading, which we believe is below the optimal threshold for market liquidity.

In response to these challenges, the BRVM office in Ivory Coast decided to leverage new technologies in 2023 to broaden its base of potential investors. I strongly believe that knowledge and awareness creation play a key role in encouraging individuals to invest in the stock market. As global capital markets have undergone several simultaneous transformations over the past decade in part due to rapid technological advancements, we developed and adopted a new approach to expand our actions in this domain.

A pilot phase was then launched in June 2023, reaching out to over 2 000 people, and successfully onboarding around 7% of the target audience. These findings have proven beneficial to the exchange and demonstrate a way to achieve significant results in a cost-effective manner. This initiative triggered a significant change in the market business development perspective and has inspired the creation of the BRVM Financial Literacy Program. This program could be implemented across the different offices of BRVM in the WAEMU using the same strategy to boost the participation of retail investors. These approaches might exist globally, but they are new efforts in our region.

4. Tell us about a few of your key achievements?

When I assumed the position as Head of Communication at BRVM, this department had not been established yet. My team and I worked tirelessly to promote the exchange in the sub-region and internationally. We reached a significant milestone when the BRVM joined the WFE, and this moment brought me immense satisfaction.

My current position is for me the culmination and recognition of several years' work at the exchange and undeniably reflects BRVM's upper management commitment to making gender policy a reality within the institution by appointing deserving women to management positions.

5. Who and what inspires you to achieve your professional success?

At a young age, my parents imparted to me the importance of education and good work.

My father is my greatest role model. He sets an inspirational example to me, teaching me resilience and tenacity. Despite a difficult childhood, he managed to establish a reputable school and a training institute.

I was also surrounded by strong women who inspired and motivated me to grow without any barriers. It has given me the courage and self-confidence to overcome difficulties throughout my professional life.

Also, there are a couple women such as Michelle Obama and Serena Williams who inspire me with their achievements, and what they have done for their community.

6.  How have you overcome setbacks, and what have you learned from adversity?

One of the setbacks I overcame with acceptance and resilience is related to my education journey. In the late 1990s, when I moved to Canada for my studies, I was told that I was not able to pursue a more advanced degree in marketing at HEC Montreal because my degree was not recognised.

This situation was so frustrating. I grew up in Cote d’Ivoire and I was privileged to attend the Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny (INPHB), one of the most reputable universities in the country.

Faced with this challenge, I had to make an important decision: either go back home or start over again my associate degree, implying that I could lose three years of my life. However, I chose not to believe that all the efforts I had made so far were useless. I rather saw this setback as an opportunity to learn more.

This takes me to the lesson this story could teach. 10 years later, the decision in Canada opened the door of the BRVM for me. Literally, during my job interview at the exchange I was told that I was a great fit for this position due to my strong background in marketing and finance.

Based on that experience, the advice I usually give to people particularly to those who hopelessly look for jobs in our region, where unemployment is very high, is to never give up. Resilience is the key to success.

7.  What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be in leadership positions?

I give you four words: Dream – Audacity – Passion – Discipline.

We must dream because dreams carry us and enable us to project ourselves into the future. You should not be afraid to dream big as long as you have the audacity to fulfil these dreams. To achieve it, you need a lot of courage. Despite hurdles, risks or challenges, you must remain focused. This is why you need passion as an engine of success, and discipline to reach your goals.


The views, thoughts and opinions contained in this Focus article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the WFE’s policy position on the issue, or the WFE’s views or opinions.